Short entry today. Brewday for the saison went pretty well. I think I need to recalibrate my refractometer, though. Based on it's reading, my gravity into boil was 1.043, which would have given me a mash effeciency of 99%!! That's insane. Unfortunately, I tossed the sample before I thought to use a hydrometer to get a good gravity reading. I'll be sure I do that correctly this weekend for the IPA. OG was 1.045, a little under the 1.049 I was shooting for, though. I might try double-crushing the grains next time, that seems to help other who are using the BIAB method.
I was able to get the wort cooled down to around 68F pretty quickly this time, though. I got it down under 100F in a few minutes with the immersion chiller. After it got down to around 90F, it started really slowing down, so I went ahead and transferred to the fermentor and put the whole thing into the ice chest filled with ice water. Yeah, I'm using that method again this weekend. It was down to 70F in no time. By the time I got it into the fermentation chamber, it was at 68F. Got the yeast pack and pitched at 68F.
This is the first time I've used a Wyeast yeast pack, and the first time for the French Saison strain as well. Last saison I used WLP565, which is the Dupont strain. The Internet tells me that it's a very vigorous strain, and will ferment quickly and end up attenuating way down. I kept it set at 65F for 3 days, then bumped it up to 75F. Took a sample on Sunday and checked the gravity. It's already down to 1.010, which is 78% attenuation (Wyeast claims 77-83 is normal)! I'm going to check again Thursday to see where it is. I'm hoping it will finish around 1.004, which would be over 90%. If it's not done by Saturday when I need the fermentation chamber for the IPA, I'll just move the fermentor into the pantry, probably, and let it sit for another week before kegging. That will also give the yeast a chance to clean up after themselves, and get rid of any off flavors. I might have to get a second 6.5 gallon fermentor, though, for that. I'll see what they have at the homebrew store tomorrow when I go for the ingredients for the IPA.
That's it for now. More to come in the next few weeks as these start to get finished and ready for Labor of Love!