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Reviewing a Homebrewed Munich Dunkel Lager

Posted by homebrewdad on 4/21/2012 at 11:11:56 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a user on homebrewtalk (Stonehands, or just Rob, as the rest of the world knows him) who had seen my posts there, which then led him to this blog. He let me know that he had enjoyed reading along, that he was local to me, and that he wondered if I'd be interested in doing a bottle swap... he had three or four beers he could trade.

Do boilovers happen at inopportune moments? Of course I'd be happy to do a bottle swap!

I warned him that I only had one beer ready for trade, but he was unconcerned. Rob let me know that honest feedback was more of what he wanted; his friends seldom say anything but that the beer is good (apparently out of fear that they will lose their source of free beer if they hurt his feelings). He let me know that he had to bottle some from where it was kegged, and we agreed to meet.

I was pretty excited at the prospect; I knew that at least two of Rob's beers were styles I have never tried before. I was also a little worried, since the bottle I would be swapping was my very first beer, but he had let me know that he'd made good beers and bad beers - including some, in his words, that he felt sorry for the drains he'd poured them down. After one final assurane that he wasn't worried about an even trade, we set an exact time.

I showed up with my lone bottle, and Rob came with an entire six pack, with zero duplicates. Once more, I felt a bit like a mooch, but he waved that off. The six were his dunkel, an altbier, a Dead Guy clone, a stout, an Oktoberfest, and a Chimay Grande Reserve clone. The dunkel had been entered in the national homebrew competition, but had come from a keg (as had the Dead Guy), so he wanted me to try it early in case carbonation suffered. I agreed, and happily brought my beer home.

As I stared at the bounty in my fridge, I got the idea of turning my reviews into blog entries, and Rob was very graciously on board with that. I warned him that I am certainly no beer judge, though I had made it a point to read the BJCP guidelines, as well as the style descriptons given at Really, though, he'd be getting my honest feedback conaining what I personally perceived.

With no further adieu, here are my impressions of Rob's Munich Dunkel Lager (Category 4B):

Appearance - pours an extremely clear amber body with some definite reddish hues. has about a finger's worth of off white foam consisting of very tiny bubbles. The head falls pretty quickly, but a small cap remains throughout the glass; a few clumps of lacing are left behind.

Smell - light grassy hop scents, some bready notes. I pick up a bit of a yeasty scent, as well.

Taste - nice malt presence up front. Hops are barely detectable. Flavor is very balanced, with almost no bitterness whatsoever. I get a hint of toasty bread, along with a real malty richness I can't quite put my finger on. This is a very clean, satisfying flavor... there enough going on to be interesting, but without any single overbearing trait.

Mouthfeel - carbonation is moderate. Body is somewhat thin, with a bit of a slick feel to it. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, this beer makes you want to take the next sip.

Overall - this was my very first dunkel, and I honestly wasn't sure of what to expect. From what I can tell, it's an excellent representation of the style, but more to the point... this is an outstanding beer! I am honestly jealous of the brewer's skill; I would be extremely proud to put my name to a beer of this quality. This is perhaps the easiest drinking beer that I have ever sampled; I can't get over how clean and well balanced it truly is.

I'm the kind of guy who seldom drinks more than a single beer at a time, but this beer made me seriously wish for more at the same sitting. I would love to have this experience again.

I don't really have the capability to lager yet, but Rob was kind enough to provide me with his recipe. This one is defintiely going on my "to brew" list.

Tags for this post: beer, review, munich, dunkel, lager

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Thanks for the review! It's a great beer, hope I can repeat it.

posted by Rob on 4/24/2012 at 06:55:55 PM

looks and sounds awesome. any chance you would post the recipe?

posted by Phil on 9/01/2012 at 12:06:35 AM

I think that Rob is okay with me posting the recipe, but I want to verify that. I plan to get the beer recipe area of the site up and running shortly, and I'd like to feature this gem there.

posted by homebrewadad on 1/10/2015 at 10:11:18 PM