I feel like tackling a bock this weekend

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pfgonzo

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Brewing up my first bock, and in looking at recipes online there seems two different schools of thought on the grain bill. On one hand there are recipes that are 100% Munich or some ratio of Munich and Vienna malts (which I assume is the most traditional), while on the other hand, I see recipes that have a significant pils base, with a bit of Munich and crystal for color (which I assume is more modern).

Has anyone brewed up a bock both ways that can break the flavor differences down for me? Any thoughts on the pros/cons of each type of recipe?
 
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pfgonzo

pfgonzo

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Totally. Straight up bock, i.e., traditional. My issue, as I said, is I see traditional bock recipes that are all munich or munich/vienna, and others with mostly pils as a base malt, and munich and crystal to get the color.
 

Cyclman

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I did a doppelbock:
6.5 lb Pilsner malt
6.25 lb Munich II
0.375 lb Caramunich
0.25 lb Crystal 120L
0.25 lb chocolate malt

2.5 oz Hallertau (3.9%AA) @60mins

Double decoction mash.
Maltose rest: 146F for 90mins
Dextrinization rest: 160F for 60mins
Mashout: 170F for 15 mins

90 min total boil time

Wyeast 2487-PC Hella Bock

Est OG 1.073
Est FG 1.018

I can't compare it, but I can say it was absolutely awesome, will do same recipe again.
 

Pie_Man

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Using Pilsner with Munich, mostly Munich, or some combination of Pilsner, Munich, and Vienna are all acceptable. According to Daniels' Designing Great Beers, Munich malt as the primary grain is the most historically accurate for a bock recipe. Daniels also mentions that Bocks developed before malts like crystal, roasted grains, and chocolate malts were developed.

I've used chocolate and caramunich in a doppelbock with good results, and while that's a less traditional approach, it can add some nice flavor. Even for competition brewing, small amounts of chocolate, and even crystal malt, can be acceptable. I suppose that's more of a modern interpretation.

Sorry, I don't have a more traditional version to compare to, although I hope to shortly. I'm planning on a double decocted, simplier, more traditional, grain bill in my next Doppelbock attempt. Probably brewing that two weekends from now using lager yeast harvested from a German Pils I'm close to kegging.

Good luck. If you haven't already, I'd get your lager yeast ready. A Traditional Bock is a pretty big beer and you'll need a big pitch.
 

BigEd

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Brewing up my first bock, and in looking at recipes online there seems two different schools of thought on the grain bill. On one hand there are recipes that are 100% Munich or some ratio of Munich and Vienna malts (which I assume is the most traditional), while on the other hand, I see recipes that have a significant pils base, with a bit of Munich and crystal for color (which I assume is more modern).

Has anyone brewed up a bock both ways that can break the flavor differences down for me? Any thoughts on the pros/cons of each type of recipe?
OK, for the sake of argument let's assume you are a lawyer. You need to define your terms here. If by bock you mean a traditional bock, it would be based on Munich malt with some portion of Vienna and/or Pilsner malt. This beer is deep in color with a deep, rich flavor from the Munich malt. A bock with a base of Pils, or perhaps Vienna or a blend of the two is essentially a Maibock, aka Hellesbock, which is a lighter color and flavor. It's still rich in flavor but without the deeper, darker notes from the more highly kilned Munich malt.

There are no pros or cons here. Both beers are wonderful and delicious. BTW bocks are lagers and should be brewed and fermented as such with lager yeasts, low fermentation temperatures and appropriate aging time. :mug:
 
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pfgonzo

pfgonzo

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Thanks PieMan, I think that answers my question. I've got Daniels' book somewhere and should have thought to pull it out.

BigEd, nod, I should have been more specific. I was talking Traditional Bock, but the pils-as-a-base-malt recipes I found were def not maibock of helles recipes. (Maibock and helles recipes are posted in the same forum, but those weren't what I was looking at.) Too much color/crystal to fit those styles. From what PieMan posted, it sounds like the more traditional Munich/Vienna recipes pre-date the development of crystal malts, and that pils/crystal just an alternate method of crafting the style.
 

BigEd

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Thanks PieMan, I think that answers my question. I've got Daniels' book somewhere and should have thought to pull it out.

BigEd, nod, I should have been more specific. I was talking Traditional Bock, but the pils-as-a-base-malt recipes I found were def not maibock of helles recipes. (Maibock and helles recipes are posted in the same forum, but those weren't what I was looking at.) Too much color/crystal to fit those styles. From what PieMan posted, it sounds like the more traditional Munich/Vienna recipes pre-date the development of crystal malts, and that pils/crystal just an alternate method of crafting the style.
Yes, AFAIAC there's no need for crystal in a good bock beer if you want some old world traditional flavor. Lots of good Munich malt is the way to go.
 
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