Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brew Day: Bohemian Dark Lager

There are few beer styles that hold as dear a place in my heart as a quality made Czech dark lager. Having spent some time drinking my way around the Czech Republic, I quickly took a liking to darker lagers as it was a nice change of pace from the endless liters and half-liters of pale lager. So what exactly is a 'Bohemian dunkel'? It seems most examples are darker than their German counterpart, with more hop bitterness/aroma, caramel sweetness, and roast character. I've always though of them as a lighter and hoppier schwarzbier, if there could be such a thing. Regardless, as much as I like this type of beer, I've only brewed something like it once before - a U Fleku clone recipe I found on the brewer's association website, provided by the somewhat dubious Horst Dornbusch. The recipe included nearly 15% crystal malt and 5% carafa II with a pretty complex decoction regimen. The beer turned out well, though not really like anything I had at the brewpub. The recipe I am trying out today is considerably lighter in color, with smaller amounts of crystal and carafa. My yeast choice is wy2782 Staro-Prague lager, which I have heard so many good things about.

Czech Dark Lager: Tmavy/Cerny Lezak

Recipe Specifics:
Batch Size (Gal): 4.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.65
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated FG: 1.012
Anticipated SRM: 20
Anticipated IBU: 25
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

57.8% - 5.0 lbs. Munich Malt
34.7%  - 3.0 lbs. Bohemian Pilsner Malt
5.2%   - 0.45 lbs. Cara-Bohemian 75L
2.3%   - 0.20 lbs. Carafa II 
1.0 oz.Czech Saaz @ 60 min for 16 IBU
0.5 oz. Czech Saaz @ FWH for 9.6 (?) IBU
0.5 oz. Czech Saaz @ flameout

Yeast: Wyeast 2782 Staro-Prague Lager
Brewed on 25 September

Notes: Planned on double decocting this one, though I ran out of time. Single infusion mash.


  1. Great find! I was looking for something like this for a while ago...

  2. I am fascinated with obscure Czech lagers, I wish Wyeast would bring the Staro strain back , It was my favorite lager strain...


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