So I’ve only tired one Maibock (aka Hells Bock) before this brew and that was Sierra Nevada’s Glissade Golden Bock. Although I can’t say I absolutely loved it, I did think it was good enough to try to brew the style. I thought this would be a good beer to approach those BMC lovers with as an attempt to move them closer to the “Dark Side”.
|Left is my brew kettle with the first runnings and|
to the right is my mashtun with the final sparge
In between collecting the runnings from the first sparge and heating the water for the second, I can't forget the old tradition of enjoying a nice homebrew while brewing. Since I am brewing a bock, I chose to enjoy my "Drunk Monk Dopplebock" that I brewed back in November.
Next, it is time to recirculate or "vorlauf".
This means recirculating the mash to set the grain bed and be sure that small amounts of grain doesn't get added to the brew kettle along with the collected wort. Wort is the term used to describe "raw" beer, which is beer that has not yet had yeast added to it. Wort (pronounced 'wert') is essentially just sugar (from malted grains) and water. The next step is to finish collecting the wort from the second sparge into the brew kettle and get a initial gravity reading. So, from my sight-glass on my brew kettle you can see I collected close to 8.5 gals of wort.
At the same time, I cooled off a hydrometer sample and got a initial specific gravity reading of 1.052. That gravity is with a total volume of around 8.5 gals, though. So, the more volume I boil off the more concentrated the sugars will become and consequently the gravity reading will go up.
Next, I measured out the bittering hops and added that to the boil. I boiled the wort in total for about 90 mins. A 60 min boil is required to ensure complete utilization of bittering alpha acids in the hops. It also helps further break down proteins in the beer and helps with a cleaner tasting brew.
At the time of the boil, my first beer is nearing empty if not completely empty... so time for another. This one is my Strong Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy. After 30 mins or so, it's time to add the flavoring hop addition. Normally at this stage I start the clean up process and sanitizing the wort chiller.
|Left to right: 30 and 5 min hops, Yeast fuel and Whirlfloc tablets, sanitizing the wort chiller|
|Flame-out hops and|
The rapid cool down
|Close-up of the wort chiller in the kettle.|
Off to the ferment refrigerator at 55F for 2 weeks and Lager at 32F for 6 weeks. After pitching the yeast (Saflager W-34/70) and 4 days later, the temperature has spiked. I have a temp well and probe in the fermenter to measure fermentation temperatures. So I know we are at high kraeusen (peak fermentation). Kraeusen is the term used to describe the foam that forms on top of the fermenting beer.
Around two weeks later I checked F.G. (Final Gravity) 1.016 consistent on two consecutive days. So time to transfer to an empty keg and place in my kegrator for the deep sleep at 32F. I purged the head space of the keg with CO2 to reduce the risk of oxidation from the transfer. It will probably lager for 4-6 weeks while I put it on 12 psi of CO2.Here's the finished product. The taste reminds me of a light oktoberfest/bock. So I have to say I'm pleased with the results. So far it has been a big hit with friends.