Schwarzbier

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TheCatman

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Why is this style so often overlooked? Good examples of it are SO TASTY.

One of the micros in my hometown (Grimm Brothers in Loveland, CO) brewed one called 7 Ravens, and it is excellent. Last night I picked up a bottle of Kulmbacher Mönchshof Schwarzbier to see how 7 Ravens stood up to a real German example, and I ended up finding my new favorite commercial beer.

As soon as I have the ability to lager, I'll be brewing a schwarzbier. In the meantime, I'm also considering coming up with an ale version.

What are some thoughts on the style?
 
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TheCatman

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And I forgot to mention, the Mönchshof comes in a sweet 16.9 oz swingtop bottle. :rockin:
 

pcollins

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I've brewed one before that turned out quite well. It was an ale version but I submitted it to a homebrew competition not disclosing that I used ale yeast. It was lumped in to the "Lager" category so it may not have done as well as it could have but did get some positive feedback.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe: May the Schwarz be with you...
Brewer: Peter Collins
Asst Brewer:
Style: Schwarzbier (Black Beer)
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.90 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.90 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.90 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated Color: 30.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.20 lb Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM) Grain 1 46.2 %
3.60 lb Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) Grain 2 39.6 %
0.40 lb Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess) (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.4 %
0.40 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.4 %
0.25 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.7 %
0.25 lb Carafa II (Weyermann) (415.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.7 %
0.75 oz Hallertauer, New Zealand [8.50 %] - Boil Hop 7 25.9 IBUs
0.25 oz Hallertauer, New Zealand [8.50 %] - Boil Hop 8 5.2 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 -
0.50 oz Hallertauer, New Zealand [8.50 %] - Arom Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 11 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 9.10 lb
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 7.82 gal of water at 156.2 F 152.0 F 60 min

Here is the feedback:

Classic appearance with nice head retention and lacing. Light noble hop nose combine with some light tobacco. Flavour is well anchored and too-style, though a slightly astringent finish knocks a point off. Medium body and carbonation works well. This is a very nicely made lager, finishing just outside of the medals.
 
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TheCatman

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That looks like a really good recipe; I'll have to try it out. Also, awesome name ;)
 

bmud0314

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Hah, good timing. I mentioned this style in my "under rated beer style" thread. I have made that style once before (and will be doing it again on friday or saturday). I used Nothern Brewer's grain with wyeast 1007, fermenting it around 59. It turned out great. I then washed the yeast and brewed a bock at 57, it chugged away alright.
 

TwoGunz

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It's a great style. I couldn't wait for the ability to lager and made one with an Alt yeast for the second batch I ever brewed!
 

scottedk

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Why is this style so often overlooked? Good examples of it are SO TASTY.

One of the micros in my hometown (Grimm Brothers in Loveland, CO) brewed one called 7 Ravens, and it is excellent. Last night I picked up a bottle of Kulmbacher Mönchshof Schwarzbier to see how 7 Ravens stood up to a real German example, and I ended up finding my new favorite commercial beer.

As soon as I have the ability to lager, I'll be brewing a schwarzbier. In the meantime, I'm also considering coming up with an ale version.

What are some thoughts on the style?
Grimm Brothers is one of the microbreweries I hope to hit up next.

I enjoy Wynkoop's B3K Schwarzbier which is now in cans in some places here in CO and on tap in several locations as well.
 

speedie789

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I just brewed one over the weekend, based off the Brewing Classic Styles version. Mine was a PM(5.5 gal batch):
4 lbs Pilsner malt
1 lb Munich malt
1 lb Carafa II
Mashed @152 (approx 1.25 qt per lb) and sparged with approx 2.5 gal followed with a 90 min boil (stovetop boil in 5 gallon pot)

3.5 lb Pilsner extract @ end of boil

0.75 oz Galena (11%) @ 60
0.50 oz Tradition (4.5%) @ 20 and 2 min

It's currently fermenting with White labs German lager yeast(830 maybe?) at 50 degrees.

I've brewed recipe as it is in the book twice and it is really good. We'll see how this turns out. I'm assuming it's gunna be awesome!
 
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I'm curious as to why you're using finings here. At 30 SRM, nobody's going to be able to see anything in that beer.
Yeast has a very distinct taste that doesn't belong in a lager. Finings, cold crashing, lagering, and even filtering are essential in removing the yeast (at least some subset of that list).
 

Zamial

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And I forgot to mention, the Mönchshof comes in a sweet 16.9 oz swingtop bottle. :rockin:
I have CASES of these empty... This is my guilty pleasure beer and it is tasty! :mug:

I like these bottles over the EZ-cap because the wire cages do not corrode in Oxy-clean! :eek:

Should anyone be able to get a comparable clone please PM me...
 

usfmikeb

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passedpawn said:
Yeast has a very distinct taste that doesn't belong in a lager. Finings, cold crashing, lagering, and even filtering are essential in removing the yeast (at least some subset of that list).
I'd always prefer lagering to adding finings.
 

Whippy

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I LUUUUVE Schwarzbier, but do not want to try and brew one until I can lager and do it properly.

Sam Adams makes a very decent Schwarzbier, but I have only been able to find it in those variety packs that include a bunch of other beers I do not want. If I could find these in a 12-pack, it would become a staple buy for me.

I tried a "local" Schwarzbier recently at a Total Wines beer tasting that was delicious, but I cannot remember the name of it...it MIGHT have been Westbrook out of Charleston. I guess I'll have to go buy one today to refresh my memory, oh darn.
 

DromJohn

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I'm a fan, but it's a dark lager.
Generally, people who prefer lagers prefer the lighter lagers. Generally, people who prefer darks prefer ales, porter, stouts and so on. Therefore it gets overlooked.
To me, it's a great compromise.

Says Drom John who is drinking an AHS Berghoff Dark clone.
 

cmybeer

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I just brewed up a 3 gallon batch of this last night. Wrote my own recipe, split base malt between German Pils and Munich with a bunch of carafa III and a splash of Cara-pils.
I've always wanted to try and swing a lager in a swamp cooler with some ice so I'm testing it out with this batch. So far so good, temps not fluctuating too much and I'm right around 52*
 

12thKnight

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The black lager (schwarzbier) I made for St Pats was amazing. Only 8 weeks in lager though, and high finishing gravity. Probably could have used more time before kegging.

The primary reason they're overlooked is because it is a lager, and no one wants to cool their fermentation down.

And then of course there is the waiting... home brewers have a hard enough time waiting 3 weeks, I know I do!
 

android

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one of my favorite styles for sure. i finally got around to brewing one a few months ago. just got it carbed up about 3 weeks ago and it's tasting delicious. If i remember, i'll post up the recipe tonight.
 

david_42

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In the meantime, I'm also considering coming up with an ale version.
What are some thoughts on the style?
I like the style and from my own experiments a nice clean ale yeast, like Notty @62F will give you excellent results. I split a batch of wort once as a fermentation experiment. I really couldn't tell the difference between the lager and the ale.
 
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TheCatman

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I like the style and from my own experiments a nice clean ale yeast, like Notty @62F will give you excellent results. I split a batch of wort once as a fermentation experiment. I really couldn't tell the difference between the lager and the ale.
That's good to know, I'll keep that in mind :mug:
 

pcollins

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I'm curious as to why you're using finings here. At 30 SRM, nobody's going to be able to see anything in that beer.
It's listed on my recipe because I have Whirlfloc and US-05 additions in my recipe template in BeerSmith. You're right, the colour would not allow much light through but what light does get through is nice to see that ruby tint to the beer and have it sparkle a bit.
 

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