So I spoke to a guy at Sam Adams this morning after he read my email asking for some info on this beer so that I could brew it myself throughout the year. Here's what he had to say about this brew:
1. The Noble Pils is 35 IBUs.
2. They krausen theirs as opposed to using carapils, and that's how they get the mouthfeel and head. He figured making an extra bit of wort and taking off about 1/6th of it and storing in fridge or freezer. Same for the yeast starter (1/6 in the fridge). This mixture (wort+yeast) will be added in the secondary once it's actively fermenting and will help clean up diacetyl. Now they don't use this technique to carbonate their beer, but it could be used to do so. In other words, I could lager and then add this actively fermenting yeast in before bottling (need to calculate how much). It would then carbonate without needing priming sugar or DME.
3. He suggested to put 1 oz. of each hop (5 nobles) in a cup, mix, and drop in the boil equally at 60, 15, and 0. Then dry hop with 1.5 to 2 oz. in the same way (all 5 nobles evenly split) in the secondary for about 7 days.
4. Use a docoction mash. Start with 80% of the grain and mash (ratio of 1.25 qts/lb) at 122F until conversion. Boil remaining 20% (also with ratio of 1.25 qts/lb) and add to mash tun once mash is finished to raise temp to 153F *quickly* (a point he emphasized). Mash at 153F until conversion.
5. They lager theirs for 3 weeks at 31F.
So I'll start with this and see how it goes. He did mention that he did not know the *exact* recipe, but that it would be pretty close. I still don't like the hop schedule, but I'm willing to try a few different versions. I mean, either way, the beer will be good.