Recipe: Schwarzwald Schwarzbier

With this fresh recipe from his Make Your Best series, Josh Weikert goes for relatively restrained roast in this dark lager—and you can tinker with it from there.

Josh Weikert Mar 29, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Schwarzwald Schwarzbier Primary Image

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This is always a tough needle to thread, in terms of how much roast is too much or not enough. The small pale-chocolate malt addition should add a nice background roast character, and you can tinker from there to get it where you’d like it.

For more on brewing schwarzbier, see how to Make Your Best.

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.012
IBUs: 30
ABV: 5%

4 lb (1.8 kg) Munich
4 lb (1.8 kg) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) British crystal 45L
8 oz (227 g) pale chocolate malt
4 oz (113 g) Carafa Special II

0.5 oz (14 g) Columbus [16% AA] at 60 minutes
1 oz (28 g) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh at flame-out/whirlpool

Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager

Mill the grains and mash at 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and lauter as necessary to obtain 6.5 gallons (25 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil 60 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule; after the flame-out addition, whirlpool for 10 minutes. Chill to about 50°F (10°C), aerate well, and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 50°F (10°C) for 2 weeks, then allow the temperature to rise to 60°F (16°C) over the next 4 days. When fermentation is complete, crash to 35°F (2°C), then package and carbonate to about 2.25 volumes.

Substitute 7.6 lb (3.5 kg) of pale liquid malt extract (LME) for the Munich and Maris Otter malts. Bring 6 gallons (23 liters) of water to about 162°F (72°C) and hold. Using a mesh grain bag, steep the specialty grains for 15 minutes, then remove the bag and allow it to drain into the wort. Add the LME while stirring and stir until completely dissolved. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule. After the boil, chill, aerate, and ferment according to the directions above.