Beryllium 10 concentrations (Be-10(con)) were measured at annual resolution from varved sediment cores of Lakes Tiefer See (TSK) and Czechowskie (JC) for the period 1983-2009 (similar to solar cycles 22 and 23). Calibrating the Be-10(con) time-series against complementing proxy records from the same archive as well as local precipitation and neutron monitor data, reflecting solar forced changes in atmospheric radionuclide production, allowed (i) identifying the main depositional processes and (ii) evaluating the potential for solar activity reconstruction. Be-10(con) in TSK and JC sediments are significantly correlated to varying neutron monitor counts (TSK: r = 0.5, p = 0.05, n = 16; JC: r = 0.46, p = 0.03, n = 22). However, the further correlations with changes in organic carbon contents in TSK as well as varying organic carbon and detrital matter contents in JC point to catchment specific biases in the 10Be(con) time-series. In an attempt to correct for these biases multiple regression analysis was applied to extract an atmospheric Be-10 production signal (Be-10(atmosphere)). To increase the signal to noise ratio a Be-10 composite record (Be-10(composite)) was calculated from the TSK time-series. Be-10(composite) and JC Be-10(atmosphere) is significantly correlated to variations in the neutron monitor record (r = 0.49, p = 0.01, n = 25) and matches the expected amplitude changes in 10Be production between solar cycle minima and maxima. This calibration study on 10Be from two sites indicates the large potential but also, partly site-specific, limitations of Be-10 in varved lake sediments for solar activity reconstruction. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.