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It is no secret that Schwarzbier is a bit of a white whale for me (irony duly noted). Dark and smooth with a crisp toasty breadiness, Schwarzbier straddles the line between malty and hoppy while remaining balanced and crushable. Why am I so obsessed? Besides being a noted lagerhead, Schwarzbier satisfies my innate desire as a homebrewer to brew beers that I otherwise would never be able to find “in the wild.” But who am I kidding, really? I love brewing Schwarzbier because it gives me statistically one of the highest chances of advancing to the final round of the National Homebrew Competition 👌. Previous attempts of mine either turned out too roasty, like a porter, or too dry and austere, not even worth a full writeup. But as they say: practice makes perfect and I feel like I am getting really close.
Having been interested in performing my own split batch experiments for a while, my wife graciously gifted me a set of three gallon Better Bottles as well as a set of 2.5 gallon ball lock kegs so I could split my typical 5.5 gallon batches. I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? This Schwarzbier is the first of what I hope will be a great many split batch experiments of varying levels of scientific significance.