I'll be brewing this up tonight and I just wanted to toss it up here and see what everybody thinks. Recipe first, then I'll get into some finer points.
10 lb. Breiss 2-row
1.5 lb. Agave nectar (raw)
1.25 oz. Willamette 4.5% - 60min.
1 oz. Amarillo - 8.5% - 5min.
3 oz. American oak cubes, medium toast
3-4 ounces Anejo tequila (I used Herradura)
Appx. 20-25 IBU; OG: appx. 1.050
Single step infusion mash. Strike grain with 2 3/4 gal. water at 172*F. Mash should stabilize between 150-152*F. Rest 1 hour. Sparge with 4 gallons starting at 180*F (it'll drop a bit over the ~20 minutes).
Boil 60 minutes with the Willamette, use the Amarillo for flavor & aroma. I have whole leaf hops for both, so feel free to cut the hop rate down a bit if using pellets.
At flame-out, start chilling the wort. When you reach 100-110*F, add the agave nectar. I'm using raw nectar here which is processed at a temperature below 118*F. To preserve the natural enzymes and nutrients, we don't want to go over that temperature. So add the sugar while chilling.
I'm pitching about 1.25 pints of active starter (3 oz. DME, pinch of hops in 2 pints water, boil 20 minutes, cool, add yeast, let sit 24 hours).
Note on temp: The S-23 will ferment clean at warmer temps, but delivers better phenols at around 45-55*F. My basement is appx. 65*F this time of year, so I'll be starting fermentation at that temp and then cooling it down a bit by immersing the carboy in a water bath with some ice and wrapping it in a damp towel to let evaporative cooling take it down a few degrees.
During primary fermentation, I'm soaking the oak cubes in the tequila. You'll get the tequila back (now with more oak!) so feel free to use your top-shelf stuff. I'm using a pint Mason jar, but anything with a lid (so it doesn't evaporate) will work fine. It took about 3-4 ounces just to cover the cubes for me.
After primary fermentation, rack over to a keg and add your oak cubes to the keg (keep the tequila for yourself). I'm going to force-carb this later, but I'm going to give it a lagering period in the keg for now, so just a purge/blanket of CO2 is all I'll give it until appx. 6 weeks of aging, then I'll carb up.
I'm not certain exactly how this is going to pan out, but I'm hoping for a citrusy, crisp EuroLager with some nice roasty Anejo flavors and some sharp notes from the sugar. Should be a perfect Summertime sipper.
Thoughts are welcome.