Monday, February 2, 2009


Brewed a Maibock Lager today with expectations of it being ready by late April or May to bring in the spring season. Maibock(Mai=May) is the palest of the Bock beer family and is historically brewed in the winter to be ready for springtime celebrations in May. This is meant to be a strong but light beer with alot of malt character. There can be some hop character in aroma and bitterness(more than in other bock styles), but it is fairly subdued. The recipe below is my own which I came up with after reading several books on the subject. It uses about 60% Pilsner malt with 20% each of Vienna malt and Munich Malt.

Here's the stats from Beer Tools Pro:

Maibock5-A Maibock/Helles Bock Author: Bob Hoenisch
Date: 2/2/2009
Size: 5.54 gal
Efficiency: 78.84%
Expected Attenuation: 75.0%
Original Gravity(Measured): 1.070 (1.064 - 1.072)
Terminal Gravity(Expected): 1.017 (1.011 - 1.018)
Color(expected): 10.62 (6.0 - 11.0)

Alcohol(expected): 6.92% (6.3% - 7.4%)
Bitterness: 33.7 (23.0 - 35.0)
8.5 lb Pilsner Malt
3.0 lb Munich 10L Malt
3 lb Vienna Malt
1 oz Mt. Hood (5.2%) - added first wort, boiled 60 min
1.0 oz Mt. Hood (5.2%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 oz Mt. Hood (5.2%) - added during boil, boiled 5.0 min
WYeast 2206 Bavarian Lager
Water: 50% Dry Wolf Spring Water/50% RO filtered soft water

Here I am milling the grain. I think the fact that I mill the grain right before I mash it has has really increased my efficiency which has caused me to make an adjustment to the amount of malt I use.

I've been reading about decoction mash techniques and decide to make small attempt to try one on this batch. The main mash was single infusion at about 150F for 90 minutes, however in order to mash out at around 170F I pulled 2.5 Gallons of the mash and boiled as a decoction to reach the mashout temp. I didn't actually reach the target temp when this was added back to the main mash, but hopefully this added some flavor to the end product. Decoction mashes are supposed to help the malty flavor in some beers. Here's a pic of the decoction.
And here's the original gravity reading before adding the yeast. Pretty close to what I was shooting for at about 1.070. Color is also on target at about 10-11 SRM, which matches surprisingly close to the sample image from beer tools pro(above)
The yeast used for this fermentation is actually the yeast cake generated by the pilsner fermentation which is the Bavarian Lager Strain from Wyeast. This is the first time I've tried re-using yeast in this way, which is exactly how most larger breweries do it, and it is necessary to use this larger amount of yeast for such a strong beer.

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