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Old 12-14-2007, 01:11 AM   #1
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Default Thinking about a black lager...

Ok - specifically thinking about Sprecher Black Bavarian. Here's the main problem I have - no suitable lager fermenting temps...about the best I can do is a steady 62 degrees. So, since I did a steam beer recently that turned out quite nice, I started thinking maybe I could use California Lager yeast, and see what the heck comes out of it.

To that end, I humbly submit the following - please critique!!!

0.5 lbs. English 2-row Pale
0.25 lbs. American Caramel 60°L
0.75 lbs. American Chocolate Malt
0.75 lbs. American Black Patent

6 lbs. Liquid Amber Extract

1 oz. Cascade Pellets boiled 60 min.
1 oz. Mt. Hood Pellets boiled 20 min.
1 oz. Chinook Pellets boiled 5 min.
.5 oz. Tettnanger pellets, steeped at flame out for 5 - 10 minutes
Yeast : WYeast 2112 California Lager


I think the color and IBU's should be about right. The grain and hop bill is based off of a Sprecher brochure, though as far as proportions, I'm totally winging it...

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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Sounds good to me. As you know, 2112 won't create as smooth a flavor profile as a lager strain would, but if you can't maintain lager temps, that's how I'd do it.

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:34 AM   #3
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If you can get carafa, I'd go with that over chocolate. You'll have a smoother, rounder beer, and that's what the schwatzbier is all about. I bet that California Common yeast will make a nice beer out of it.


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Old 12-14-2007, 02:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
If you can get carafa, I'd go with that over chocolate. You'll have a smoother, rounder beer, and that's what the schwatzbier is all about. I bet that California Common yeast will make a nice beer out of it.


TL

Will have to check with the LHBS...never have used carafa before, so that would be interesting for sure. What I'm hoping for is a relatively smooth black beer with a slight bite to it (which I figured would come from the black patent - 3/4 lb might be a bit much for what I'm thinking). I'm not as concerned about aping the Black Bavarian as it sounds...I'd like something similar...
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:14 AM   #5
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Yeah I would use less BP in that beer. I would actually switch the BP and the crystal.

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:20 AM   #6
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Personally, I would not use Chinook as an aroma hop for a beer like this. I love Chinook in IPAs but not in too many other styles. Black lagers usually don't have lots of hop aroma, more maltiness.

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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Carafa III is the ticket. I'd ditch the chocolate AND the BP. Only 1/4 lb or so of Carafa III will do the trick. That recipe, even with a Common yeast, is going to give you a Porter.

I'd also drop the Chinook. It will overwhelm a black lager. Split the Mt. Hood instead.

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:09 PM   #8
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As noted, this is a very aggressive recipe (pretty much an Americanized stout) as originally designed. Schwatzbiers are supposed to be smooth, with just a hint of roast character. That's what makes the Carafe so critical; by de-husking it, they remove MOST (but not all) of the roastiness but maintain the dark color. Any BP or other "regular" roasted malts are used minimally, if at all.

Personally, I'd go with some classic German noble hops - maybe a small late addition for a wee bit of aroma and flavor, but mostly used for bittering. But, I'm a fan of keeping it fairly classic.

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the suggestions!!!

Revised...hops would all be pellet. changed to dark LME for color reasons only (want this very dark, but smooth) - if there's a better way, I'm all ears... ;o)


.75 lbs. English 2-row Pale
.25 lbs. American Black Patent
.75 lbs. Weyermann Carafa II®
6 lbs. Liquid Dark Extract
1 oz. Cascade boiled 60 min.
1 oz. Mt. Hood boiled 30 min.
1 oz. Tettnanger boiled 5 min.
Yeast : WYeast 2112 California Lager

predicted color: 30.23 SRM
predicted IBU: 31.9 (the Sprecher sez about 32)
predicted ABV: 4.8% (that'll do...)

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Old 12-14-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
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what would be wrong with a kolsch yeast in this instance? That is very clean fermenting.

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