Friday, July 16, 2010

Bad Moon Weizenbock

I can't remember where I first read about the style of Weizenbock. I do know that I was intrigued enough that in 2007, my first year of brewing, I threw together a recipe. After some modifications this year, I brewed one.

Weizenbock is actually a style of bock beer you can make without lagering. Bocks are usually brewed with lager yeast. A wheat beer yeast (preferably one of the German varieties for brewing weizen beers) is all that is needed for this style.

As far as I know, the best example of this style comes from the Schneider brewery in Germany; the Aventinus weizenbock. I've had this a couple times. I liked it, but my favorite one was probably Heavy Seas Hang Ten. Clocking in at 10%, it's probably a bit bigger than your standard style, but I remembered that being a really good beer, and quite possibly, that's what caused me to research the style and take a stab at the recipe I mentioned above.

As a consolation prize for entering a brewing contest earlier this year, I ended up getting back, along with my results, a combined 3 packs of the Munich Dry Yeast. At first, I thought, "Awesome! A new kind of dry lager yeast!" Upon further research, I discovered that it was actually a dry weizen-style kind of yeast.

I'm not a big fan of weizen or "wheat" beers. I don't mind a couple here or there, but to brew 5 gallons of wheat beer isn't very likely for me. They're good, and in fact, I thought it might have been nice to have some wheat beer this summer, but for the most part, they don't fall into my top 10 lists of beers I want to make, unless, of course, you're talking about cloning Gumballhead.

I then remembered the Bad Moon Weizenbock recipe I had crafted. Was that a lager or could I ferment that with the dry yeast I had?

I checked the Advantageous Weizenbock kit that Northern Brewer sells, and right there it was as the dry yeast option: Munich dry yeast.

So I decided that I would use two of the packs of yeast for this beer, and then use the third to brew some kind of Dunkelweizen later. Then I found my dad wanted to make a hefeweizen, so I figure I'll just give the yeast to him.

Another reference I check is Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's Brewing Classic Styles book. In their description of making weizenbock, they state that you can't brew this beer using only Munich and Wheat Malts. Unfortunately, when I read this, I already had my ingredients ready to go the next day. So I decided to not worry about it. Weeks later, I'm enjoying this beer. It tastes great, very much like a bock beer, without all the details involved with making a lager yeast starter or going through the long lagering process.

Bad Moon Weizenbock

6 gallons
OG: 1.086 (20.64)
SRM: 15.4
IBU: 28.3

Boil time: 60 minutes

9.0 lbs Red Wheat
5.0 lbs Light Munich Malt (10*L)
4.0 lbs Dark Munich Malt (12*L)
0.5 lbs Special B Malt


1.0 oz Perle (7.5%AA) First Wort
2.0 oz Crystal (4.1%AA) 15 min.
1.0 oz Crystal (4.1%AA) Dry Hop

Danstar Munich yeast (2 packs sprinkled onto wort)
Fermented at 68*F