Schwarzbier

This is yet another split batch experiment using the same grain profile. I’m a huge fan of doing this because A) I’m poor, and B) Why not? It will always boggle my mind that home brewers brew 5 gallons of one beer regularly. I like a steak as much as next guy, but I definitely don’t want it every night…especially from an amateur cook.

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Anywhoo, I had read about Schwarzbier along some journey somewhere somehow. It isn’t really a unique style, but I hadn’t seen it that much before until of course after I brewed it. As an amusing side note, something to keep on eye on is how often it’s misspelled. The “Schwartzbier” is very commonly sprawled out across chalk boards and menus throughout bars across the lands.

This lager is supposed to be smooth, black and malty. It’s basically like a dark version of a Dunkel, which means to me it should be less roasty and a more malty profile than that of a stout or porter. As a result I used carafa III (anything debittered would work) and added the grains at the start of the vorlauf, or as the girlfriend calls it, Voldemort.

The other half of this wort became the Schwarzbier India Black Lager.

Recipe:

Batch Size: 3 Gallons
Target OG: 1.052
SRM: 29
Est ABV: 5%
IBU: 121
Boil Time: 60

Malt:
47.6% – 2-Row
23.8% – Caramel 80L
17.5% – Melanoiden Malt 20L
8.5% – Munich Malt 20L
2.6% – Carafa III

Hops:
.75 oz Tettnang (Pellet, 4% AA) @ 60 Min
.25 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (Pellet, 2% AA) @ 30 Min
.25 oz Northern Brewer (Pellet, 2% AA) @ 15 Min

Yeast:
Wyeast 2206

Here’s what went down:

Brewed 2/7/15

The water was 50% carbon filtered tap, 50% distilled. Mashed in at 152F. 1.050 post boil.

Made a two pack starter the night before. Cooled and chilled the wort over night. I then split the yeast and pitched both on 2/8/15 evening (too risky for unwanted yeast and bacteria to start eating. Rather not do that again).

2/23/15: Gravity at 1.014.

3/3/15: Gravity at 1.014. Diacetyl rest started. Rose from 55F three degrees a day for three days. Got it to 64F on 3/6/15, held at 64F for two days. Gettin’ detailed!

3/8/15: Transferred off the cake for the lagering period. Down five degrees a day until it was at 35F degrees.

4/6/15: Bottled. Aimed for 2.3 volumes of CO2.

4/25/15 Tasting notes:

Tastes like a Schwarzbier, and pretty spot on from the commercial Schwarzbiers I’ve had. Not too heavy or creamy. Malty backbone. No diacetyl as far as I can tell. Clean, and finishes pretty dry. Not very roasty either. This is a good grain profile for this style, or least an American version of this style. If you like dark lagers, then I imagine you would like this.

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