Schwarzbier #1

Saturday, October 10, 2020

I attempted a Schwarzbier before on my mini-setup (4l), which was more aimed to be a black and malty Kellerbier. For this I attempted to brew a light bodied and crisp beer.

Style

I think the style guide of BJCP hits it pretty good; especially the comparison section helps:

In comparison with a Munich Dunkel, usually darker in color, drier on the palate, lighter in body, and with a noticeable (but not high) roasted malt edge to balance the malt base. Should not taste like an American Porter made with lager yeast. Drier, less malty, with less hop character than a Czech Dark Lager.

Light to moderate malt flavour and light to moderate roasted malt flavours (might be chocolate but never burnt).

Recipe

(24l ~69% Efficiency)
1.047 OG - 1.011 FG - 4.7% ABV

4.5kg  (81%)   Bohemian Pilsner
0.5kg  (9%)    Barke Munich
0.3kg  (5.4%)  Carafa Spezial II
0.15kg (2.7%)  Cara Munich III
0.1kg  (1.8%)  Acidualted

15g (23 IBU) Magnum  60 min
30g (2  IBU) Spalter  5 min

66ppm Sulfate, 34ppm Chloride (2:1)

Infusion Mash 65°C 60 min, Boil 60 min

L17 Harvest (Augustiner). Pitch at 11°C, 
ramp up to 18°C after 50% attenuation.

The grist is influenced by the recipe of Braukaiser. The largest part is simple Pilsner malt to keep the beer light bodied, some Munich malt for a tad more maltiness, Carafa Spezial II for the color and some Cara Munich III, which I'd leave out for the next try.
I ground the Carafa really fine, I don't know if this was a good idea, but I hoped for a darker color through this. The calculated color of brewfather was 44 EBC, and I think my result is darker, which is what I hoped for.

For the hops I just went with some bittering hop like Magnum and some Spalter for aroma, which is quite a lot, but the hops don't shine so much through in that style, because of other flavours like roastiness going on. I'd really just try any noble hop for aroma. For the next time I'd up the IBU to 30-35.

Fermentation

I used harvested Augustiner yeast (Imperial L13) from a Kellerbier batch before. Usually lager yeast takes at least 24 hours to take off, but this time it took only ~16 hours, which we can tell from the temperature drop in the graph.

Fermentation went quickly, so 3 days after pitching I could already increase the temperature. It took another 2 days for the beer to reach final gravity. I cold crashed for 2 days and fined with gelatine prior to bottling and kegging 8 days after pitching.

I was able to open the first bottle 2 weeks after the brewday and already had a clear beer. (Bottle conditioned at room temperature)

Tasting

I really enjoy drinking this one, but I hoped for a crisper beer. When reading the style guide it's pretty spot on. It's clean, slightly malty, chocolatey roastiness and has a good lingering bitterness, but end's with a malty flavor that comes across a little sweetish. It's also quite light with the 4,7% ABV.

It might share some similarities with an American Porter, though I'd want more coffee-like roastiness and more body for a Porter.