German Badonka-Dunkel 5 Gallon Recipe

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This is a big ol' German Dunkel, or as we like to call it a badonka-dunkel. Dunkels are dark beers that drink like a light beer. They are easy to drink, go down smooth, and are perfect for any time of the year. Just don't drink too many at once your you might start shaking your bodaonka-dunkel. 

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German Badonka-Dunkel 5 Gallon Recipe
German Badonka-Dunkel 5 Gallon Recipe

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    What You Get

    1 Can of Coopers European Lager (HME)

    1 Can of Coopers Amber Malt (UME)

    2 Packets of Chocolate Malt

    2 Packets of Munich Malt

    1 Packet of Hallertau Hops

    3 Muslin Hop Sacks

    1 Packet of S-04 Yeast

    2 Packets of No-Rinse Cleanser

    For Fans Of

    German Dunkels

    Brew Specs

    Flavor: Balanced

    Original Gravity: 1.051

    Final Gravity: 1.013

    ABV: 5%

    SRM: (Color): 11

    IBU: (Bitterness): 27

    STEP 1: Sanitizing

    Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:

    1. Fill clean fermenter with 8 liters (2 Gallons) of warm water, then add 1 pack of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved.

    2. Use your measuring cup to scoop the liquid up and run it down the side of the Coopers Fermenter. Do this around the entire fermenter a few times. Then add your krousen kollar and repeat. Then take some of the solution and pour it into the lid and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. (If you have a different fermenter sanitizing may be different.) 

    3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds, and then close.

    4. Pour some of the solution from the fermenter into a large bowl. You need enough to fully cover your brewing utensils. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener, and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in the cleaning solution prior to use. Any remaining solution in your fermenter can be discarded.

    5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the fermenter, proceed immediately to brewing.


    Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.

    1. Add all the packets of grains into 2 of the muslin sacks and tie them closed so that the grain can flow freely within the sacks and set aside. (We recommend adding 2 packets of grain to each of the two sacks so that the grains do not become over-crowded)

    2. Add 8 cups of water to a 1 gallon or larger boil pot. Begin heating the water to a range of 155-165 degrees F and hold, at this range. Next, add the grain sacks into the water, and maintain the 155-165 temp for 30 minutes.

    3. After the 30-minute steep has completed, turn off the heat and remove the grain sacks from the pot and place them into a colander to drain, allowing the runoff to flow back into the pot, and rinse the grain with one cup of hot water (around 160 degrees), letting the excess runoff flow back into your pot. DO NOT squeeze the grain sacks. Once drained, discard the grain sacks.

    4. Next, add the can of Cooper’s Amber UME to the grain water and stir to combine. Heat this mixture to a low, rolling boil, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.

    5. Once boiling, Add the packet of Hallertau hop pellets to the 3rd hopsack and tie it closed so that the hops have room to flow freely within the sack, and add this to the boiling solution.

    6. Allow the hops to boil in this mixture for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.

    7. After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and add in the can of Cooper’s European lager. Stir with a sanitized spoon to combine. This unfermented mixture of beer is called wort.

    8. Fill your fermenter with 1 gallon of cold water. (If using a Cooper’s BrewMax fermenter, fill with enough cold water to cover the spigot hole)

    9. Pour the wort including the hop sack, into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to 5 gallons total, by adding more cold water.

    10. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.

    11. Sprinkle the S-04 ale yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.

    Place your fermenter in an area out of direct sunlight to ferment for 14 days at a temperature between 68-72 degrees F.

    STEP 3: Bottling & Carbonating

    After 14 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (17 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.

    1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill 3 1-gallon containers with warm water, then split the remaining pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser between them and mix until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.

    2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be used for bottling. Do not rinse.

    3. Add 2 Carbonation Drops to each 740-mL bottle. For 1-liter bottles, add 2 ½ drops; for ½-liter bottles add 1 drop. Alternatively, you can add table sugar using this table as a guide

    4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.

    5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.

    6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation. 

    Tip from our Brewmasters

    After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it. 

    This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer.

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