Baltic Porter the badleebrewed way

ImageThis, meine liebe freunde, is my first “proper” lager and the first proper tasting thereof.

I say the first proper tasting because I had a bottle 2 weeks ago and couldn’t taste anything at all outside of dates.

Much to my smug glee, things have changed in the last two weeks,just in time to have a bottle or two on Christmas day when I get home from work.

Appearance: Deep red brown,plenty of chill haze. Intense blood orange red tint at the edges.

Big three finger head that soon becomes but a rough layer that doggedly sticks to the sides of the glass all the way down.

Aroma: Note: my nose was a little blocked,but I did my best.

            Dark chocolate and Turkish coffee with a hint of alcohol. Plums and dates with snatches of brandy and burnt Christmas pudding.

Flavour: I know that this just screams of not making sense,but it tastes n=very much dark and mysterious. Malty sweetness to start with and a grainy/warm bread taste that must come from the Munich malt.

It’s sweet and make no mistake about it, but the 1oz of Saaz(which I do not like if I can taste them) and the alcohol warmth combine to cut through the sweetness and balance the beer perfectly.

Chocolate coated nuts( no Southpark thank you very much, and no bloody sniggering), more Turkish coffee followed by dates, figs, plumbs and burnt toffee( in a good way).

The coffee and to a lesser extent the chocolate come back on the aftertaste to coat the palate,but it is quite brief. This beer has very good carbonation and it is that which seems to help clean the palate.

Overall: this Baltic Porter weighs in at 8.9% alcohol and 35 IBUs(Tinseth) and is 33 SRM.

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It is my first real lager and I cannot, other than wishing that I had brewed more, find fault with it. It is big and chewy/filling with a whole new world of darkness creating a vortex in your mouth, it’s like a black hole, slowly consuming you, as you do it. And, not much of a surprise, find myself musing over what it would be like with a little oak and some Brett, because I feel this would be the only way to improve upon this.

Recipe notes:

5 litre batch

615gr each of Munich and Vienna

125gr crystal 60

100gr Dark brown sugar

50gr caraHell

30gr Carafa II special

15gr black malt with 15 minutes left in the mash

1oz of Saaz@ FWH

Saflager S-23: primary 2 weeks,secondary 3 weeks( all at 12c, bottle 3 weeks.

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