Monday, July 18, 2011

Brewing a Traditional Bock

I'm getting a late start on this months brew but the last couple of weeks have been busy and I couldn't figure out what I wanted to brew much less schedule a brew day.  I started thinking about the common commercial examples of a bock and then I realized there's not really a common commercial example.  Sure there is Shiner Bock of Texas and Michelob Amber Bock, but neither of these are true examples of a bock.  Instead they really are just american lagers with some darker malts to give them color.  There are a few different types of Bocks.  The first to be brewed was the traditional bock or "Dunkel Bock" others are sub-styles off of it.  The DoppelBock or "Double Bock" has the same flavor profile as the traditional bock, just more intense and with more alcohol.  The doppelbock was first brewed by German monks as "liquid bread" to sustain them during times of fasting, when solid food was not permitted.  The lighter bock, also know as Maibock, was traditionally drank during the summer months and is higher hopped and has a slightly different profile.  
Real commercial examples of a bock include: (Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel, Pennsylvania Brewing St. Nick Bock, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock, Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock).

Home brew: Founding Fathers Ale
And collecting the water for the brew
I didn't get a lot of picture documentation on this brew because I got such a late start on the day at around 5:00.  I needed to work quickly so that I wouldn't be in for a long night.  Since we are in the middle of summer here in Arkansas, I decided that I would add an additional piece of equipment to my chilling routine to help get the wort down to pitching temps.  While preheating the mash-tun I added some star-san solution to sanitize my march pump and copper coil that I will be pumping the boiling wort through.  
Sanitizing my chilling coil and pump
I hit my target temp of 154*F with a strike temp of 167*F.  I used a thick mash (1.15 qt/lb) and a single 6 gal (2 qt/lb) sparge at 170*F.  
30 mins into the mash at 154*F 
I collected about 8.25 gals of wort for the boil with a Specific Gravity of 1.050.  Ended up getting 75% eff. out of this one.  The low eff may be due to the single step sparge.  I recirclulated the mash and sparge water, then transferred to the kettle to start the boil.
This part always reminds me of espresso
The kettle was pretty full so I had a few small boil-overs on this batch.  Due to the poor eff. on this batch, I had to boil for half an hour longer to hit my target O.G. of 1.065.  This ended up working out because I still had a full 5.25 gals left in the kettle.  I just wasn't able to leave as much of the cold break behind as I would have liked.

With the nigh-fall temp still in the upper 90's, even with the additional cooling, it took a good hour to get from boiling to 70*F.  I used 2 packages of Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast.  The pitching calculator on said to use approx. 2.3 pkgs of dry yeast on this one.  I rounded down to 2.  

Fermentation in less than 12 hours later