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Old 02-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
Jan 2012
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 158
Liked 22 Times on 14 Posts

I'm looking to get some ideas on a beer I'd like to take a shot at late this summer, that being a German Festbier. What I'm really shooting for is the version of Oktoberfest Lagers you would find in Germany, during Oktoberfest that tend to be lighter in color and malt flavor than their American counterparts (think Sam Adams), but retain more of the character that you'd find in a German Helles or Pilsner. Many folks aren't a big fan of this take on the Marzen, but I've found it to be a nice change of pace compared to maltier versions that are far easier to find in the fall. The only commercial version I can say I've tried is the Hofbrau Oktoberfest, which I was able to find surprisingly easily both in bottle and on draft this fall in West Michigan where I reside.

Admittedly, I'm a newer brewer with only a couple extract batches under my belt, but would like to step up to a partial mash on this one, since from what I've read, this one will need some Vienna malt in it. Here is what I have gathered so far from poking around on the internet and in the forums:

-A mix of Pilsen and Vienna for base malts
-Some Munich, but to a lesser extent
-CaraMunich or another Cara specialty grain for mouthfeel
-Noble hops added early in the boil for bittering to get to between 20-30 IBU
-A Bavarian Lager or Marzen yeast

The plan would be to primary around 45-50 for 2-3 weeks, and lager for 4-6, making it ready sometime in September.

Any feedback or thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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pjj2ba's Avatar
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
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You are on the right track. For a true German style, I'd shy away from using much cara malts, that would be more import/American style. Perhaps some carapils for extra body. Or you can play with step mashing to dial in a wort that will give you loads of body with just pils and vienna malt.

I'd go with IBUs closer to 30 than 20 to give it a bit more bitterness than a Helles

Fermentation plans look good
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Kegged and Aging/Lagering: CAP, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Amer. Wheat, Rye IPA, Saison
Primary: Ger Pils, CAP
Brewing soon: Pale lager, Amer. wheat
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
Jan 2012
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 158
Liked 22 Times on 14 Posts

Here's my initial shot at the recipe. This should allow me to do the countertop mash in a 2 gallon cooler at a 1.5:1 water/grain ratio.

5 Gallon Batch:

OG: 1.064
FG: 1.016
28 IBU
6.4% ABV

Full 5 gallon boil for 60 minutes

5lb Vienna
3lb Pilsen Light DME
1.5lb Munch LME

1oz Hallertauer (60min)
1oz Hallertauer (30min)

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Critiques are welcome and encouraged.

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
Dec 2010
Olympia, WA
Posts: 465
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts

Revvy has a vienna lager thats pretty good in the recipes section. Worth checking out!

Also, id add .25 lb melanoidin malt if youre not doing a decoction
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