Bock Beer

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Bock beer is the name of a strong German lager which originated in Einbeck in Lower Saxony. Bock comes in several variations, which include: Heller bock; Doppelbock; Maibock and Eeisbock. There are a wide number of commercial examples of German Bock brewing, not only in Germany, but in other countries as well.

Bock beer usually has an alcohol content of around 6-8%, is lightly hopped, and has a strong malt sweetness to the flavor. Bock beer is among the maltiest and strongest brewing styles within Germany. These lagers are usually a clear, deep copper color, although the color varies according to the particular Bock. As is the case in barley wines, the hop content of Bock beer does not affect the roma; is it used to balance the sweetness that is caused by the large content of malt, and cuts through the finish of the beer.

Bocks originate from Einbeck, and the name is attributed to the pronunciation of the city’s name in a Bavarian accent. The origin of the goat on many Bockbiers is also as a result of this pronunciation of Einbeck. Bavarians pronounce the name “Einbock” which translates as “a billy goat”.

The Variety of Bockbier Styles

Although Maibock beers are brewed in the Helles lager style, they contain larger levels of alcohol and fermentable sugars. Maibocks are lighter in color and contain a larger proportion of hops. “Mai” means “May” in German, and refers to the spring month. The fact that Maibock is usually considered a springtime lager, has resulted in the name. Traditional Bock is intended more for colder weather. The difference between traditional Bocks and Maibocks is that Maibocks are more carbonated and crisp. The spicy characteristics of German hops used in this brewing style have a great influence on the malt flavor of the beer.

Doppelbock beer

Doppelbocks originated with Franciscan monks who needed a stronger beer to sustain them during their fasting. With up to twice the alcohol content as traditional Bocks, Doppelbocks range from 7% to 12%. Doppelbocks vary more widely in color than traditional Bocks. They can range from the pale color of Helles lager, to the darker hues of Dunkelbier. The aroma is much stronger and maltier than that of other Bocks, and may contain a trace of alcohol. The names of Doppelbocks often end in “or”. These include Augustiner Maximator, Ayinger Celebrator and Paulaner Salvator.

Eisbocks have a significantly high alcohol content, which ranges from 10% to 13%. This is due to the partial freezing process the beer undergoes in order to remove water. This results in a higher alcohol percentage and a concentration of flavor. The process is conducted while the beer is in the lagering tanks, being conditioned. Apart from removing the water content, this process also removes a large amount of the tannins which are found in the residual hop resins and grain husks. This results in Eisbock being a much softer and sweeter lager that is in fact more like a desert wine than a beer.

There are many other styles of Bockbier, including: Weizendoppelbock – a strong wheat Bock; Weihnachtsbock, also known as “Christmas Bock” – which is a darker Bock and available during the Christmas season; Urbock – the original Bockbier, brewed in Einbeck; Weizendoppelbock – a strong bock made from wheat and Fastenbock, which is brewed specifically for Lent.

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