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Time to Brew a Munich Dunkel

Based on the feedback I have received here, I have settled on the following recipe. I have been reading White’s Yeast book and Palmer’s Water Book, so this will probably be the most technical beer I have made so far.

10 lbs Munich
4 oz carafa
4 oz chocolate rye
4 oz cara munich

1-1.25oz Whole Leaf Hallertau FWH (I need to double check the IBUs…)
.5 oz Whole leaf Saaz 10 minutes

Mash at 146 with a decoction to 156 after 30 minutes.

90 Minute boil.

Southern German Lager yeast. I will use a 1.75 L two stage starter to grow approximately 300 billion yeasties.

Water profile will be the Munich Boiled per Bru N’Water. I am having a little trouble getting to the water chemistry right.

My Profile. Munich (Boiled) Difference
Calcium 8 ppm 12ppm +4 ppm
Magnesium 2.6 ppm 17ppm +14ppm
Sodium 11 ppm 4ppm -7ppm
Sulfate 12.6 ppm 18ppm +5.4 ppm
Chloride 13ppm 13ppm -5.4 ppm
Bicarbonate 26.8 ppm 26ppm +68 ppm

If I dilute my water by 50% and add .1g of Epsom salt and .1g of Chalk, I will have the following profile.
Calcium 14.6
Magnesium 3.9
Sodium5.5
Sulfate 16.6
Cloride 6.6
Carbonate 45.6

Any thoughts?

Dan

I don’t like using whole leaf hops, particularly in delicate beers like this one. If you grab some hops out of a bag to weigh that are whole leaf, the reality is, you could be grabbing largely the vegetal/leaf matter and may miss the actual lupulin glands (which contain the oils/acids you want) which have settled to the bottom of said bag. Then your IBU’s are way off. I’ve never measured this, but its in my head and has stayed there.

For this reason, I switched to pellet, either bought ‘fresh’ or vacuum-sealed and frozen and have never looked back. Overkill? Maybe. Good beer? Definitely. :mrgreen:

That is a lot of dark/roasted malt for a dunkel. Between the Choc Rye and the Carafa, that’s 8 oz of dark malts. I’d drop the Choc Rye altogether and sub out Carafa Special for Carafa.

What Munich are you using? There is a huge range of Munich malts ranging from 6L light Munichs to 20L really dark ones. That’s a huge consideration.

The beer recipe is 19srm with regular Munich and about 24 with Munich Dark. This puts it right smack in the middle of the BJCP color range. 2.5% Chocolate rye is not much and will give it a nice pumpernickel flavor to the bread crust flavored from the Munich. 2.5% carafa is just for color.

Dan

Just a heads up, Munich has a very low diastatic power. The darker it is, the lower the power. You will either need to account for this (maybe you already have) and up the amount in your grain bill or maybe sub a few pounds of Pils or better yet Vienna to help convert better. Personally, I’d just swap out 2-3 lbs of Munich for Vienna. You’ll get better conversion.

I recently brewed a Munich SMaSH and came up pretty short on my OG. After some research I found out this downfall to using Munich. I had never used that much in a recipe and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why my OG was so far off. It was the Munich.

To me, it takes Dark Munich malt to really get the Dunkel flavor I’m looking for. And if you use a lot of really dark Munich, I think it’s a good idea to include a bit of Pils just to ensure you have enough enzymes in the mash to convert fully in a reasonable time frame. My Dunkel is 85% dark Munich, 13% Pils, and 2% Midnight Wheat (for color).

I’d also recommend either cold-steeping the roasted grains or adding them right before vorlauf. You really only want the color and not the flavor. Roast character is out of place in a Dunkel.

[quote=“erockrph”]To me, it takes Dark Munich malt to really get the Dunkel flavor I’m looking for. And if you use a lot of really dark Munich, I think it’s a good idea to include a bit of Pils just to ensure you have enough enzymes in the mash to convert fully in a reasonable time frame. My Dunkel is 85% dark Munich, 13% Pils, and 2% Midnight Wheat (for color).

I’d also recommend either cold-steeping the roasted grains or adding them right before vorlauf. You really only want the color and not the flavor. Roast character is out of place in a Dunkel.[/quote]

AMEN to that. I finally nailed my dunkel on the last run. it really tastes like it should now…

I did similar - 75% DMII, 20% pils, 2% midnight wheat and 3% caramunich.

The recipe looks OK to me. I just brewed a dunkel a few weeks ago, using 99% light munich (SRM = 8) and 1% Carifa Special I. No problems with the conversion - got 85% efficiency with a single infusion mash and batch sparging. Don’t be afraid of munich malt.

[quote=“dobe12”]Just a heads up, Munich has a very low diastatic power. The darker it is, the lower the power. You will either need to account for this (maybe you already have) and up the amount in your grain bill or maybe sub a few pounds of Pils or better yet Vienna to help convert better. Personally, I’d just swap out 2-3 lbs of Munich for Vienna. You’ll get better conversion.

I recently brewed a Munich SMaSH and came up pretty short on my OG. After some research I found out this downfall to using Munich. I had never used that much in a recipe and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why my OG was so far off. It was the Munich.[/quote]

Same thing happened to me. I PMed an oktoberfest with 6lbs of munich malt and some pilsner extract. My O.G. was off by 10 points. Ya live and learn I guess. :x

Not saying I don’t believe you but Munich DOES have lower diastatic power. It’s not opinion. It’s science.

Not saying I don’t believe you but Munich DOES have lower diastatic power. It’s not opinion. It’s science.


[/quote]

It’s lower, but it’s high enough to convert itself. It does need more time, though, and temperature/mash thickness would have a greater effect as well. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to add a little Pils to boost the enzyme concentration a bit.

Not saying I don’t believe you but Munich DOES have lower diastatic power. It’s not opinion. It’s science.


[/quote]

It’s lower, but it’s high enough to convert itself. It does need more time, though, and temperature/mash thickness would have a greater effect as well. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to add a little Pils to boost the enzyme concentration a bit.[/quote]
Very true, it does need more time. In my case I figure an extra 30 minutes, which seems to have turned out right.

I make Dunkel more than any other style. It’s also my favorite style to drink when I’m in Germany and I’ve had a couple dozen examples.

I’ve never had trouble getting Munich to self convert. Not questioning that it can be difficult, but I’ve never had a problem getting 100% conversion.

8 oz of roast malt is twice what I use to get the color of a German Dunkel (Czech Dunkel is usually darker). A typical Dunkel is probably in the 17-19 SRM range, I’d guess, but there is a pretty broad range, and there certainly are darkerones. I’d be a little concerned about too much roast flavor.

From my experience, crystal malt doesn’t belong in a German Dunkel. It makes a perfectly fine beer, but Dunkel gets it’s flavor from Munich. You can get away with 1/4#, and I’ve tried that, but it’s more authentic without it. I sneak a little caramunich (2.5 oz) into my Czech Dunkels, though.

I add CaCl2 until the Ca is 50 ppm, when I make Dunkel, to accentuate malt flavor.

Light Munich should have enough diastatic power to convert itself. Dark (20L range) could give you problems. Just trying to help you avoid a possible problem.

Some good info here.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/01/04/di ... your-beer/

I formulate my beers to the higher end of the spectrum for the style at 75% efficiency. This gives me more flexibility if the mash falls to 65% efficiency. I have a small container of DME for adjustments as necessary.

Caramunich may not be 100% to style, but it is only 2.5 % of the total formula. It should add a touch of caramel and body without making it too sweet.

It is indeed a fine time to make a Dunkel. In my case, a Smoked Dunkel… going to start some time this week, along with a Baltic Porter. My fermentation chamber can handle 2 5-gallon batches at a time, so I’ve been starting a big lager, then a few days later a session lager. That way they finish at around the same time, and I can raise them to D-rest temps then cold crash at the same time.

Here’s what I’m planning for my Smoked Dunkel:

7lb Avangard Munic
2lb Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt
4oz Caramunich
2oz Carafa II

As far as conversion goes with Munich, last year I brewed a 100% Durst Dark Munich (15L) Dunkel and had no problems with conversion. It didn’t attenuate as much as I would have liked, but none of my lagers did prior to improving my aeration strategy.

I thought I posted this the other day, but I must have lost it.

I have made a mistake with a Dunkel before by aiming for the right color, rather than the right flavor. Once I began to focus on the flavor (primarily obtained from the base malt), my Dunkels became much better. 5% is a lot of roasted malts for the style. I usually like around 1%–where it doesn’t start to mess with the mouthfeel.

I think a %age of Cara-munich is ok, but probably unnecessary.

My best Dunkel was made with 89% Best Malz Munich 2, 10% German Pils, and 1% Carafa Special II.

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