Schwarzbier - Examples in the Midwest

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Rob2010SS

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Looking to brew styles that are outside of my comfort realm. Schwarzbier is one of them. However, I've never had a schwarzbier so it'll be hard for me to brew one without ever having one. I'm in the Midwest, anyone know of any good commercial examples that I should seek out?

Also open to recipes if anyone has any links to good recipes they've made.

Thanks.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Thanks!

You know, reading the BJCP of Schwarzbier, I thought that as well, a lagered porter or stout. However, the BJCP states...

1614371822144.png


So to me, that makes it confusing. I think due to my lack of experience with Schwarzbier, that makes it confusing.
 

VikeMan

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You know, reading the BJCP of Schwarzbier, I thought that as well, a lagered porter or stout. However, the BJCP states...

View attachment 720130

So to me, that makes it confusing.
I would say the biggest differences (besides yeast character) are the level of Roast and the bitterness, both a little lower in a Schwarzbier than in a typical porter. But there are certainly examples that would contradict that.
 

dmtaylor

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Midwest... maybe Sprecher Black Bavarian (Wisconsin)?
YES, that's a good one.

Bull Falls of Wausau, WI also makes a very good one called Midnight Star. Worth seeking out if you are ever in the area.

Ideally, a great schwarzbier should not taste super roasty. It should drink similar to a dunkel, but with just enough dark roasted grains to take it to another level, with brown to dark brown color. I would say jet black color would be much too dark. "Schwarz" bier (it means "black") is a little bit of a misnomer really. For a traditional version, a deep brown color is actually perfect. Otherwise you are indeed heading into porter territory. Which is just fine... IF you actually prefer porter.

For these reasons, it can be challenging to make a truly great schwarzbier, because you want it dark and interesting but without a ton of roasty flavor. But when done right... what a great style. And well, whatever... if you handed me something more like a porter or stout, I'm still going to drink it and enjoy it anyway. :)
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Köstritzer is a classic example and I think it’s pretty widely distributed. I’ve seen it in the 16oz cans and even those 5L mini kegs. I would go for that for a perspective on a more restrained version.
When I searched for Schwarzbier on Instagram, this is probably the one that came up the most. Lots of people like that one. I'll see if it's at Binny's or something and pick it up.

YES, that's a good one.

Bull Falls of Wausau, WI also makes a very good one called Midnight Star. Worth seeking out if you are ever in the area.

Ideally, a great schwarzbier should not taste super roasty. It should drink similar to a dunkel, but with just enough dark roasted grains to take it to another level, with brown to dark brown color. I would say jet black color would be much too dark. "Schwarz" bier (it means "black") is a little bit of a misnomer really. For a traditional version, a deep brown color is actually perfect. Otherwise you are indeed heading into porter territory. Which is just fine... IF you actually prefer porter.

For these reasons, it can be challenging to make a truly great schwarzbier, because you want it dark and interesting but without a ton of roasty flavor. But when done right... what a great style. And well, whatever... if you handed me something more like a porter or stout, I'm still going to drink it and enjoy it anyway. :)
This is some good info. Thanks @dmtaylor . It definitely helps point me in the right direction. I can see where this would be a challenging style to nail!
 

Beermeister32

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This is a bit of a repeat, but I think Kostrizer defines the style and is available most areas.

This is a clone of Köstritzer Schwarzbier. It came out IDENTICAL and I do mean identical. Brewed in May 2020, then 5 months aging really improves the fantastic taste! Same flavor, same color, same head, lacing, etc. 3 people agreed, this one was spot on. Shown here, mine on the left, actual on the right. Recipe was a compilation of several internet recipes, final tweaking done on Brewer's Friend:
75ABE4D3-6922-47EB-B4AB-148A870B5B45.jpeg
 

dmtaylor

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This is a bit of a repeat, but I think Kostrizer defines the style and is available most areas.

This is a clone of Köstritzer Schwarzbier. It came out IDENTICAL and I do mean identical. Brewed in May 2020, then 5 months aging really improves the fantastic taste! Same flavor, same color, same head, lacing, etc. 3 people agreed, this one was spot on.
Looks great man! Recipe or it didn't happen. ;) Please. :)
 

VikeMan

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A Schwarzbier is, essentially, a cold fermented Stout.
Nonsense. A Schwarzbier is significantly more bitter and has dark color, but relatively little dark roast character, and has much higher levels of carbonation.
From BJCP 2015 guidelines, with computed median BU/GU ratios added...

8B. Schwarzbier. IBUs: 20 – 30 OG: 1.046 – 1.052 (BU/GU: 0.51)
15B. Irish Stout. IBUs: 25 – 45 OG: 1.036 – 1.044 (BU/GU: 0.87)
16A. Sweet Stout. IBUs: 20 – 40 OG: 1.044 – 1.060 (BU/GU: 0.58)
16B. Oatmeal Stout. IBUs: 25 – 40 OG: 1.045 – 1.065 (BU/GU: 0.59)
20B. American Stout. IBUs: 35 – 75 OG: 1.050 – 1.075 (BU/GU: 0.88)

Perhaps "significantly more bitter" isn't the best evidence of the assertion of nonsense.
 
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Dgallo

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It’s an amazing style. I just entered my in a competition. Scoring and awards are on the 14th.

simple is better;
Pilsner, Munich, and Carafa (60%, 34-36% Munich 1, 4-6% Carafa 2 or 3)

I may have gone a touch to dark on mine but I really enjoy it.
95167422-E4C6-464B-BD71-FA3E5DF478F5.jpeg
 

BongoYodeler

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I designed and brewed a pseudo-Schwarzbier recipe based on a few recipes I saw online. Since I'm not set up to easily ferment at lager temps I fermented with Lutra Kveik yeast. This was brewed and kegged back in early September, but only recently hitting it's prime. Looks a bit darker than it is, but it's still fairly dark, Beersmith estimates 25 SRM, (style guidelines list 17-30). Despite the darkness I'm not getting a ton of roastiness. The predominate flavor coming through is from the Munich Malt.

A recent picture....

IMG-0662.jpg
 

Craiginthecorn

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I gathered about 20 recipes last year from sources like BYO, Craft Beer and Brewing, and Zymurgy. The majority were basically a typical German malt bill, plus some debittered roasted grain for color. They may make excellent Schwarzbieren but I was hoping to emulate Köstritzer, which has more roasted flavor than I expect Carafa Special or Midnight Wheat would impart at the modest levels used in most examples.
 

Dgallo

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I gathered about 20 recipes last year from sources like BYO, Craft Beer and Brewing, and Zymurgy. The majority were basically a typical German malt bill, plus some debittered roasted grain for color. They may make excellent Schwarzbieren but I was hoping to emulate Köstritzer, which has more roasted flavor than I expect Carafa Special or Midnight Wheat would impart at the modest levels used in most examples.
Literally just polished off the last of my Köstritzer. Do they make different varieties of it? (The cans I got were newer, Nov. and look nothing like the bottles or cans I’ve seen before. Anyway, I genuinely believe the roast character is quite low. Its also not very dark so I don’t believe there is much dark grain used. Definitely dark chocolate character but no deep roast/burnt character, leads me to believe it’s Carafa.

Also Carafa 2 (400L) and 3 (525+L) do provide roast flavors, they just don’t contribute Burnt and astringent character

these are what my cans looked like. I think it was 6.99/4pack
E326E299-7640-4111-B6AF-E7827EA7FCFC.jpeg
 
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VikeMan

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Since we're talking about Carafa malt... folks should keep in mind that there are actually 6 different Carafa malts, and ambiguity in recipes and advice sometimes leads to disappointment with Carafa(s).

Carafa I300 - 375L
Carafa II413 - 450L
Carafa III488 - 563L
Carafa Special I300 - 375L
Carafa Special II413 - 450L
Carafa Special III488 - 563L

Note that Carafa and Carafa Special are both available in the same three roast levels. The difference is that the "regular" Carafas are essentially regular old Chocolate/Black Patent type malts, while the "special" versions are dehusked and thus less roasty than their "regular" counterparts.
 

Dgallo

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Since we're talking about Carafa malt... folks should keep in mind that there are actually 6 different Carafa malts, and ambiguity in recipes and advice sometimes leads to disappointment with Carafa(s).

Carafa I300 - 375L
Carafa II413 - 450L
Carafa III488 - 563L
Carafa Special I300 - 375L
Carafa Special II413 - 450L
Carafa Special III488 - 563L

Note that Carafa and Carafa Special are both available in the same three roast levels. The difference is that the "regular" Carafas are essentially regular old Chocolate/Black Patent type malts, while the "special" versions are dehusked and thus less roasty than their "regular" counterparts.
Agreed. I will take the blame for my ambiguity. When I speak on Carafa malts I’m always referring to Carafa special. I would assume most in the US are referring to Carafa Special when they refer to using Carafa malts. But again, you know what they say about assuming
 

Dgallo

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@Beermeister32
Köstritzer is brewed to the German purity laws, so that would eliminate dextrose being added. Everything else looks solid though
 

jdauria

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If you are anywhere near Chicago, I would check DoveTail to see if they have a Schwarzbier, Schwarzbier and Czech Dark Lager are my two favorite styles to brew. Have a Schwarzbier cold crashing now and the flat sample I pulled is already the best tasting Schwarzbier I have made. It's dry, almost cracker dry, with just a nice hint of roast.

Recipe is: 1.052 OG, 26 IBU
70% Ireks Pils
19% Ireks Munich
5% Carafa Special II
4% Caramunich II
2% Pale Chocolate

20 IBUS of Perle at 60
6.6 IBUS Hallertau Mittlefruh at 15

Imperial Harvest yeast
Mash - No Sparge Anvil Foundry
Horkurz - 146 for 30, 158 for 30, Mash out 172 for 10.
 
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riceral

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If you are anywhere near Chicago, I would check DoveTail to see if they have a Schwarzbier, Schwarzbier and Czech Dark Lager are my two favorite styles to brew. Have a Schwarzbier cold crashing now and the flat sample I pulled is already the best tasting Schwarzbier I have made. It's dry, almost cracker dry, with just a nice hint of roast.

Recipe is: 1.052 OG, 26 IBU
70% Ireks Pils
19% Ireks Munich
5% Carafa Special II
4% Caramunich II
2% Pale Chocolate

20 IBUS of Perle at 60
6.6 IBUS Hallertau Mittlefruh at 15

Imperial Harvest yeast
Mash - No Sparge Anvil Foundry
Horkurz - 146 for 30, 158 for 30, Mash out 172 for 10.
My step-son lives I'm Chicago and told me about Dovetail. I had a Dunkel from them tonight. Their Czech Dark is great also. Good stuff.

Highly recommend their lagers.
 

Fly_Guy

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I have a BYO magazine that has a schwarzbier recipe in it. I'll post it here tomorrow. I haven't made it, but schwarzbiers are one of my favorite styles to drink.

Nightmare Cyclist by Solemn Oath brewery in Naperville was really good.

7th Evil Ex by skeleton key brewery was really good too.

Deschutes makes one called schwarzbier that is pretty solid.

Starless by wiseacre is really good.

Dark Helmet by title town is usually pretty available.

I see your schwartz is as big as mine by metal monkey brewing is really good as well.
 

jdauria

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My step-son lives I'm Chicago and told me about Dovetail. I had a Dunkel from them tonight. Their Czech Dark is great also. Good stuff.

Highly recommend their lagers.
Yeah they are suppose to be really good, have not had any of their stuff thought. Here in Mass we have Notch that makes some world class Czech/German lagers using tradition lager methods. One of their two Czech Darks there make is one of the best beers I have ever had and they did a Schwarzbier a few month ago that pissed me off because it was so much better than any I have made! :D
 

Fly_Guy

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Here is the BYO recipe. I'll be making this as soon as I figure out a way to lager.

5 gallon, all grain batch.
OG - 1.046; FG - 1.010; ABV - 4.8%
IBU - 26; SRM - 22

5 lbs German pilsner malt
4 lbs German munich II malt
6 oz Weyermann carafa III special malt
5 oz carapils/carafoam malt

13 g of Herkules @ 60 minutes (14.5% AA)
2 g of Perle hops @ 15 minutes (6.5% AA)
2 g of Saaz hops @ 5 minutes (4.5% AA)

Yeast - Lallemand Diamond Lager OR Wyeast 2487 OR WLP833

Dough in around 104F for 15 minutes
Raise temperature to 122 for a protein rest of 15 minutes
Raise temperature to 149 for beta amylase rest for 30 minutes
Raise temperature to 162 for alpha amylase rest for 30 minutes
Raise temp to 169 for mash out, recirculate and sparge.

75 minute boil, add hops as scheduled.
Cool to high end of yeast temperature, as soon as fermentation is vigorous, reduce tempo to low end of the yeast's range.
After 7 days, do a diacetyl rest by increasing to 66, hold there for 2 days.
Reduce temp by 2 degrees per day until you hit 31 or close to it.
Lager for as few as 2 weeks or as many as 12.

Carbonate to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

The article says to rack after the diacetyl rest, I don't think that is necessary, but I wanted to include it for completeness.

It honestly looks very similar to the Köstritzer clone posted earlier.
 

BongoYodeler

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Here is the BYO recipe. I'll be making this as soon as I figure out a way to lager.

5 gallon, all grain batch.
OG - 1.046; FG - 1.010; ABV - 4.8%
IBU - 26; SRM - 22

5 lbs German pilsner malt
4 lbs German munich II malt
6 oz Weyermann carafa III special malt
5 oz carapils/carafoam malt

13 g of Herkules @ 60 minutes (14.5% AA)
2 g of Perle hops @ 15 minutes (6.5% AA)
2 g of Saaz hops @ 5 minutes (4.5% AA)

Yeast - Lallemand Diamond Lager OR Wyeast 2487 OR WLP833

Dough in around 104F for 15 minutes
Raise temperature to 122 for a protein rest of 15 minutes
Raise temperature to 149 for beta amylase rest for 30 minutes
Raise temperature to 162 for alpha amylase rest for 30 minutes
Raise temp to 169 for mash out, recirculate and sparge.

75 minute boil, add hops as scheduled.
Cool to high end of yeast temperature, as soon as fermentation is vigorous, reduce tempo to low end of the yeast's range.
After 7 days, do a diacetyl rest by increasing to 66, hold there for 2 days.
Reduce temp by 2 degrees per day until you hit 31 or close to it.
Lager for as few as 2 weeks or as many as 12.

Carbonate to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

The article says to rack after the diacetyl rest, I don't think that is necessary, but I wanted to include it for completeness.

It honestly looks very similar to the Köstritzer clone posted earlier.
I'm at work now but from memory that's fairly close to mine. I had a small amount of chocolate malt in addition.
 
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