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Old 05-29-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
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Default How to make a quality dark beer

So this was my attempt at a Dunkel
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/brew-morn-1st-date-dunkel-326219/

I had my first one today and while the beer is still very young, I was highly disappointed. It seemed very thin and maybe too sweet. I'm not sure if that was what the problem was, but I'm not sure how to describe it. If it was too sweet I'm not sure if it was the molasses or 2lbs of D180.

Has anyone made a successful dark beer? What did you do? I'm planning on brewing a doppelbock in July (I won't have a free brew pale until then) and I want to make sure I get it right.

At this point what I'm thinking is 1lb of D180, no molasses, 1/2 lb of Amaranth, 1lb of toasted quinoa and 1lb of toasted oats and double the hops.



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Old 05-29-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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It's the molasses, mate. I'm never touching that stuff again. My No-Nonsense stout came out fabulous, not sweet at all but roasty and chocolatey. Just sorghum, candi syrup, and toasted oats (and a bit of maltodextrin). That's it, no nonsense.

Frankly, though, I can't see doing a dark lager gluten-free. Dunkels and dopplebocks are so malt-forward that you're just not going to succeed without, well, malt.



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Old 05-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Frankly, though, I can't see doing a dark lager gluten-free. Dunkels and dopplebocks are so malt-forward that you're just not going to succeed without, well, malt.
This is the same conversation I have with my wife who is Celiac.

When she first found out that she could no longer have gluten in her diet, she went nuts trying to duplicate her old favorites. My opinion is that you need to find something that turns out good and work from there to make it great. Beers that require a ton of malt flavor is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible with the tools at our disposal at this time.


It isn't the advice you were seeking, but it is free advice never the less.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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No...this advice is all helpful. Even if it is not a dark beer the way we are used to having them, I'd still like to try to figure out how to make a good, quality, dark beer. Maybe semi-stouts and porters would be a better route than malt based beers.

Unfortunately, I'm married to making the doppelbock as I purchased the yeast for it quite some time ago. But after that one, I'll be moving into the realm of trying to find a good dark beer that isn't malt based and hopefully by that time we can add some good tips here.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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What I might suggest: using waaaaay more steeping grains. I've used 2 lbs so far and think I can double that without problems. This week I will brew a RIS with 4 lbs of grain in a 3 gallon batch, just steeping. I'll post how that goes.

For a dopplebock, I'd say--wet the grains before you toast them. And try some grade B maple syrup maybe, as well as using D90 candi syrup instead of D180. Use sorghum in equal proportion to rice syrup. And of course, lager it properly for a long-enough time.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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I added 1/4 oz of cold coffee to one tonight (16oz) bottles...it really helped!



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