Annabelle Grisette

My friend Monica has a pair of cutie-pie cats, both of whom will be featured in a beer.

Annabelle is a lovely and quirky gray tabby.

Who apparently once ran for office.

I’d been wanting to make a grisette, and since the name of the beer comes from the gray outfits that the servers in the mining regions where the beer comes from used to wear, it made sense. Even better — my favorite yeast is Danstar’s Belle Saison (Belle, Annabelle…)  There’s much debate about what a grisette really is, and I like Hors Categorie Brewing’s explorations of the topic here.

Regardless of its historical background, I generally think of a grisette as being a table saison with some wheat in the grist.  Something light, golden, and quaffable.  For my recipe I started with mostly Belgian pilsner, a bit of 2 row, some wheat, and a little vienna for some bright, hay-like flavor.  I hopped with Kent Goldings in the base for a not-too-bracing bitterness, some Galaxy for a bit of bright fruity flavor, a little Sorachi near the end for some grassy lemon candy, and some perfumy Nelson for aroma.  Reliable, delicious workhouse Belle Saison was an easy choice.


  • 1lb Belgian pilsner
  • 6oz US 2 row
  • 6oz US white wheat
  • 4oz German Vienna
  • .1oz Kent Goldings at 60
  • .1oz Galaxy at 20
  • .1oz Sorachi Ace at 10
  • .1oz Nelson Sauvin at f/0
  • 1/3pkt of Belle Saison

I mashed in 2.5qts at 161, had to do quite a bit of stirring to get it down to 149.  Held around there for an hour, mashed out to 170, sparged with 3.75qts 174 degree water.  Boiled for an hour, hops on the schedule above.

Absolutely nailed the volume on this one.  As I’ve been progressing in the hobby I’m fine tuning my particular habits and techniques for my brewhouse.  I’ve been taking notes to try to get my volume to finish correctly, and finally pinned down the details.

img_61431OG came in at a high 1.061, which equates to 81% brewhouse efficiency.  That would have the beer finishing at 6.1%abv, which is much higher than the 4% I was aiming for.  A too-high brewhouse efficiency is a nice problem to have, but I’ll need to keep an eye on it in the future when planning recipes.

I chilled this to about 70, pitched the rehydrated Belle Saison, and put her in the closet to free rise to whatever temperature the weather would take it.


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