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Old 02-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
igliashon
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Thumbs up Tasting: tflew's gluten-free lager

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the last two bottles of tflew's lager. Here are some pics and tasting notes:



Appearance: hazy golden, almost orange. Voluminous creamy & sudsy white head with prolonged head retention (≥15 minutes)

Aroma: classic pilsner. Clean malty aroma with a burst of very clean hops. A very light sweet citrus undertone is the only note that would distinguish this from a barley-based lager.

Taste: difficult to tell it's gluten-free! Initially presents with fruity esters and sweetness--approaching Belgian territory, really--with more of that light citrus note picked up in the aroma; these tastes are quickly swept away by a clean bitterness and a smooth dry malt body that is typical of the pilsner style. Hop flavor reaches a crescendo at the finish, which is dominated by an assertive lingering bitterness and clean grainy aftertaste. No diacetyl. Extremely well-developed and deep flavor profile with distinct phases, which invites deeper analysis and contemplation.

Mouthfeel: despite the tremendous head, the beer does not feel overly carbonated; the body is slightly thicker than a typical lager, perhaps a bit too thick--there is a long lingering coat to the mouth after swallowing.

Thoughts: this is a very good beer, and the closest I have probably ever tasted to a barley-based lager. This could easily be passed off as a normal beer. The most impressive feature is the clean grainy maltiness--I did not think this could be achieved with standard gluten-free ingredients, so perhaps there is something to be said for the yeast employed as well as the careful lagering process. The biggest short-coming of the beer is probably the mouthfeel; second to that, the excessive head. Both are due, I suspect, to the same source: the thick protein-rich body. This thickness makes the beer feel a little too substantial to be a refreshing quencher, even though that is what the flavor suggests it should be. However, this beer is definite proof that a gluten-free beer can indeed have plenty of body, voluminous suds, and clean grain flavor. With a few tweaks to bring the body and head down to standards, this beer could compete with barley-based lagers, and probably win! Absolutely worthy of a re-brew.

For giggles, and because I have the day off, I compared it to a New Grist, which is the closest commercial example I could think of.



tflew's is on your left, the New Grist is on your right. Comparatively, tflew's appears almost orange!

Flavor-wise, here is simply no contest, tflew's lager just mops the floor with the New Grist! It's like comparing, I dunno, Pilsner Urquell to PBR. As I sit here sipping them alternatively, I'm struck by the feeling that only one of these is actually a "beer"; the New Grist deserves at most to be called a "beer-like beverage". Proof once again that homebrew>commercial beer!

And now I want a fermentation chamber so I can try my hand at lagering...

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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Sounds good, and it has me really looking forward to my first batch of 'real' lager. Also, you should probably put a link to the recipe or thread about making this (if its on here?).

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Old 02-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Is it worrying that my first thought was "I like those glasses"? Haha


Looks good, man. Really nice colour to it. What was he recipe? I want to try it out, as now that I have a source of sorghum I can try some of the recipes you guys have all posted.

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
igliashon
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I was hoping tflew himself would chime in with the recipe and his thoughts on the beer, but if he doesn't, I'll post the recipe he sent me.

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Old 03-11-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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Heres the recipe!


3 Gallon Batch

2.5 pounds Sorghum @ flameout
1 pound 6 oz Brown Rice Syrup
1 pound Steel Cut Oats steeped before the boil
.25 oz cascade @ 60 min
.25 oz cascade @ 15 min
Whirlfloc @15 min

Saflager-23

Fermented @ about 55* for 3 weeks
D rest for 2 days
Lager for 4 weeks @ 35*

OG 1.050
FG 1.010

I didn't use any complicated layering fridge and just took a shelf out of fridge so I could fit a 3 gallon carboy in there for a while. For fermentation I turned the dial on the fridge to be as warm as it could, then for lagering I turned it down all the way.

I was a bit worried about yeast viability when it came time to bottle. Fortunately I decided not to add any extra yeast. As it ended up being a little bit over carbonated but still delicious.

The next time I brew this I might add a few orange peels at some point to really make it a summer beer.

Enjoy!

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