3D - Czech Dark Lager

Big Foamy Pour

BJCP Style: 3D - Czech Dark Lager

This is a re-do since the first time through I combined styles with the Schwarzbier and this TmavĂ© deserves its own recipe, and brew session. 

My inspiration to brew this came from a recent article about the style; having a fresh version at Cohesion (mentioned in the article) helped me get a better idea of what it should taste like. Having a local fresh version helped differentiate between this and dark German lagers such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier. 

2022-10-11 (+50); Final Thoughts: Now that this has had time to lager in the keezer a while I feel like it has settled into its Final Form. Roast is minimal which is a good thing, but so is everything else it seems, and that is disappointing. When compared with a local example from Cohesion I found this one to be lacking in rich malt character such as bread crust and molasses which was prominent in the commercial version. I've already brewed version 2.0 which has much more Munich malt in the base and a dark crystal addition. 

The full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR - NOTE: I used American/English specialty malts but the German/Weyermann equivalents are in (parens).

  • 2022-8-23 brewday
  • Malts: Pilsner, Munich, crystal 60 (CaraMunich 3), Chocolate (Carafa I)
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Saaz)
  • Yeast: Weihenstephaner (34/70)
  • OG: 13.2; FG: 3.5; ABV: 5.2%
  • 2022-8-30 (+7): keg secondary
  • 2022-9-27 (+35): tapped
Malts weighed out and ready to mill 


Mashed a bit high - shooting for a higher FG

Mash finished

Magnum added at FWH for bittering and Saaz for the late addition


Floor Manager Steve and Brewing Assistant Leeloo

Brew session beer. It's that time of year!

ready to chill

ready for the fermenter (ground water not too cold so this will get chilled some more)

wort sample

OG at 13.2°P

Not traditional fermentation temp for this beer but much better than before I got the A/C unit which cools the whole room. Previous temps were getting about 24°C. I don't think fermentation temp matters as much as some think it does, but there's a point where I'm just not comfortable with it anymore. Getting back down to <18°C is the sweet spot for my system and works well for both lagers and ales. 

With the immersion chiller I was only able to get the wort down to about 25°C and I didn't want to leave it for another hour to maybe get another couple of degrees cooler so fermenter went in the fridge for a while till it got down around 15°C or so. 

Fresh Yeast ready to go 

2022-8-30 (+7): Transferred to keg secondary where it will hang out until there's room in the keezer. 

2022-10-5 (+43): Tapped right after Oktoberfest (9/27) and has been on for a week at this point. Carbonation is getting there but not quite to the level of foam I want. Taste is more sweet malt than roast which is a good thing but I think it still needs to condition more. 

2022-10-9 (+47): Playing around with foam... Turns out if you put a stout tip on the faucet you can get some nice creamy foam like in the taproom. Final thoughts on taste: good but not great. It's a pretty nice drinker but I want a stronger malt presence. Needs more rich bread crust and molasses. Roast level is low which is a good thing. Already brewing up version 2 so hopefully that will fix some of the shortcomings of this one. 

2022-11-9 (Batch 2): This one is certainly an improvement but still not bread crusty enough for me. Much better water balance, none of the 'dark tart' effect (added some calcium carbonate to the keg). Body and malt character tasting better as well: I used mostly Munich for the base and added some dark crystal malt.