Inspired by the Star Wars original trilogy, the Pop Culture Brews podcast crew set out on an intergalactic mission to create beer recipes inspired by episodes IV, V, and VI. See all three Star Wars-inspired beer recipes here.
For the second episode in the trilogy—The Empire Strikes Back (1980)—Pop Culture Brews cohost Paul Crowther (aka The Mad Brewer) created a beer recipe that captures the film’s darker, more sinister tone.
Adding Carafa III, a dark-roasted barley, makes the recipe darker (~45 SRM) and instills some mild roasted notes in the aftertaste. While this beer is impenetrably dark compared to its Episode IV predecessor, The Empire Strikes Back Dark Ale is still bursting full of Citra hop flavor, reflecting the lighter moments of Episode V. It shows how easy it is to go to the Dark Side.
Brew or brew not. There is no try.
- 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) Pale malt (2-row)
- 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) Maris Otter malt
- 1.0 lb (0.45 kg) Carafa Special III malt
- 0.75 lb (0.34 kg) White Wheat malt
- 0.25 lb (0.11 kg) Munich malt
- 0.5 oz (14 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (60 min)
- 1.0 oz (28 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (20 min)
- 1.0 oz (28 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (10 min)
- 1.0 oz (28 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (5 min)
- 1.5 oz (43 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (hop stand)
- 3.0 oz (85 g) Citra hops, 12% a.a. (dry hop)
- White Labs California Ale (WLP001)
Yield: 6 gallon
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.009
Mash grains at 149°F (65°C) for 60 minutes. Mashout at 167°F (75°C) for 10 minutes.
Conduct a 60-minute boil, following the hop additions as listed in the ingredients. It is suggested to bag each hop addition so they can be removed. After the 60-minute boil turn off the heat, remove the hop bags, and add the “hop stand” addition. Allow the hop stand to soak for 20 minutes (around 194°F).
Chill beer and pitch yeast at 65°F (18°C) or at the temperature called for by your preferred yeast.
Ferment at 65°F (18°C) for around 10 days. When primary fermentation is finished, add the dry hop additions for 5-7 days.
Note: this 6-gallon recipe assumes a loss of ~0.8 gallons.
Join for Less Than a Pint
Subscribe for only $4.99/month
Members get discounts on beer, food, and merchandise, plus a subscription to Zymurgy magazine online, and unlimited access to medal-winning and clone recipes for just $4.99 a month.