Author Topic: Dark Czech Lager  (Read 2077 times)

Offline Silver_Is_Money

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2020, 01:25:06 PM »
Remember that a Dunkel needs to be highly drinkable.  More Pils malt in there and less crystal is my suggestion.  But you should make the beer you want!

We cut the crystal to less than 10%. Munich and Vienna make up most of the bill. 50-50.

Per their website, Munich and/or Vienna can make up to 100% of the grain bill.

What finished beer SRM are you shooting for?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2020, 06:58:43 PM »
Indeed, either Munich or Vienna is fine as a base malt and will convert at any rate of use.  I just suggested the Pils as part of the base for the style.  Like I said though - Make the beer you want to make.  I am sure it will be very good using Vienna and Munich as the base malts.
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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2020, 12:10:40 AM »
Update:

We just finished the brew. The wort was a brilliant/bright crystal clear, ruby red. Probably the clearest wort ever, from mash tun run off, to running from the boil kettle into the fermenter.

We did a 3 step infusion mash. First run gravity was 1.064. Final boil gravity was 1.045. IBU's should be around 29-30, 3 additions of 2.0 AA Saaz hops.

I was actually hoping for a deeper color, but knew my grain bill will not do that. SRM = 14/15

My money says this is going to be a fantastic Red Czech Lager.....whoops, I mean Amber Czech Lager.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 01:18:47 AM by Myron Oleson »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2020, 01:51:14 AM »
Update:

We just finished the brew. The wort was a brilliant/bright crystal clear, ruby red. Probably the clearest wort ever, from mash tun run off, to running from the boil kettle into the fermenter.

We did a 3 step infusion mash. First run gravity was 1.064. Final boil gravity was 1.045. IBU's should be around 29-30, 3 additions of 2.0 AA Saaz hops.

I was actually hoping for a deeper color, but knew my grain bill will not do that. SRM = 14/15

My money says this is going to be a fantastic Red Czech Lager.....whoops, I mean Amber Czech Lager.

Please give us tasting notes.
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TXFlyGuy

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2020, 01:01:01 PM »
Update:

We just finished the brew. The wort was a brilliant/bright crystal clear, ruby red. Probably the clearest wort ever, from mash tun run off, to running from the boil kettle into the fermenter.

We did a 3 step infusion mash. First run gravity was 1.064. Final boil gravity was 1.045. IBU's should be around 29-30, 3 additions of 2.0 AA Saaz hops.

I was actually hoping for a deeper color, but knew my grain bill will not do that. SRM = 14/15

My money says this is going to be a fantastic Red Czech Lager.....whoops, I mean Amber Czech Lager.

Please give us tasting notes.

Absolutely! I'm just curious why the entire process produced brilliantly clear / crystal clear / bright wort? We have never seen this before. Believe me, we have experienced our share of cloudy run off in the past.

Is this an indication of quality going forward with the finished beer?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 01:29:46 PM by Myron Oleson »

Offline denny

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2020, 02:10:29 PM »
Update:

We just finished the brew. The wort was a brilliant/bright crystal clear, ruby red. Probably the clearest wort ever, from mash tun run off, to running from the boil kettle into the fermenter.

We did a 3 step infusion mash. First run gravity was 1.064. Final boil gravity was 1.045. IBU's should be around 29-30, 3 additions of 2.0 AA Saaz hops.

I was actually hoping for a deeper color, but knew my grain bill will not do that. SRM = 14/15

My money says this is going to be a fantastic Red Czech Lager.....whoops, I mean Amber Czech Lager.

Please give us tasting notes.

Absolutely! I'm just curious why the entire process produced brilliantly clear / crystal clear / bright wort? We have never seen this before. Believe me, we have experienced our share of cloudy run off in the past.

Is this an indication of quality going forward with the finished beer?

My experience is that I get wort like that when I absolutely nail the pH.  That may be a false correlation, but that's what it seems like.  And no, I haven't found it to necessarily have any relation to finished beer quality.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2020, 02:25:49 PM »
I prefer a crystal clear sweat wort going into the kettle, and crystal clear bitter wort into the fermenter. Some don’t concern themselves with cloudiness in either case but I like the results I am getting so I’ll keep doing it.

This is what I do: I recirculate my mash the entire 90 min to filter the wort thru the grain bed.  I use a Brew Bag inside the MLT to aid in the filtration and a RIMS tube to maintain temp.  I also use Brewtan B in my strike liquor. Once the mash is complete I reroute the flow of the crystal clear wort into the kettle.

After the boil and cooling, I let the trüb settle into the bottom of the kettle below the drain (~ 1 gal). I give it ~30 minutes to settle while I clean the MLT, the RIMS tube, plumbing, and whatever else needs it. I still get a bit of trüb in the FV at the beginning of run off but the majority in the middle is crystal clear. I could wait longer I suppose.  Again, I use Brewtan B in the boil at 16 minutes and Whirlflock at 5 min.

Using this process, I lower my BH efficiency because I leave wort behind in the kettle with the trüb.  I plan to get 5 gal in a keg so I shoot for 6.5 gal at the end of boil to get 5.5 gal in the FV.


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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2020, 04:00:03 PM »
My experience is that I get wort like that when I absolutely nail the pH.  That may be a false correlation, but that's what it seems like.  And no, I haven't found it to necessarily have any relation to finished beer quality.
I was going to mention pH as well but I could be wrong.  I have had some great-looking, clear & dark worts going into the fermenter.  Also, on that original recipe I was going to mention that the crystal/cara malts seemed high.  I had some dark Czech lagers in Prague (including at U Fleku) and they all seemed quite dark (stout-like in color) and quite dry, not sweet.  That said, I have not attempted to make many beers in this style so I'm certainly not a good source here.  The beer sounds delicious and I'm looking forward to some notes on how it came out and a shot in the picture thread. 
Ken from Chicago

TXFlyGuy

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2020, 04:34:03 PM »
My experience is that I get wort like that when I absolutely nail the pH.  That may be a false correlation, but that's what it seems like.  And no, I haven't found it to necessarily have any relation to finished beer quality.
I was going to mention pH as well but I could be wrong.  I have had some great-looking, clear & dark worts going into the fermenter.  Also, on that original recipe I was going to mention that the crystal/cara malts seemed high.  I had some dark Czech lagers in Prague (including at U Fleku) and they all seemed quite dark (stout-like in color) and quite dry, not sweet.  That said, I have not attempted to make many beers in this style so I'm certainly not a good source here.  The beer sounds delicious and I'm looking forward to some notes on how it came out and a shot in the picture thread.

Drank a fair amount of beer at U Fleku, very dark, dry. It was good, but I would not try to imitate it.

This brew was modified substantially, based on everyone's input. And for the better, we hope! All of the vitals are posted above, so you can get a good idea of what we have going on.

While not our original goal, we think this beer is a dead ringer for an Amber Czech Lager. Time will tell.

A full report will be posted, along with some photos, if I can upload them.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2020, 05:20:06 PM »
My experience is that I get wort like that when I absolutely nail the pH.  That may be a false correlation, but that's what it seems like.  And no, I haven't found it to necessarily have any relation to finished beer quality.
I was going to mention pH as well but I could be wrong.  I have had some great-looking, clear & dark worts going into the fermenter.  Also, on that original recipe I was going to mention that the crystal/cara malts seemed high.  I had some dark Czech lagers in Prague (including at U Fleku) and they all seemed quite dark (stout-like in color) and quite dry, not sweet.  That said, I have not attempted to make many beers in this style so I'm certainly not a good source here.  The beer sounds delicious and I'm looking forward to some notes on how it came out and a shot in the picture thread.

Drank a fair amount of beer at U Fleku, very dark, dry. It was good, but I would not try to imitate it.

This brew was modified substantially, based on everyone's input. And for the better, we hope! All of the vitals are posted above, so you can get a good idea of what we have going on.

While not our original goal, we think this beer is a dead ringer for an Amber Czech Lager. Time will tell.

A full report will be posted, along with some photos, if I can upload them.
Yes, amber czech lager came to my mind too.  A delicious style, for sure. 
Ken from Chicago

Offline raf

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2020, 04:59:36 PM »
FWIW: Ivan Chramosil, who served as the brewmaster at U Fleků for over 44 years, recommends 50 percent Pilsner malt, between 30 and 40 percent Munich malt, up to 15 percent of a caramel malt like CaraMunich, and at most 5 percent of a very dark malt like Weyermann’s Carafa II Special.

I've followed these guidelines in structuring my recipe, and it makes a really nice beer. Lately I've been using Carafa Special III (rather than II) to get a bit darker. With the III, my SRM ends up in the mid 20s. Not sure how U Fleků is getting theirs so dark with only 5% dark malt in the grain bill (decoction notwithstanding), unless they're also using Sinamar or something like that. Probably not a big deal, but I'm curious to know how they do it.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2020, 06:49:35 PM »
FWIW: Ivan Chramosil, who served as the brewmaster at U Fleků for over 44 years, recommends 50 percent Pilsner malt, between 30 and 40 percent Munich malt, up to 15 percent of a caramel malt like CaraMunich, and at most 5 percent of a very dark malt like Weyermann’s Carafa II Special.

I've followed these guidelines in structuring my recipe, and it makes a really nice beer. Lately I've been using Carafa Special III (rather than II) to get a bit darker. With the III, my SRM ends up in the mid 20s. Not sure how U Fleků is getting theirs so dark with only 5% dark malt in the grain bill (decoction notwithstanding), unless they're also using Sinamar or something like that. Probably not a big deal, but I'm curious to know how they do it.

The combination of 15% CaraBohemian (~75 Lovibond) and 5% Carafa II got mine pretty dark a couple years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if they use Sinimar to finish.
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TXFlyGuy

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2020, 09:47:30 PM »
10% crystal and 8 lbs Munich II / 8 lbs Vienna got us right in at 14/15 SRM.

Offline skyler

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2020, 11:29:05 PM »
I find, when I am brewing a very dark beer (for this style, I think I like around 28-30 SRM) and I want to keep the mineral profile minimal, that I prefer adding some or all of the roasted malt at sparge. I batch sparge and will just add the grains right after I drain the first runnings. That way, I can hit the pH I want with minimal mineral additions for the mash, then the roasted malt just acidifies the sparge (which is not an issue I worry about). The final beer never comes out tasting tart or overly acidic even though I end up not having to add any baking soda or pickling lime to the mash. In this case, 55% pils, 35% Munich or Bohemian Dark Malt and 10% CaraMunich or CaraBohemian makes a reasonably easy wort to nail pH with minimally-augmented RO.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 02:56:22 PM by skyler »

Offline skyler

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Re: Dark Czech Lager
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2020, 03:10:25 PM »
Brewing one of these today with this recipe (6 gallons):

Czech Yourself; Wreck Yourself
49% Viking Pils
31.5% Bohemian Dark Malt
7% CaraBohemian
7% Carafa Special II (at sparge)
3.5% CaraRed
2% Melanoidin Malt

.5 oz Sterling 8.6%AA FWH (90 mins)
.75 oz Sterling 8.6%AA 30 mins

154F 60 min mash, batch sparge. Balanced Chloride/Sulfate ratio with just enough CaCl2 and gypsum added to RO to get 40 PPM of Calcium.

MJ Bohemian Lager Yeast

Shooting for 1.055, though most I had in Prague were assuredly 1.050 or under (12º).