Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Munich Dunkel

It’s time for my first lager. I am looking at brewing a dunkel.

AHA lists this recipe on their website as the winner for category 4 in 2010. There are several things that don’t add up.

  1. The OG is too high for the style.
  2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.
  3. The colour is too light.
  4. The use of wheat malt instead of pilsner is interesting, but I might roll with it.
  5. The IBUs are too low.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/r ... am-dunkel/

Am I missing something here?

If I were to use this as a template for a beer, I might brew the following.
9 lbs Munich
2 lbs Wheat Malt
1 lbs pilsner
10 oz chocolate

1.25 oz Hallertau for 60 minutes
.5 oz Hallertau for 15 minutes

90 Minute Boil.

BYO suggested using about 10% dark Munich. I could also use dark versions of the wheat and pilsner. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Dan

That is a interesting recipe. Not sure about the wheat malt in it. Maybe its to give the beer a sort of softness to it or maybe to balance the munich out in it.

I personally wouldn’t ever put chocolate malt in a Munich Dunkel because it’s gonna add some roast flavors that you for sure don’t want. The stuff I make is almost 100% Munich malt, a touch of melonodian malt and a little carafa II for color (oh and I also heavily decoct). You want the beer to taste like biting into the crust of a nice loaf of pumpernickel bread, malty as hell but not sweet. The yeast must attenuate the beer least you end up with something that comes across like a Bock.

+1 I did one with some chocolate last year. I did not add much, and wanted it mostly for color. I still found it a little more roasty than I wanted. Not terrible though.

If I were to do it again, I would probably avoid it and just add some carafa to a munich dominated grain bill.

[quote=“CTDan”]It’s time for my first lager. I am looking at brewing a dunkel.

AHA lists this recipe on their website as the winner for category 4 in 2010. There are several things that don’t add up.

  1. The OG is too high for the style.
  2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.
  3. The colour is too light.
  4. The use of wheat malt instead of pilsner is interesting, but I might roll with it.
  5. The IBUs are too low.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/r ... am-dunkel/

Am I missing something here?
…[/quote]

Maybe you’re only missing the idea that the style guidelines offer only suggestions regarding the many styles listed…it’s not a ‘rule book’.

We seem to get far too hung up on the guidelines sometimes. Those suggestions they offer are definitely useful, and the guidelines do serve a purpose…but they really shouldn’t be mistaken for the ‘last word’ on what a particular style should or shouldn’t be… I really don’t think that they were intended to be an empirical ‘last word’ on brewing.
They should be considered only as a set of broad, basic broadly based advice regarding the styles (at least, that’s what I hope the authors intended).

Of course, everything I wrote here is just an opinion as well…so like all advice in the various forums, it should be taken with a grain of brewing salts. :cheers:

It’s possible that there are other options for the color as well. We were talking about this on another board and Munich 10L was mentioned as part of the grain bill and for color, Midnight Wheat, debittered black malt and dehusked carafa III were mentioned. 2-3 ounces of these grains in 5 gallons of beer can create a very dark beer. Also, I was in Europe last June and had some great dark Lager (Master Polotmavy?) at a place called U Vejvodu and also a great dark lager at U Fleku. Both of these were similar… dark with a nice thick head, smooth, velvety, malty but still dry. Relatively low on hops but very balanced. Not roasty as you might think. Tough to find this style in the states so it’s up to us to brew it ourselves. If anyone fashions a recipe or knows of one that has come out nicely, please post it. Cheers.

Well I generally answer questions relative to the style guidelines because it gives people on these forums a common base from which to talk from. Also, the original poster was talking about adding 10oz of chocolate malt to what looks like a 5 gallon batch. Of course you can do that and the beer may end up tasting great but in my opinion anyway it’s gonna taste alot like a porter because of what that chocolate malt is going to add to the flavor. Another way to reduce the astringent flavors in darker malts is to add them right before mash out and recirculation. I just tried that with an oatmeal stout and I am really, really happy with the results. Some of the ideas Mr. Lenard was discussing might work really well with this technique if you are looking to avoid roast flavors. :cheers:

I’ve got a dunkel on deck for my next brew day in a couple weeks. The plan is 99% light munich malt, 1% Carafa Special III, and 21 IBUs of Mittelfruh hops at 60 and 3 IBUs at 20 minutes. Water will match Bru’nWater’s malty amber profile. And I’ll be using some 2308 that is currently finishing up in a pilsner. Second time I’ve brewed this recipe; first time came out really well. As best I can tell this is fairly standard for a dunkel.

What was your FG the first time you brewed this? I’m curious because a lot of people say they have trouble getting a low enough FG and that is why I have see a lot of Dunkel recipes with as much as 25% pilsner. Just curious if this was an issue for you or if you were ok with a higher FG.

RC, I like the look of that recipe. I would also be curious about a mash temp/technique as I would think it could impact the final beer. Also, what was your OG? I have 2308 about to report for duty for a couple of beers and I could easily see sneaking a dunkel in there as well. Cheers.

[quote=“CTDan”]It’s time for my first lager. I am looking at brewing a dunkel.

AHA lists this recipe on their website as the winner for category 4 in 2010. There are several things that don’t add up.

  1. The OG is too high for the style.
  2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.
  3. The colour is too light.
  4. The use of wheat malt instead of pilsner is interesting, but I might roll with it.
  5. The IBUs are too low.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/r ... am-dunkel/

Dan[/quote]

  1. True-- which probably was one of the reasons it stood out in a competition.
  2. Also true. Maybe their OG was not actually 1.060. or maybe the decoction mash provides better utilization?
  3. How do you know? The recipe doesn’t specify the type/color of Munich Malt. There is a big difference between various Munichs.
  4. Interesting.
  5. How much did it calculate out at? I personally feel the BJCP guidelines for munich dunkel skew high here. I think 15-20 IBUs is right for the style in the normal gravity range.

Dunkel is one of my favorite beer style of german beers. HOFBRAU’S DUNKEL.is my idea of a dunkel and like Ken said when he thought of a munich helles. He thought of HOFBRAU ORGINAL I have worked on both helles and dunkel recipes based off thier beer. Water to me is key to both munich helles and munich dunkel. I add 3g CaCl and 1g MgSO4 to treat my water.

Yeah, the Hofbrau Dunkel is dynamite. We were over there in June last year and had quite a bit of “helles” in general but I also had an Augustiner Dunkel at one of the great old Augustiner Bierhalls right off the Marienplatz and that beer is fantastic as well. Here’s a shot of my wife attempting to hide behind one of the giant steins of Dunkel at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich…

[quote=“CTDan”]It’s time for my first lager. I am looking at brewing a dunkel.

AHA lists this recipe on their website as the winner for category 4 in 2010. There are several things that don’t add up.

  1. The OG is too high for the style.
  2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.
  3. The colour is too light.
  4. The use of wheat malt instead of pilsner is interesting, but I might roll with it.
  5. The IBUs are too low.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/r ... am-dunkel/

Am I missing something here?

If I were to use this as a template for a beer, I might brew the following.
9 lbs Munich
2 lbs Wheat Malt
1 lbs pilsner
10 oz chocolate

1.25 oz Hallertau for 60 minutes
.5 oz Hallertau for 15 minutes

90 Minute Boil.

BYO suggested using about 10% dark Munich. I could also use dark versions of the wheat and pilsner. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Dan[/quote]

15% wheat in a Munich Dunkel??? Yes the style guidlines are just that, guidlines, and you (or anybody else) can do what they want. However, the guidelines were derived from traditional examples of the style(s) and from what the better commercial brewers use. Sorry but 15% wheat, actually any wheat, is whacko IMO. Wahoo makes excellent points on your questions. I’d say there are lots of beer judges who suffer from Beer Advocate Syndrome and who are too often impressed with brews because they are bigger, bolder and hit harder than they perhaps should. That doesn’t make them bad beers but it doesn’t always mean they are the better expamples of the style.

Like Ken and damian I look to the better German versions for inspiration in this style. A simple list of German ingredients and attention to details are the way to go with a German lager.

Here is my take on Munich Dunkel.

Munich Dunkel
10 Gallons

13.5 lbs Munich malt (Weyermann Type II or similar)
3.5 lbs Pilsner malt
.375 lb Carafa II malt
.75 lb CaraFoam malt

Decoction mash; 128F, 148F, 168F mashout

1 oz Spalt + 1 oz Saaz @ 60 minutes
1 oz Spalt @ 20 minutes

Estimated OG 1.050, IBU 24

White Labs WLP-838 Southern German Yeast

What was your FG the first time you brewed this? I’m curious because a lot of people say they have trouble getting a low enough FG and that is why I have see a lot of Dunkel recipes with as much as 25% pilsner. Just curious if this was an issue for you or if you were ok with a higher FG.[/quote]
OG = 1.049; FG = 1.012; pretty much right where I was aiming for. Mash was 153 for an hour, followed by a mash out at 168 (done via decoction). I don’t remember, but I think I added the mash out so I could put a decoction in there. I brewed this as a time when I was thinking a decoction was needed for to get a malty lager right.

Edit: forgot to mention, I used 2206 for my previous batch, which does seem to ferment out a nice, dry beer. Or maybe I just got lucky - it was my first attempt.

[quote=“Wahoo”][quote=“CTDan”]It’s time for my first lager. I am looking at brewing a dunkel.

AHA lists this recipe on their website as the winner for category 4 in 2010. There are several things that don’t add up.

  1. The OG is too high for the style.
  2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.
  3. The colour is too light.
  4. The use of wheat malt instead of pilsner is interesting, but I might roll with it.
  5. The IBUs are too low.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/r ... am-dunkel/

Dan[/quote]

  1. True-- which probably was one of the reasons it stood out in a competition.
  2. Also true. Maybe their OG was not actually 1.060. or maybe the decoction mash provides better utilization?
  3. How do you know? The recipe doesn’t specify the type/color of Munich Malt. There is a big difference between various Munichs.
  4. Interesting.
  5. How much did it calculate out at? I personally feel the BJCP guidelines for munich dunkel skew high here. I think 15-20 IBUs is right for the style in the normal gravity range.[/quote]

While true on most counts, this is a winner at the AHA finals, so I would assume the judges would be a little more strict about the style. When judging, I will give it a little leeway if it is a damn fine beer. The IBUs were in the 7-9 range for the recipe, as shown.

10oz of chocolate will be too much on second thought. It will help bring out some chocolate notes (again, going back to style guides), but I will probably restrict it to 2-4 oz with crafa to colour correct it.Pumpernickel? Maybe a little rye malt?

9Lbs light Munich
1 Lbs dark munich
1 lbs pilsner
8oz wheat
8oz rye
4 oz chocolate
Carafa to colour?

[quote=“CTDan”]
2. The OG with with the malt bill would require an insane 90% efficiency.[/quote]
Actually, if he did a step mash with a decoction before the conversion rest, he could easily get 90% efficiency. I bump my expected efficiency by 5 points if I’m planning to do a decoction before conversion, and I have gotten efficiencies as high as 90%, though 85% is more common.

[quote=“CTDan”][quote=“Wahoo”]

  1. True-- which probably was one of the reasons it stood out in a competition.
  2. Also true. Maybe their OG was not actually 1.060. or maybe the decoction mash provides better utilization?
  3. How do you know? The recipe doesn’t specify the type/color of Munich Malt. There is a big difference between various Munichs.
  4. Interesting.
  5. How much did it calculate out at? I personally feel the BJCP guidelines for munich dunkel skew high here. I think 15-20 IBUs is right for the style in the normal gravity range.[/quote]

While true on most counts, this is a winner at the AHA finals, so I would assume the judges would be a little more strict about the style. When judging, I will give it a little leeway if it is a damn fine beer. The IBUs were in the 7-9 range for the recipe, as shown.

[/quote]

The judges are basing their assessment on taste, aroma, appearance, etc. NOT on the stats of the beer.

As far as the IBUs, it’s entirely possible that the recipe posted and the beer as-brewed, are not the same. There are a lot of ways it could have gone wrong from the brewer’s log, to the way they filled out the sheet, to the guy that entered it into a database, etc etc…

Also, I think everyone is overthinking their recipe.

How’zabout:

Enough Dark Munich (I like Best Dark Munich but Weyermann Munich II works too) to get to your OG
A pinch of Carafa for color if needed
Enough Noble hops to get to 20 IBU
Lager Yeast

[quote=“Wahoo”]Also, I think everyone is overthinking their recipe.

How’zabout:

Enough Dark Munich (I like Best Dark Munich but Weyermann Munich II works too) to get to your OG
A pinch of Carafa for color if needed
Enough Noble hops to get to 20 IBU
Lager Yeast[/quote]
I like that approach. I will say though that these beers are pretty dark. The Augustiner version I had actually looked very dark amber but the Czech versions seemed almost black. Always the brewers call but I might use TWO pinches of Carafa special, Carafa III, dehusked, etc.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com