Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski.
This was my first attempt using my full set up with the two keggles, igloo cooler, and the march pump. I gotta say, it worked great for the mash, but I had some issues priming the pump for my sparge. I need some guidance on the best practice for the march pump set up. I've heard on forums that everybody has issues using the march pump, but now I know first hand that it can be a little annoying. In this case it took so long to move the water from the hot liquor tank to lauter tun for the sparge that I didn't hit my sparge temp. It was just under 156 degrees so I took a portion of grain and wort out and boiled it and still barely got above 163 degrees. It was almost like a decoction step and doing that really put all my fear of the decoction to rest. Anyways, after the suedo-decoction step.... I was like... whatever man, collected my sparge water, and boiled for 2 hours! The long boil was two fold, it's traditional for the style to do a long boil and to increase the malty flavor in the beer, but also when using Pilsner malt it helps to drive off the diacetyl. With the cool Autumn air and water the wort chilled to 70 degrees in about 15 minutes!
Here it is...
Thunder Lizard - Biere de Noel
67% German two-row Pils
21% Munich Malt - 10
5% Caramunich II
5% Muscovado Sugar
1% Black Malt
FWH 120 min - 0.5 oz Magnum (homegrown)
20 min - 2 oz. French Strisselspalt hops
Denny's Fav 50 yeast 1450
***Can't wait to get my Johnson temp control set-up so that I can do my first Bock. Back in the day New Glarus Uff Da Bock was one of my favorite beers on the planet.
4.2.11 - Sampled this nearly 6 months after brewing it. It's mellowed quite a bit. Appearance is a brilliant brownish red. The aroma is of earthy hops, sweet candied rum, and a bit of grainyness (possibly derived from the sudo-decoction) Not sure if this grainy-ness in the aroma is a flaw or not. I do like the overall complexity in the aroma. Taste is a of sweet malt and a bit of rum derived from the muscovado sugar. The finish is a balance bitter sweet but more towards the sweet end. The rum flavor hits you at the very end and may be a bit overpowering. ***If I was to do this recipe again, I'd lower the amount of muscovado sugar to 2-3% as it's extremely flavorful. Meduim bodied and extremely flavorful...just took 6 months for it all to come together. I'm really starting to love these French Strisselspalt Hops. Earthy, fragrant, and I think they'd go really well with Saaz.