Blockhead – Maibock

Last year (2016), I jammed in one last brew in December. That beer, Last Call Oatmeal Stout turned out really good, especially the 5 gallons that went into the Whiskey barrel. That Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout went on to win a gold medal in the Happy Holiday Homebrew Competition 2017 for the Wood/Smoked Beers category. My first Gold in an official competition.

This year I decided my last brew of 2017 will be something I have never brewed. With the temperatures holding cold enough for a lager, I went with a Maibock. I will lager this in the garage as long as possible and hopefully it will be a worthy Bock for a Spring celebration. The yeast from this brew will go to Tom for his Dopplebock that he is brewing at the farm on December 30. We might have to have a Maifest to serve these two beers at.

The name for this beer comes from the typo on the yeast package. The name printed on the package was Hella Block.

December 16, 2017

Maibock/Helles Bock – 12 gallon

The Maibock style of beer tends to be lighter in color than other Bock beers and often has a significant hop character with a noticeable alcohol around the same as a traditional Bock. Maibocks are customarily served in the spring and are oftentimes interrelated with spring festivals and celebrations more often in the month of May.


Brewers: Charles. Tom and Sam came by at the perfect time but had to leave. Then Duke showed up to help with transfer and yeast pitching.

Grain Bill

  • 23 lbs. Pilsner
  • 5 lbs. Munich
  • 2.5 oz. Dehusked Carafa II

Hop Bill

  • 2 oz. – Hallertau 4.5% – 60 mins
  • 2 oz. – Willamette 5.5% – 60 mins.
  • 1 oz. – Hallertau 4.5% – 30 mins.
  • NOTE: Alpha percentages are guestamates. These are hops from the ABinbev hop giveaway.


  • yeast 2487 PC (Private Collection) –  Hella Bock Lager
Direct from the Austrian Alps, this strain will produce rich, full-bodied and malty beers with a complex flavor profile and a great mouth feel. Attenuates well while still leaving plenty of malt character and body. Beers fermented with this strain will benefit from a temperature rise for a diacetyl rest at the end of primary fermentation.

Calculated Stats

  • OG – 1.070
  • FG – 1.021
  • IBU – 32
  • SRM – 8.5
  • ABV – 7%

Tun warm up – 1 gal. at 180˚ for about 5 minutes. NOTE: Next time remove the warm up water. Temp drops enough to hinder the mash in temp.

Mash in – 8.8 gal. at 170˚ – Step temp. 156˚ (actual 154˚) hold 80 mins.

Mash Out – 3.5 gal. at 204˚ – Step temp. 168˚ (actual 168˚) hold 10 mins.

Vorlauf – cleared nicely. Better than the previous beer (Dubbel).

Run Off and Sparge with 4 gallons at 170˚.

Collected 15 gallons.

Boil – Hops per Hop schedule in Hop screens.

Boil approx. 70 mins. Should have boiled longer. Gravity too low.

Irish Moss

Chiller. Pump on to sanitize pump and hoses.

Flame off

Whirlpool during chill. Got temp down to 56˚.

Remove hops and chiller. Continue whirlpool although there was not much left to collect in middle.

Transfer to fermenter set up in garage.

12 gallons in fermenter plus another half gallon from yeast starter.

OG – 1.063. Another miss on gravity. Should have boiled longer.

Sunday night – good steady bubble.

Temperature in garage held just above 50˚. Monday it did spike up to about 57˚ but settled back by Tuesday evening. Temperature range for this yeast is 48˚ to 56˚. I am very happy with the decision to ferment in garage.

December 23, 2017

Gravity = 1.024

Moved fermenter to kitchen for Diacetyl Rest.

Diacetyl Rest

Diacetyl reduction is slower at colder temperatures, so it is essential to incorporate the diacetyl rest. when making cold fermented lagers. The process is simply to raise the fermentation temperature from. lager temperatures (50-55F) to 65-68F for a two day period near the close of the fermentation.

December 27, 2017

Racked to secondary fermentation. Harvested yeast for Tom. Filled the yeast jug from the Burr Oak brewing competition.

Fermenter moved back to garage. Garage temp is holding at 40˚. No visible activity in airlock.

Gravity = 1.016

Might have to warm this up a bit to see if I can remaining yeast active for a little more time.

Sample tastes really good but there is an odd aroma. From the AB leaf hops? Yeast?

1 thought on “Blockhead – Maibock

  1. Pingback: Oktoberfest Beer List 2018 | All Grain Underground

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