Nick Carr on March 11, 2016 0 Comments History of Doppelbock Doppelbock shares the same early ancestor as the rest of the Bock styles, that of an unnamed style originating in Einbeck in the 1300s. This early style was said to be brewed with lightly kilned wheat and barley, top fermented at cool temperatures, — in fact it’s likely Einbeck did most of its brewing in the winter — made good use of hops and was brewed to a higher gravity. It would be transformed into something closer to the Bock style we know today by a shift in brewing location. Munich brewers changed the grain bill to barley only and hopping rates were drastically cut due to a combination of Munich’s highly carbonate water and a short supply of the herb. It is also likely this transformation included a switch to the bottom fermenting lager yeast so prevalent in Bavaria. A fondness grew in the hearts of Munich’s drinkers for this new take on the Einbeck beer, and after a time it would even overshadow the much imported original. The rise of their own celebrated brew could be looked at as somewhat fortunate, for the beer-loving people of Munich. Fire rocked the Einbeck in 1540 and 1549. This was followed, in 1618, by the start of the 30 years war which largely decimated Germany’s wealth and left Einbeck a shadow of its former self. It would never recover that early brewing prominence. The name Bock is often thought to be a shortening of a name in honor of Einbeck, which in the Bavarian dialect is “Ainpoeckish.” It is easy to imagine a cutting of this mouthful over time; first, to “Poeck” and finally comfortably settling at “Bock,” which, interestingly, means “goat” in German. Thus, the style got a mascot with its new name. A second transformation, divinely inspired you might say, came after 1630. Munich, or München in German, means “place of the monks,” and no doubt most know of the importance different monastic orders played in the history of brewing. In 1627 a group of Fransican monks from Paula, Italy settled in Neudeck, Munich. These Paulaners, as they’d come to be known, practiced periods of fasting, in which they would allow themselves no solid food. To help sustain body and mind during these periods of deep reflection — the most taxing of which was the 46 days during Lent — they looked to their already extensive brewing knowledge and brewed a higher gravity beer rich in nutrients; essentially “liquid bread.” It was given the name Salvator “Holy Father” because of its sustaining qualities. The beer remained sheltered within the Cloister Neudeck until 1780 when the monks were given permission to brew for commercial consumption. The name doppelbock, which, you guessed it, means “double bock” was given by local consumers. Though slightly deceiving — double bock is not really twice a bock — the name stuck. The new commercialization would only last about twenty years though. When Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the region the monastery was closed and the brewery fell into the hands of the state. The brewery would remain closed until Fanz Zacherl, owner of the Münchener Hellerbräu, rented the building and started turning out the much loved “Salvator” again. In 1813 he purchased the brewery and after a bout of legal wrangling he was finally given full license in 1837 to brew and dispense his beer. The original Salvator is still brewed at the Paulaner Brewery today. Style Profile & Characteristics The guidelines for the modern Doppelbock style are set by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Committee. The below details are a summary of what a Doppelbock should represent. Quick Characteristics Color Range: 6 – 25 SRM Original Gravity: 1.072 – 1.112 OG Final Gravity: 1.016 – 1.024 FG IBU Range: 16 – 26 ABV Range: 7.0 – 10.0% Appearance: Range from golden to dark brown with ruby highlights; Head color can range from bright white to off-white; Head retention should be good; Superb clarity. Aroma: Assertive maltiness; Hop aromas may or may not be present; Possible hints of chocolate, dark fruits, light caramel & toastiness; Low to moderate alcohol character is possible. Flavor: Rich, sweet & malty; Hints of chocolate, dark fruits & light toast are possible; Mild hop flavors, Noticeable alcohol warmth possible; Low to medium bitterness. Mouthfeel: Very smooth; Moderate to full body; Low carbonation; No harshness or astringency; Slight alcohol warmth possible. Serving & Storage Temp.: 48 – 52°F Suggested Glass: Mug, Pilsner, Stange, or Tulip glass Food Pairings: Game meats, Pork, Potatoes, Mexican food, Aged cheese, Prosciutto, Custard, Chocolate. The BJCP classifies the Doppelbock beer style as a “Strong European Beer” and it can be found in their guidelines as category 9A. Similar beer styles within this category include: Eisbock (9B) and Baltic Porter (9C). Appearance: Color will range from rich golden to a very dark brown. When held to light, darker versions often flash with ruby highlights. Head color is dependent on the beer color and will vary from brilliant white to off-white. Often has a pillowy head with good retention, but stronger versions may have an unimpressive, quickly disappearing head. These stronger examples may even display appreciable legs. Clarity should be quite good due to lagering. Aroma: Assertive maillard built maltiness bringing toasted and light caramel aromas in the dark versions. Less pronounced toast and little caramel in the lighter versions. These light versions may have a slight light noble hop aroma while darker versions will have practically no hop aroma. Dark examples may have a whiff of chocolate and an optional medium low dark fruit quality, but should never presume to present anything resembling roast or char aromatics. Depending on the beer’s strength a low to moderate alcohol character may be present. Mouthfeel: Doppelbock should present a very smooth, moderately-full to full body with moderate to somewhat low carbonation. No harshness or astringency should be noticeable, but a slight alcohol warming — never burning — can be present. Taste: Richness is the cornerstone. Darker versions will be rich, malty, with noticeable maillard products combined with toasty notes; optional slight chocolate whispers and a possible low dark fruit character. Lighter versions will have less notable maillard products though they will still tend toward rich malt flavors and light toast. A clean lager quality is characteristic. Some noticeable alcohol warming is normal but should never veer into the range of harsh or burning. Pale versions will have more of a perceptible crispness than their darker cousins, but even these should have an element of good attenuation noticeable. Both the dark and light examples usually have a sweet quality derived from their low hopping rates. There will be little noticeable hop flavors with more being acceptable in the lighter versions than the darker ones. Bitterness will range from somewhat low to medium with the balance always skewed toward the sweet malt. Serving: For best presentation and greatest appreciation a Doppelbock should be served at 48 to 52°F in a Mug, Pilsner, Stange, or Tulip glass. Food Pairing: Gamey meats such as venison, boar, duck, and goose will work very well with Doppelbock especially if served with some sort of tangy or fruity reduction sauce. Pork and potatoes is another beautiful match. It will also fit with the earthy qualities of a lot of Mexican dishes and carries an aged-cheese and prosciutto platter perfectly. For dessert match it with a custard or chocolate element. *Reference: The 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines EXAMPLES OF THE STYLE Award Winners The Regulator from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company (Fort Worth, TX)Great American Beer Festival Winner, Gold, 2015. Great American Beer Festival Winner, Bonze, 2014. Available: April. Procrastinator from Fitger’s Brewhouse (Duluth, MN)Great American Beer Festival Winner, Silver, 2015. Available: Unknown. Hot for Teacher Ms. Doppelbock from Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company (Indianapolis, IN)Great American Beer Festival Winner, Bronze, 2015. World Beer Cup Winner, Silver, 2014. Available: Unknown. Samuel Adams Double Bock from Boston Beer Company (Boston, MA)Great American Beer Festival Winner, Gold, 2014. Available: February. The Kaiser from Avery Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)Great American Beer Festival Winner, Silver, 2014. Available: Aug – Oct. A Few More To Look For: Ayinger Celebrator from Brauerei Aying (Aying, Germany)Available: Year Round. Troegenator from Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, PA)Available: Year Round. Liberator from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company (Bloomfield, CT)Available: Year Round. Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner Bräu (München, Germany)Available: Year Round. Consecrator from Bell’s Brewing Company (Kalamazoo, MI)Available: Released in February. Double Vision from Grand Teton Brewing Company (Victor, ID)Available: Released in February. Salvator from Paulaner Brauerei (München, Germany)Available: Year Round. St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company (Pittsburgh, PA)Available: Nov – Jan. Tips for Brewing Doppelbock If you’re interested in brewing your own Doppelbock at home, here are a few things you should know going into it. Grain Bill: Some brewer’s believe you can make a good bock, Doppel or otherwise, using lager or Pilsner malt dressed up with a set of darker specialty malts. I don’t believe it is truly possible to get the malt depth necessary with such a recipe. You may try it. Use up to about 80% Lager or Pilsner and Munich as an important specialty malt at up to 30%. To this you could add some of the other specialty malts such as Cara-Munich or other mid-range crystal malts at up to 15% of the grain bill. Chocolate is also a common addition at about 2%. This recipe build may well work and is a viable option especially for those brewers that cannot get their hands on high quality Munich malt. But, if you can buy good quality Munich made from 2-row malt rather than American 6-row, I’d suggest bypassing the above light malts and using this for the bulk of the grain bill. Weyermann malting makes a good 2-row Munich. In this case you’d basically reverse the malts, using 75 to 90 percent Munich and the other 10 to 25 percent a Pilsner or Lager malt. To this you can add much the same specialty malts as above: Crystal, again stick with crystal (cara) Munich malts when possible and add at a lower rate of no more than 10 percent. If at the high end of the Munich you may try leaving out the pale or crystal malt completely. Chocolate may not be needed here, but it is still an option at no more than 2 percent. Don’t over-complicate your recipe with too many specialty grains. Extract brewers should find an extract made from Munich malt. These can be hard to find and may only be available in some areas seasonally, coinciding with Oktoberfest brewing. You also want to ensure the malt extract is high quality and derived from Munich malt. Many will be derived from some percentage of Munich and some percentage 2-row. Weyermann carries a high quality Munich extract and a Bavarian Dunkel extract; though it might take some searching to find it. You may try mixing these at a rate of 60% Munich and 40% Dunkel if you don’t plan to steep any specialty grains. Adding steeped specialty grains such as cara-Munich or small quantities of light chocolate will add color and broaden and deepen the malt character. If doing a partial mash throw in some Munich to get some of that authentic maltiness. Hops: Hopping a Doppelbock is simple. Remember, these have low bitterness and minimal hop aroma and flavor. German hops are the obvious choice here; Hallertauer, Saaz, Northern Brewer, Perle, and Hersbruck are all good choices. Mt. Hood and Magnum may also find a place within a Doppelbock recipe. Use a single bittering addition and if you want small flavor/aroma a single addition of less than 0.5 ounces, in the last twenty minutes, should cover it. The Mash: For authenticity’s sake and to build the ideal malt body a decoction mash should be done when possible. In simplest terms a decoction mash is taking a volume of your wort and heating it to boiling, where it stays for 20 to 30 minutes creating maillard reactions which help deepen caramel and other malt character. At the end of the time you add it back to your mash to bring the mash up to its next temperature rest. You do this either two times, in which case your first temperature climb would generally be done with hot water; or you do it three times. Thus the name double and triple; and you’ll have to decide which you want to take on. I suggest doing some research and really getting an understanding of this brewing technique before trying to use it. It can turn into a maddeningly frustrating brew day if you’re not prepared. If decoction mashing isn’t part of your repertoire or you just don’t want to deal with the added hassle, never fear, a infusion mash can work also. It is a good idea to use slightly more dark crystal malt if doing an infusion mash. This will help elevate the malt character and color profile somewhat. Also, plan to collect extra wort to up your kettle volume so that you can do a 2 hour boil. German Pilsner and Lager malts are not as well modified as American 2-row or German Munich. If using a sizable portion of either of these malts a short stop of 20 minutes at 122°F on your way to the saccharification temperature may be of benefit. If using Munich for above 80% of your grain bill a straight single infusion mash run up to the saccharification temperature of around 154 -156°F will work. This higher temperature creates a beer with more body and residual sweetness. Even if doing an infusion mash it isn’t too difficult to pull off a pseudo-decoction by pulling off some amount of the wort, once it hits saccharification temperature, into an extra pot; allowing this to boil; and adding it back in to the wort as part of the temperature climb up to your mash-out at 168°F. This will add color and create a deeper, richer malt character. Yeast: German lager yeast is your go-to choice here. You want yeast that will highlight the malt, so one that attenuates in the medium range (60s into the low 70s) would be best. You’ll also want low diacetyl production. Yeasts such as Wyeast 2308 (Munich Lager) or White Labs WLP920 (Old Bavarian Lager) or SafLager S-23 Dry will work well. Fermentation: This fermentation is a play on patience. If you have them you’ll be fine; if you don’t you’ll either make a sub-par beer or end with more patience and a good beer. Aerate your wort doubly well and use double the recommended amount of your chosen yeast. The yeast has a lot of work to do and you want to give it every advantage you can. Cast at between 48°F and 50°F. Monitor the temperature, but let it free-rise over about three weeks to a finishing temperature in the mid 50s. Lagering should take place at near freezing (32°F) and should be at least a month. Average is about three months, but it can easily go 6 months or more. It may take longer to bottle condition this beer because of the long lagering time, which has a tendency to kill off yeast. You can add a teaspoon of yeast solids to a 5 gallon batch to help push your bottle conditioning time into the regular time range. You want to carbonate to a volume of 2.3 to 2.6, which computes to around 4 oz. of corn sugar per 5 gallons, but use one of the on-line carbonation calculators to zero in on your desired volume. Cheers!