Monday, March 17, 2008

MaiBock Brew Day

My friend Greg and I split the costs on a batch of MaiBock for our brewing session this past Sunday afternoon. It was a good brewing session, and we hit our temperature targets exactly. The finished Wort's starting gravity was 1.071, so the (eventual) finished product will make you stand-up and sing in German, after a couple of pints.

This MaiBock and a (July) Pilsner are the only two lagers that I plan to brew this year. I may throw in a Dunkel or an Eisbock for good measure, though. I like well-done (and tasty) lagers, but I'm pretty much an Ale Guy in my NanoBrewery. I just find most lager styles to be less-interesting than ales to produce and drink. I also like to experiment and push the limits of the Ale World, especially with my Belgian recipes.

I plan to brew a couple of session beers next. I think I'll replicate my last Porter recipe, first. I've tweaked my "Sherpa Porter" recipe over the years, and now it's just about perfect. The last batch was loved by one and all who tried it. Following-up with a Kölsch would be nice. Having a Kölsch right at the start of warm weather gets me thinking of Summer.

In the heat of the Summer, I like to have a Pilsner on hand. My favorite version of Pilsner is the Northern German style, with the higher hops content. When brewing, you've got to include German Noble hops and higher-sulphate water (than the other Pilsener or Pilsener styles) to pull-it off right. It should be as crisp-tasting as biting into a Granny Smith apple, with a refreshing lingering bitterness. Yummy and refreshing.

My favorite commercially available (on-tap) example is the Leavenworth Friesian Pilsener by brewer Jenn Gridley at Fish Brewing in Olympia Washington. If you travel to the Pacific Northwest, it's on tap in the SEATAC airport at Anthony's, when it's in season. Give it a try. If you like this style, you won't be disappointed.


Travis said...

I've been thinking about doing a maibock for a few weeks now. I had the Smuttynose maibock and was totally impressed with the style. It's some pretty damn good stuff.


Joel said...

I'm not a lager guy either but that maibock sounds pretty good!

I just brewed my first batch of home brew and I would love to get some feedback from someone as experienced as you and your readers. I've been blogging about the process: My goal was to keep it as simple as possible and not spend a lot of money on equipment until I got the hang of it. I definitely made some mistakes but I learned a lot.

Rob said...

I have yet to brew a lager. I live in an apartment and I don't have an area that I can keep the beer a constant 55-ish degrees. Is there anyway to brew to ferment a lager at a higher temperature? Are there any lager yeasts that are active at ale temperatures?

OSBC said...

Joel Is there anyway to brew to ferment a lager at a higher temperature? Are there any lager yeasts that are active at ale temperatures?

You can, lager yeast will still work at higher temperatures but you'll get more fruity esters that are more appropriate to ales. If you don't have lagering capacity, try a neutral ale yeast like WLP001 or WLP029 (Kolsch) and ferment it at the bottom end of it's temp range.

Good choice, Ben. I'm getting ready to d-rest a Maibock too. Great beer to celebrate the end of winter!


Muddy Mo said...

What? No Gruit Ale?

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Gruit is for pussies. Ancient, Neanderthal Pussies.