The Search for Bock

Fall makes me think of delicious malt forward brews. A couple weeks ago I decided try my hand at brewing a traditional bock. I drew heavily from the recipe found in “Brewing Classic Styles” by Palmer and Zainasheff. I like to use this book as guide. I always end up improvising a bit but the recipes still turn out great. It can be a challenge to get ingredients in the middle-of-nowhere China. I also have a surplus of random ingredients from a brewpub in town that went under less than a year back and I’m keen to use those up as well. 

My buddy Pete tried the final product and declared it so good that it was worthy of a name like: “Spock’s Bock”. Its been on tap for about two weeks now and my five gallons is almost gone. I’m lamenting this fact and am already planning a rebrew. I’m not sure if I’ve ever rebrewed a beer at home. I always tweak it. And I probably will again on the next iteration. I just ran out of Special B. 



  • Munich Malt 4.650 kg (10 lbs 3 ounces)
  • Pilsner 2 kg (4 lbs 6 ounces)
  • CaraBohemian 250g (8 ounces)
  • Special B (8 ounces)
  • Melanoiden Malt (3.5 ounces) 
  • Carafa I 75g (2.5 ounces) 

*Estimated OG 1.067 with 70% efficiency 


  • Saaz (USA) 3.8% AA 90 grams at 60 minutes for 22.8 estimated IBUs 

*I use a hop utilization rate of 80% because I live at higher than sea level elevation. I have a ton of Saaz hops so I started throwing them in pretty much everything.


  • SafLager 34/70 (slurry 2nd pitch)


  • 100% reverse osmosis (RO)
  • CaCl 4g
  • CaSO4 2g
  • MgSO4 2g 

*Balanced profile 


  • Mashed at 68° C (155.4° F) for 60 minutes. Mash pH was 5.52. 
  • Boiled for 60 minutes. Chilled to 17° C (62.6° F).

  • Fermentation chamber set at 18° C (64.4° F) 

  • Temperature control probe taped to the side of the fermentor with a cloth over the probe for a bit of insulation. 

  • Diacetyl rest for 3 days at 20° C (68° F)
  • After a week of fermentation I kegged it, let it get cold, and fined with gelatin. 

Gravity and Efficiency

OG: 1.056

FG: 1.016   

ABV: 5.7% 

*I’ve been missing my volumes lately after switching brewing software again. I ended up with quite a bit more volume at the end of the boil hence the lower OG. 


Malty: Biscuit and toast. A bit of caramel and dark fruit. Plum and raisin  

Hops: Not a lot getting in the way here. 

The search for bock has ended. 

Comments are welcome! 

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