Recipe:Dark beer

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This section is about developing a dark beer recipe, including the process and necessary equipment, it was updated on 16/1/2015.

Brewing LOG

Dark Beer Brewing 18/1/2015

Below are summarized aims, progress and results of this particular one can even say peculiar experiment.

Original aims
  • Basic conditions desired: alcohol per volume 6% (alc), original gravity of 1.05, bitterness of 30 IBU
  • Brew size (culture volume Vc) - Vc = 14 l
  • Malts composition:
    • 25% (w/v; 3500 g) of Pilsner malt
    • 5% (w/v; 700 g) of Munich malt
    • 1.5% (w/v; 210 g) of caramunich 3
    • 1.5% (w/v; 210 g) carafa2 (steep separate?)
    • 0.5% (w/v; 70 g) cara aroma
  • Hops composition:
    • 0.3% (w/v; 42 g) of Kent golding 4-5% of aa
  • Yeast type
    • Safbrew T-58
  • Fermentation temperature 20°C
Reality LOG data

As a preludium I can say that whatever could go wrong, well ...

Main issues during this experiment:

  • double amount of hops was added compared to the original recipe (42 g), 84 g in total, 56 g for the bittering part resulting in a very bitter wort. Somehow I have done fundamental mistake during calculations, still not sure how it could happened.
    • calculate hops properly and use given amount
  • the original gravity of the brew was 1.03 compared to the aimed 1.05 due to the both excessive usage of liquid during the sparging and consequently insufficient evaporation during the rolling boil of hops in the brew kettle
    • use maybe less liquid for sparging and definitely more intensive or longer rolling boil to evaporate more liquid
  • during the rolling boil the water condensation build up on the surface of the exhaust hood and dropped back to the brew kettle with some dissolved compounds build up during the usage of the exhaust hood
    • either boil the wort in a different location or protect the top of the brew kettle against the drops, complete cleaning of the exhaust hood is not really possible
  • final brew when aerated started to foam excessively escaping from the vessel into the incubator
    • aerate the wort on the table or bench being able to clean up the foam easily

Less important things to improve:

  • "boil" just such amount of water which is needed for mashing not too waste too much time with larger volumes which can be boiled later on
  • boil the wort originating from lautering directly so it reaches quickly the rolling boil, this time it took nearly extra hour after sparging was complete before the wort started to boil
  • make or buy wort chiller in advance, this time it took around 25 min to cool the wort to 26°C
  • get digital thermometer for more easy measuring of the temperature

Some new or refresh vocabulary: grain bill, infusion mashing, grist, lautering and brew kettle

Few questions: what should be the temperature of water added to the wort when starting to sparge and the sparging temperature

Original Recipe

Batch size = 10 l (6% (w/v) alcohol)


  • 25% (w/v; 2500 g) of Pilsner malt
  • 5% (w/v; 500 g) of Munich malt
  • 1.5% (w/v; 150 g) of caramunich 3
  • 1.5% (w/v; 150 g) carafa2 (steep separate?)
  • 0.5% (w/v; 50 g) cara aroma


0.6% (w/v; 60 g) Kent Golding 4-5% of aa (when hop addition if 90 min boil total? 40 g for 90 min and 20 g for 5 min?)

any spicy hop (10 min boiling) - crystal suitable? other?

Yeast Safbrew T-58 (15-23°C temperature range)


Safale US-05 (Amercian ale yeast; 15-23°C temperature range)

Specific gravity of the wort

Specific gravity of the wort - 1.050 SG


Bitterness of the wort - 30 IBU

Original Brewing procedure

- 10 l of hot water --> 20-25°C higher than you aim for mashing (will cool down when added to the malt so around 95°C)

- 2.5 kg of pilsner malt, 1 kg of Munich malt, 300 g of caramunich 3, 100 g cara aroma --> add slowly malt to the water mixing a lot avoiding a “dough balls”

- ??? how to work with the 300 g of carafa 2 which is suppose to be steeped separately? So far I plan to mash it with the rest of the malts hoping it is OK.

- prepare the insulated vessel (mash tun) with false bottom and transfer the mash gently to it avoiding compacting the mash - the liquid has to flow through in order to create the “filter bed”

- let the mash react keeping the temperature below 69°C (157°F) for one hour

- make sure that you have adequate amount of water heated up to the desired temperature (around 75°C (167°F)) of around 25 l volume to be sure

- after one hour of mashing, start to establish the filter bed adding water at 75°C

- the flux of liquid should be slow and the resulting liquid (wort) should be clean - first few litres will have probably debris in it before the filter bed establishes properly, flush it through the mash again (heat it up in a pan to the proper temperature)

- add the hot water to the top of the mash (which is called sparging) slowly not to disturb the filter bed, keep the level of the liquid at least 5 cm above the mash at all times

- when adding the hot water avoid temperatures above 75°C (167°F) otherwise tannins are going to leach into the wort. If you over sparge, which means adding hot water when the sugars are already mostly gone, tannins will be released too, efficiency of sugar leaching should be between 80-90%

- collect first 2 litres of wort, boil them and added as sparging to increase the temperature to 75°C (167°F)

- collect the rest of the wort and transfer it to the pot/boiling vessel and bring to the boil so it is ready for the hops to be added

- 40 g of kent golding pellets (4-5% of aa) added to the wort and kept in rolling boil for 90 min - bittering hops

- 15 minutes before the heat switched off submerge clean wort chiller into the brew to sanitize it

- add 20 g of kent golding pellets to the wort and let to boil for 5 min before switching the heat off

- when the heat switched off after 90 min of boiling with the hops with wort of 20 l in volume and specific gravity of 1.050 SG

- apply cold water to the wort chiller submerged in the wort cooling the batch as quickly down as possible

- when the batch is at 18°C transfer the wort into the fermentation vessel first creating the vortex which accumulates the hops in the middle of the vessel

- aerate the wort in the fermentation vessel for 40 minutes or so and in the meanwhile

- dehydrate and activate the Safbrew T-58 yeast (add yeast to the 100 ml of cold water)

- measure specific gravity and note it

- add the yeast to the wort, install the airlock and let the brew ferment at room temperature

Shopping options available in South Korea

Below you can find the shopping list of ingredients and equipment which I'm after (Algoldor, please let me know if something is missing, so far I got all and more except the false bottom.

Beer ingredients and equipment shopping list