Maerzen ( Donker Bock )

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.

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.

Eisenbock / Maerzen: 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.

Recipe

  • 2.75kg NFP Superfine Malt
  • 250g Cracked Crystal Malt
  • 30g Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 30g Southern Hop Pellets
  • 1kg Treacle Sugar
  • 100g Lactose
  • 1 x Munchner Beer Yeast
  • 1 x Beer Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 x Brewing Salts
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 x Finings

Start S.G approximately 1048
Final S.G 1008

Take the crushed crystal malt place in a stocking & simmer on the stove for 30 minutes in 3-4 liters of water and then remove. Place your hops in a stocking & add to the crystal malt water simmer 10 minutes. Leaving the stocking in the water add the superfine malt, lactose, beer yeast nutrient, brewing salts, salt & simmer 15 minutes. Remove the hop stocking and squeeze thoroughly. Put the treacle sugar in the brewing bucket, pour the wort into the brewing bucket & mix thoroughly with the wort. Fill up to 22 liters with cold tap water. Wait until temperature drops to 22 degrees Celsius and take S.G reading. Add yeast and leave to ferment. When final S.G reading is reached boil finings with 150ml water and pour gently over the brew. Leave 48 hours and bottle.


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