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Style of the Week: Bock!

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January 2, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Here is a typical Dopplebock served in a traditional fluted glass.

Here is a typical Dopplebock served in a traditional fluted glass.

For the past ten years that I’ve been working at F. H. Steinbart Co., I’ve tried to get people to think about brewing beer for the next season. Why you ask? Well, among a litany of things, the best reason is to let these beers reach their best peak flavor and aroma character for future consumption, and enjoyment. This week, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite beer styles to brew, and drink: Bocks. While their are several subtypes of Bock beer, like the pale Helles Bock, the slightly darker, and richer Maibock, along with the classic dark Bock, and then the Dopple and Eis or Ice Bock, this week we’re going to talk about my favorite Bock: Dopplebock! This style came out of the Monasteries brewing beer for the Lenten season, and naming them with the suffix -ator, as in Salvator, Celebrator, Optimator, and so on and so forth. Below is my recipe for a Dopplebock I call Decimator, in honor of the ancient Roman practice of Decimation, or removal of ten percent of something. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination:

Extract version:

OG: 1.090 FG: 1.015

7 lbs. Munich LME

5 lbs. Pilsen Light DME

2 lbs. Belgian Cara-Munich Malt

2 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 90 minutes

1 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 20 minutes

½ Tbsp. Irish Moss or Whirlfloc Tablet @ 15 minutes

1 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 7 minutes

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 2124, WLP830, or Fermentis Saf-Lager 34/70 Dry Ale Yeast (make a BIG starter, or use 4 packages liquid yeast, or 2 packages dry yeast)

Procedure:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains, and rinse with 165°F water
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 7 minutes remaining, add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout (0 minutes), turn off the heat, cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 50°F to 55°F for 7 to 14 days.
  • Allow to age an additional three to four weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain version:

OG: 1.090 FG: 1.015

5 lbs. Pilsner Malt

10 lbs. Light Munich Malt

2 lbs. Belgian Cara-Munich Malt

2 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 90 minutes

1 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 20 minutes

½ Tbsp. Irish Moss or Whirlfloc Tablet @ 15 minutes

1 oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 7 minutes

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 2124, WLP830, or Fermentis Saf-Lager 34/70 Dry Ale Yeast (make a BIG starter, or use 4 packages liquid yeast, or 2 packages dry yeast)

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in both mash and boil

Procedure:

  • Infusion mash at 149°F for 90 min with the Calcium Chloride Salts.
  • Sparge until 6~6½ gal wort has been obtained.
  • Add the rest of the salts after the boil commences.
  • Boil for 1 to 1½ hours total time.
  • Add the bittering hops after 15 minutes boiling and continue to boil for 60 more minutes.
  • Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 15 minutes.
  • Add the aroma hops at 7 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 18 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50~55°F in a Fluted glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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