Welcome to the Dark Side of Pilsner
Schwarzbier may be a lesser-known style, but what it lacks in popularity is more than outweighed by its delicate yet elaborate attributes. Often referred to as a "black pilsner", Schwarzbier is a wonderfully enticing menagerie of clean, bready pilsner malt with biscuity munich nuances and layered with subtle-yet-striking notes of dark chocolate and easy-going roast character. Hopped with 100% German Hallertau and fermented with the most widely used lager strain in the world, Pilsner Obscura Schwarzbier stands in a class of its own. This stunning beer boasts a clean lager aroma devoid of sulfur and offers a polychromatic vista full of beguiling mahogany and crimson-ruby luminosity. The pure elegance of this historical style awaits.
Style: Dark European Lager
- Fermentation Range: 45-55°F
- Original Gravity: 1.049
- IBU: 23
- ABV: 4.9%
- Aroma: Moderate bread aroma with semi-sweet dark chocolate and faint roasty malt notes. Low to medium herbal and floral hop aroma. Clean fermentation aroma with no detectable sulfur.
- Appearance: Deep mahogany tones bordering on nearly black. Good clarity with a khaki off-white dense foam head.
- Flavor: Moderately rich yet clean malt flavors with soft notes of crusty bread. Moderate to low roast and background flavors of dark chocolate and coffee. Medium bitterness with herbal, floral, and slightly spicy hop flavors. Moderately dry, long finish.
- Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with a smooth character. Moderate carbonation.
Looking for the All-Grain Version?
|Total Time to Make||8 weeks|
|Beer Style||Lager, Schwarzbier|
|Beer Recipe Kit Instructions||Click here for recipe kit instructions|
Notes from Brad, Northern Brewer Head Brewer:
“Being a nerd for a good Pilsner, it should not come as a surprise that another of my all-time favorite styles is Schwarzbier. While these two distinct styles do share several traits, they are indeed very different beasts. Clean, bready pilsner malt, classic German lager yeast, and Hallertau hops are what ties these two beers so closely together, but the difference lies in the extra bits and pieces found in Schwarzbier. In addition to the pilsner malt, this particular recipe features a dose of rich, biscuity Munich malt, while the real stars of the show are the dashes of German roasted malts. Two different types of dark roast malts are used to create the characteristic color, and also provide a moderate roast character to the beer without being overly harsh or bringing burnt flavors. The key dark roasted malt here is a de-husked version, which serves to keep the roasty flavors from becoming too intense or burnt-tasting. The result is a wonderfully complex malt flavor profile containing rich, fresh bread flavors and low levels of roast while still being apparent.
While this style is generally brewed with traditional lager methods at low temperatures, the beauty of the yeast strain paired with this recipe is that it performs really well at higher temperatures as well. The ideal fermentation temperature to achieve the super-smooth, clean and crisp lager character is in the lower 50 degrees Fahrenheit range, but if you lack a way to control the temperature very tightly, a warmer fermentation temperature up into the low to mid 60 Fahrenheit range may be utilized. The result will be a final product with just a slight ester profile, which will actually mesh quite nicely with this beer and may even not be apparent at all due to the bit of roast character present. Either way, be sure to give this yeast strain a thorough diacetyl rest to ensure the cleanest possible outcome.”
My first attempt brewing a lager.
I live in Michigan took advantage of some cold weather in the fall of this year, temperatures were between 38° and 58°. Fermented in the garage after five weeks I bottled and it came out great. Some friends say my best.