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Llama Llager

(Pronounced kind of like Jaromír Jágr, who, coincidentally, is a great case study in why the drinking age should be lowered.)

After Primary

After Primary

Anyway, anecdotes aside (ain’t alliteration amazing?), about a month ago I brewed a small batch (final volume about 1.75 gal, so an 18-pack) of what’s essentially a Standard American Lager, complete with 30% of the fermentables coming from adjuncts. The twist here is that the adjunct is quinoa, which I’ve been grubbing on lately. At about $4 a pound, it isn’t cheap, plus at the time I brewed I had some of the base recipe still in a keg, hence the small batch. OG was 1.043, and after 25 days in primary (48°F) it’s down to 1.009. That’s slightly higher than my expected FG, but it may drop a point or two during the diacetyl rest, or it may just be that quinoa contributes a lot of unfermentables, even after a 90 minute mash.

I tasted the hydrometer sample, and although a lager’s flavor prior to the actual lagering isn’t necessarily indicative of the finished product, I think this one will be quite good. The Vanguard hop is a Hallertau cross, and it’s really apparent in the aroma and flavor. From my experience with the base pilsner recipe, I know that will continue to fade during lagering. There’s a definite nuttiness and a toasty aftertaste from the quinoa, though; maybe not quite as much as I had hoped, but only time will tell how apparent it is in the finished beer.

One word of caution: the primary fermenter (image to the right) looks for all the world like there’s a major infection in progress, even though the beer smells and tastes fine. I suspect it’s just coagulated proteins from the quinoa.

Llama Llager recipe

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