Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tasting : Schnee Tag! 2.0 (Schwarzbier)

The second of the two lagers brewed this year, this beer is my second shot at the Schwarzbier style. My first attempt turned out pretty great; I was really happy with the malt character, mixed in with some coffee flavors and aromas, without the burnt qualities you get in other dark beers like Stouts.

I brewed this beer shortly after the Vienna Lager; I washed the yeast (Wyeast Munich Lager II) from that beer and pitched the slurry into this one. This is a great way to a) get more than one batch out of one pack of yeast, b) avoid having to build up another big starter for a lager, and c) ferment and lager two beers at virtually the same time, maximizing the use and space of your fermentation chamber (for more on my approach to brewing lagers, check here).

I didn't make many changes this time around from the first Schwarzbier recipe... a bit with the grist, hopping, and I messed with the water chemistry some, but that's it. I wish I had held on to one bottle from that batch; it's been a few years, but I still would have liked to compare it to the new one. Either way, I'm happy with it... once again, enough coffee and chocolate character to be tasty, but none of the burnt, really roasted flavors you get from beers with lots of roasted malt. Definitely an excellent beer to get non-dark-beer-drinkers into drinking darker beers!

Appearance: Poured with a moderate-large, light tan head, creamy and long-lasting. Fades very slowly to a full-finger. Body is black and opaque at first-glance, but shows excellent clarity with ruby highlights when held to the light.

Aroma: Sweet malt aromas (Munich-like), and milk chocolate. Not really getting any roast.

Taste: A touch of roast character in the flavor, but the Munich malt sweetness, bit of caramel, and milk chocolate win out. Perhaps some very slight noble hop character. Medium-light bitterness in the finish. Clean. No flaws, no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Pretty tasty, easy-drinking... could probably benefit from a bit more roast character. Otherwise, very close to what I was going for.

No comments:

Post a Comment