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Homebrew Recipes

Doktor Schnurrbart Schwarzbier

Schwarzbier, German for black beer, is described by Mosher as an “eccentric beer that slips outside the carefully constructed framework of allowable brews” in Germany. The style can be likened to a hybrid of a German porter, a style once popular in continental Europe, and pilsner, the style the dethroned porter. Despite their name, schwarzbiers are typically red or amber in color, with well-balanced profile of malt, roast, and hops. Subtlety of flavors is key to this style, not allowing one characteristic to dominate over the rest.

Doktor Schnurrbart Schwarzbier | Schwarzbier


  • For 5 gallons (18.9 L)
    • 6.5 lb (2.9 kg) | amber malt extract
    • 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) | dark crystal malt, crushed
    • 6.0 oz (170 g) | black patent malt
    • 2.0 oz (56 g) | Spalt hops, 4% alpha acid (90 minutes)
    • Bavarian lager yeast


    • Original Gravity: 1.061 (14.5 °P)
    • ABV: 4.1-4.9%
    • IBU: ~26
    • SRM: Ruby-brown
    • Boil Time: 90 minutes


    Specific step-by-step directions are not provided with this recipe, but the same general steps highlighted in Brewing with Specialty Grains can be used.

    Steep the grains in 1-3 gallons of 150°-170°F (65.6°-76.7°C) water for 30 minutes and remove. Stir in half of the malt extract until fully dissolved and bring to boil. When the boil starts, add the 90 minutes hops.

    After a 90 minute boil time, remove heat and add the remaining malt extract. Allow to sit for up to 10 minutes to pasteurize.

    If possible, chill the hot wort below 80°F (26.7°C) before transferring to the fermenter with the cold water. If not, simply transfer the hot wort into the fermenter with cold water and allow to cool (note: DO NOT transfer hot wort into glass carboys).

    Once the wort is near or below 60°F (15.6°C), pitch yeast. Lager fermentation requires the wort to be held around 50°F (10°C) while in primary. After fermentation, the beer is transferred to a secondary vessel where it will be held around 35°-40°F (1.7°-4.4°C), and eventually brought up to around 60°-65°F (15.6°-18.3°C) late in the lagering stage. It is recommended to cold lager for six weeks before increasing the temperature into the 60’s°F in the last few days.