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Old 09-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
dmorrison
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Default Marzen/Oktoberfest Imitation Ale

Oktoberfest is nearly here, way too near for making a lager. How about a fast fermenting, fast conditioning, marzen taste-alike ale? Here's my plan to brew up oktoberfest-ishness in 3 weeks or less.

Malts:
70% German 2-row pale ale malt.
15% Vienna malt.
10% Munich malt.
3% Caravienna (or similar).
2% Chocolate malt.

(6-row malts kept at or below 30% to avoid DMS flavor problems).

Mash: Higher temp mash to get a full body, ~158.
Hops: Boiling 1 oz of any low AA% hops. No other additions, in order to cut down aging time.
Yeast: Wyeast German Ale 1007. Pitched with a 2 L starter.
Ferment: Racked to secondary as soon as the bubbles stop. Racked to keg at the last possible moment. Fridged and quickly force carbed with plenty of psi and shaking.

Options

  • A .25oz or .5oz addition of Spalt or Saaz at 20-15 minutes.
  • Mashing 25% Vienna and no Munich.
  • Mashing 25% Munich and no Vienna.
  • Replacing 2% of Vienna with aromatic malt

Opinions?
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Looks good. Personally, I would switch the percentages of Munich and Vienna, and then replace some of that Vienna with aromatic. That aromatic will help add to the malty nose and add a bit of perceived dryness; you don't want to make one of those annoying sweet oktoberfests that seem to be running rampant.

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Old 09-30-2012, 03:35 AM   #3
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I am not set up to lager and use White Labs SF Lager yeast fermented at 62f with good results making faux lagers. Just an option with your yeast. I took a 1.080 OG Baltic Porter to 1.019 FG in 2 weeks with that yeast.

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Old 10-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f63/biermunchers-oktoberfast-ale-ag-39021/ This is one I plan on brewing soon.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:06 PM   #5
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Thank you for the suggestions.
Tedclev: As you recommended, I switched the grain bill to 15% Munich, 7% Vienna, 3% Aromatic.
OClairBrew: I'm slapping my forehead for not thinking of using Cali yeast. Unfortunately, it's too close to brew day to begin a Cali starter, and the German Ale starter is already underway. If my first oktoberfake is well received, I'll brew another with Wyeast's 2112 (LHBS stocks mostly wyeast, not so much white labs).
BrewerBear: Good luck. Lots of 6-row in the linked recipe. I have read that a 90 minute boil is not enough to eliminate DMS risks in an ale with more that 25% 6-row (I worry I'm pushing it by using 30% 6-row in my own recipe). Also, plenty of hops in there, which I'm speculating may require some aging time (the recipe already includes 4 months of secondary).

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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You might consider doing a simple decoction. Before I ever tried it I was afraid, but after trying it a couple times it really isn't as complicated as it sounds. I really like the maltiness in my beers that I do it on.

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Old 09-09-2013, 03:19 AM   #7
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So, did you brew this? How did it turn out? I have an Oktoberfest coming up 10/5, and would love to have a Märzen-like ale for that party.

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