Who wouldn’t desire a beer that tastes like recent bread dipped in molten toffee with a dry end?
Munich dunkel is considered one of my favourite beers, and I’m frankly shocked that we don’t see extra of them on faucet in bars, in houses, and on the cabinets! It’s a improbable fall-to-winter beer, and—well-brewed—it is among the greatest expressions of malt that you simply’ll ever style. It’s a beer with a pitfall, although: it requires some restraint, which isn’t precisely our sturdy swimsuit as homebrewers.
Wealthy and dry sounds prefer it could be a contradiction in phrases, however, at the least within the Munich dunkel, it isn’t. With the suitable grist and cautious fermenting, you may get the most effective of the malt flavors with out leaving an impression of sweetness. However as I say above, there’s an necessary caveat to remember: don’t go too far. On this case, I’m referring to the temptation to show this right into a roast- or chocolate-forward beer. Munich dunkel is a darkish lager, however save your roast for the schwarzbier. And whereas that may depart you considering, “Oh, okay, I’ll simply load it up with darkish crystal malts as an alternative,” you ought to be conscious that it additionally must cease in need of being excessively caramel-ish. Oh, and should you go too far with the maltiness and find yourself with numerous raisin or pit-fruit flavors, then you definitely’re actually simply making a bock.
The very best phrases to remember listed below are brown lager: clear, malty, and simple on the palate. Assume by way of marzen and never porter. You need the drinkability of Oktoberfest however extra malt complexity, with out the negative effects of upper alcohol or crystal or roast flavors.
Nobody ever mentioned brewing was simple.
Your malt picks are important right here. I take advantage of a grand complete of three, however they’re chosen rigorously. Once I’ve messed round with this recipe (normally as a result of I’ve run out of one thing), it doesn’t ever prove in addition to with these particular malts, so that is a type of events the place I’m going to warning you to not deviate an excessive amount of, if in any respect. This is among the most persistently high-performing beers I’ve, and its simplicity is its best asset.
First, I begin with a base of Munich malt (the 9L, not the 10L), sufficient to get me to 45 gravity factors (about eight lb/three.6 kg). Then, I add 6 oz (170 g) of Victory malt to bump up the impression of toastiness. Final, for coloration and a bit extra malt complexity, I add one other 6 oz (170 g) of Carafa II. The benefit of the Carafa malts in a beer like that is that they’re de-husked, which implies they’ll be far much less more likely to impart the roasty, tannic, coffee-like flavors of different darkish malts.
Notice: you probably have barely exhausting water, as I do, you would possibly need to add about ¼ tsp (1.three g) of baking soda to your mash. It imparts a rounder taste to the malts that you simply’ll recognize later! For the extra water-geeky amongst you, my water profile kind of mimics what you’d discover in Cologne—the town, not the fragrance.
The hops are fairly restrained, which isn’t shocking in a malt-centric beer. I take advantage of no matter’s mendacity round to get about 22 IBUs in a 60-minute addition, after which, with 5 minutes left within the boil, I add simply ½ oz (14 g) of one thing within the Saazer household: Tettnang is sweet, and I’ve used Perle as effectively. The purpose of that hops addition is so as to add only a contact of natural, earthy, spicy taste, and aroma as a grace notice. I have a tendency to note hops extra within the aroma, and they’re rapidly overshadowed by the malts, however that little flourish wakes up the palate simply sufficient to actually recognize the maltiness.
For yeast I just like the Wyeast 2206 (Bavarian Lager). It’s solely not often failed me, and by no means on this beer. As a high-attenuator and a pretty-high flocculator, it’s ideally suited to a dry-but-malty lager.
As I mentioned, it’s not an advanced recipe, however you need to get a fancy and wealthy malt expertise out of it. If you happen to discover that it’s too candy for you, and also you’re satisfied that you simply’ve totally attenuated and carbonated correctly, you would possibly make some changes. Attempt lowering the Victory first, however don’t remove it. You may also improve the carbonation a bit (although the decrease the higher, as I’ll argue under). If that doesn’t work, and solely as a final resort, add two ounces of chocolate rye; it’s going to add a contact of roast, however should you use a lightweight sufficient hand with it, you need to have the ability to get the drying side with out the roast taste.
There are two stuff you need to get out of your fermentation on this recipe. Fortunately, they’re each achieved the identical approach, so that you’ll get to kill two birds with one stone: full attenuation and no diacetyl. Diacetyl in and of itself is definitely not a deal breaker for this beer, but it surely would possibly amp up the impression of sweetness, and we will’t have that.
So, begin your fermentation good and low (50°F/10°C), and monitor it intently for the primary couple of days. When you see indicators of fermentation, elevate the temperature by about 2°F (1°C), and let it go for three–four days. At that time, ramp up the temperature by at the least four–5°F (2–three°C), and you probably have it in a pleasant, temperature-stable location (nook of the basement is my go-to) you would possibly take into account simply pulling it from the fridge fully. It would slowly rise to room temperature, and the yeast cells will simply go to city on every thing in sight, additionally reabsorbing what little diacetyl they could have created.
At packaging, carbonate to 2 volumes—but when it’s dry sufficient, go decrease. I like, love, love this beer at nearer to cellar carbonation and temperature, but when it begins to come back off as candy, add again some CO2—the carbonic chunk will care for the impression of sweetness.
Watch out with this beer, and it’ll reward you handsomely! I’d take all of it day lengthy over an Oktoberfest beer, and as soon as you’ll be able to pull off this one, you may make just about any lager.