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Marzen - First attempt

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Hi!

I have very little experience in brewing German dark lagers - more experience drinking them ;) I have decided I'd like to brew a Marzen. I've looked into several recipies and tried to create my own twist. I'm brewing all-grain, but I need to use DME in order to achieve desired OG (grain capacity issue on my current equipment). Since I live in Europe I have converted the recipe to US units and 5 gallons.

I'm interested in feedback on my recipe. I really want to do a malty beer, but not overly sweet.

WIP: Ompalager (US)

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Märzen
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (ending kettle volume)
Efficiency: 65% (ending kettle)

Original Gravity: 1.057
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.85%
IBU (tinseth): 20.77
SRM (morey): 10.53


FERMENTABLES:
3.1 lb - BEST Pale ale (29.3%)
4.65 lb - BEST Munich (44%)
0.92 lb - BEST Munich Dark (8.7%)
0.28 lb - BEST Melanoidin (2.6%)
0.21 lb - BEST Special X (2%)
1.41 lb - DME Pilsen Light - (late addition) (13.3%) - to achieve desired OG

HOPS:
1.13 oz - Hersbrucker, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 17.32
1.13 oz - Hersbrucker, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 3.45

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 151 F, Time: 60 min, Mash

YEAST:
White Labs - German Lager Yeast WLP830

WIP: Ompalager (US) - All Grain Märzen Homebrew Beer Recipe - Brewer's Friend
 

VikeMan

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That's a pretty complicated grain bill. Any particular reason for it? I don't think I've ever seen 2 types of Munich plus Melanoidin malt in the same grain bill. I'm not saying it won't make a good beer; I'm just curious.

Also, a german pilsner malt would be more appropriate than pale ale malt for a Märzen.
 

jdauria

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You can definitely simplify that recipe. One of the best German marzens is from Paulaner, it is basically 70% Munich, 30% Pilsner and then the use Sinamar (a liquid coloring agent made from Carafa malt) to get the color they desire. I would do something like that, but add a few ounces of Carafa Special III to get you in the right color range, without adding too much to make the beer roasty. German lagers are all about simplicity, pretty straight forward recipes with only a few malts needed.
 

Rob2010SS

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I can't really give a lot of insight into this as my first one is in the tank currently. However, my recipe ended up being...

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The midnight wheat was only to get it to the color I wanted.

I would agree with others. You don't need both munich's. Maybe narrow it to one of those?

I also don't know if you'd need both the special x malt AND melanoiden. Maybe pick one of those and eliminate the other...?

Just my 2 cents. You can always brew it the way you have it and if you don't like it, you can always brew it again!
 
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Thank you guys!

One of the recipes I looked at in the beginning was the Oktoberfest kit from Northern Brewer. This one has two Munics, and CaraMunic II. My idea was to change the CaraMunic II with Special X in combination with the Melanoiden.

The main reason why I was thinking a variety of Munics +melanoiden and Special X was to create a complex malt flavour. Maybe I'm making it more complicated than it has to be?

Pale malt: Just lazy and want to cut down on the boiling time. ;)
 
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VikeMan

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The main reason why I was thinking a variety of Munics +melanoiden and Special X was to create a complex malt flavour. Maybe I'm making it more complicated than it has to be?
There's nothing wrong with complicated grain bills, as long as there's a reason for them. For example, you try a certain grain bill and it lacks something you want. So you add a malt that you think will fix that. But random complexity for complexity's sake isn't usually a good idea, IMO.
 

h22lude

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I agree with what others are saying about the complicated grain bill. 70/30 munich/pils is a good start for a marzen.

I'll add a few things...

1) Don't use any late hop additions. Well you can if you want but it will be more American than German. German versions only use a bittering addition.
2) Get FG down to 1.007 or 1.008 if possible. Bringing OG down to 1.053ish will help
 

brewdude88

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I've preferred my marzen results using 50/50 pale ale (especially marris otter) and Munich 8L for the base, and a couple caramunichs for color and body. Maybe a small amount of carafa I or II. No pilsner malt here... Sorry Germany...

Ready for style police to open fire!
 

Maxkling

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I've preferred my marzen results using 50/50 pale ale (especially marris otter) and Munich 8L for the base, and a couple caramunichs for color and body. Maybe a small amount of carafa I or II. No pilsner malt here... Sorry Germany...

Ready for style police to open fire!
Almost every American Oktoberfest beer is far from traditional German, so it's no big deal, UNLESS you are trying to brew a traditional German Marzen or Festbier.
 

Maxkling

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Almost every American Oktoberfest beer is far from traditional German, so it's no big deal, UNLESS you are trying to brew a traditional German Marzen or Festbier.
I forgot to add, I REALLY think there should be a new BJCP Style for American Marzens/Oktoberfest bier. It seems they are usually late hopped and heavy crystal.
 

Rob2010SS

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I forgot to add, I REALLY think there should be a new BJCP Style for American Marzens/Oktoberfest bier. It seems they are usually late hopped and heavy crystal.
I definitely prefer Sam adams version so far over all the other 6 examples I've tried thus far, including Paulaner. But I don't think it's late hopped. Just sweeter.
 

jdauria

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I definitely prefer Sam adams version so far over all the other 6 examples I've tried thus far, including Paulaner. But I don't think it's late hopped. Just sweeter.
Interesting. I am not a fan of Sam Adam's Oktoberfest, though I have not had it in several years. Maybe I will give it a shot again. Living in Boston area, have had a lot of their beers since their beginning, actually met Jim Koch in '84 when he was going bar to bar trying to get people to try his beer, giving out free shirts, hats....but Boston Lager, Oktoberfest and their Winter Lager all taste almost exactly the same too me.
 
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