It may not be May anymore, but I decided to brew up a Maibock anyway. After my wife recently commented on how much she liked Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale (a Bock), I figured I should brew one up. And what better Bock for summer-time than a beautiful Helles Bock (aka Maibock)?

It won’t be quite as light in color as I’d really like because I had to use “light” dry malt extract instead of “extra light”. Lighter colored beers are easier to make when brewing with all grain, but using extract makes it tricky to get really light-colored beer. You have to use extra light extract as a base and only use light specialty grains. In any event, it will be light enough. I could have gotten the extra light extract, but it would have cost a little more since the homebrew shop was all out of 3lbs. bags (and six 1lb. bags are more expensive than two 3lbs. bags). I made the call to get the light extract instead.

The beer should be very tasty. I used a mini-mash of mostly German Pilsner malt with some Carahell (very light German Caramel malts), Special Roast (similar to Gambrinus Honey malt), and Vienna malt. The final wort had a distinct taste of fresh, doughy bread.

I used only Glacier hops. This is more commonly found in recipes for hoppy American ales. It is supposed to be a bit like Styrian Goldings, but with more citrus – particularly lemon. I had also read somewhere that it is a possible substitute for Tettnang (which is probably more common in a Bock recipe). I decided to use Glacier based on that last fact and the fact that a touch of lemony hops could nicely complement a malty Maibock. Only time will tell.

I felt adventurous and used a new yeast this time, too: Danish Lager yeast. The description of this yeast on Wyeast’s website made it sound like a good fit for a spring Bock.

I’m excited about making a lager. My last lager, a Schwarzbier, suffered a warm fermentation because I didn’t realize until after I had pitched the yeast that my “lagering” vessel was missing its top (and thus completely unable to maintain lager-like temperatures). However, this time I’m using my basement fridge. I’ve set the fridge to its warmest setting, and it rings in at about 48 degrees Fahrenheit. That is within the optimum temperature range for virtually all yeasts, albeit on the low side of that range.

While at the shop, I also replaced the broken gas coupling for my kegging system. Saturday I hooked it all up to carbonate the Berry Weizen. I had the first carbonated glass of that tonight. It is nice and complex, but I am actually glad that I didn’t make a full 5 gallons of it. It is good, but not good enough to warrant that much of it. It tastes like a weizen with a distinct flavor of acid – almost like wine and a touch of cranberry juice were added to it. Unfortunately, the actual varieties of berries used (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries) are not recognizable in the finished brew.