I haven’t brewed a decent Bock. I keep trying. Hopefully I’ve learned a few things since my last several attempts.
Justin will join me for brew day, and with the Stroco connection, we’ll dub it the Aviator.
Grain Bill- 54# total
- 17# Munich malt- DE
- 17# Wheat malt- DE
- 17# Vienna malt- DE
- 3# Pilsner malt- DE
The grain bill ratios are mostly dictated by what I have in stores. Munich needs to be the base of this beer. I added the wheat because it was supposedly part of the original Einbeck versions, and I’ve been wanting to do a lager with wheat. It’s nothing more than a new proportioning of my traditional German lager grain bill. Note- I didn’t measure grains and relied upon the weight I had marked in stores. I think I have more than 54 total # of grain.
Hops- 8 oz 3.8% Hallertau Mittelfrüh 60′
Water- 40g St. Louis Co tap, treated w/ phosphoric acid and Camden tablets. I want extra water. The extra grains will soak up some, and I’m wanting a long boil, which will evaporate a lot of wort.
Yeast– Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager
Mash Schedule- double decoction
- Strike 20g 138F
- Mash in w/ 17g at 122-125F for 30′ for protein rest
- Decoction 1
- Raise 6g to 158F, hold 20′
- Bring decoction to boil, boil 20′
- Keep rest mash at 122-125F, use strike liquor to bump if needed
- Recombine decoction w/ rest mash to bring temp to 145-153F, hold 30′
- Decoction 2
- Raise 4g to boil 15′
- Recombine decoction w/ rest mash to bring temp to 158-162F, hold 60′
- Mash out w/ boiling liquor
- Sparge with as much liquor as I can get to temp
- Long boil stopping at 23g
A very wet day; a little rain kept everything damp.
Recirculated the liquor in the mash tun to warm it and mash temp came in at 128F, a little hot, but workable for a protein rest. Mash Tun is full!
First decoction went well but recombine left the main mash short of temp, around 140F. Justin suggested another decoction so we did another quick decoction and bumped temp to 145F.
We continued falling short on temp and did a quadruple decoction to get the mash to 155F. Tun is full!
Boil kettle started with 24-25g. As soon as it got boiling we added hops and boiled for one hour.
Long day. Hose broke, but duct tape fixed that. Starting Gravity is 1.086 on my low reading hydrometer. There must have been extra grains in there. We are at official Doppelbock gravity.
Sample tasted perfect and we put in 21g in the fermenter. Great brew day and a big beer.
Strong bubble in air lock the next day. Temp in fermentation room currently at 61F.
December 15- Racked to secondary. Gravity = 1.052. This beer has a long way to go. The fermentation temp has been cold in the 40’s and 50’s, so perhaps I should warm it a bit. The sample was good, sweet, thick, caramel at it’s best.
January 4, 2020- Sample still checks at 1.052. Fermentation is stuck. Brew store now has a pack of the yeast I originally wanted but was out of stock, Wyeast 2487-PC Hella Bock Lager. This yeast has a massive ABV tolerance of 12%. I’ll do a starter tonight and once a kreuzen builds, I will pitch. Hopefully, I can restart fermentation with fresh yeast. My struggles with brewing a bock continue.
January 27- Gravity is 1.034, so it’s moving but not done. A small kreuzen built on top of the beer over the last few weeks, which made me hopeful. Kreuzen is still present so I’ll continue to let it work. Hopefully it’s done before we brew the Oktoberfest.
February 7- 1.032. Not a lot of perceived movement. I’ll give it another week and then put it in the keg. Gotta make room to brew the Oktoberfest.
February 14- No movement on the gravity. Still at 1.032. ABV is 7.1%. 15g went to carboys and 5 went to a keg. The sample is sweet but drinkable. I’m hoping it ages well.
April 18- Presumably, this beer continues to quietly ferment. For the last two months, as I pass by these beers, I’m constantly surprised to see a bubble break through the airlock. I hope it is drying out further and not just releasing pent up CO2.
January 2021-This beer has aged 13 months, and it’s still to sweet. Gravity is about 1.028 if I’m generous. Frustrating. I still can’t make a decent Bock, or variant thereof. However, despite the beer being too sweet, it isn’t awful to drink. I have been drinking the kegged version over the holidays. It’s sweet, rich, heavy, thick, but the flavor is right, malty and good color. I find that I just keep pouring another one. I’ll keg these up and get one to Justin if he gets his CO2 straightened out. He can help me get rid of this. I need to give up brewing bocks.
Packaging- Jan 24, 2021
I packaged three full kegs. To my surprise the sample was…less sweet, and when I checked the gravity in a new hydrometer flask, the reading was 1.020. That would make this a finished beer and an ABV of about 8.6%. I had enough to fill a full measure and am nursing a flat version this evening. It is better. I’ll likely save one for Oktoberfest if it happens this year. Justin will get one, and I’ll nurse one through Lent.