Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Bottling beer at half six in the morning is a challenge, especially when you have to get out to your penultimate day of your current job by quarter to eight. Thankfully though, I now have 19 bottles of 5.6% abv Černý Lev (that's "Black Lion" for the non-Czech speakers among you) happily conditioning. My normal batch yields a case of 24 bottles, but I only had 19 caps (note to self: check these things first) so I used a mixture of 22oz bottles and the 12oz ones to make sure I only lost about half a bottle's worth of beer.

A quick reminder, Černý Lev is a 14º Czech style dark lager, or tmavé. I based the recipe on the one I designed for the Morana Dark Lager brewed at Devils Backbone last year, which was itself the product of months of research in Czech, Slovak and German, talking to various brewers and using the malts at hand in the US to create something which I thought was very close to my ideal tmavé, the 14º Tmavé Speciální from Kout na Šumavě.

Having brewed the beer back in January, it spent 35 days in my somewhat less than technically magnificent lagering tank, basically a two and half gallon water bottle, sanitised and slotted into the back of the fridge to sit at near freezing point. Now it will sit at room temperature for at least a week to carbonate before being put in the cellar for at least another 5 weeks - I really don't want to rush this one, even though when I tasted the sample I liked what was there...


  1. I would like to point out that noticing you only have 19 caps can be seen as a good thing. It means you have been using them up.

  2. I have another case of beer to bottle this weekend, and my Dortmunder lager to put into the lager tank. Brewing like crazy this year so far.


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