Dark Lager

Cascadian Black Lager

Continuing in the season of colder fermented beers I opted to brew a black lager as they are one of Yama’s favorite styles. Last year around this time I made a schwarzbier using German ale yeast that turned out to be super tasty and smooth. Having an extra pack of California lager yeast in the fridge I decided to do a different spin on a dark lager. I’m planning of fermenting this on the lower end for this yeast and am hopping it with northwest varieties, but not making it extremely hoppy or bitter. I’m planning on dry hopping this one as well as to really give this beer a great hop nose. Okay, here’s the recipe.

OG: 1.059
FG: 1.019
ABV: 5.15%
Mash: 152 (60 min.)
Added 4g CaCl & 2g Gypsum to mash
Boil: 60 min.

54.0% 2Row Malt
30.0% Munich Malt
4.0% C40
4.0% Chocolate Malt
4.0% Melanoidin Malt
4.0% Midnight Wheat

sun0.25 oz Galena (11%) 60 min.
0.50 oz Cascade (5.5%) 15 min.
0.65 oz Citra (14.4%) 10 min.
1.00 oz Amarillo (10.1%) 5 min.
2.00 oz Zythos (10.9%) 0 min.
0.50 oz Bravo (16%) Dry Hop
0.50 oz Cascade (5.5%) Dry Hop
0.50 oz Centennial (10%) Dry Hop
0.50 oz Citra (14.4%) Dry Hop

Wyeast 2112 San Francisco Lager Yeast
2l starter on stir plate for 36 hours

KettleFor the second brew day in a row it was dry and sunny! I’m getting a little spoiled with all this rain free weather, but I’m not going to complain. Fermentation started up quickly (less than 4 hours) just like the previous batch with this strain. I just kegged the Common and got much higher attenuation than I was expecting so this beer might finish a little drier as well (which is good since I want this beer to drink drier anyway).

gravityThis one has been fermenting right at 59 for the last couple days.  Just Kegged this beer on 2/21 and was really surprised by the finishing gravity.  Ended up at 1.019 which is much higher that I expected/hoping for.  My last batch with this strain I obtained 78% attenuation so I thought this beer would be somewhere around the 75% mark.  Definitely learned that this yeast really needs a low mash temp. and plenty of rousting during fermentation to keep the things going.  In the end the yeast attenuated on the low end of the range Wyeast gives, 67%.  Although this is disappointing as I was wanting a drier, more traditional lager beer.  This one will end up being a little sweet and having more body.  The gravity sample did taste hoppy and quite drinkable and, as usual,  I’ll update with tasting notes along the way.  Cheers!

After having this kegged for a few months now I’ve finally decided that this beer is just okay. There’s isn’t any off flavors but for it being a hoppier beer it just has too much body and residual sugars for my liking. I really enjoy the hop profile, but I jus wish this would of dried out a little more than it did. It also is a slightly confused beer as it has a little too much roast for a true black lager and is a bit too malty as well. The decision on the SF Lager yeast didn’t really help as its a lower attenuator. Next time I might use a kolsch or american ale yeast fermented low and lagered for a bit of time.

Tasting Notes – 4.23.13

Appearance: Jet black with a two fingers of off white head that lingers for a good bit of time.

Aroma: Citrus, Tropical fruit and some pine notes in the aroma. The aroma has subsided a little bit, but not too much. I think one of the best parts of this beer is the aroma. I really liked how the dry hops gave a depth of different notes. Really fresh and hoppy.

Taste: Maltiness and slight roast flavors are first to greet the palate. Hop flavors quickly follow, but they struggle getting past the thicker body of the beer. Notes of citrus and a little bit pine break through and stay on the tongue with just a hint of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very full, too full for what I was going for and takes away from the beer.

Overall: Not a bad beer, just didn’t execute on what I was intending. Its kind of a mix of malty, thick and hoppy that isn’t unenjoyable, but just not as crisp as a lager should be. It does have hints of a CDA but a little heavy on the roast character. This beer can be improved apon, but not a bad beer to sip on when you need a hop fix on a cold day.

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