Stygimoloch Bock 2020

Although we weren’t getting together with friends and family for Thanksgiving this year, I still wanted to do a rebrew of my Stygimoloch Bock. For this edition, the malt bill is identical, although I swapped in Mt. Hood for Magnum hops and used the Octoberfest/Marzen lager yeast (WLP820) instead of a Bavarian lager yeast. Last year’s version turned out pretty great, and this iteration did also. The recipe is a keeper!

Logo by Charon Henning

Stygimoloch Bock 2020

  • 9 lbs. Munich II malt (Weyermann)
  • 5 lbs. Munich I malt (Weyermann)
  • 8 oz. Caramel Munich 60L (Briess)
  • 4 oz. melanoidin malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 oz. Carfa Special III malt (Weyermann)
  • 1.75 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (4.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Octoberfest/Marzen Lager yeast WLP820 (White Labs), repitched from Dog Days Pilsner

Target Parameters

  • 60 minute infusion mash, 153°, batch sparge
  • 1.070 o.g., 1.021 f.g., 6.5% abv, 23 IBU, 15 SRM
  • Claremont tap water, with carbonates knocked back by addition of 4.2 mL 88% lactic acid

Procedure

  • I neutralized the carbonates in the tap water with ~4.2 mL of 88% lactic acid in 5 gallons of water, along with a quarter of a Campden tablet to take care of chloramines.
  • I mashed in with 5 gallons of Claremont tap water at 162°, to hit a 153° mash temperature.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.5 gallons of water at 185°. I let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected first runnings.
  • I next added 3.75 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for another 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
  • In total, I collected 7.1 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.055, for 71% mash efficiency.
  • In order to raise the gravity slightly, I boiled for 15 minutes before adding the first round of hops. I then boiled another 60 minutes, adding the finings per the schedule.
  • After boiling for a total of 75 minutes, I turned off the heat, and chilled down to 80° before transferring into the fermenter and cooling down to 48°. I oxygenated for 60 seconds, and added a repitch of the Octoberfest yeast (from Dog Days Pilsner).
  • Starting gravity was 1.065, on 3 October 2020.
  • I fermented at 50°, until raising the temperature to 52° on 8 October 2020. I raised it to 53° on 17 October 2020, and up to 60° on 30 October 2020. I lowered it down to 55° on 1 November 2020, and had it down to 33° by 6 November. I held it at near-freezing until kegging on 13 November 2020.
  • Final gravity was 1.023, for 5.6% abv.

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Brilliantly clear, deep amber beer, with a persistent beige head. This is really pretty!
  • Aroma
    • Rich, malty bread crust aroma dominates. Delicious! Not much for hops. Very clean yeast character, with no notable esters or phenols.
  • Flavor
    • Malty, bready flavor, with a clean, moderate hop bitterness behind that. There is no hop flavor to speak of. The finish tilts slightly towards the bitter side, but not overly so. As with the aroma, yeast character on the flavor is quite clean, accentuating the malt notes.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Moderate-full body, moderate carbonation. It’s maybe a touch towards the sweet side, but not to the point of being cloying.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Absolutely! This iteration is a really solid version of the style, and I’m pretty pleased with it. It drinks so easily, I think it will be an annual brewing tradition! Malt character is spot-on perfect, and I think the hopping level is a bit closer to what I want on this version, too. It’s interesting that the attenuation is a bit less than expected; I wonder if this is because it’s a repitch of the yeast culture? It’s truly a perfect late autumn/early winter beer!
  • Overall
    • 9/10

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