Pseudo Dunkel

I really like a lot of the German lagers, and though I do have a fermentation chamber I’d prefer to try an ale version that will be lagered. This is one of those times I don’t care about being within specs as long as it turns out fairly similar.

I noticed the online retailer I use carried Briess Bonlander Munich grains. Does this need the more typical 90 min boil to drive off DMS? According to Briess it can be used as 100% of the grain bill, but I intend on mixing it with Munich LME.

Toying around with a calculator last night I came up with this as a 5.5 gal partial mash/partial boil (~0.875 gal top off including LME):

5 lbs Bonlander Munich
3 lbs Munich LME (FO)
1/2 lb crystal 90
1/2 lb carafoam
1/4 lb 2-row
1/8 lb Briess chocolate
1 oz Willamette @ 70
1/2 oz Willamette @ 21/7 mins

5.3% ABV
24 IBU’s
15 SRM

I added the 2-row just to bump the gravity up in case I have efficiency issues. They aren’t common but they have happened.

I figured a typical 3 week fermentation followed by 3 weeks conditioning, and then 4 weeks lagering. Would this possibly result in something similar enough to a Dunkel?

If you want something that tastes like a dunkel, try to make the recipe as dunkel-like as possible. That means you don’t need any of those grains except for the munich, and maybe a tiny bit of dark malt for color. It the gravity comes out low, add some more munich extract to adjust. Bitter with noble hops, and if you use a late hop addition it absolutely should be with a noble hop.

The US-05 is a good choice for a lager-like ale yeast, and you schedule looks good as well. Ferment as cool as you can manage - 60 would be perfect for this yeast.

Agree with RC but I’d use Wy1007 German Ale yeast. I fermented a Moctoberfest with 1007 at 58 degrees, same grain bill as my Ofest and had them on tap at the same time. Some people couldn’t tell them apart.

The recipe I came up with (minus the LME and 2-row) were somewhat similar to one I found, though it used C 120 instead. And looking at BJCP guidelines it sounded like these fit in. Does it not? Initially I had a little midnight wheat for color but took it out seeing that chocolate was used. What would you use to sub?

I add something for head retention as I often suffer from problems. It was between that and flaked barley I figured…

Right now I am just using dry yeasts. It seemed US-05 was about as good as I can get.