After a long lagering period, the bottling must be done. Someday I will keg, but until then I will bottle.
Usually I store the beer in the fridge for six weeks before I move it to its final storage phase, but this one only went five. Is one week a big difference for this kind of beer? To be honest, I am not sure but didn’t feel like waiting*. The black lager was more of an experimental brew and not one I was trying to win major style points. This is my Yule Lager, don’t you know?
I brewed this beer in late November as a more roasty schwarzbier. The addition of roasted barley was the key difference between what I would consider brewing to style would be. The typical schwarzbier should taste like a pilsner but look like a stout.
At bottling, I sampled the beer as it was being racked from the carboy. My comment to Mike about the taste was that it was the “my cleanest stout”. He chuckled and opined about the nature of the style. It didn’t seem to make sense to him that a beer should look a certain way without the characteristics of the grains that would normally provide its appearance.
I know this question is like giving a thumb to the nose to the history, but shouldn’t this style showcase some roastiness? If the Schwarzbier style can’t be expanded, could there be an American black lager subcategory?
Meh, I am trying to justify my Yule lager to do well in a competition. I will be entering it but I won’t be getting any awards for the Yule lager.
*One thing about bottling lager is that the mellowing and conditioning continues in the bottle. In my experience, even if you bulk condition for only say four weeks, there will be further conditioning in the bottle that will improve the look and taste of the beer.