Winter always makes me lean towards drinking darker beers, and the winter of 2019-2020 is no different. I figured it was time to make another batch of my Czech Dark Lager. I decided I wanted to continue the evolution of the recipe that I started with the last batch in hopes of getting a beer that is sweeter and less roasted and porter-like.
The ingredients were once again ordered from Atlantic Homebrew Supply and consisted of :
- 7.5 pounds of Best Malz Pilsner Malt
- 2.5 pounds of CaraMunich Malt (half a pound taken from leftover CaraMunich Malt)
- 8 ounces of Black Prinz Malt (instead of the Carafa II used previously)
- 3.0 ounces Saaz Hops (2.8% and 3.0% alpha acid)
- 2 packages of White Labs 802 Czech Budejovice Lager Yeast
I mentioned in the post about my Scottish 60 Shilling beer that I have started using a large grain bag in my mash tun to resolve the problem I was having of getting the mash tun nozzle clogged with small grain pieces. This time I remembered to take a photo of what this looks like.
While the grain bag is kind of a pain when I’m mashing in the grain, I it still preferable to having a clogged drain nozzle!
The other slight adjustment I made with this batch was to wait until the mash was finished to add the Black Prinz Malt. In the previous batch of this beer, I added the Carafa II malt I used (instead of the Black Prinz Malt used in this recipe) with 10 minutes remaining in the mash. This resulted in a less pronounced roasted flavor in the final beer – but I wanted to reduce that even further.
- Original Gravity: 1.054
- Final Gravity: 1.012
- Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%
- IBU: 23
- Color: 27°L
My original gravity measured prior to fermentation came in at 1.056. Because of work schedules, flu and respiratory crud working its way through the family, and the Christmas holiday, the beer was in primary fermentation for four weeks before it was transferred to secondary fermentation. Even a four week primary fermentation period did not get the gravity close to the expected final gravity – the beer was right at 1.020 when it was transferred to secondary. This is also consistent with the last batch.
After five weeks in secondary fermentation, I gelatin fined the beer (even though it is very dark!) and let is clear in the chest freezer for five days before kegging and carbonating. For carbonation, I set my CO2 tank at 30 psi and rolled the keg on its side for two and a half minutes.