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Old 06-14-2010, 03:07 PM   #1
TheWeeb's Avatar
May 2010
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,125
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As you can see from my sig, I am new to this, but thought I would put together a first attempt at a non-kit. I also want to try a lager, and with that huge German fest just around the corner, well, here goes....

It is interesting about Oktoberfest beers. Having lived in Germany and gone to the fest 7 times, the wonderful malty drinkability is much different than the export version, specifically, the Pauliner Oktoberfest Marzen. The version you get in the bottles here is a much darker amber color and higher in alcohol than what is served at the festhalle and bottled over there. I also absolutely love the Avery Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest seasonal.

So, I wanted to get something that is somewhat in between without destroying too many of the style guidelines.

Here is the plan:

6.0 lbs of Munich LME
3.3 lbs of Pilsner LME
2.0 lbs of Carmunich III

Steep the grain @ 150 for 30 min; then bring to a boil and add the LME

.5 oz Magnum at 60
1.0 oz Hallertau at 30
1.0 oz Hallertau at flame out thru cooling

WL820 Oktoberfest Marzen yeast pitched at 65
One week at 55-65, rack to secondary, lager at 45-55 degrees for a long, long time. I have an electronic controller on the way for my small fridge so I can set it and forget it.

I am not sure which brew calculator to use, so I found one on line that gave me this as estimates:

OG 1.080, FG 1.020
IBU 17

Does this make sense? The OG and IBU are a bit outside the window for an Oktoberfest, but not quite into DoppleBock territory.

"I would Rather Have a Keg of Delirium Tremens than a Case of It"

Up Next: Imperial Rhubarb Wheat
Enjoying: too many odd bottles to list..

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Old 06-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #2
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
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From what I understand what we get exported to America is closer to the traditional flavor profile (more malt character), what is served over there in the tents these days in more like a big Helles.

Sounds like you are on the right track, although I would cut down the CaraMunich to no more than a pound (too much sweetness as is). Flameout hops aren't a normal addition, but I think it would be a fine addition to a style I often feel needs a bit of something extra. Your gravity is a bit high for anything but an Imperial "American" version, I would back it down for added drinkability.

Some general tips on lagers. Pitch a lot of yeast (if you stick at 1.080 something like a 1+ gallon starter would be the way to go, fermented out, chilled and decanted so you only pitch a thick yeast slurry.). Keep the fermentation temps near 50 if you can, and let it stay in primary for 2-3 weeks (you can warm it up a bit towards the end, especially if there is any buttery flavor). Make sure to pitch the yeast only after the wort is chilled down to your fermentation temperature, warm pitching followed by cooling is a recipe for poor fermentation.

Good luck on your first lager, I just kegged a slightly smoked dunkel over the weekend that I'm excited to try... after it has another month to lager.
Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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Old 06-14-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,883
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The Munich malt is a great base. I'd keep the extracts the same, and just reduce the caramunich to 1 pound. More than a pound would be too sweet.

Marzens (Oktoberfests) typically don't have aroma hops, just bittering and flavor hops, since they really don't have much hops aroma at all. I'd leave it out, but if you really like it you can keep the flameout hops. I'd go with the 60 minute addition, and a 20 minute addition. I'm not one for 30 minute hops additions. In my opinion, you get very little flavor from a 30 minute addition, and not that much bitterness, so my preference is to go with bittering hops at 60 minutes and flavor hops at 15-20 minutes.
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