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Homebrew Recipes

Puna Coast Black Lager

Charlie Papazian presents Puna Coast Black Lager, named after the black coast of Hawaii, in the article “Drinkably Dark: Exploring Black Lager” featured on page 51 of the Janurary/February 2002 edition of Zymurgy magazine.

The concept of this recipe, and Charlie’s article as a whole, is that all dark beers cannot be simplified as heavy and strong. This German-style schwarzbier is an example of a dark beer that is very similar to its sessionable, lighter-colored cousins. In fact, if blindfolded, the color of many well crafted schwarzbiers is often a surprise based on the preconceived notions of what a dark ale “should taste and smell like.” Just like it is taught on the first day of kindergarten, you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Puna Coast Black Lager | Schwarzbier

Ingredients

  • For 5.5 gallons (21 L)
    • 8.5 lb (3.6 kg) | Pilsener pale malt
    • 4 oz (112 g) | Belgian aromatic malt
    • 6 oz (170 g) | German Caraffe or Belgian debittered black malt
    • 1.3 oz (37 g) | German Hallertauer (or equivalent of Crystal, Mt. Hood, Santiam, Tettnanger or Saaz) (6 HBU/172 MBU) whole hops  at 60
    • minutes
    • 1 oz (28 g) | hops (same as above) (4 HBU/112MBU) whole hops or pellets @ 10 minutes
    • 0.25 tsp | powdered Irish moss
    • 0.75 cup (180 mL) | corn sugar (priming bottles) or .33 cups (80 mL) corn sugar (kegging)
    • Quality lager yeast for German style lagers

    Specifications

    • Original Gravity: 1.048 (12° P)
    • Final Gravity: 1.012 (3° P)
    • ABV: 4.8%
    • IBU: 22
    • SRM: 28 (56 EBC)
    • Boil Time: 60 minutes
    • Efficiency: n/a
    • Pre-boil Volume: 6 gallons (23 L)
    • Pre-boil Gravity: n/a

    Directions

    • A step infusion mash is employed to mash the grains.
    • Add 9 quarts (8.5 L) of 143°F (61.5°C) water to the crushed grain, stir, stabilize and hold temperature at 132°F (53°C) for 30 minutes.
    • Add 4.5 quarts (4.5 L) of boiling water and add heat to bring temperature up to 157°F (69.5°C) and hold for about 30 minutes.
    • Then raise the temperature to 167F° (75°C), lauter and sparge with 4 gallons (15 L) of 170°F (77°C) water.
    • Collect about 6 gallons (23 L) of runoff and add 60 minute hops and bring to a full vigorous boil.
    • The total boil time will be 60 minutes or long enough to end up with 5.5 gallons (21 L) of wort.
    • When 10 minutes remain add remaining one ounce hops and Irish moss.
    • After a total wort boil of at least 60 minutes (5.5 gallons should remain) turn off heat and cool all of the wort. Use an immersion cold-water bath or heat exchanging coils.
    • Then strain and rack to a sanitized fermenter.
    • Pitch a good dose of healthy, active lager yeast and primary ferment at temperatures at about 55°F (12.5°C); make sure that nearly all of the fermentation is complete before lagering.
    • Rack from the primary to the secondary. Your net yield will be 5 gallons (19 L) to secondary.
    • Lager between 25 – 40°F (2 – 4.5°C) for 4 to 6 weeks.
    • Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when lagering is complete.

    Extract Ingredients for 5 US gal (19 L)

    • 6.6 lbs (3 kg) | pale/light malt extract syrup
    • 6 oz (170 g) | German Caraffe or Belgian debittered black malt
    • 1.3 oz (37 g) | German Hallertauer (or equivalent of Crystal, Mt. Hood, Santiam, Tettnanger or Saaz) (6 HBU/172 MBU) whole hops at 60
    • minutes
    • 1 oz (28 g) hops (same as above) (4 HBU/112 MBU) whole hops or pellets @ 10 minutes
    • 0.25 tsp | powdered Irish moss
    • 0.75 cup (180 mL) | corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cups (80 mL) corn sugar for
    • kegging
    • Quality lager yeast for German style lagers

    Extract Directions

    • Add the crushed black malt to one and a half gallons (5.4 L) of 160°F (71°C) water. Let steep for 30 minutes.
      Afterward strain out the spent grains, sparge with hot water and collect the liquid extract.
    • Add 1 gallon (4 L) additional water, the malt extract syrup and 60 minute hops. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 50 minutes.
    • Then add the remaining once ounce of hops and Irish moss.
    • After a total wort boil of 60 minutes, turn off the heat.
    • Strain out, sparge hops and direct the hot wort into a sanitized fermenter to which 1.5 gallons (6 L) of cold water have been added. If necessary, add additional cold water to achieve a 5 gallon (19 L) batch size.
    • Add a starter culture of yeast when temperature of wort is about 70°F (21°C).
    • When evidence of fermentation is seen, ferment at about 55°F (12.5°C) range for about seven days or until fermentation is complete and appears to clear and darken.
    • At this point rack (transfer) the beer into a secondary fermenter and lager between 35 and 40°F (2 to 4.5°C) for four to six weeks.
    • Bottle or keg with corn sugar. Age and carbonate/condition at temperatures around 70°F (21°C).