I've had this problem lately of really intending to make a traditional style of beer, say for example a real farmhouse saison. However, I get to the brew store, start munching on grains, realize hop selection is never guaranteed, and I get struck with many creative bolts of inspiration. Next thing you know, I'm about as far from a traditional saison, while still using saison yeast, the WyYeast saison yeast strain to be exact. Here's what happened:
US 2-row, German Pilsner, Dexatrin, Belgian Caravienne, Belgian Aromatic, Oatmeal, and 1 medium-sized red beet. Bittered with Centennial and Tettnanger hops, then finished with Tettnanger hops.
Original Gravity: 1.080 / Original Sugar Content: 19.5%
Finishing Gravity: 1.004 / Finishing Sugar Content: 1.0%
Alcohol: 9.97% !!!!!!
Surprisingly and unfortunately, this beer lost it's bright pink hue pretty quick...I'd be interested to know the mechanism behind that since beets are traditionally used to permenantly dye things. Also due to the beet, this beer is amazingly high in alcohol and I'm definately going to need to let it age a bit longer. It has an exhilarating bite to it at the moment - from both alcohol and hops. Once you get past the bite though, I think this will be a really delightful, refreshing, complex beer!