Munich Dunkel


Grain Bill:    10 lbs Light (6-8 L) Munich Malt of German Origin (Weyerman or equal)
Hops:           25 IBU's worth of a German Origin hops (Bittering)
                     1/2oz pelletized Hallertau, Tettnanger, Spalt, or other German hop(flavor)
                    
Irish Moss or other clarifier : 15 minutes left in boil
White Labs German Bock Yeast, with active and robust starter, works very well

Mash in at 120F and hold for 10-15 minutes (dough-in, use just enough water to wet the grains)
Raise temperature slowly up to 155 F using remaining water and hold until conversion is complete. I do this in steps, where there is a rest in between where I take a temperature measurement, and hold for 5-10 minutes before adding more water to get the temperature up to 155. Let sit for 20 minutes, then pull of 1/4 of the mash and put it in another pot. Boil for 30 minutes, then add back to main mash tun. There will be a little temperature loss during this time, but the boiling mash will bring it back up. Let sit, preferably between 155 and 160 for 10 minutes, then repeat while getting the sparge water ready. After the second 30 minute decoction has been added back, finish raising the temperature to around 170F. Sparge and collect around 6 gallons of wort.

Boil for 15 minutes, then add bittering hops. Boil for 75 minutes and add irish moss or clarifying pellet. Boil another 5 minutes and add the cooling coil to the pot for sanitization, along with the flavor hops. Boil 10 more minutes, cool and transfer to carboy. Aerate (we use a stone). Pitch the starter.

Fermentation usually takes about 2 weeks, give or take depending on temperature. The colder the longer, but the less lagering time that will be required later. When the fermentation is winding down, let stand at 60F for 2 days (Diacetyl rest). Transfer to secondary at this time and let sit another week, cold, where the fermentation took place.  My method is to bottle at this time with one and a quarter cups of malt extract (DME). Bottle a couple smaller test bottles, and when the carbonation is full, place all bottles in a refrigerator as close to 32F as possible, or if there is another very cold space available, that works as well. 4 weeks of conditioning cold is recommended.

OG usually ends up in the 13-14 Plato range (1.052-1.056). I don' measure the final gravity, as I find it to be a waste of beer, but ABV will be in the 5% range.

Notes:
1) Hops should all be German here for best results.
2) I am using water in the 70-100 ppm solids range.
3) Don't shy away from the Munich Malt. It works great, and plenty of color is created during the decoctions. It is the traditional way, and do not add any dark malt, as that would turn the beer into a Schwartzbier. Try adding a pound or two of Darker German Munich (10 L) if more collor is desired, but DO NOT EXCEED 3 LBS! I have been told that this will create flavor profile issues, so I took this advice prior to making Munich Malt beers (which includes Dopplebock).