Got recipes to recommend for the amber and dark versions? I mean, I could just start with a Pils and then load them up with American caramel malts…
Will lovely share the recipes for Czech Amber and Czech Dark I brewed this winter.
I have no Czech malts this season, so I used Weyermann's as a decent (although not entirely authentic) substitute.
It's not the first time I brew "The Bohemian Triade", and I take different recipes each year. This year, I took my recipe for Amber from the Czech Lagers: History, Brewing, Judging
presentation by Bob Hall and Randy Scorby. (Last year it was a great recipe by Gordon Strong in the "Best of the BYO" series). So here's the recipe for the Amber I brewed:
84% Vienna Malt
Saazer 14 IBU @ First wort hopping
Saazer 12 IBU @30'
Saazer 3 IBU @5'
The presentation recommends the next double decoction schedule:
- mash 10' @55°C / 131°F
- pull decoction, mash 10' @62°C/144°F, mash 5' @70°C/158°F, boil 5'
- return decoction, mash 30' @62°C/144°F
- pull decoction, mash 5' @70°C/158°F, boil 5'
- return decoction, mash 10' @70°C/158°F
Now, the Czech Dark. It's the closest of the existing approximations to the famous U Fleku from The Secrets of Master Brewers
by Alworth. The grist (as much as U Fleku were willing to share, although they weren't willing too much) and the mashing schedule are taken directly from the horse's mouth.
11% Light Munich
11% Caramunich II (U Fleku use exactly Caramunich II - not Carabohemian or Caramunich I)
4% Carafa Spezial III
The original mashing schedule is, counterintuitively, not a decoction but a slow rise through the entire range of enzymatic rests. I implemented it like this:
Mash 30' @38°
Mash 15' @50°
Mash 15' @60°
Mash 15' @65°
Mash 15' @70°
Mash 15' @75°
Saazer 15 IBU @ First wort hopping
Saazer 15 IBU @30'
That's the recipes.
I think I should also mention three very important notes for brewing Czech beers, which you probably know:
- for Czech beers, you need a really soft water, either for light or dark beers (I thoroughly recreate the water of Budweis Brewery which is exactly Ca 12, Mg 7, SO 9, Cl 5, HCO 23)
- for Czech beers, you need a slightly estery Czech yeast strain (Saflager S23 or MJ M84, not Bavarian strains like MJ M76 and not Danish/American-type strains like Saflager W34/70).
- for Czech beers, you need a really long Lagering period, like 3 months, it's an important part of the style.
I wish you good luck with brewing your Bohemian Triade!
Mine, it is happily lagering in the shed.