Maibock: Brew Yourself a big german lager!
Maibock: Can be thought of as either a pale version of a traditional bock, or a Munich helles brewed to bock strength. While quite malty, this beer typically has less dark and rich malt flavors than a traditional bock. May also be drier, hoppier, and more bitter than a traditional bock. The hops compensate for the lower level of melanoidins. There is some dispute whether Helles (“pale”) Bock and Mai (“May”) Bock are synonymous. Most agree that they are identical (as is the consensus for Märzen and Oktoberfest), but some believe that Maibock is a “fest” type beer hitting the upper limits of hopping and color for the range. Any fruitiness is due to Munich and other specialty malts, not yeast-derived esters developed during fermentation.
Here's looking forward to Spring, when it'll be time to drink Maibock! Watching a lager ferment can definitely make the winter go by quicker. Not sure if you can brew a lager? The easiest and most accurate way to do this is with the use of a Digital Thermostat Control and an extra refrigerator. You need a fermentation environment of between 55 and 58 degrees F. In these winter months, you may be able to achieve these temps in your basement. Just take a pint glass full of water and put a Dial Thermometer in it. Leave it for 24 hours. If your thermometer reads between 55 and 58, you can lager in your basement. Keep in mind, though, that you'll need to maintain that temp for a 4-6 month period, until the lager is done.
For all the details on making a lager, check out this FAQ.
Our Wurtzberger Maibock recipe kit is a full flavored, but pale, Bock beer, typical of the style.
We've also formulated this extract recipe for you to try:
Lenny's Maibock is Yourbock (for sharing)
- 9.3 lb. Briess Pilsen Unhopped Liquid Malt Extract
- 1 lb. Briess Golden Light DME
- 1 lb. Weyermann Vienna Malt
- 8 oz. Weyermann Light Munich
- 8 oz. Weyermann Caramunich I
- 1 oz. Hallertau Pellet Hops@60 minutes
- 1 oz. Hallertau Pellet Hops@30 minutes
- 1 oz. Hallertau Pellet Hops@20 minutes
- 1 oz. Czech Saaz Pellet Hops@ 1 minute
- 1 tsp. Irish Moss@15 minutes
- Wyeast Munich Lager (ACT2308) or White Labs German Bock Lager (WL833) or Saflager W-34/70 Dry Yeast
Preparing a Yeast Starter is highly recommended. For best results, prepare the yeast starter 2 days in advance and bring it to 50ºF by brew day.
- 1. Steep grains in 1/2 gallon of water at 155ºF for at least 30 minutes. If you steep for 60 minutes and rinse (sparge) your grain bag with 1/2 gallon of water that is at 170ºF, you'll get a little more complexity and fermentable sugar from the Vienna malt. Either way, top off with as much water as you need to get to your boiling volume.
- 2. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. At this point, you may add your malt extract, or you can use the Late Malt Extract Addition method. At the first sign of a boil, set your timer to 60 minutes and add 1 oz. Hallertau hops.
- 3. When there are 30 minutes left in the boil, add another 1 oz. Hallertau hops.
- 4. When there are 20 minutes left in the boil, add another 1 oz. Hallertau hops.
- 5. When there are 15 minutes left in the boil, add the Irish Moss.
- 6. When there is 1 minute remaining in the boil, add 1 oz. Czech Saaz hops.
- 7. Chill the wort down as cool as you can get it, ideally to 50ºF, depending on your pitching method, and pitch your yeast starter. There are a few different methods of pitching the yeast starter. Refer to our FAQ. for more details.
Primary: 2 months at 50-55ºF
Diacetyl Rest: 2-3 days at 68-72ºF OR adjust your Digital Temperature Controller to 60-65ºF
Transfer to Secondary
Cold Crash: Drop the temperature of the secondary 3-5ºF per day until you get to 33-34ºF. You'll be holding it here for the lagering stage.
Lagering: The home stretch! Hold the secondary at 33-34ºF for a minimum of 2 months, or as long as you can keep yourself from kegging it up.
Enjoy and share with friends!