Schwarzbier Packaged

The next version of my award-winning Schwarzbier is bottled.  Here’s the bounty:

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Sorry for the darkness – it’s dark in my basement.  This version is likely my best yet – dark, malty, dry.  It’s a good beer and I’m closing in on my “perfected” recipe, the right balance of Carafa and Chocolate malt.  Next version should be just about there

Lagerthon!

Last night’s candi syrup experiment was a great success.  Keeping the syrup below 300 degrees is the key.  I tasted the result this morning – dark rum, raisins and a bit of smoky char, a slight touch of tartness.  Belgian dark beers are often nothing but base malt and candi syrup.  I’ll have to try this style.

The hail beat the crap out of my cabbages today.  Either they recover or it’s not looking good for the sauerkraut.  Ah, springtime in the Rockies, where we can expect golf ball sized hail at least once a year.

Now to Lagerthon, a weekend when I brew two fully double-decocted lagers on consecutive days.  This time I did a Munich Helles for the frst time and a tweak of my Schwarzbier recipe.  Next lager will be my pre-Prohibition pilsner, this time split, half fermented with American Lager, half with Urquell Lager to see which I like better.  I’m betting on the Urquell.

Finally, The Good Stuff

After this….

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This:

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A homebrew.  This is Applied Zymurgy Schwarzbier.  Nose is coffee and biscuits.  The first thing about the flavor is a mistake.  I was brewing this beer and the much hoppier Pre-Prohibition Pilsner on successive days and screwed up the hop bills.  I’ll keep the error.   Beer is on the edge of bitter,  no perceptible hop flavor, coffee and malt carry through.  It is rather light bodied with a bitter finish.  It is tart and dry….

Schwarzbier is why I brew. My wife and I were visiting her cousin in Bavaria and,  as we were leaving town, served us a traditional second breakfast, wurst, pretzel and beer.  The beer was a Kloster Weltenberger Barock Dunkel.  As we were driving away, she asked me if I could brew that beer.  I said I didn’t know, having never brewed.   I got the starter kit for my birthday.

We approach brewing in different ways for different reasons.  A beer in Bavaria got me started.   This expression of “creative geekery” actually surpasses the original to my taste.  That’s success to me.