Style Details

Munich Dun­kel
Dark Euro­pean Lager
BJCP Style Code
8 A
Deep cop­per to dark brown, often with a red or gar­net tint. Cre­a­my, light to medi­um tan head. Usual­ly clear, alt­hough mur­ky unfil­te­red ver­si­ons exist.
Rich, ele­gant, deep malt sweet­ness, typi­cal­ly like bread crusts (often toas­ted bread crusts). Hints of cho­co­la­te, nuts, cara­mel, and/or tof­fee are also accep­ta­ble, with fresh tra­di­tio­nal ver­si­ons often show­ing hig­her levels of cho­co­la­te. Clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le. A slight spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hop aro­ma is acceptable.
Domi­na­ted by the soft, rich, and com­plex fla­vor of dar­ker Munich malts, usual­ly with over­to­nes remi­nis­cent of toas­ted bread crusts, but wit­hout a burnt-harsh-grai­ny toas­ti­ness. The pala­te can be modera­te­ly mal­ty, alt­hough it should not be over­whel­ming or cloy­in­gly sweet. Mild cara­mel, toast or nut­ti­ness may be pre­sent. Very fresh examp­les often have a plea­sant mal­ty-cho­co­la­te cha­rac­ter that isn’t roasty or sweet. Burnt or bit­ter fla­vors from roas­ted malts are inap­pro­pria­te, as are pro­no­un­ced cara­mel fla­vors from crys­tal malt. Hop bit­ter­ness is modera­te­ly low but per­cep­ti­ble, with the balan­ce tip­ped firm­ly towards mal­ti­ness. Hop fla­vor is low to none; if noted, should reflect flo­ral, spi­cy, or her­bal Ger­man-type varie­ties. After­tas­te remains mal­ty, alt­hough the hop bit­ter­ness may beco­me more appa­rent in the medi­um-dry finish. Clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le and lager character.
Medi­um to medi­um-full body, pro­vi­ding a soft and dex­tri­no­us mouth­feel wit­hout being hea­vy or cloy­ing. Mode­ra­te car­bo­na­ti­on. The use of con­ti­nen­tal Munich-type malts should pro­vi­de a rich­ness, not a harsh or biting astringency.
Over­all Impression
Cha­rac­te­ri­zed by depth, rich­ness and com­ple­xi­ty typi­cal of dar­ker Munich malts with the accom­pany­ing Mail­lard pro­ducts. Deep­ly brea­dy-toasty, often with cho­co­la­te-like fla­vors in the fres­hest examp­les, but never harsh, roasty, or astrin­gent; a deci­dedly malt-balan­ced beer, yet still easi­ly drinkable.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Grist is tra­di­tio­nal­ly made up of Ger­man Munich malt (up to 100% in some cases) with the rema­in­der Ger­man Pils­ner malt. Small amounts of crys­tal malt can add dex­trins and color but should not intro­du­ce exces­si­ve resi­du­al sweet­ness. Slight addi­ti­ons of roas­ted malts (such as Cara­fa or cho­co­la­te) may be used to impro­ve color but should not add strong fla­vors. Tra­di­tio­nal Ger­man hop varie­ties and Ger­man lager yeast strains should be used. Often decoc­tion mas­hed (up to a tri­ple decoc­tion) to enhan­ce the malt fla­vors and crea­te the depth of color.
The clas­sic brown lager style of Munich which deve­lo­ped as a dar­ker, more malt-accen­ted beer than other regio­nal lagers. While ori­gi­na­ting in Munich, the style beca­me popu­lar throug­hout Bava­ria (espe­ci­al­ly Fran­co­nia). Fran­co­ni­an ver­si­ons are often dar­ker and more bitter.
Unfil­te­red ver­si­ons from Ger­ma­ny can tas­te like liquid bread, with a yeasty, ear­thy rich­ness not found in expor­ted fil­te­red examples.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Ayin­ger Alt­bai­risch Dun­kel, Chuck­anut Dun­kel Lager, Etta­ler Klos­ter Dun­kel, Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark, Wel­ten­bur­ger Klos­ter Barock-Dunkel
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.048 - 1.056 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.016 SG
14 - 28 SRM
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
18 - 28 IBU