BOCK BEER

The northern German city of Einbeck was the first center of commercial brewing in the thirteenth century. Beer from Einbeck became known as “Beck Beer” ( no relation to Beck’s beer ). At that time, beck beer was famous throughout the Hanseatic League, those cities that openly traded on the North and Baltic Seas. But it was completely unknown in the South of Germany.

The eventual introduction took place several hundred years later, in the early 1600’s at the wedding of the Duke of Brunswick to the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat from the south. The wedding was in Bavaria and was attended by nobility from distant states. The beer style from the north was embraced by the Bavarians and was adopted as the beer of choice in the state-commissioned Hofbrauhaus in Munich. It soon became known as “Bock Beer”- a corruption of “Beck” in the Bavarian accent.

Bavarians like to downplay the Einbeck connection in favour of local versions of the  beer’s origin. Bock means billy goat, which is the symbol of the astrological sign Capricorn ( December 22- January 19 ).

This is the time when brewers start making bock beer .Another version of the bock beer story uses the goat as the symbol of fertility. ( Contrary to a well-known and often repeated rumour, bock beer is not what is cleaned out of the bottom of the vat once a year.

The bock style is a medium-to full-bodied lager, with chocolaty dark grain flavours. It has a creamy mouth-feel, and the finish is lengthly and matly sweet.

Hop bitterness is subdued, just enough to cut the cloying character of the malt. The colour can run the spectrum from deep burnt orange to mahogany. A true German bock beer must have a minimum alcohol content of 6.5% in order to be called a bock beer.

The style’s popularity has inspired many derivatives:
                Helles bock: A pale version of regular bock. Then difference is the deletion of the chocolate grain, which, in essence, removes the chocolate flavours and most of the dark colour.

Maibock: ( May bock ) This style is brewed for consumption in the month of May. It is basically a helles bock with a more pronounced hop character in the aroma and on the palate. Some brands are even dry- hopped for added bouquet. Dry-hopping is a method of imbuing the beer with a fresh hop aroma(without the bitterness ) by adding hops directly to he beer while in the aging tank or barrel, instead of during the boiling process as is usually done.

Weizenbock: A regular bock beer that has a portion of malted wheat, usually not exceeding 25 to 40 percent of the total amount of grain.

Eisenbock: Long before today’s North American brewers jumped on the ice beer bandwagon, German brewers were producing an eisenbock. The method of partially
Freezing the beer and straining out the ice crystals leaves behind a maltier, more alcoholic product. This process has been in use in Germany since the dawn of artificial refrigeration.

Doppelbock ( double bock ): This name refers to the doubling of ingredients for more intense taste and higher alcohol content ( 8.5 to 9 percent ). ( The most intrepid brewers offer the difficult-to-brew triple bock that is made with stronger yeasts and aged longer than usual, which packs a 17 percent alcohol content wallop. )Oddly enough, it was religious order of Italian monks who introduced this style of bock beer. The order of St Francis of Paula, cloistered high in the avarian Alps, developed this high-test double bock “Salvator”,in honour of the Saviour, thus, Paullaner Salvator was born. In reverence to the original, all subsequent German doppelbocks have been given names that end in “-ator”. American microbreweries continue the tradition of using the “-ator” suffix, making doppelbocks easy to spot on the menu.

Recipe

  • 1.7kg NFP Superfine Malt
  • 30g Halletau Hop Pellets
  • 20g Southern Hop Pellets
  • 500g Spray Dried Malt
  • 300g Glucose
  • 100g Lactose
  • 1 x Lager Beer Yeast
  • 1 x Beer Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 x Brewing Salts
  • 1 x Finings

Boil hops in a stocking for 15 minutes in 3-4 liters of water, leaving the hop stocking in the pot add the malt, spray dried malt, lactose, beer yeast nutrient & brewing salts. Stir constantly to prevent the malt from burning & simmer for 30 minutes. Place the glucose in the brewing bucket & pour the pot of wort into the brewing bucket. Mix thoroughly and fill up to 22 liters in total. Wait until the temperature of the brew drops below 20 degrees Celsius and take a S.G reading. Add the yeast and leave to ferment. . When final S.G reading is reached ( 1006 ) boil finings with 150ml water and pour gently over the brew. Leave 48 hours and bottle.


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