Black Beer Help Needed!

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The Hansa

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I am going to brew a 5 gallon American version of a Schwarzbier with an additional West Coast flare of California Lager Yeast and about 20 IBU's of Northern Brewer Hops... My question rests on my grain bill and if it will give me the pure black color I want without too much roast flavor... Will my recipe do the trick?
 

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Sam_92

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I think that will be pitch black from the midnight wheat and Carafa. I don't know about the flavor contribions from dark DME or the Crystal 300. One trick for darkening a beer without roast flavors is to add the dark malts at the end of the mash, you'll get the color with less flavor so you could even add more.
 
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The Hansa

The Hansa

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I think that will be pitch black from the midnight wheat and Carafa. I don't know about the flavor contribions from dark DME or the Crystal 300. One trick for darkening a beer without roast flavors is to add the dark malts at the end of the mash, you'll get the color with less flavor so you could even add more.
That's a great tip with the late dark malt mash... I'm wanting to add the crystal and the dme for more of a malty flavor and for gravity assurance because my kettle tends to yield less brewhouse efficient beer if I do all grain
 

Kickass

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If me, I’d drop the dark DME and use light DME. Otherwise, looks tasty.
 

Sam_92

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I agree with Kickass. I would do light dme unless you have used dark dme before and you know it won't contribute roast flavors. I don't use extract because I'm a cheap-ass so I am not familiar with what dark dme tastes like. I'm sure you will end up with a black beer that is probably delicious either way!
 
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The Hansa

The Hansa

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I agree with Kickass. I would do light dme unless you have used dark dme before and you know it won't contribute roast flavors. I don't use extract because I'm a cheap-ass so I am not familiar with what dark dme tastes like. I'm sure you will end up with a black beer that is probably delicious either way!
Ok sounds good!
 

Alan Reginato

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Cut the crystal, haha.
With only 20 IBU the beer might finish sweet. No problem, if it's that you aim for.
 

AlexKay

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For more malty flavors, add a pound of Munich. Every recipe is improved by a pound of Munich.

I just brewed a schwarzbier yesterday, with 5% pale chocolate and 5% Carafa II Special. No idea how it'll taste, but it was opaque black.
 

kevin58

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There is a product that British brewers have been using for almost 200 years to color their beer to the exact color desired called Brewers Caramel (not sugar, just a coloring agent). The only place I have found it is in England. The cost is minimal. The shipping to the states is murder but it only takes a very small amount to achieve even the darkest color so it will last you a long time.

 

PCABrewing

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There is a product that British brewers have been using for almost 200 years to color their beer to the exact color desired called Brewers Caramel (not sugar, just a coloring agent). The only place I have found it is in England. The cost is minimal. The shipping to the states is murder but it only takes a very small amount to achieve even the darkest color so it will last you a long time.

Kinda like "Kitchen Bouquet" coloring for cooking. But it has seasoning in it.
 

AlexKay

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There is a product that British brewers have been using for almost 200 years to color their beer to the exact color desired called Brewers Caramel (not sugar, just a coloring agent). The only place I have found it is in England. The cost is minimal. The shipping to the states is murder but it only takes a very small amount to achieve even the darkest color so it will last you a long time.

Is it possible that the only place it’s called Brewers Caramel is in England, but it’s the same stuff they call caramel color in the States? (Actually asking, Googling does not give a clear answer either way.)
 

Kickass

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Alright I'll think about it, but why no dark dme? Just wondering
Schwartzbier has delicate roasted flavors/nuance. It’s been a while since I’ve used dark DME but I remember it being a little heavy handed for a black lager. Just a personal preference but I’d omit it.

Lastly, I’d mash low and try to get a dry finished beer.
 
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