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What's that you say? A hugely dark stout for the end of July?  That sounds delicious but not very thirst quenching for an 85* day.  Well, you would be absolutely right if this were a stout and not a lager.  

In House Brew's first attempt at a Schwarzbier (basically a northern German Black Lager) has been bottled for a bit and turned out alright.  While it is passable as an alcoholic beverage this wouldn't be a competition beer for several reasons.  First off, I went a tad overboard on the Carafa III to give it a jet black color which is not exactly to style despite being called a dark lager.  That said it does look awesome!  

Secondly there is just something slightly off about the taste.  It's final gravity finished high leaving it a little heavier than I wanted which when combined to the rich Munich sweetness is just a bit overboard.  I also think I got a hint of diacetyl and some kind of fruity esters which I can't really pin down but are definitely there.  I guess I can't complain too much; this whole beer was all an experiment to test how much work it would be to ferment a lager in a swamp cooler while adding some ice to maintain the cool temperature (answer by the way is too much, it was too much work to make it worth it in my opinion).  This resulted in some temp swings which is probably responsible for some of the undesirables and the yeast most likely dropped out early when I tried to add too much ice to compensate for a jump in temp.

So overall I'll still rate this beer in the drinkable range.  It's not horrible, just not great.  I'd be curious to try something like it again in the winter or with the Bohemian Lager Wyeast which I've read can ferment successfully with lager characteristics at warmer temperatures.  

Light Blackness
Est Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
Bitterness: 24.2 IBUs
Est Color: 32.6 SRM

24.2 IBUs
4 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 1 45.0 % 
4 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 45.0 % 
12.0 oz Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.5 % 
4.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.5 % 

0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 16.2 IBUs 
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 8.0 IBUs 

1.0 pkg Bohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -
9/7/2013 11:50:59 am

Lovely blog, thanks for posting.


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