Homebrew Recipe: American Black Lager

So I’m just simply calling this my American Black Lager.  The BJCP has not defined a category for this beer, but since when do I brew beers for the BJCP, I brew them for me.  Here is the evolution of this beer.  It started back several years ago as an IPA, after many iterations of this beer, I added some dark malt to make a Black IPA, and now fermented with Bohemian Lager yeast.

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Boil Time: 60 min

Yeast: Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) w/ 800ml Starter

Brewing Steam on Cold NJ Day

Mashing at 150F

Ingredients for Mashing:
7.50 lb    Pale Malt (2 Row) US
1.50 lb    Maris Otter
1.00 lb    Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.50 lb    Cara III Dehusked
0.50 lb    Special B Malt

Single Infusion Mash:
60 min    Mash In     13.75 qt @ 152.0 F
10 min    Mash Out    168.0 F

First Wort Hop Addition

Brining First Wort Hops to Boil

Pre-Boil:
1.00 oz    Cascade [6.00 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop)    Hops    19.6 IBU

Boil:
60 min    1.00 oz    Cascade [7.50 %]
15 min    1.00 items    Whirlfloc Tablet
10 min    1.00 tsp    Yeast Nutrient
7 min    1.00 oz    Sorachi Ace [11.50 %]
5 min    0.50 oz    Cascade [7.50 %]
5 min    0.50 oz    Summit [17.80 %]
2 min    0.50 oz    Cascade [7.50 %]
2 min    0.50 oz    Summit [17.80 %]

Weighing out hops

Move Wort to Primary Fermentor

Move Wort to Primary Fermentor

Fermentation:
Primary: 7 days @48.0 F
Secondary: 14 days @48.0 F
1.00 oz    Centennial [9.10 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
1.00 oz    Simcoe [12.90 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
Lager 21 days @ 35.0 F

Fermentation Fridge, Lowering temp to add yeast starter

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11 Responses to “Homebrew Recipe: American Black Lager”

  1. Andy Z Says:

    Nice recipe Pete! Very hoppy, but I love the dark malt balance. So to qualify this as a lager, you just did the usual lager process (lager yeast, fermenting below 50, then lagering at 10 degrees cooler than that? You don’t need a specific lager recipe to make a beer a lager?

  2. Alan at grillbrewandferment.com Says:

    Kind of along the idea of the so-called Cascadian Dark Ale or Black IPA, though doesn’t seem as though it would be as big of an OG as an IPA unless you get really good mash efficiency. Looks really tasty. I’ve done a American Black Lager myself recently, though a variant of a lager style – a dark version of a Classic American Pilsner, similar to yours using Carafa Special as the dark mark. I call it Night CAP and turned out really nice. How have your lagers finished with a starter of that size?

  3. Simply Beer Says:

    Thanks Andy. It is a lager, using the Bohemian Lager yeast, fermented at 48 then lagered at 35.

    Thanks for the Post Alan, Nice to see new people commenting. I’m not all that big on beer “Styles” but the beer (before it was black and a lager) drinks like an IPA so I call it an IPA.
    For the most part like lower abv beers and tend to brew my beers as such. Your Dark Pilsner sounds interesting. Did it taste like a pilsner, but using the color to throw off the drinker?
    The starters are key, IMO. Helps get a strong fermentation going. I make a starter for every beer I do, some larger then others. It avoids the uncertainty of whether or not your fermentation is going to start and cuts down on lag time.

  4. Alan at grillbrewandferment.com Says:

    I often brew to style for competitions but mostly to hone my brewing skills against a defined target. It is a lot of fun to get creative and brew “not to style” – it really broadens your appreciation for new things… and it tastes good!

    I really love session beers to since I love variety. I can usually only do one big beer reasonably, which doesn’t satisfy my variety craving. The Night CAP I will have to revisit since it seemed more roasty than I had envisioned – more so than my Schwartzbier. I think it is very good but not really pilsnerish – guess that’s why it’s black!

    I agree that starters are very important – my lager starters are usually much larger than that though, often 3-4 liters, or I repitch from a prior batch.

  5. Simply Beer Says:

    Alan, I tried this beer last night as I racked it to the keg, Oh boy was it Delicious! Smelled of citrus, candy and tangerines and the taste was dry and hoppy! Exactly what I set out to make when I crafted this recipe.

  6. bob Says:

    Cat 4A- american dark lager. Maybe it doesnt fit that style, so you’ll need a new name.

  7. Simply Beer Says:

    Bob, yup, it doesn’t fit anywhere. it blows away the OG and bitterness for that category (4c – Dark American Lager). I kind of like that, means it is different, but that’s just me. You’re also right I do need to come up with a clever name for this beer.

    I’m going to be serving it at Brooklyn Wort in a couple weeks. Anyone have suggestions of clever names?

  8. Avi Says:

    Hello my name Avi iam from israel! I’m going to cook this beer, and have a few questions
    1. pre-boil gravity
    2. post boil gravity
    3. f. G GRAVITY
    Thank you!

  9. Simply Beer Says:

    Pre boil – 1.048
    Post-boil – 1.055
    Final – 1.012

  10. avi Says:

    hi ! we’re planing to brew weat ipa at our brew party in May. Is it possible to get a good recipe from you.
    American Black Lager
    I cooked very tasty!!!
    I serve it to LONG SHOT ISRAEL 2013.

  11. Simply Beer Says:

    Avi, I don’t have a wheat IPA, never brewed one.


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