I’ve never really liked having the spotlight on me. Some of the earliest home movies of me are in front of a birthday cake as a three-year-old fidgeting around uncomfortably as my family sang happy birthday.
I’d rather watch someone else perform. I’d rather watch someone else lead. I’d rather watch someone else get recognized.
I figure if I want to be a successful brewer, I need to become more comfortable sharing my success publicly. In the Upstate Brewer’s Cup this weekend, my maibock took second place in the best-of-show. I haven’t entered many competitions, and this is by far my best showing.
A lesson in, “sometimes simpler is better,” the maibock is super-simple. It’s pilsner and munich malt with Northern Brewer hops, fermented with Saflager S-23.
I believe the keys to success were the low fermentation at 50 degrees and a boil over after my first hop addition that caused me to lose a good amount of hops and thus prevent the beer from being too bitter.
It had a strong caramel malt aroma and matching flavor. There was a little bit of fruity esters detectable. The finish was sweet, but not lingering. It had just enough hop backbone to balance out the malt.
Overall, it’s a clean, malty and balanced beer that’s very drinkable. I’m pretty sure this beer will become a spring tradition in the Cendrowski household.
Maibock is Untamed
For 10 gallons:
13 lbs. pilsner
9 lbs. munich
1.0 oz Northern Brewer (9.4% AA) (60 minutes remaining)
1.0 oz Northern Brewer (10 min remaining)
4 packets Saflager S-23, fermented at 50 degrees with a diacetyl rest to 70 degrees
Lagered for 8 weeks at 35 degrees