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Old 09-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Default Oktoberfest taste like a Nut Brown Ale?

My Oktoberfest came out tasting like a Nut Brown Ale. This is perplexing to me. Any clue, given the grain bill and process that could have cause it?

Mash Method: two-step infusion
Step 1: Protein at 122 for 30 min
Step 2: Saccharification at 152 for 30 min
Mashout at 168 for 10 min
Fly Sparge at 168

4.5 lbs Vienna Malt
1.25 lbs Carahell
1.25 lbs Munich II
12 oz. Caramunich II
4 oz Carafa I
2 lbs Munich LME
1.75 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker
Wyeast Octoberfest lager #2633. Starter of fresh and fridge stored yeast (in water for 2 months).

Key notes: First few days of primary at 60 degrees. Fix Freezer then dropped to 53 degrees for 21 days; Secondary at 36 for 90 days after -2 degree drop per day.
bottle conditioned with Pilsen DME.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Default Oktobfest came out tasting like a Nut Brown Ale?

My Oktoberfest came out tasting like a Nut Brown Ale. This is perplexing to me. Any clue, given the grain bill and process that could have cause it?

Mash Method: two-step infusion
Step 1: Protein at 122 for 30 min
Step 2: Saccharification at 152 for 30 min
Mashout at 168 for 10 min
Fly Sparge at 168

4.5 lbs Vienna Malt
1.25 lbs Carahell
1.25 lbs Munich II
12 oz. Caramunich II
4 oz Carafa I
2 lbs Munich LME
1.75 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker
Wyeast Octoberfest lager #2633. Starter of fresh and fridge stored yeast (in water for 2 months).

Key notes: First few days of primary at 60 degrees. Fix Freezer then dropped to 53 degrees for 21 days; Secondary at 36 for 90 days after -2 degree drop per day.
bottle conditioned with Pilsen DME.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Well, the "ale" part of it may have come from fermenting at 60 degrees during the early part of fermentation. I think you could get some fruitiness and ester flavors from that, as the esters generally are formed from the first 24-48 hours of fermentation.

As far as the rest of the recipe, I don't see "nutty" flavors in there but it is way too much cara/crystal malt for me in an Oktoberfest/Marzen. It should be bready/malty/toasty character (Munich malt is a huge part of it!) but much less crystal/cara malts. I've never seen carafa in an Oktoberfest before, and that could be part of why you're getting some nutty flavors, from the mild roast of the carafa.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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The Caramunich and carafa would do it, don't need the carahell either tbh. The Vienna malt, Munich ii and Munich LME would have gotten you where you wanted to be on their own (although you may have wanted more Vienna to get the gravity up a hair). Honestly, I make my Ofest out of 100% Munich (7-10L, depending on supplier)

I would expect the wort from your recipe to be just as you described and taste like a nut brown ale

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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Tough to say exactly without tasting it, but my first guess would be because you fermented it like an ale, not a lager. The first few days, when the yeast replicate and make most of the esters and flavor compounds, your temps were at ale temps. You then followed a more typical lager process but the "damage" may have already been done.

Could be the recipe but I'd be hard pressed to say what's off without tasting it.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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I'd suspect Carafa is your culprit. It's very roasty with a dark color and would lend well to a brown beer, but way out of style for an octoberfest. I use Carafa in my belgian stout.

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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For lagers, I would recommend Dehusked/Special Carafa, it imparts less of a chocolate malt flavor than the regular Carafa. I'm guessing regular Carafa + too much crystal + 60F fermentation = Nut Brown Ale flavor.

On the bright side, I'd suggest you tell people its a Brown Ale and drink it up.

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:11 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your feedback. All-in-all it's a good beer, just off the mark.

I will take all of your advice and try to tune it.

Cheers!

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:23 AM   #9
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That it terrible!!! I would not stand for beers that are out of style guidelines. We must not lower our standards.

Psst, If you want, I'll take that brown off your hands. Just tell me where to back up the tailgate

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:37 AM   #10
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Ha ha Cider123, not a chance :-)
My quest is to produce a Spaten Oktoberfest clone. I'm happy to drink my own mistakes.

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