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Style Matters - Golden Ales
In each issue, CBQ spotlights a particular beer style and provides tips from an ingredient and fermentation perspective. In this issue, we look at Maibocks.

Hop Notes: As winter comes to an end it is the perfect time to start planning for your spring time beer. Miabock is a perfect transition beer to accompany the changing of the seasons. Shifting away from the traditional heavier more alcoholic beers consumed in the winter to a medium bodied lager.

This style of beer is commonly brewed with a moderate hop flavor and low to no perceived hop aroma. The amount of hops used in this style are generally more apparent than in a traditional bock. A number of different varieties of hops can be used in this brew but Noble hops are a common choice for their perceived spicy and peppery qualities. For imported hops varieties such as German Spalt, Tradition, Hersbrucker, or Hallertau are commonly used. As for domestic hops many brewers have used Santiam, Vanguard, Liberty and Mt. Hood. Some commercial examples of this style of beer: Gordon Biersch Blond Bock, Summit Brewing Miabock, Capitol Brewery Miabock, Mahr’s Bock, Ayinger Miabock, and Mai-Urbock. To view move varieties of hops for your brewing needs please visit our recently updated website at:

— Jesse Umbarger, Hopunion LLC

Yeast and Fermentation Notes: Most of our customers tell us that when they are making Maibocks, they use WLP830 Pilsner Lager Yeast, WLP833 German Bock Lager Yeast, and WLP838 Southern German Lager Yeast.

As pointed out in the BJCP style guidelines, some believe Maibock is a “fest” type beer hitting the upper limits of hopping and color for the range. It is important to note that the fruitiness is not yeast-derived esters developed during fermentation, although some North American brewers certainly use these techniques. The guidelines say the flavor should be related to the Munich and other specialty malts.

Besides not having fermentation-derived fruity esters, Maibocks also should not have diacetyl. Even a young beer could taste deceiving when it comes to no diacetyl; it often develops over time. Thus, we recommend a diacetyl rest at 65F for one week. After that lower the temperature to about 40F and lager for two weeks.

— White Labs