Monday, November 9, 2009

Dunkel Brewday Wrapup, A Balmy Chicago November

Those of you that actually look at the "Is it Brewing Weather?" widget I have in the right column of this blog, below the label photos, will have seen that it was 71 and sunny yesterday. In November. IN CHICAGO. So as soon as I was done brewing yesterday, I didn't want to come inside and sit at a computer to write my follow-up. Instead, I took the frau und hund for a long walk around the neighborhood, and then fired up the grill when we got back home. After that, we had a social event, so here is my wrapup, a day late. My apologies to the two readers who were sitting at their computers all day yesterday waiting for updates.

Amazingly, other than the melted computer keyboard, and the slow start, everything went well yesterday. I chilled the beer quickly, since while the outside temperature was 71F, the tap water temperature is probably under 50F. (I use an ugly homemade immersion chiller that I bought from some fellow homebrewers).

I collected just under 12 gallons of sweet dark pre-Dunkel wort, with an original gravity of 1.052. It looked and tasted great. I think I was right in going a little heavy on the bittering hops to compensate for their age, but I won't know for sure until most of the sweetness is fermented out, and the bitterness mellows from lagering.

One note for those of you that use simple brewing calculators like the one at, they don't adjust the color estimation for the darkening that occurs during a decoction. When I plugged in my grain bill, it estimated a SRM of 12, which is a copper color that is at the low end of the spectrum for the Dunkel style. My pre-fementation wort came out more like SRM 20, which is a medium-light brown, which is right in the middle of the spectrum for the Dunkel style.

I aerated the heck out of the wort using the old shake-the-hell-out-of-the-carboy trick. I then pitched the slurry from the gallon starter of Wyeast Munich lager yeast, and had activity (small bubbles) going by early evening. I haven't checked it this morning yet, but I'm guessing a nice krausen is forming. Check back for an update on this beer in about two weeks when I transfer it to secondary. Oh yeah, and I'll get those photos, including the melted keyboard, up soon.

1 comment:

  1. I really like these write-ups! We brewed/bbq'd on Saturday as well and certainly learned some lessons, think I'll do a write up too! Cheers.