Lone Starr Schwarzbier

>> Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pretty schwarz during the mash
Today I'm brewing a Schwarzbier. As I've indicated in previous posts, I don't brew lagers very often, but I do enjoy a good Schwarzbier. I find that the bit of roast makes them much more interesting than other European pilsners, but they're still a very crisp and refreshing beer. I figured it's time to give it a shot. The 2015 BJCP guidelines describe the style as follows:

History: A regional specialty from Thuringia, Saxony and Franconia in Germany. History is a bit sketchy, but is suspected of being originally a top-fermented beer. Popularity grew after German reunification. Served as the inspiration for black lagers brewed in Japan. 
Overall Impression: A dark German lager that balances roasted yet smooth malt flavors with moderate hop bitterness. The lighter body, dryness, and lack of a harsh, burnt, or heavy aftertaste helps make this beer quite drinkable. 
Comments: Literally means “black beer” in German. While sometimes called a “black Pils,” the beer is rarely as dark as black or as bitter as a Pils; don’t expect strongly roasted, porter-like flavors.

Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

Target OG 1.050
IBU 23.1
SRM 25
6.0 # Avangard German Pilsner
2.0 # Avangard Dark Munich
0.5 # Weyermann Melanoidin Malt
0.5 # Weyermann CaraRed
0.5 # Weyermann Carafa II (Dehusked) - half added to the mash, the other half ground fine and added at the beginning of the sparge
0.25 # Briess Roasted Barley - half added to the mash, the other half added at the beginning of the sparge
17g Northern Brewer (60 min)
14g Hallertau (20 min)
14g Hallertau (1 min)
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast (2 packets, 1L starter for each)

Mash at 153F, 90 min boil, pitch at 45F, ferment at 48F, diacetyl rest at 65F when 80% attenuated.

Water adjustments:
To 10 gallons of distilled water, I added the following:
1.7g Epsom salt
2.6g Calcium Chloride
3.8g Baking Soda
5.9g Chalk

Brewing Notes
No issues with this session. Gravity came in a couple point's high at 1.052.

Update 5/31/2016
Gravity was down to about 1.020 (reading ~8.2 on the refractometer) so I'm starting the diacetyl rest. I'm letting the fermenter free-rise to about 63F.