I flavored this Alsatian Saison recipe with German hops (Hull Melon, and Hallertau Blanc) and French wine (Maison Trimbach Gewurztraminer). It was the third batch fermented with my "house" funky saison culture. I'm really happy with the way the blend of microbes is working together, despite my abuse (harvesting from the kicked keg). This batch did have sulfurous edge after keg conditioning, but venting the head space a couple times over a few days fixed that.
Not sure of the next stop for my house saison culture - I'm quickly running out of regions that produce both interesting hops and wine grapes. Maybe back to America, with a red wine, or an English saison with a touch of gin?
Alsatian Funky Saison
Appearance – Foggy pale yellow beer with a stiff white head, decent retention, and nice lacing. A nice rustic look, glowing despite the clouds and light summer rain.
Smell – More vinous than the New Zealand Saison, thanks to a more winey-wine, and grape notes from the Hallertau Blanc. Mineral-funkier as well; luckily the sulfur is completely gone. Balanced, not a big nose, but very pleasant. Not assertively hoppy after 10 weeks in the keg.
Taste – Wine-forward, good white wine, no white grape juice. Dry, without being a desiccant. Finishes crisp and bright, lemons and farmyard. Lingering on the funk keeps it from being really refreshing though.
Mouthfeel – Smooth lean mouthfeel, prickly carbonation. Lively and crisp without being watery or tannic.
Drinkability & Notes – The “new” German hops provide nice flavors and aroma, but they aren’t turned up the way American and New Zealand hops are. Still a nice wine-saison-funk hybrid, a pleasant moderate-alcohol variant for summertime consumption.