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Style of the Week: Bock!

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January 16, 2015 by fhsteinbart


No, it isn’t what a Chicken says, and it’s not pulled from the bottom of the barrels in the Spring. It’s probably the most ubiquitous styles known to exist. First brewed by Monks as a Lenten beer to be consumed by the Maßkrug, this ephemeral style started out as a celebration of the Lord’s day, hence the name Salvator. Ever since that time, all Dopplebocks have the -ator suffix attached to denote the extra strength, body, and flavor that these beers possess. By law, a Bock must have a minimum OG of 1.064 to be called a Bock beer, and 1.074 to be called a Dopplebock. Well, at least in Germany.

Here's the proper pour into a proper glass, the famous German Maßkrug.

Here’s the proper pour into a proper glass, the famous German Maßkrug.

Some of the best Dopplebocks are usually and customarily around those stated numbers, yet they all taste completely different. What makes them all unique is the malt character derived from the brewing process. Below is a recipe of mine that makes a fine Bock beer, and with a little more base malt, a Dopplebock. I just brewed this beer the other day, and got 18° Plato (1.076 OG), although I was actually going for 17° Plato (1.070 OG). So it became a Dopplebock instead of a Bock. You won’t see me crying in my beer for that little missive! So here’s a recipe that will be sure to please anyone’s palate who appreciates this style of beer.

Extract:

3 lbs. Extra Light DME

7 lbs. Munich LME

4 oz. CaraMunich Malt

4 oz. Special B Malt

2 oz. British Extra-Dark Crystal Malt

2 oz. Melanoidin Malt

2 oz. Hallertau, Liberty, Crystal, or Mt. Hood Hops (Bittering)

Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss

Wyeast 2487 Hella Bock, WLP885, or 34/70 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 15 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • 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 64°F to 65°F for 7 to 14 days.
  • Allow to age an additional three to four weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain version:

4 lbs. Pilsner Malt

8 lbs. Munich Malt

4 oz. CaraMunich Malt

4 oz. Special B Malt

2 oz. British Extra-Dark Crystal Malt

2 oz. Melanoidin Malt

2 oz. Hallertau, Liberty, Crystal, or Mt. Hood Hops (Bittering)

Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss

Wyeast 2487 Hella Bock, WLP885, or 34/70 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 148°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 Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 15 minutes.
  • 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 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 45~50°F in a Maßkrug, 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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