Brewing a Festbier for Oktoberfest, is it too soon?

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N3Bruce

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I am brewing a festbier, which is a lightly hopped light lager, maybe 15 IBU. Brewed it 2 weeks ago and it has fermented down from 1.055 down to 1.010 using WLP 800. It is currently doing the Diacetyl rest before lagering. Things are going smoothly so far but looking ahead, I am wondering that once Lagering is complete that I should drink it sooner rather than later. I plan to cold crash it for a couple of weeks, then transfer it to a Corny Keg for longer term storage and dispensing.

Given the middling ABV and light touch with the hops, I am concerned that it will be past it's peak by fall. I don't have enough room either in a ferm chamber or keezer to keep it cold until fall, it will sit in a keg in my basement at about 68 degrees until ready to drink. OTOH, it will make a great "lawnmower beer", so maybe I should plan on drinking it sooner and brew something a little more robust for Fall.
 

monkeymath

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Especially at those elevated temperatures, it's going to go downhill rather quickly. Drink it now, then brew another one in July.
You'll also have a chance to adjust the recipe to your taste then. (Personally I'd up the bitterness a tad, but that's not the topic of this thread. And I may be the wrong person to ask since I'm not a huge fan of Oktoberfestbier; way too sweet for me.)
 

Ren06

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Never too soon for an märzen, I just made my first lager/oktoberfest. It was fun but very critical due to temperature control. I totally enjoyed the brew day and will tweak some things for batch 2.
Hopefully yours turn out great 🍻
 
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N3Bruce

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I can never have enough homebrew, and this is the first lager I have done in a while. I have good water for making good lagers and Pilsners, with very low mineral content. I am sure I will put it to good use.
 
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N3Bruce

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I rechecked my brewing data, it looks like the beer is about 20 IBU, and an SRM of 6.7. After Diacetyl rest I will transfer it to a Corny and gelatin and cold crash it as long as I can stand to. This is standard with my ales as well, and eventually results in a nice clear beer, if I am willing to be patient.
 
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I am brewing a festbier, which is a lightly hopped light lager, maybe 15 IBU. Brewed it 2 weeks ago and it has fermented down from 1.055 down to 1.010 using WLP 800. It is currently doing the Diacetyl rest before lagering. Things are going smoothly so far but looking ahead, I am wondering that once Lagering is complete that I should drink it sooner rather than later. I plan to cold crash it for a couple of weeks, then transfer it to a Corny Keg for longer term storage and dispensing.

Given the middling ABV and light touch with the hops, I am concerned that it will be past it's peak by fall. I don't have enough room either in a ferm chamber or keezer to keep it cold until fall, it will sit in a keg in my basement at about 68 degrees until ready to drink. OTOH, it will make a great "lawnmower beer", so maybe I should plan on drinking it sooner and brew something a little more robust for Fall.
Sorry I misread your OP and missed your temperature challenges. I agree that at that temp I’d consume sooner.
I lager mine at 38°-40°.
 

apache_brew

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Brew another batch 3 months out and compare them!

this reminds me, I have a sixtel of Oktoberfest in my kegerator that I kegged in April 2021 that I need to tap! Lol wish me luck. Brewed it for an event, then I moved, and never got around to it. It’s been refrigerated the entire time though.
 

jdauria

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Just brewed a Festbier myself this past weekend that will be kegged via closed transfer and lagered until September. One benefit for me is that I use BrewTan B in all my beers as it gives amazing clarity, but it's commercial use is for extended shelf life, so hopefully that will help with it not aging out before going on tap.
 

Jag75

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I've never brewed a festbier. I have done Marzens. I brewed it in March and tapped Sept 21st . Turned out really good , no issues. I'll probably brew both this year , probably 3 months out.
 

z-bob

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What are you calling a festbier? Is it a Marzen, or an extra-strong (about 6%) "export" Helles? I really like the Helles Export kind; my favorite is Hofbrau's. I don't much care for Marzens; they are too heavy and sweet.

If you are capable of brewing a lager in the summer, that's what I would do. If not, maybe bottle this and store as cool as you can.
 

Oleson M.D.

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Here is what happened at Bel Air Brewing, we brewed a Festbier last August, and it was kegged on 9-13-21.
We entered it in this years Bluebonnet Brewoff, which took place this last weekend, the 18th and 19th.
The actual judging of the beers was in February. So the beer had aged 5 months at the time of the event.

Our Festbier took home a Gold Medal, for 1st Place. There were nearly 1,300 entries, with almost 4,000 bottles of beer in competition. Brewers from 24 states participated.
 

monkeymath

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Here is what happened at Bel Air Brewing, we brewed a Festbier last August, and it was kegged on 9-13-21.
We entered it in this years Bluebonnet Brewoff, which took place this last weekend, the 18th and 19th.
The actual judging of the beers was in February. So the beer had aged 5 months at the time of the event.

Our Festbier took home a Gold Medal, for 1st Place. There were nearly 1,300 entries, with almost 4,000 bottles of beer in competition. Brewers from 24 states participated.

Did you keep it at 68 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time?
 

jtgoral

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You still call it Maerzen in March not Octoberfest, I think. You can brew it all year around, just name it differently.
 

Oleson M.D.

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There are two separate and distinct beer styles, Festbier, and Marzen. One is pale, one is amber. Festbier is what they serve in Munich during Oktoberfest.

Brewing date is not a consideration as you can brew a Marzen anytime of the year.
 

Jag75

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Oleson M.D.

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In that case, I think your success story, while inspirational, is not really a good indicator for the prospects of the OP. Don't you agree?

This is the technique we have employed for some time now. We have experienced great success using this aging procedure. I am sure that anyone can do this with good results. If we can do it, anyone can do it.

Chilling the beer to 30 F really helps with clearing the beer. It will not freeze until below 29 F. The actual beer temp might not be 30, but that is the freezer temp using an Inkbird controller.

The 5 month aging period probably did not help our Festbier, even though it took home a Gold Medal. I am a proponent of drinking fresh beer.
 

Bobby_M

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This is the technique we have employed for some time now. We have experienced great success using this aging procedure. I am sure that anyone can do this with good results. If we can do it, anyone can do it.

Chilling the beer to 30 F really helps with clearing the beer. It will not freeze until below 29 F. The actual beer temp might not be 30, but that is the freezer temp using an Inkbird controller.

The 5 month aging period probably did not help our Festbier, even though it took home a Gold Medal. I am a proponent of drinking fresh beer.

The point was that the OP stated in the first post that he doesn't have cold storage so the keg will sit at 68F the whole time. There's a big difference in the shelf life between those two temperatures.
 

Oleson M.D.

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I missed that part, sorry. I would suggest getting a way to chill the keg if possible. At 68-70F, shelf life will be short.

I watched a presentation on storage temps and beer deterioration. It was presented by the head of QC for Sierra Nevada. It was eye opening!
 

MaxStout

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Will you have room in your keezer later?

Brew one now, enjoy it young and unlagered, tweak the recipe for next time if needed. Like you said, a lawnmower beer, albeit not a true-to-form O-fest.

Brew another one late summer and dedicate keezer space for a month or so, if you can. The lagering really makes a difference, and a month would be better than none.
 
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