Today's brew is my first attempt at a Munich Dunkel and so I needed a recipe to follow. I remember quite clearly what a draft Dunkel tastes like when served in Munich so I had a good look around the internet and was not terribly impressed with what I found on the US forums. Their recipes tended to be either:
- Munich plus vienna or pilsner with a bit of carafa for colour. Without the carafa that would be a good Marzen malt bill.
- All munich with 2-3% caramunich and again carafa for colour. That's pretty much an English bitter malt bill with German malts and will lack the body and feel of the Dunkels that I recall drinking in the beer halls.
My impression of a Dunkel is that it's like an English mild brewed to lager strength and with a lager yeast. There is a significant caramel backbone to it that the US recipes don't seem to capture. The US brewers seem to be scared of caramel malts; have they ever seen an English mild recipe where 5-15% crystal malt is the norm?
Finally I found a recipe that looks like it fits the bill and it's on the Weyermann website hidden away under their FAQ. If anyone ought to know how to brew an authentic Dunkel then it's Weyermann.
Recipe: Weyermann's Dunkel Style: Munich Dunkel Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Date: 11 April 2021 Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L Estimated OG: 1.044 SG Estimated Color: 33.8 EBC Estimated IBU: 24.7 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Water profile: Ca:29 Mg:4 Na:10 SO4:11 Cl:46 Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type %/IBU 29.66 L Tesco Ashbeck Water - 1.70 ml Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 80% 1.20 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent - 0.30 g Calcium Chloride (Sparge) Water Agent - 0.20 ml Lactic Acid (Sparge) Water Agent 80% 2.80 kg Weyermann Munich II (22.5 EBC) Grain 60.0 % 1.40 kg Weyermann Vienna Malt (5.9 EBC) Grain 30.0 % 0.40 kg Weyermann Caramunich II (124.1 EBC) Grain 8.5 % 0.07 kg Weyermann Carafa II (1150.0 EBC) Grain 1.5 % 18.00 g Magnum [10.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 22.1 IBUs 20.00 g Hallertauer Hersbrucker [3.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 2.7 IBUs 1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins) Fining - 1.0 pkg Munich Lager II (Wyeast Labs #2352-PC) Yeast - Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 4.66 kg ---------------------------- Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Mash In Add 24.67 L of water at 72.1 C 66.0 C 60 min Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L
And so on to brew day, I was up early to grind my grains while the water heated up.
I mashed in at the correct strike temperature but the initial mash temperature settled at 68C, a little higher than I wanted so I stirred vigourously for a couple of minutes until it dropped a degree to 67 then left it for the hour.
I wasn't sure what extraction I'd get from this grain bill because the bulk of it is Munich II and Vienna, neither of which I'd used before and unfamiliar grains often mean a change in mash efficiency. I was pleased to the see the numbers were exactly what I get with a 100% pilsner malt bill with the pre-boil gravity coming out as planned at 1.040.
Nothing exciting to report about the rest of the session and all pre and post boil gravity and volume numbers were hit.
The ground water is still cold here so I got it down to 20.5C with the immersion chiller and 65 litres of tap water which was then used for cleaning before being dumped into our garden water butt. Only the 4 litres used for the PBW wash goes down the drain. Just over 24 litres of wort was collected into the fermenter.
OG was 1.044 as planned which I estimate will finish at 1.006 for an ABV of 5.0%. It's in the brew-fridge at the moment coming down to the planned pitching temperature of 13.5C for the Wyeast 2352-PC starter.
This is the second outing for the Wyeast 2352 Munich II yeast and I intend to use it again so I overbuilt a 2 litre starter by 500ml and will keep that back in the fridge for next time.
The remaining 2 litres from this flask was pitched into the wort the day after brew day when it had come down to the desired temperature of 13.5C (the mid range value for this yeast). I kept it at 13.5C for a week until the bubbling started to slow down and then I let it gently rise to 16C for two more weeks to finish up.
I kegged my Dunkel this morning after 22 days in the fermenter and it was still bubbling at about 1 every 30s which I think must be the CO2 produced during fermentation being released.
FG was 1.010, about 4 points higher than my usual pales which I put down to the base Munich II malt being a little less fermentable than pilsner malt and that I accidentally mashed in at 68C instead of the 66C that I'd aimed for. ABV is 4.5% and the sample jar tasted lovely; rich and nutty.
The keg was fined with Clear-It, purged at 5x15psi and is now on at 20psi and 6C to carbonate and condition. I also got 3 bottles from the fermenter before it ran dry.
I'm about 3 weeks into my Dunkel that I brewed from Weyermann's recipe and I'm rather pleased with the outcome.
It pours with a slightly tan head that lingers for the full pint. Taste is very much of caramel with a hint of lemon from the Hersbucker hops. If it wasn't served cold then I suspect that the caramel would be too much for many people. I like this a lot and it's one of the few beers where I've thought I want to brew this again immediately. Next time I think I'd do it with a big slug of Saaz because I think the spiciness would complement the caramel really well.