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Spring Citrus Citra Saison

A dry-zested Saison, brewed with only Citra hops
Brewed By: 
Good old Rich
Brew Date: 
Brew Type: 
Classic Style: 
Recipe Category: 
Batch Size: 
6.0 gallons
Boil Time: 
60 minutes
Original Gravity: 
1.060 O.G.
Final Gravity: 
1.004 F.G.
7.4% ABV
34.7 IBUs
7.9 SRM

74% Dingemans Belgian Pils

17% Vienna malt

9% Cara-wheat

Mashing Instructions: 

mash in at 125 F, rest 30 minutes

recirculate to raise temp to 148 F, rest 60 minutes

recirculate to raise temp to 168 F,  rest 20 minutes

sparge with 170 F water to collect 7 gal. in boil kettle


0.30 oz. of Citra whole leaf hops, AA 13.5% used as first wort hopping and boiled the entire time

1 oz. of Citra whole leaf hops last 15 minutes of boil

0.75 oz. of Citra whole leaf hops at knock-out

Extra Ingredients: 

4 oz. corn sugar added to boil

Approx. 1 liter of fresh-squeezed backyard navel orange juice (14 Brix) added to primary fermenter only after 2 weeks of fermentation. The OJ was pasteurized at 170 F for 20 minutes before adding to fermenter.

"Dry-zested" the beer in secondary for 10 days, using the zest from one lemon, one lime and one grapefruit.


Wyeast 3711 French Saison, two-liter starter

Special Instructions / Notes: 

Fermented cool (62 F) ambient for first 3 days, then moved the fermenter indoors and placed on a heat mat for remaining duration


jeremy35's picture

I have some questions if someone could point me the right direction, trying to do this recipe on Friday as well as my friend 600 miles away:

The mash steps, if we can't recirc and had to do it at a fixed temp, what would you suggest?  I think I'll be able to step up in my kettle BIAB but he may not with the rubbermaid  mash tun.  

The OJ is added 14 days into fermenting.  Are there negatives to adding it earlier?  Day 7? Does it affect the yeast?  How long do you keep it in Primary typically?  21 days or just watch FG?

Do you mesh bag the zest in the secondary?  

Thank you!  Great site/information.  Found it via Experimental Brewing podcast and Drew!!

BIAB Brewer - n00b

PHB2234's picture

Hope your brew went well. If you can't step mash, just try to hit 148 F. My thoughts on waiting two weeks before adding the OJ to the primary was to allow the yeast adequate time to consume the maltose before hitting it with sucrose. That is from other on line research. I think I used a keg with a fine mesh screen on the dip tube rather than a mesh bag for the dry zest. I like using kegs for secondary and have a couple dedicated just to that function. I shortened the dip tubes on them by about 1/2", so that I don't pull yeast out when transferring to my serving keg. Back then I didn't have the nerve to pull a sample to check gravity, so that's why I tended to wait 3 weeks. I would monitor the clarity of the beer to judge progress. Now I just use a sanitized wine thief to pull out enough beer for a gravity sample.

jeremy35's picture

Thanks PHB2234!

For my 3rd ever brew...it was a crowd favorite.  Due to timing and impatience, I shortened the fermentation a bit and it still worked out great.  

 I'm going to do a second batch and follow your template for fermentation this time!

Thanks again for the help and recipe!

BIAB Brewer - n00b

PHB2234's picture

My brew buddy Bruce Wenzel and I recently brewed another summer saison. Below is this year's variation. It's drinking really well now in hot weather.

Grist: 67% Belgian Pils, 16% Vienna malt, 8% two row pale malt, 5% flaked wheat, 0.16% Weyermann acidulated malt and 0.16% Cara Foam malt.

Mash in at 124 F and recirculate over 30 minutes to 148 F, rest for 60 minutes, then recirculate to 168 F for mash out.

OG was 1.050, color was 3.9 SRM. We wanted a pale, crisp Saison.

Hops: Sorachi Ace, 0.5 oz, 11.9% AA for 45 minutes, Citra, 0.5 oz, 13.8% AA for 45 minutes, Saaz, 1 oz, 8.5% AA for 15 minutes (NB, hop quantities are for an 11 gallon batch and yielded 28.2 IBU)

I fermented my beer with the cocktail of White Labs WLP565 and Wyeast 3724 that I like to use for Saisons. Pitch a bunch of healthy yeast. Fermentation was started cool, around 65 F, for 3 days, then moved to heat mats in my garage and allowed to gradually rise to 80-85 F. Total fermentation time was about 16 days. I used Drew's recommendation of "no back pressure" during the primary ferment by just covering the top of the air lock with foil and not putting any water in it.

I racked the beer to secondary when it was at 1.007. For a different twist this time, I "dry grapefruited" the beer in secondary: I quartered a whole fresh pink grapefruit, placed it all in a weighted hop bag and left the beer on it for about 8 days before I racked to another keg for the last bit of cold conditioning. The keg has a fine mesh hop screen on the dip tube.

As I said, it's drinking really good now. At 5.7% ABV, and very citrus-y, it is really refreshing on hot days. I've got at least another month of hot weather left here, and I hope the beer lasts that long!


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