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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 02:53:07 PM

Title: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 02:53:07 PM
I thought I would start a discussion on Styles, so to start I ask,

What makes a Bock, a Bock?

from the BJCP website BJCP.org (http://BJCP.org)

Quote
5B. Traditional Bock
Aroma: Strong malt aroma, often with moderate amounts of rich melanoidins and/or toasty overtones. Virtually no hop aroma. Some alcohol may be noticeable. Clean. No diacetyl. Low to no fruity esters.

Appearance: Light copper to brown color, often with attractive garnet highlights. Lagering should provide good clarity despite the dark color. Large, creamy, persistent, off-white head.

Flavor: Complex maltiness is dominated by the rich flavors of Munich and Vienna malts, which contribute melanoidins and toasty flavors. Some caramel notes may be present from decoction mashing and a long boil. Hop bitterness is generally only high enough to support the malt flavors, allowing a bit of sweetness to linger into the finish. Well-attenuated, not cloying. Clean, with no esters or diacetyl. No hop flavor. No roasted or burnt character.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full bodied. Moderate to moderately low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth may be found, but should never be hot. Smooth, without harshness or astringency.

Overall Impression: A dark, strong, malty lager beer.

Comments: Decoction mashing and long boiling plays an important part of flavor development, as it enhances the caramel and melanoidin flavor aspects of the malt. Any fruitiness is due to Munich and other specialty malts, not yeast-derived esters developed during fermentation.

History: Originated in the Northern German city of Einbeck, which was a brewing center and popular exporter in the days of the Hanseatic League (14th to 17th century). Recreated in Munich starting in the 17th century. The name “bock” is based on a corruption of the name “Einbeck” in the Bavarian dialect, and was thus only used after the beer came to Munich. “Bock” also means “billy-goat” in German, and is often used in logos and advertisements.

Ingredients: Munich and Vienna malts, rarely a tiny bit of dark roasted malts for color adjustment, never any non-malt adjuncts. Continental European hop varieties are used. Clean lager yeast. Water hardness can vary, although moderately carbonate water is typical of Munich.

Vital Statistics:  OG: 1.064 – 1.072 
IBUs: 20 – 27  FG: 1.013 – 1.019 
SRM: 14 – 22  ABV: 6.3 – 7.2% 

Commercial Examples: Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel, Pennsylvania Brewing St. Nick Bock, Aass Bock, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock, Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock



But I again ask, what makes this style different from others.

Fred
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: matthew on November 11, 2009, 03:11:35 PM
Munich malt, munich malt and lots of it, and some munich malt too-German hops and only at th begining of th boil
and not much-German lager yeast- aging it for a long time(th hard part for me), tripple decoction.
I know you didnt ask how do we make it but all of the above sets a bock apart from a say dark or amber lager JMO
Matt
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: glitterbug on November 11, 2009, 03:37:18 PM
What makes a Bock, a Bock?

All you need to do is put a picture of a goat on the label  ;D
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: majorvices on November 11, 2009, 03:56:27 PM
Definitely Munich malt (and lager yeast). Unless you are talking about a Maibock and that is just technically a Helles brewed to Bock strength with, in some instances, some added specialty malts and a little more hops.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 04:23:06 PM
IMHO there are two components to what makes a style a style,


anything else?
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 11, 2009, 04:25:35 PM

anything else?
Yeast selection
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: denny on November 11, 2009, 04:25:56 PM
So, Fred and Matthew seem to be saying that a bock _must_ be decocted or it's not a bock.  To me, it's all in the glass.....if it tastes like what a bock should taste like, it's a bock no matter how it's made.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 04:32:13 PM
No Denny, I'm not saying a Bock MUST be decocted to be a Bock.  I'm saying that historically Bock's were decocted and that process developed flavors that contributed to the style definition.  Ultimately it is a flavor determination that was originally derived from a decoction.  There are now other ways to emulate the contribution of a decoction which are argued about how accurately they capture the flavor contribution.

Fred
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: matthew on November 11, 2009, 04:44:09 PM
The last beer I made was a Maibock and it didnt turn out to good, dont know what I did but it just
wasnt that great.As far as a Bock goes I guess I forgot to add that it needs to be a stronger lager
and I still monkey with th water by softing it a tiny bit, my water is a little to hard for any lagers
'sept for a Dort maybe and thats a big maybe but I'm not all that up to snuff with water and PH and
such. For all th trouble I would go thru to brew a Bock, mine never really are good enough.Deffinitly a
tuff style to brew.It has to have a good Munich malt profile for me more that anything else.


And yeah Denny it doesnt matter how I get th flavor as long as it's there
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 11, 2009, 04:56:43 PM

And yeah Denny it doesnt matter how I get th flavor as long as it's there
This statement reminds me that some Austrian Winemakers in 1990s were putting antifreeze to their wines just to get that exact flavor without expense of process.

They got the flavor all right...
   
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 05:02:28 PM
putting antifreeze to their wines just to get that exact flavor without expense of process.

They got the flavor all right...
Fortunately these brewers wer limited to water, malt, hops, and yeast.

No matter what I'm not adding anti-freeze to any beer.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 11, 2009, 05:05:07 PM

No matter what I'm not adding anti-freeze to any beer.

Good plan :D
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: matthew on November 11, 2009, 05:15:51 PM
I've used Melanoidin with good results but I still dont think it's th same but I may be tring to justify
all that trouble of a trip-decoct  ;)
Ani-freeze? surely you jest?
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: denny on November 11, 2009, 05:42:34 PM
Thanks for the clarifications, Matt and Fred.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 05:44:12 PM
Aromatic works well too.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: denny on November 11, 2009, 07:09:34 PM
At NHC last year, there was a club (COHO?  Starnge Brew?)  that had brewed the same beer 3 ways to see what decoction would bring to the game.  Here are the results that were emailed to me...

"We had the:

A)     non-decocted beer (dopplebock),

B)      the triple-decocted beer (same recipe)

C)      and a non-decocted beer (replaced ~4-5% of the base malt with melanoidin malt).

 

We asked which beer they thought was decocted.  Results were:

A: 13.89%

B: 45.83%

C: 40.28%

 

In terms of which beer people liked (rank ordered), here were the votes:
   

A
   

B
   

C

1
   

16
   

34
   

24

2
   

24
   

19
   

23

3
   

29
   

13
   

19

 

After applying a basic weighting, you come up with B, C, A.

 

So, the main point we took away was that it really was pretty close between decoction and melanoidin.  The preference likely just came down to intangibles.

 

Anyhow, my basic observation was that for saving 4-5 hours, melanoidin malt is well worth it."
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bonjour on November 11, 2009, 07:23:17 PM
Kevin in my club performed a similar experiment with slightly different results.  He brewed several different beers using a decocted and substituted recipe.  one style showed a decided preference toward the decocted beer. One style showed the substituted recipe had a decided preference.  Feeling was that one of the intangible brewing variables hit each one of those.

Of the rest, split down the middle as to preference with half prefering the decocted beer and half the substituted beer.

Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 11, 2009, 07:28:19 PM
Decoct or not to decoct.
That's a question.

And topic lives on.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: tesla_hv on November 11, 2009, 08:48:45 PM
Definitely Munich malt (and lager yeast). Unless you are talking about a Maibock and that is just technically a Helles brewed to Bock strength with, in some instances, some added specialty malts and a little more hops.

Mmmmm, Munich Helles, one of my favorites.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: blatz on November 11, 2009, 10:29:50 PM
I don't decoct.

I like my german lagers the way they are.

My neighbors and friends like them.

I regularly score well and win medals with them at fairly large comps when I'm not in a hoarding mood, so apparently other people like them aside from friends who could just be patronizing the free beer giver...

Nuff said.

As for what makes a bock a bock, I think its as was said: copious amounts of munich malt and lager yeast.  That's what sets it apart from say a dunkel, with or without a decoction process - both styles are traditionally decocted, but one is smaller and more sessionable, otherwise rather similar.  Least thats JMHO.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: woody on November 11, 2009, 10:40:25 PM
I'll agree with whats already been said-  higher starting gravity, a load of munich malt AND a Goat on the label.   (or use a sharpie to draw one on the keg)     
And decoction is up to the brewer.  (seriously, I'm gonna do a side by side decoction/ non decoction one of these days.  Maybe when I get my dual setup going from my last post....)
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: intrinsic on November 12, 2009, 02:46:56 AM
I am curious as to what yeast most people prefer for a Bock or an Octoberfest beer. I made an Octoberfest last year using wlp830 and everyone told me it was awesome. I have been wanting to try the wlp820 (Octoberfest/Marzen Lager) yeast but I am from the old school of thought. If it aint broke then dont fix it. So is the WLP820 worth a try?
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: a10t2 on November 12, 2009, 02:32:30 PM
I am curious as to what yeast most people prefer for a Bock or an Octoberfest beer.

I use 2206 (same as WLP820) for both a doppelbock and an Oktoberfest. Actually, I use it for all German-style lagers. Liking it so far.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: blatz on November 12, 2009, 02:59:32 PM
I use WL830 for everything.  Particularly with lager yeasts, I don't like switching around. 

Like you said, if it ain't broke.
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: The Professor on November 16, 2009, 05:29:31 PM
The answer is simple.
If it tastes like a bock (and what your own expectation of a bock is), then it's a bock. 

Invoking the so called "style guidelines" is fine as a broad reference, but the "guidelines" are a recent invention and certainly don't apply to commercial brews or in many cases, even historical relevance and serve only to offer flavor descriptives for the purpose of competition entries and judging. 
Every traditional "style" is and always has been open to interpretation.  Homebrewers seem more hung up on "styles" than any commercial brewery ever was. ;D

In reading this thread, my favorite response was actually the one which suggested that  all you need to do is "put a picture of a goat on the label". 
 8)
Title: Re: What makes a Bock, a Bock?
Post by: bluesman on November 16, 2009, 05:35:33 PM
Really good Munich malt...decoction...and alot of healthy yeast.