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Mardi Bock

Brewed: 02/11/2024   Kegged: 02/24/2024

MardiBock.jpgSo, my homebrewing friend "Doc" invited me over to brew on Groundhogs Day. 

When I asked my wife (aka The SheppyBrew Beer Model) what I should brew. Her response was "A Mardi Gras Beer". Lent was coming up in about a month, so that seemed like a good one.

But what is a Mardi Gras beer?

Upon research and reflection, we agreed that it had to be a Bock-style beer.

I remember J. Wilson, the homebrewer and columnist who back in 2011 decided to follow the tradition of 17th century monks of Neudeck ob der Au outside Munich, Germany, developed the rich-and-malty beer to sustain them during Lenten fasts, the traditional 46-day lead-up to Easter.

Here is an article about the Lenten journey he took: My Faith: What I learned from my 46-day beer-only fast

He also wrote a book: Diary of a Part-Time Monk . 

And his blog on the project was Diary of a Part-time Monk

Anyway, J. Wilson picked (and the 17th century monks) picked dopplebock as their chosen style. I didn't want to go quite that big, so I went with a Dunkles Bock.

I had just brewed "PBR", so I had harvested lager yeast to help with the fermentation. And, of course, In the SheppyBrew 2018 Year-End Brewing Stats article, I said I would like to do more new recipes and more lagers in 2019. 

So, I came up with a recipe. 

I decided to keep the color and OG on the lighter side of the style. I decided to keep the bitterness a bit higher in the range just because I don't like overly sweet beers.

The resulting recipe is below.

The beer turned out fantastic. One of the beers that both the BrewMaster and Beer Model enjoyed. 

Batch 2 was ready for 2021 Lent. 

Batch 3 was pressure fermented and finished up about a week into 2023 Lent.

Batch 4 went back to my more traditional (sort of) lager fermentation for 2024 Lent.

For more information on this beer see Sheppy's Blog: Mardi Bock

Mardi Bock --- Batch 4 (351)

Style Dunkles Bock Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.57 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.064 SG Estimated FG 1.015 SG
Recipe Bitterness 25.7 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 6.6 %
BU : GU   0.399        
Recipe Color 14.7 SRM
Measured OG:   1.065    Measured FG:   1.014 
ADF:   77    Measured ABV:    6.8


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.62 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
8.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
9 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 62.1 % 0.70 gal
4 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 31.0 % 0.35 gal
8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (60.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.4 % 0.04 gal
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.7 % 0.02 gal
4.0 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 7 1.7 % 0.02 gal
0.500 oz Magnum [12.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 25.7 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 9 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 10 - -
1.0 pkg Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70) [50.28 ml] Yeast 11 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 1.0 days) Fining 12 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 30.54 qt of water at 160.3 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
Make yeast starter before brew day.
Water profile assumes BeerSmith Denver profile start
Final: Ca=107; Mg=9; Na=21; SO=51; Cl=157; HCO3=104;
Mash / boil as directed on recipe.
Chill as close to 50 degrees as possible. Ferment cold for one week, let the temperature rise 1 or 2 degrees a day until in the 60's.
After a week, let the fermentation finish off at room temperature.
Keg. Once the keg has chilled for 24 hours, add geletin to 3/4 cup 150F water, and add to keg.
Drink and enjoy.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.057 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.57 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
01/26/2024 esheppy
Lent is coming up, so Fat Tuesday is going to be here soon. 2/13/2024.
01/31/2024 esheppy
Put in my order to Tom's Brew Shop. Not sure when I'll pick it up or when I'll brew.
02/02/2024 esheppy
Picked up ingredients today at Tom's. Still not sure when I'll brew.
02/11/2024 esheppy
Brewed today. Everything went pretty well although I had to add some table sugar to get up to planned pre-boil gravity. I need to remember next time to reduce my brew house efficiency on this since it is a big beer. Nice and cold out so I was able to get chilled into the 50's easily. OG right at 1.065.
02/12/2024 esheppy
Bubbling early morning. Tilt says 1.057 at 53 degrees while the controller says 52. Setting the temp control to 52.
02/13/2024 esheppy
Going strong. Tilt says 1.043 at 52 degrees. Bumping temp up a degree to 53.
02/15/2024 esheppy
Still bubbling away. Tilt says 1.027 at 56. Control set to 55. I think I'll keep the temp control going for at least another couple of days. Might let this go longer than the planned two weeks, but I guess we'll see.
02/17/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.015 at 57 degrees. This is probably close to terminal gravity. Bumped the temp up another degree. Will probably unplug cooling pump later today.
02/20/2024 esheppy
Unplugged on Sunday (not Saturday as I said in the last comment). Tilt has been at 1.015 this whole time. Temperature has been rising pretty steadily over the past few days and is now at 63 degrees.
02/24/2024 esheppy
Kegged. Got the whole thing done with closed transfer. FG at 1.014, which makes this a 6.8% beer. Nice bock-like flavor, although maybe a bit more balanced than a typical sweet bock. Chilling in the kegerator. Collected yeast for next lager.
02/27/2024 esheppy
Added gelatin. Set the keg pressure to 25ish.
02/28/2024 esheppy
Poured a pint at the high psi. Still needs carbonation, but head retention is awesome. Color is perfect, but need the gelatin to work more. Nice bready malt flavor with enough bitterness to balance nicely. Great beer.
03/07/2024 esheppy
Checked into untappd. Noticed that I never checked in the 2023 version. Oh well. Great bready Munich malt flavor. Not too sweet. Great balance. Wonderful thick head and carbonation is about perfect. Not as clear as I would like, but I'm ok with that for now.
03/15/2024 esheppy
Crystal clear. Can read through this beer now. Gorgeous red color. Rich bread malt flavor. No hop flavor, but nicely balanced between bitterness and malt sweetness.
03/30/2024 esheppy
Easter Eve. So beautiful. Nice Munich Malt beer. Yummy. Not sure how much is left, but I think a decent amount.
04/05/2024 esheppy
Friday day drinking. Not sure what to say about the beer other than what I've already said. Bready. Toasty. Caramel. Rich. Clean. Beautiful. Wonderful. Great. Gorgeous. Yummy. If I remember next time I make this, I might increase the mash temp to reduce the ABV a bit.
04/25/2024 esheppy
Killed the keg yesterday ... exactly 2 months after kegging this batch. Wonderful to the last drop. I'm running low on homebrew with two empty kegs and another about to blow. I do have Melting Stream in the fermenter and will likely brew Helles in a Hand Bock-sket this weekend. Big Brew Day is also coming up the following weekend. So, soon I'll have tons of beer. Just have to survive until the next few batches finish up.
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