For our first small batch release, we decided to make a strong and flavourful lager to see us through the winter, and what better beer to do that than a dunkels bock. But what exactly is a dunkels bock? Well, to answer that, we have to go to a town in northern Germany called Einbeck.
In the 14th Century, the town of Einbeck first brewed a bock lager, which became very popular in Bavaria a few centuries later. The name ‘Bock’ refers to the way locals of Munich would pronounce the name of Einbeck, which translated into a ram. Many Munich breweries still include a ram or goat figure on their bock lager bottles because of this.
Bock itself is a lager style, but a few substyles also exist: Maibock or Helles Bock, Dunkels Bock, Dopplebock, Eisbock and Weizenbock. Alcohol strength across these substyles is between 6% to over 14% for some Eisbocks!
The dunkels bock style is strong, and as the name suggests, dark. The malt profile dominates, with a rich bready and toasty profile. It can be quite clean, or sometimes has a dark fruity character. It should be smooth drinking – not too full bodied and not too carbonated – with a light alcohol warmth. Typical ABV is between 6% and 7%.
We made our version, Rapid Analogue Man, with pale, Vienna and Munich malts, and added crystal and black malts for sweetness, dark fruits and colour. Fermentation was done with a German lager yeast, and the beer spent 2 months lagering before being packaged into 440ml cans and 5L mini kegs.
We think it turned out great, why not give it a go?