Tag Archives: maibock

Fred’s Maibock

Almost two months ago, I mentioned brewing a maibock at Hopworks. Yesterday, that brew got served to the public and I hustled my way from work in order to make it there to try some.

And it’s pretty damn good. The kick ass ‘assistant’ brewer (quotes because she’s a brewer, regardless of title)¬†Amelia was there to take pride in both her work and supervisory role and talk to me a little about the process of fermentation and shine a little light on how a smaller brewpub compares to homebrewing. Turns out, sanitation and temperature control during fermentation are two of the biggest keys when brewing on a larger scale; if those things are right, she says, your beer will probably be pretty good. Truly awesome of her to spend some time with me, which I appreciate and I respect her (and Hopworks‘) work all the more because the process is different by virtue of scale alone.

The maibock was a light, malty-ish beer that was tasty without having any one element overpower the beer. There was a nibble at the end-not a bite but definitely a shift in flavor. Some suggested that the hop value was a bit high and while I’m not inclined to agree with that assessment, after three maibocks I did note an oily, bitter note at the end indicative of hops. After three beers though, I don’t think this is a weird thing; hop flavors are cumulative so after several I’d just imagine they will be more prominent.

Unfortunately, I didn’t remember my camera so I don’t have pictures. You’ll just have to imagine.

As an added bonus though, I was able to try some of Hopworks’ Galactic Imperial Red before it goes on sale today at Ground Kontrol and debuts tomorrow at Hopworks. Thanks to Amelia, who was too kind!

Let’s check out the bottle:

Hopworks Galactic Red bottle

I don’t know about you but as a kid who grew up during the era of 16-bit videogames, this is a triumph. Triumph, I tell you!

And the beer itself?

Galactic brew

So that’s what it looks like. The taste; it’s a really, really smooth red ale. A touch of alcohol warmth at the end, which if you’re thinking about it might remind you that this is an imperial red. Otherwise, I can see people drinking a little more of this brew than they intend and paying for it.

But while you’re drinking it, it’s a hell of a nice red ale. Check it out.

Brewing at Hopworks

One of the benefits of working on the board for the OBC is that I have opportunities to brew in new environments with people who really know what they’re doing. As a homebrewer, I can’t tell you how cool it is to have the chance to work in a professional setting and with experts.

It’s pretty rad, as they used to say. Especially after having to pour out ten gallons of beer.

So when Hopworks offered to let us use their nano system to brew on and the board decided the respected Fred Eckhardt as the leader of the brew, I jumped at the opportunity to assist. Since Fred, respected as he is, hasn’t brewed in quite some time and so it fell to younger people to lift forty-eight pounds of malt and over forty gallons of water to make the style Fred had selected, a maibock.

Leading the way was Assistant Brewer Amelia, who was just smashing through the whole thing, answering questions, kidding around, keeping things on track and generally being very upbeat, especially when confronted with concerns about ‘are we doing this right?’ Thanks to her, we pretty much were.

Plus, I got to learn some new things about how all grain brewing works, how important recirculation is, what a Vorlauf pump does; all kinds of cool stuff.

I got to hold onto devices that I didn’t understand. The photo on the right shows a mechanism that allowed us to aerate the beer as it was pumped into a fermenter. I have no idea what it’s called.

Still, pretty cool, huh?

Normally, this is the part where I’d post the recipe, if I had one, so other people could see what we did.

This was the recipe basis:

5.5 lbs Lager Malt
5.5 lbs Munich Malt
1.0 lbs Light Carmel/Crystal Malt

7.5-9.6 AAU’s of bittering hops
.75 oz flavor hops
.5 oz aroma hops

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

This is what actually happened:

Easier to read version, here.

The beer should be ready in about a month! I’ll let you know how it is or if there’s time, let you know when it’ll be served so you can try it yourself.