View Full Version : Need help with a Schwarzbier recipe

scott isham
06-12-2003, 11:15 AM
I'm looking for some advice on Schwarzbier. I've figured out that the base of my beer will be about 50/50 Pilsen and Munich malts. Whats the right percentage of roasted malts? What kind should I use? Roasted barley, roasted malt, chocolate, very dark crystal? Is any one willing to share a recipe with me? What about 100% Munich as the base malt with a little roast thrown in?

Thanks in advance,

06-12-2003, 04:52 PM
I used some Carafa 2 to get my colour (Jet Black), but keep it to a minimum! The roasty flavours should be almost non existant in the style.

The 2 row pils & munich ideas sound good, too. The 100% munich sounds too much like bock.

Ever had the Kostritzer Schwarz? It tastes like a fuller german pils, with just a hint of roast. Yummy!

My 2 cents,
Dave Rudge
Head Brewer
Bushwakker Brewing Co. Ltd. (http://www.bushwakker.com)

06-13-2003, 05:26 AM
I think you're on the right track with the Munich/Pils combo, but I would use 40 M/60 P and add black with an ever so slight addition of chocolate. Good luck! It's a great, yet under appreciated style.

Fred Sanford
06-15-2003, 11:08 AM

A large percentage of the German Brewers use a product called Sinamar to "color" their Schwarz Beers. This is produced by Weyermann from fermented black malt and has a lovibond of 3000.

Dave Rudge is right on track saying Kostritzer tastes like a fuller Pils.

scott isham
06-16-2003, 06:33 AM
What percentage of dark grains should I use? I'm thinking about 2.5% roasted barley(or chocolate) and 2.5% black for color. Does Kostritzer have the same bitterness levels as a Pils? According to what little I've read about Schwarzbiers, the bitterness seems to be a little more subdued than a Pils.


Fred Sanford
06-16-2003, 08:03 AM

I would use 5-6 % chocolate in the sparge---Don't mash with your other grains. Hops should be in the area of a Pils.

06-16-2003, 10:11 AM
Hey Scott,
Check out this link. Straight from the horse's mouth, so to say.

Wyermann Schwarzbier Recipe (http://www.weyermann.de/japanisch/rezept_6.cfm)

I'd avoid that Roast Barley thought like the plague. Even in small amounts you may be able to pick up the classic roast "twang".

Schwarzbier ranges in colour from brown (like Kulmbacher Monschof) to black (like the aforementioned Kostritzer).

For a good example of Sinamar at work, check out the offering called Isenbeck, from the Warsteiner group. It tastes almost exactly like Warsteiner Premium Verum, just dark black! It's gotta be the extract.
Apologies to any German Master brewers who say otherwise...

Happy Brewing
Dave Rudge
Head Brewer
Bushwakker Brewing Co. Ltd. (http://www.bushwakker.com)

06-20-2003, 03:58 PM
All the previous suggestions were good ones and i'd just like to add a note on what wins at the GABF in the Schwarz category. I worked as a brewer in Salt Lake for a couple of years and we consistently won medals at the GABF and World Beer Cup with our porter in the schwarz category. Our ale yeast produced a clean lager like profile, but the recipe was definately porter with aprox 50lbs chocalate in a 17 BBl batch. One year three Salt Lake breweries swept the Schwarz category and i can say that all the beers displayed a strong chocolate/roasted character. I know this is not traditional but just some food for thought.

Big Willey

10-13-2003, 07:38 AM
Try using one of Weyermann's DH Carafa (I,II or III) malts. Removing the husk keeps this malt from being too bitter. The caveat is that any dark malt will contain bitter compounds that can be extracted.

I used DH Carafa III in an alt that I made at one brewery. Half of my additition was made in the mash tun (temp. program mash) and half was made in the lauter. The result was plenty of color and a smooth flavor.

That's my $.02.

Best of luck to all,
Eric Sorensen

Since the original post, I have used Sinimar in both a very smooth Schwartzbier (yes, it was just like a black pils) and for color adjustment and such on both a red ale and an Alt. It is a concentrated brewed product (including hops) and so conforms to Beer Purity laws in Germany. Be careful with storage as excess amounts will grow mold and other nasties. :D

10-16-2003, 10:44 AM
I have had good luck in the past using the Carafa dehusked malt as well. Another trick I have employed is to actually grind the Carafa in large kitchen grinder almost to a powder and then adding it directly to the whirlpool after boil. I read about german brewers using this technique in producing traditional Alt biers dark color without the bitterness. It worked nicely for me. Hope this helped.

Steve Altimari
Valley Brewing Company

Larry Horwitz
10-06-2005, 11:34 AM
Hop bitterness is very, very different from grain bitterness (phenol astringency) do use kettle hops, do keep your bitterness from grains low

01-18-2006, 09:17 AM

I would use 5-6 % chocolate in the sparge---Don't mash with your other grains. Hops should be in the area of a Pils.

good idea!

01-19-2006, 04:41 AM
Thanks I am not the only one!

A porter consistently winning in the Schwarzbier category??? That pretty much backs up my opinion that the majority of judges at these competitions , particularly when it comes to Continental European/German beers, haven't a clue as to what they are doing or about the styles they are judging. Anyone who has spent time (more than just a week or two) in Germany and has tasted various Schwarzbiers knows that color is where the similarities between the two end. Most Schwarzbiers could be fairly described as "black Pilsners", of medium body, moderate hoppiness and a clean finish with no chocolate notes and minimal roasted character. Actually, that is what many of them are, is a Pils colored with Sinimar (Farbmalz) or a Sinimar-type product.
It depends on if you want to brew to win medals or brew true to style. Anyway, that's my three cents worth and no, this isn't the rantings of a disgruntled no-medal winner. Just a brewer who is consistently amazed by the results of various "competitions".