Sunday, July 8, 2012

Brew Day: Black Pseudo-Lager

One of my main homebrewing goals for the next couple years is to start brewing quality Czech style lagers, particularly Bohemian Pilsner and Černé/TmavéHowever, as I no longer have a fermentation chest that I can dedicate to lagering or the space for a new chest, it might be a while before I can make anything remotely authentic. Until then, I'll keep futzing with ale/lager yeast blends and hope for the best. With that in mind, I've been thinking of brewing a lighter flavored dark beer for a while now and something along the lines of a schwartzbier seems like a good choice. In this miserable Summer heat, even English milds and brown porters are just too much. To keep this beer on the lighter side of things, I used pilsner malt (the Bohemian floor malted stuff), Munich, and smaller amounts of cara-munich, carafa II, and debittered carafa malts. As for the yeast, I was very impressed with the clean lager character of the WLP080 Cream Ale Blend I used in my recent faux-Vienna lager, so I'll be using that. Hopping is straightforward with Tettnang and Czech Saaz for a bit of flavor/aroma. I did use Gordon Strong's method for water treatment on this beer - all RO water treated with phosphoric acid to bring the PH down and small additions of calcium chloride and calcium sulfate. The dark grains were cold steeped over night and the liquid added to the boil. It will be interesting to see how much color I'll get form the steeping grains.
Cream Ale

Dark Session Ale : Black Ale/Lager                                                                                            
Recipe Specifics
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Batch Size (Gal): 4.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 7.65
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 28
Anticipated IBU: 25
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain/Sugar
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65.4% - 5.00 lbs. Pilsner Malt
19.6% - 1.50 lbs. Munich Malt
6.5%   - 0.50 lbs. Cara-Munich
5.2%   - 0.40 lbs. Carafa II
3.3%   - 0.25 lbs. Debittered Carafa

Hops
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0.75 oz. Tettnang @ FWH for 21 IBU
0.50 oz. Saaz @ 15 min for 4 IBU
1.00 oz. Saaz @ flameout

Yeast: WhiteLabs 080 Cream Ale Blend
Mash 152F for 75 min.
Brewed 8 July 

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