My homebrewing misadventures

Preparing to dash through the snow

As fall sets in, brewing a higher octane beer to get us through the holiday months ahead.

From Carboy

After brewing a lot of lower ABV, sessionable beers all year, it seemed like a good time to try something a little heavier as winter loomed. On a crisp, chilly fall Sunday morning, I lit a fire in the backyard firepit and brewed what Northern Brewer calls a "Saison de Noel." This will be a darker, heavier farmhouse beer appropriate for Yuletide merriment.

To bring the ABV up, I had to add a fair amount of sugar to give the yeast something to work with. That required adding a bit of these to the start of the boil:

From Carboy

It's been quite a while since I've added Candi syrup or sugar to a beer, years probably. So I'm eager to see how this one turns out. It should be ready to quaff in mid-December, though it could be cellared and aged for up to six months. Not to worry, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Recipe for Saison de Noel

Farmhouse Ale, All-Grain

5 gallon batch


10 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Belgian
8 ozs Franco-Belges Aromatic
4 ozs Weyermann Carafa II
4 ozs Caraaroma

1 oz Magnum, 60 mins

1 lb corn sugar<br /> 1 lb D-90 Candi syrup

French Saison, Wyeast Labs 3711

Original recipe from Northern Brewer.

Mash schedule

Add 13.75 qts water @ 167.3° F
Saccharification rest for 75 min @ 150.0° F
Add 7.60 qts water @ 212.0° F
Mash out for 10 min @ 170.0° F
Sparge with 13.37 qts water @ 170.00° F

Fermentation schedule

Primary 14 days @ 68.0° F
Secondary 14 days @ 72.0° F
Keg 14 days @ 74.0° F


  • ABV: 8.12 percent
  • IBU: 51.7
  • Boil Size: 6.50 gals
  • Color: 16.0 SRM
  • Estimated preboil OG: 1.043
  • Actual postboil OG: 1.070
  • Efficiency: 101.83 %

Stats by iBrewmaster

Other notes

Add the corn sugar and Candi syrup at the start of the boil, along with your hops.

By Tom on 10/23/2016

Stage: Brewing

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