I find that I too often brew ales. There is so much variety when it comes to them that you could probably spend your whole life brewing them before you ran out of new things to try. However, in order to be a bit more well rounded one should at least occasionally brew a lager. Lager yeast ferment very cleanly and without all the esters and other compounds produced by ale yeast allowing your malt profile comes through much clearer. This allows you, in my opinion, to get a better grasp on how your malt choices are really affecting the beer.
Since it is spring time, and the month of May is coming up, I decided to brew a Mai-Bock (May Bock). I wanted it to be a refreshing and crisp beer that would remind the drinker of the season. Here is my recipe, but first a quick note on the batch size, I only have a 5 gallon and a 3 gallon fermenter (better bottles) that can fit into my mini fridge, for that reason all of my lagers have to be brewed in a 3.5 gallon size so that I can fill the 3 gallon fermenter I use for secondary to the brim.
3/31 Mai Bock
Brewed with Andrew
1 pound Vienna
1 pound Munich
1 pound Malted Rye
1 pound Carapils
4 pounds American 2-Row
Single step infusion 2 quarts/pound 152 F for 1 hour
Batch sparged with 176 F water 30 minutes
Hallertau pellets 7.9% AA, 0.25 oz, 60 minutes
Hallertau pellets 7.9% AA, 0.25 oz, 45 minutes
Tettnang pellets, 4.8% AA, 0.50 oz, 25 minutes
Tettnang pellets, 4.8% AA, 0.25 oz, 10 minutes
1/8 oz coriander added 5 minutes before flame out
Fermented 55 F
4/16 gravity 1.015
4/29 gravity 1.015 Bottled with 1.4 oz table sugar
Appearance: Straw yellow- golden in color. Not much head and carbonation appears to be a little low. There are a good number of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The head lingers as a lace around the rim of the glass.
Aroma: Nice malt aromas, very clean. No aroma at all from the yeast. A slight hop spice appears in the background.
Taste: Crisp and sweet. Starts off a little sweet with a nice silky mouthfeel, really coats the whole mouth before it finishes with a crisp bite.
Overall: I think this was a solid attempt at brewing a Mai-Bock. I would have liked a little more alcohol and the beer to be drier. That being said it is incredibly drinkable and it is going to be gone fast! We added coriander at the last minute hoping to give the beer some citrus aroma to make it more refreshing, it did not really come through but certainly did not take anything away from the beer.