Black Rock Mai Bock

WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
Purchased one of the two-packs that are currently on offer.
Anyone else ever brewed this?

Rather than using the 2 cans to make a 23L batch, I've used one can to make an 11L batch.
In keeping with some other kits, the (somewhat limited) instructions don't tell you to check the starting SG.
I did ( as usual ) and found that it was just over 1.042
As the finishing OG is supposed to be around 1.014, by my calculations that would mean it would only be about 3.8% ABV...about half what a normal Bock would be.
No mention of needing to add sugar/spraymalt, so I didn't.

Am I missing something?


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    The Black Rock Mai Bock is designed to be around standard strength, the manufacturers do say you can use 3 tins to replicate the stronger style of traditional bock beers if wanted though, although that can start to get expensive. Another option is you could do similar to what you have done already and reduce the water content to increase the alcohol and flavour, or as you say, if you just wanted it stronger you could add some additional sugars/spraymalt that would ferment
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Just triple-checked it ( been started for about 6 hours ) and it's still only 1.042
    Double-checked my calculations & it still comes back as about 3.8% ABV.

    Granted it's a different kit, but the Brewferm Oranje Bock lists theirs as having a starting SG of 1.054 & a finishing SG of about 1.01 ( for around 5.75-6% ABV )

    I've decided to bite the bullet & chuck in 500g of spraymalt to see what that does.
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Forgot to say....after only 6 hours it's already frothing away nicely, so there can't be anything wrong with the basic kit.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    Great stuff, the additional spraymalt will ferment out and increase the strength and flavour further, it is off to a good start if it is frothing already, let us know how you get on wont you
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Left it for 2 hours after adding the spraymalt then rechecked the SG - it's now up to 1.054, so should work out at about 5.25% ABV.
    Used a dark spraymalt, simply because it was already open.
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    2 day on from starting it & I've just checked the SG - it's already down to 1.02 ( my calculator makes that about 4.5% ABV ) :D
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    3 days on ( so it's been on the go for 5 days ) and the SG is still at 1.02 .... not the first time I've had this happen, sometimes they've restarted after giving the brew a good stir, other times I've had to chuck in some new yeast. If I have to do the latter, undecided as to whether to use Munton's Gold or Danstar Nottingham
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    A stir can often help a brew to drop the last few points and help the yeast along, if not a spare yeast should do the trick, just try to keep the temperature within the suggested range too
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    After an initial high of 24C the temperature's been pretty much 20-22C throughout, which is well within the "18-26C" range quoted in the instructions.
    According to the instructions fermentation's supposed to take about 10 days, but as I said, it's not the first time I've had this happen - a big drop after 1 or 2 days then it stops.
    Gave it a good stir yesterday, checked it this morning & it's still 1.02 .... guess I'll have to try some different yeast to see if that does anything.

    Can't recall where I read it, but don't the Black Rock kits use Mangrove Jack's yeast ?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    To finish that last bit a general beer yeast will help it drop, if yours has quite a bit of malt extract or sugar added then maybe a higher alcohol yeast will ensure it completes, the temperature is good so that is all OK
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Still 1.02, so I've added some Danstar Nottingham yeast to see if that does anything.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    It will be interesting to hear of it drops any further
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    24 hour on and it has dropped slightly, from just on the 1.02 mark to just under the 1.02 mark ( less than the actual thickness of the mark itself )
    The good news is that there's still some frothing & pressure build-up in the bucket, so it is doing something, but what remains to be seen.
    It's just a shame they only give the potential finishing SG, with no starting SG or ABV.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    edited February 2018
    That is a good sign it is frothing and building up pressure, it is just a waiting game and it can be left until it stops completely before bottling, there are a few manufacturers who don't give the final gravity reading which would be a great help
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    With Black Rock, they do give the finishing SG.
    What they don't give is the starting SG or the potential ABV, so you've got no idea how well the brew went
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Still creeping down slowly, it's now 1.018 ( about 4.75% ABV ) :)

    As the main Black Rock website has a 'contact us' section, I've asked them if they have starting SGs and/or potential %ABV for their various brew kits.
    Not holding out much hope of a helpful reply, but if you don't ask....
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    I was wrong, I did get a helpful reply from Black Rock -
    No we don’t have any charts but are updating instructions to provide this info in near future.

    Rule of thumb - 1 can extract into 23 L = 1.022 SG = approx. 2% ABV depending on fermentation characteristics

    Standard cider make-up (1 can cider + 1kg sugar) = starting SG of 1040

    Maibock instruction is to makeup 2 cans which would give a starting gravity of 1.042, instructions state an end SG of approx.. 1014…we believe this should be 1.008 – 1.014 which would give an alcohol of 3.7 – 4.5% ABV. On the can ii states for a traditional brew use 3 cans which should give an ABV of 6.4 – 7.2% depending on fermentation.
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Well, Danstar Nottingham saves the day...I think that'll be my go-to yeast from now on :)
    Combined with a good daily stirring, the SG's now down to 1.012 ( about 5.5% ABV )
    Lots of suspended sediment at the moment, don't know if it'll clear naturally or if I'll have to resort to adding finings
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    That's great news, the stirring will have made it quite cloudy, this will settle down after a couple of days, if it is still quite full of sediment by then though a fining will settle it before bottling
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    3 days on ( 15 days after starting it ) and the SG seems to have settled at 1.012
    Don't think it'll get any lower.
    Added some finings to it & will bottle it next week.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    Sounds good, and ready for bottling. The finings will help it clear but may mean that the carbonation in the bottles takes longer as there is less suspended yeast in the brew
  • WCGWCG Posts: 74Member
    Three weeks after bottling it, I've just opened the first one - it was the last one I bottled & had a fair bit of sediment ( self-inflicted, due to me trying to squeeze every last drop out of the brew ) so it was something of a sacrificial lamb.
    For want of a better description, it was very tangy & malty, with a noticable kick to it.
    Possibly it'll mellow over the next few months, but I'd be quite happy if it didn't.

    Definitely one I'll be making again, but next time I'll use 3 cans - as recommended - and may leave out the spraymalt ( or may add LME instead of DME )
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