The first in my new line of posts about the ingredients that go into beer is this post about Dark Munich Malt. Â I’ve got 1 pound of dark munich for a dark lager I’m going to be making pretty soon here. Â Obviously at 1lb it’s a specialty grain for my recipe but from what I’ve read most people claim you can use 70% and some even claim you can use 100% in your grain bill. Â Dark Munich is most often used in Dark Lagers, Oktoberfests, Stouts, Schwarzbiers, Brown Ales and Amber Ales. I also did some reading on people using them in APA’s as well.
So getting into the grain, when I laid it out on a piece of paper the grain is a light color that looks only lightly kilned. From my reading Dark Munich can have anywhere between about an 8 to 20 Lovibond. Â A quick explanation of Lovibond. Â It’s a scale for measuring that estimates what color the grain is going to give to the final beer, which we measure in Standard Reference Method (SRM). A very light straw pale color would land around 1-2 Lovibond while a dark roasted malt might fall in the 300 – 400 L range. To the taste the Dark Munich has a great malty flavor that instantly makes me think about chocolate covered malt balls. After I got over that taste I can also pick up a touch of biscuit, a nice hint of honey and a faint bit of carmel.
So the next step in my tasting experiments was to steep my grain tea. I was able to steep it at 140Â° for about 15 minutes. Â The temp dropped through that steeping but I think it still released some of the flavor and the color. Â As a note my amazing wife noted later on that evening that I should do this step in a insulated mug, I went duh. Â Once the tea cooled down I tried it. Â On the nose it smelled strongly of honey to me and not a honeysuckle wine kind of honey, straight up honey. I really wasn’t able to distinguish any other aroma from it. Â When I tasted it it had a nice honey like flavor. Â As I sipped through my tea I searched out for other flavors but found few. There wasn’t much of a carmel flavor and even that big malt ball flavor I tasted dry was not as distinguishable in the tea. Â The one thing I did note was how well the flavor hung on. Â It coated the mouth really well and just hung for minutes after the last little sip.
Overall I’m really excited to try this with many more malts and additions. Â Hopefully it will help me to further define my palette and also give me a new set of tools for recipe creation. Â I’m looking forward to trying to distinguish the flavors of the Dark Munich Malt in my Dark Lager once it’s finished. Â Have you used Dark Munich in the past? What are you’re thoughts about it?