From the Monteiths website:
Monteith’s Black Beer has an Original Gravity (OG) of 1051, alcohol of 5.2% and a final gravity of 1012+. This combination provides a rich smooth body that continues to develop as the beer is enjoyed.
Monteith’s Black Beer has a medium perceived bitterness of 16 from the use of a single premium hop variety. This method of hopping adds to the dry-roasted notes of darker malts and is balanced with the sweeter nutty tastes of the tawny malts.
Further info from the brewery tour:
The five malts used are: Roast Barley, Amber malt, Choc malt, Crystal malt, Pilsener malt. All imported into NZ except for the Pilsener malt which is grown on the Canterbury plains and malted in the North Island somewhere. Fermented at 14.5°C, using their own strain of (lager) yeast. The Original ale is fermented at 17°C. Open fermentation is used. Water is hard mineral water from the ground water of surrounding NZ West Coast hills. Hop schedule is unknown.
Here is a beer that fits the Scottish Export Style for lovers of darker beers. Its very drinkable, easy on the pallete, very mild in the hops and a rich maltiness from the Chocolate and Roast without being dominant. Well attenuated with low amounts of crystal malt and a balanced residual sweetness from the addition of lactose which provides a very attractive base for the dark malts. Do not be put off in any way by the lactose, it works beautifully. Its one of my best beers and I will be brewing this again shortly because its dissappearing fast.
Superb with most rich foods, especially meats and barbeque fare.
I started off attempting to clone one of our great NZ beers known as “Speights Old Dark” and came quite close, but the roast presence bought this beer even closer to “Monteiths Black” so . . . hey, I changed the name !
MONTIETHS BLACK. all grain. 26 litres Batch
Golden Promise Pale 4.0 kg
Crystal 60 L 0.085 kg
English Amber 0.200 kg
Chocolate 0.090 kg
Roast Barley 0.095 kg
lactose last 10 mins 0.500 kg
Challenger 6.5 % 22 gms 60 mins
EKG 4.8 % 15 gms 30 mins
U.S. 56 dried yeast one pakt.
Single infusion mash @ 66 degrees C for 90 mins.
OG 1.040 ( @ 26 litres before the addition of lactose)
Use 130 gms Dextrose ( corn sugar ) at bottling.
Here we are nearly 10 years later. Did you ever perfect the 5 malts dark old? I can’t find an all grain recipe for it anywhere.
Dunno about perfect, but it’s pretty damn nice! Last one I did is here: https://helms-deep.net/~rwh/blog/beer/?p=572
I’m going to try Monteith’s Black but not sure about the type or amount of hops to use so not to end up with a bitter tasting ale. I see you use Challenger 6.5 % 22 gms 60 minutes. I have read somewhere they use Galaxy and Hallertau Hops in a 15 minute boil and let cool before chilling. What’s your thoughts.
In my last attempt I used Northern Brewer. The amount of bitterness is pretty low, at 16 IBU. I’m sure that Galaxy and Hallertau would make a delicious combination (if you can find Hallertau Mittelfrüh). A 15 minute addition would give you a bit more of the spicy hop flavour rather than the more neutral bitterness from the 60 minute addition.
You could probably pick any hop variety you like, and use an IBU calculator to hit the approximate bitterness level you’re looking for. I usually use this one: