Brew Day: Pretty Things Jack D’Or Clone (Saison)

When Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project was still a going concern they were my favorite brewing company. A year and a half later I still have a few bombers in my beer fridge that I am holding on to. Their beer resonated with me be because like myself, Pretty Things brewed a wide array of styles. Pretty Things experimented without being different just for the sake of being different.

Last I heard, Pretty Things owners Dann and Martha Pauquette were brewing in Scotland. A year and a half later the taste of their flagship Jack D’Or becomes more of a distant memory. I opened my last bottle of the beer last November, almost a year after the brand ceased operations. I held onto that bottle for too long and just wasn’t the same at all. Jack D’Or was a hop-forward beer and I should have enjoyed it fresh.

The last bottle…for now!!

Jack D’Or wasn’t a pure saison like Du Pont. Dann and Martha conceived the beer as an American table beer. The malts and hops were all American. A firm bitterness and four yeast strains gave the beer its spicy flavor that made it drink like a Belgian saison. Like many local beer lovers, Jack D’Or was one of the first saisons I can recall drinking. The only way I could relive that taste and the proper level of freshness would be to brew a clone.

A website called Crafted Pours published a clone of Jack D’Or. I am not familiar with the website, and there is no individual listed as the creator of the recipe. The recipe looks reasonable enough. I used that as a bit of a starting point.

Pretty Things website is still up with some information on their core offerings. The information was just some short blurbs, no deails like ingredients, ABV, or IBUs that would be useful for my purposes. Thankfully Beer Advocate still has a more detailed description.

Based on the description I removed the rye from Crafted Pours recipe, while tweaking some of the other malts based on what we carry at the shop. I adjusted the hop regimen so that the Nugget and Palisade were added late in the boil to more closely match the description on Beer Advocate. BA indicated there were four hops total. I don’t recall Jack D’Or having a huge citrus or pine flavor so American Pale Ale or IPA hops wouldn’t seem to fit. I used Columbus for bittering, and Northern Brewer for flavor. Northern Brewer can give any style of beer a rustic flavor.

My BIAB grains in a bag

A saison is supposed to be a dry, effervescent beer. As such I did add some dextrose to the recipe to dry the beer out and enhance the phenols from the yeast. For yeast I used a sachet of Belle Saison yeast I picked up at Homebrew Con last year.

I was really tempted to brew a five gallon batch. Having not brewed in almost two months I wanted to keep my brew day simple, have time to pull off a double brew day, and bottle Summer Somewhere.

Pre-boil volume on point

Last year most of my batches were of the three gallon, brew-in-a-bag variety. This was my first such batch since February. I was still dialed in with this system. My volumes and starting gravity were both on the money.

A hair above three gallons

Like I did three years ago, I plan to combat the summer heat in the brewhouse by brewing Belgian styles that I can ferment at a warmer temperature. Brewing on the third floor in the summer can be quite hot. Running the stove and an air conditioner in another room makes my circuit breaker go crazy. 

I took Homebrew Con week off in case we decided to or were able to go. The upshot was that I was able to plan my brew day on the coolest day of the week. I have two other Belgian-style beers planned that I will be brewing at home. Hopefully I can brew on a relatively cool day again. 
See the full recipe here.

Follow me on Twitter @JChalifour
Like The Would-be Brewmaster on Facebook
Share what beers you are drinking with me on Untappd

from Blogger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *