Czech dark lager is not one style; there are multiple dark Czech lager styles. The beers range from under 3% ABV to 7% ABV and may run from sweet to dry maltiness and gently hopped to bitter to aromatically hopped. The styles may have historic connections to German Munich dunkel and schwarzbier styles and may be stylistically similar to those styles but they can also fit somewhere in between those styles in a way that would be very out of place for either German style. However, the range of Czech dark lagers have been compressed into a single style in the 2014 BJCP guidelines but I suppose that is better than their total absence from the 2008 guidelines.
Stan Hieronymous's book For the Love of Hops includes a recipe from a Czech brewery for a tmavé pivo and this recipe served as the inspiration for my own recipe. The included recipe is on the higher end of the gravity range with a moderate sweetness and bitterness in the Tmavé Speciální Pivo style. The recipe provider points out that the recipe is not like most Tmavé Speciální Pivo beers that are sweet and this one should be considered bittersweet. I tracked the available recipe closely with an altered hop profile based on what I have available for European hops. I expect the styrian celeia will add some fruity and floral notes that diverge from the base recipe but with the hop schedule I do not expect to taste much of the hops.
Czech It Uut Tmavé Pivo (Czech Dark Lager) RecipeBatch size: 2 gallons
Est. OG: 1.057
Est. FG: 1.018
Est. ABV: 5.1%
Est. SRM: 22
Est. IBU 35
Grain Bill75.4% 3lb. 4oz. German pilsner malt (2 SRM)
11.6% 8oz. Caramunich III (56 SRM)
10% 7oz. Munich malt (9 SRM)
3% 2oz. Carafa III dehusked (525 SRM)
Mash ScheduleAdd 6.46qt water at 156F for 144F rest for 40 minutes
Decoct 1.67qt of mash and boil
Return to raise mash to 158F for 30 minutes.
Sparge with 1.15 gallons of water.
Water ProfileRO water adjusted with Bru'n Water to Pilsen profile with mash ph at 5.2.
Mash Water Additions
Epsom salt 0.1g
Lactic acid 0.4ml
Sparge Water Additions
Epsom salt 0.1g
Lactic acid 0.9ml
Boil Additions90 minute boil
0.20oz. Belma [12.10%] at 90 minutes
0.15oz. Celeia [4.5%] at 60 minutes
0.15oz. Celeia [4.5%] at 30 minutes
0.25tsp. Irish Moss at 10 minutes
Fermentation SchedulePitch slurry of WY Budvar 2000 at 50F, let rise to 52F.
Ferment at 52F until 75% expected attenuation then raise incrementally to 64F for diacetyl rest.
Bottle to 2.3vol of carbonation with 21 day conditioning.
Lager bottles for 21 days.
Brewday & Fermentation NotesBrewed 11/15/14
First runnings gravity: 1.063
Pre-boil gravity: 1.046
Pre-boil volume: 2.5g
Mash efficiency: 74%
Post-boil gravity: 1.058
Post-boil volume: 2.2g
Brewhouse efficiency: 81%
Pitched slurry from Biere de Mars Attacks! and set fermentation chamber to 52F.