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Helles in a Hand Bock-sket

Brewed: 04/28/2024   Kegged: 05/17/2024

bock-sket.JPGAward Winner!!! 2nd Place Best Of Show 2013 Arapahoe County Fair Battle of the Homebrews.

My very first lager was a beer that I called Brother Bear Dopplebock and brewed back in February of 2010. Of course, this was before I started all-grain brewing.

Much more recently, I declared that I was going to try to brew all-grain batches in  all the BJCP Categories that I have not brewed in (see SheppyBrew Styles). Category 5 Bock was one of those missing styles because I had not brewed an all-grain version.

Helles in a Hand Bock-sket is my Bock category recipe from the 5A. Maibock/Helles Bock subcategory.

The recipe is very simple, using only German Pilsner and Munich malts along with some Magnum hops for bittering. It uses harvested WLP830 German Lager yeast from Khazad-dรปm Black Lager, and is the conclusion of my German lager trilogy.

The result will be a big, rich, clean, smooth light colored beer. I am planning on brewing this early March and should be trying it by June. I hope to put some of this away to age and try from time to time.

You can read more about this beer on my blog by checking out:


Not that anyone will buy any, but I created a bumper sticker in my Zazzle store for this beer. I shared this page on the SheppyBrew facebook page with a comment "Will drink in May". One of my facebook friends noted that "Will drink in May" sounded like a statement or like and event. It reminded her of "will work for food" only not "so sad or needy". She thought I should make a bumper sticker.

So I did. However it doesn't appear to be available anymore.

Or don't ... either way.


Entered this beer into the 2013 Arapahoe County Fair Battle of the Homebrews. It got 2nd place in the Best Of Show competition, which makes me very happy.

Batch 3 was made in April of 2021 in my Anvil Foundry. #WillDrinkInMay

Batch 4 in 2024. Reduced the target ABV just a touch.

Helles in a Hand Bock-sket --- Batch 4 (355)

Style Mailbock/Helles Bock Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.57 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   65.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.066 SG Estimated FG 1.015 SG
Recipe Bitterness 32.0 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 6.7 %
BU : GU   0.486        
Recipe Color 6.6 SRM
Measured OG:   1.062    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   79    Measured ABV:   6.6 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.67 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
6.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
2.00 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
2.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
2.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 5 - -
1.00 g Baking Soda (Mash) Water Agent 6 - -
12 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 7 80.0 % 0.94 gal
3 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 8 20.0 % 0.23 gal
1.000 oz Magnum [12.60 %] - Boil 35.0 min Hop 9 32.0 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 11 - -
1.0 pkg Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70) [50.28 ml] Yeast 12 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 5.0 days) Fining 13 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 30.69 qt of water at 160.5 F 152.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 158.0 F over 10 min 158.0 F 15 min
Mash Out Heat to 170.0 F over 7 min 170.0 F 10 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Use floor malted German Pilsner malt.
Adding water salts to get close to Munich water profile in Beer Smith.
Acid addition to bring mash pH to about 5.3
Use harvested yeast from lower ABV lager.
A day or two before brewing, make a 6 cup starter.
Cool wort to below 55 degrees before pitching.
Ferment for 1 week as close to 55 as possible. After 1 week, let temperature rise into mid to 60s for a week.
Keg. Adding geletin into .5 cups of water once chilled.
Let condition until may.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.058 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.57 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
04/11/2024 esheppy
Updating the recipe a bit. Need to get this brewed in late April or early May.
04/28/2024 esheppy
Brew Day. Yeast pitched at 11:38 ... Almost exactly 6 hours from when I got up. Another day where I went to church before the boil. Low OG even with adding about 8 oz of sugar. About 6 gallons into fermenter. Pitched at about 55 degrees. 1.062 OG. I expect this should start up quick with lots of yeast going strong with a starter.
04/29/2024 esheppy
Going strong this morning. Tilt says 1.054 at 52 degrees. Set the controller to 52. We're off.
04/30/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.043 at 53 degrees. Bumping up the controller to 53.
05/01/2024 esheppy
Forgot to switch ice last night, so I guess we're switching to the warm ferment already. Tilt says 1.023 at 67.
05/02/2024 esheppy
Still bubbling, but has slowed down considerably from yesterday. Tilt says 1.016 at 65 degrees. I still have the cooling going at 65 degrees. Probably isn't really doing much, and I can probably just unplug the pump.
05/03/2024 esheppy
Slow bubbling. Tilt says 1.015 at 65 degrees. I unplugged the pump just now. Will let this go for another week or two.
05/06/2024 esheppy
Bubbling seems to have pretty much stopped. Tilt says 1.016 at 66. Just letting the yeast clean up now. Can probably keg this weekend.
05/16/2024 esheppy
Still have not kegged. Need to get that done soon, but it probably doesn't hurt to let this age a bit. Tilt says 1.015 at 67 degrees.
05/17/2024 esheppy
Kegged today. Not very clear, but I'm sure gelatin and cold and time will clear it up. FG at 1.012, which is lower than planned, but good. Great maibock flavor. Chilling on right side of beer fridge right now.
05/19/2024 esheppy
Added gelatin.
05/19/2024 esheppy
... Poured some from the keg to get more headspace for carbonation and to get some of the junk up off the bottom. Really loving the flavor.
05/24/2024 esheppy
Clarity looking pretty good now. Carbonation almost there, but needs a bit more. Still loving the flavor.
06/07/2024 esheppy
I'd call this crystal clear now. Wonderful flavor. Carbonation perfect. Think this is what I remember tasting when I first thought I'd submit batch 1 for competition.
06/13/2024 esheppy
#WillDrinkInJune. Great bready malt character. Loving this beer. I think the only improvement I can think of is making it lower ABV ... But it wouldn't be a Maibock then ๐Ÿ˜Ž
06/23/2024 esheppy
Delicious. Bready with a touch of cherry. More clear. A little too high in ABV for this summer heat, but yummy to drink ๐Ÿ˜Ž
07/07/2024 esheppy
Been over a week since I've had any SheppyBrew. This one tastes the same as last comment. Might be a bit more clear. Great beer.
07/19/2024 esheppy
Over two months old now. #WillDrinkInJuly. Still seems to be half full. I must be drinking more responsibly recently. Crystal clear ... can read Zymurgy through the glass. Flavor about the same. Yummy beer.
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