Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Smarch Maibock

Brew date: March 1, 2014
#26 - 5.5 gal

Bocks. I love them. Pretty much the only thing to like about February and March. (Lousy Smarch weather!) They have the alcohol backbone to stand up to Mother Nature (whose been a real b!tch this year).


So, after a weekend downing a few tankards at the Essen Haus and then again at Capital Brewery's Bockfest, I had a taste for more. Thankfully Coincidentally, the weather forecast continues to look dismal (read: cold) for the weeks ahead, so I decided to make the best of a bad winter and try to cram in a late season maibock.

[One more thing before I forget: Krombacher's Bock. Really really good. Had it at the Essen Haus. Delicious, on the darker side, with a little more burned caramel flavor than most bocks. Also a little lower ABV, so it didn't knock me on my ass. (I saved that for the Paulaner Salvator Dopplebock.)]

A few notes about the brew day. It was a crisp, snowy day. Roughly 10F outside, 20F in the garage. Beautiful, no doubt, if you were watching from the window. But, sadly, I'm over it by this time of year.

I'm continuing to use a 50-50 RO/filtered tap split for all of my water based on my reading of Madison's hard water supply. I believe I lost a little grain (maybe 4 oz) when I was at the Wine and Hop Shop and failed to push the milling bucket all the way back.

I set out about 10 gal of water in my garage overnight to nearly freeze, in order to quickly cool the wort post-boil. Use a large Rubbermaid tub and a cooler to do this. Chilling to 60F probably took 20-30 min.

The maibock has been sitting in my laundry room with the door closed to maintain a pretty consistent air temperature of 55F. I placed the carboy in a tub and filled it with a few gallons of cold water. Then covered the carboy with an old shirt. As the water slowly wicks up the shirt and evaporates, it should help maintain the fermentation temperature. Sitting on the floor, my carboy temperature strip reads 52-54F. I'll keep it there for two weeks before checking the gravity. If it's close, I'll rack to secondary, toss in my final addition of hops and lager in my garage for a month. Hopefully by then the temperature will be consistently in the 30-40F range.


  • 13 lb Pilsner malt (German)
  • 1 lb Aromatic malt (Belgian)
  • 1 lb Rye malt
  • 0.5 lb Caramel wheat malt (Thomas Fawcett)
  • 0.5 lb Munich malt 10L (Briess)
  • 0.5 lb Vienna malt (Best Malz)
  • 0.25 lb Carapils (Briess)
  • 2 oz German Hallertau (4.1%, pellet) (60 min)
  • 1 oz German Hallertau (4.1%, pellet) (15 min)
  • 1 t Irish moss (15 min)
  • 0.5 oz Saaz (3.0%, pellet) (5 min)
  • 0.5 oz Crystal (3.8%, pellet) (secondary)
  • Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager - 2 pack yeast starter, 2/25/14
  • 5 gal RO water, 5 gal filtered tap water
Target OG: 1.068
Target FG: 1.017
Target ABV: 6.7%
Target IBU: 30

  • Heat 6 gal strike water to 130F
  • Mash in and rest @ 122F (30 min)
  • Heat and rest @ 154F (60 min)
  • Mash out @ 168 (10 min)
  • Batch sparge 4 gal (10 min)
  • Boil (60 min)
  • Chill to 62F and pitch
  • Ferment at 52-54F (ambient air temp: 55-59F) (2 wks)
  • Secondary and lager (4-6 wks)
  • First runnings: 3.5 gal @ 1.088
  • Pre-boil: 7.5 gal @ 1.060
  • OG: 1.068

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