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How long to age an Oktoberfest?

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CallMeZoot

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I'm looking to brew an Oktoberfest for a community event in, well, October.

When's the ideal time to start so that it's at its peak by then? What's a good ballpark minimum/maximum aging time for enjoying this style at its finest? (I'll probably be aging in bottles, although I'm considering just bringing a keg to the party).

Thanks,
chris.

P.S. Any favorite recipes for this style? Right now I mostly extract/steep but I'm looking to start AG when the weather warms up and I can move outdoors for full boils.
 

FlyingHorse

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Kaiser

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Though the traditional Oktoberfest beer has been brewed in March only few breweries still do that. It just costs to much to have a beer take up lagering capacity. Very long lagering can also have its own problems with respect to yeast health.

I'd suggest you get a good Maerzen or Oktoberfest recipe and brew it between March and June. This will give it enough time to age for October. I would go with a minimum aging time of about 2 months.

Kai
 

McCall St. Brewer

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My second batch ever, an Oktoberfest style ale, extract with steeping grains, was one of the best batches I've made to this day. I bought a sixer of some real German stuff and had SWMBO do a blind taste test. She said that mine tasted almost identical to the commercial stuff, only fresher.

EdWort's version looks like a good one. I think I'll have to try that later this year.
 

TheJadedDog

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I start my Oktoberfest in mid- August so I can lager for the entire month of September, turns out pretty well.

As for the traditional brewing schedule starting in March, this was largely due to pre-refrigeration contraints rather than the beer needing to lager for so many months.
 

pjj2ba

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I made my first true Oktoberfest lager last March and tapped it the 1st week of November this fall. I was my best beer ever! It fermented at 55 for 6 weeks and then sat in the keg in the basement at ~65 for the whole summer and then went into the fridge for 1 month prior to tapping.

I'm almost 2 weeks into a rebrew of this recipe and I plan to tap it at the end of Feb. Then I'll make any recipe adjustments and brew up 15 gal for this years party.
 
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