This is a brew modeled after New Belgium’s 1554, my all time favorite beer. According to the New Belgium website, 1554 is actually a Zwartbier, a style of beer that was brewed and sold in 16th century Belgium. While 1554 is actually an ale and not a lager like a true schwarzbier, my version will lean more on the schwarzbier side - mainly so I can have the geeky name.
"Other than being dark in color, 1554 has little in common with Porters or Stouts. The beer is fermented at relatively high temperatures using a European lager yeast that imparts a refreshing, zesty acidity. Chocolate and coffee tones in the nose give way to a surprisingly clean finish," quotes New Belgium.
This is my attempt to brew a similar beer. I have to admit, I’m wondering if I should throw in some black patent malt to get the deep color. Hmmmm...we’ll see how it turns out without it first.
This was a small batch, just about 3 gallons total. I wanted to see if I could get things right before brewing up a full 5.5 gallon batch. Crystal Hops were not available, so I substitued Halletaur instead.
The wort was very dark, nearly as dark as a porter. The aroma was very sweet and mellow, especially near the end of the boil.
I used the "swirl" method of cooling the wort. I filled up the sink with cold water and immersed the brewpot in the water for 1/2 hour, swirling the wort around every five minutes or so. Then, as the temperature came down, I added ice to the water in the sink to speed up the process. The wort was cool enough to pitch yeast in under an hour.
Transferred to secondary after 1 week in primary (February 13, 2006). More mellow with a subtle, sublime hop aroma.
Began lager process after 8 days in secondary (February 22, 2006). Now sitting in my garage refrigerator...I hope that the arctic cold out there did not affect things much. When did I move to Minnesota?
Force carbonated after 14 days of lagering (March 8, 2006). After tasting, I couldn’t get enough. Very dark, as expected, clean, and very smooth. Hops are there, but subdued and complementary. Color was not quite as black as I wanted, so next time I’ll add a bit of black patent and some Irish moss.
After 21 days of aging, the beer was at the peak of drinkability (March 17, 2006). Tedd, my good buddy, remarked more than once that the beer was "excellent." My dad loved it and kept going back to the tap for "just a tiny bit more." Testify, brothers.
|Amount||Extract||% of Grist|
|3.00 pounds||Light Liquid||66.7%|
|3.00 pounds||Total Extract Weight||66.7% of grist|
|0.50 pounds||American Crystal Malt 40L||11.1%|
|0.50 pounds||British Chocolate Malt||11.1%|
|0.25 pounds||British Crystal Malt||5.6%|
|0.25 pounds||Gambrinus Honey Malt||5.6%|
|1.50 pounds||Total Grain Weight||33.3%|
|0.50 ounces||Mount Hood||60 min||3.2%|
|0.50 ounces||Mount Hood||30 min||3.2%|
|0.25 ounces||Hallertauer Mittlefruh||15 min||4.2%|
|1.25 ounces||Total Hop Weight|
|Pilsner Lager||White Labs||Liquid||17.5 ml|