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Old 10-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
Jul 2010
Posts: 346
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Been seeing a lot of recipes on HBT lately regarding Octoberfests, and based on the recipes and descriptions, they've looked really tasty!

So yesterday i was in the local bar, and they had two Octoberfests on hand, one was a Left Hand Octoberfest and the other was a Stoudts Octoberfest.

I tried both and really didnt like either. The color and aroma was wonderful, but both were sweet to the point of being sickly. And also very little discernible hoppiness. It really was a struggle to get through either of them.

Is this typical of Octoberfests to be super sweet? Does anyone know of these two brews personally and how they may relate to Octoberfests in general?

Suffice it to say, I gave Octoberfests a shot, but definitely wont be putting them on my brew list.

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #2
Jul 2010
Blacksburg/Herndon, VA
Posts: 2,156
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I have never had either of those, but I have had a few others. I had one at a local brewery...and it tasted like watery malt, the opposite of your problem haha. Sam Adams is one of my favorites because it is readily and widely availible, and it has a great malt backbone without being too sweet.

In fact with some of my friends that would like to know more about the beer world but ar intimidated, I tell them to try Sam Adams Oktoberfest as an example of a malty beer and compare it to Boston Lager as a hoppy example.

Bottom line is each brewery really varies and I personally have never had one that was sickly sweet (fingers crossed)
If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 sharpening my axe. ~Abe Lincoln

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Old 10-03-2010, 03:43 AM   #3
HackInBlack's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 57
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As a general rule, Oktoberfest beers are supposed to be more malty (read sweet) than hoppy. However, the best ones (Paulaner, Spaten, etc. - beers from the home of Oktoberfest) are very well balanced in my opinion. They are sweeter than an IPA, of course, but they are not what I would call sickly sweet.

I just brewed an Oktoberfest from a kit - I think it was a True Brew kit - and it's just now finishing up the bottle conditioning. As I bottled it I tasted it and it was too sweet. However, as its conditioned, the flavors have mellowed and melded and it is actually pretty good. That's the great thing about homebrewing - try a recipe and see what you think - then tweak it to your own tastes.

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Old 10-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
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yeah an Ofest should be malt-forward, not real hoppy, but with a somewhat crisp finish. its that finish that's supposed to balance the maltiness, rather than hops.

I do agree Sam Adams version is tasty. I've had several brew pub versions that I liked too.

If its cloyingly sweet, something's wrong in their recipe.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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Old 10-03-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
passedpawn's Avatar
Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
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Sweet != malty. Ocfests should not be sweet, but should have a nice malty taste. They should be hopped to be balanced (i.e, bitterness ratio about 0.500).

German brands are strictly session beers, so they will be a bit underwhelming if you are looking for a big taste.

Some american ones have a bit more flavor. I like the SA offering.
- Andrew

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Old 10-03-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
DrinksWellWithOthers's Avatar
May 2008
Posts: 1,049
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I find a lot of American micro Ofests to be overly sweet though I like SA and Brooklyn's offerings.

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