In the fine spirit of chicanery, we took our Tribute Blonde on Blonde, split it into two separate fermentors and went wild. The end result is a schwarzbier – a black lager – resplendent with delightful dark malt flavors of chocolate and mocha and the crispness of a lager. Tribute’s backbone gives an otherwise light beer some malt-characteristic heft, making the Eye of Ra a creamy, roasty, smooth schwarzbier.
18 August 2016 – We wanted to try something different with our big batch of Tribute Blonde on Blonde. Half of it went into the fermentor with its buddy, Vermont Ale Yeast from Giga Yeast, and the other half…well we took it to the side and got a little sneaky. Earlier in the week we had taken 24 pounds of black malt (10 pounds of UK black malt, 11 pounds of German roasted malt, 3 pounds UK roasted malt), milled it, absconded with George’s old homebrewing mash tun, and added the grain and 7 gallons of cold water to it, and let the grain and water sit and steep for 3 days in our cold box. The result was a oil-black, thick malt-water that tasted like coffee. (Then again, almost anything tastes like coffee at 2 in the morning). That delightful cold steeped liquor was added directly to the fermentor, turning the blonde black within moments.
This was our first ever experiment with cold-steeping dark grains to add to a beer, and honestly, we’d love to do it again. It was a killer time, and the anticipation of adding dark grain to our blonde beer was more than worth it. Besides, it looked awesome to have this deep black malt tea to play with, even if it did stain our pants. And the floor.
…And the mash tun.
For recipes, see below!!
This is essentially the Tribute Blonde on Blonde, but with cold steeped grains added on top of it! So toddle over to that link and copy down what you’ll need for grain.
The only alterations are using Saflager 34/70, and the below grains:
0.5 lb UK Black Malt
0.55 lb Carafa III
0.25 lb UK Roasted Barley
Mill the grains and put them in a muslin grain bag. Find a pot just large enough to let the grains rest in comfortably, tie the bag off and fill the pot with just enough water to cover the grains completely (about half a gallon).
Let the grain steep overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the grain bag from the water the next day, let the water drain out from the grain, and add this dark steeped grain wort to your boil in the last 15 minutes.