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Marzen tips

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Rob2010SS

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Looking to brew a Marzen coming up here in the next week or two. Never done one. Anyone have any tips/tricks for a Marzen that they're willing to share? Any particular yeasts that are good for the style?

Definitely going for more of a Marzen style and not a Festbier. I know I definitely like the darker, more malty versions found in the US.

Any tips and info appreciated. There's not too many Marzen recipes in the recipe database surprisingly. There's a ton of Festbier recipes though.
 

Chorgey

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I wish that I did. Just checked my photo folder and don't see any pics of it. It had a nice reddish color, came in around 11 SRM. Is that the color you were looking for? I prefer the more malty version too
 
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Rob2010SS

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That's the hard part for me. I know I want that nice deep red color. Those pics look more brown but I know lighting has a huge impact on how the beer looks
 

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I would start with a Festbier base and then use CaraMunich and maybe a small splash of Melanoidin to achieve the color, body and taste you are going for.

5.5# Pils
3# Munich
2# Vienna

1# CaraMunich III
0.25# Melanoidin

0.5 Magnum at 60
1oz Mittelfruh at 20 mins

L17 Harvest or WLP833 if you want a maltier yeast profile or good ol' 34/70. I usually fine with 34/70 because it's so powdery

This is about 1.060 and 25IBU assuming 75% and sea level
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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2018 Oktoberfest bier
This was a hit at the fest the little glass is from bottling day.

unknown.png


Mashed in at 156F about 2/3 of grain in 4 gallons water. Mashed in the rest at 153 both for an hour.

OG 1060 added gallon of water 1052?

Pitched wyeast Munich on 5/10 at 60F cooling more to 52F

5/17 SG1027 ( uncorrected ) tastes clean



5/26 Been slowly raising temp to 61F for d-rest

5/28 SG 1026 ABV 5.24 dropping temp back to 51F

6/19 kegged 5.5 gallons and bottled 10 12oz with red caps

unknown.jpg
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Thoughts on this grain bill for a marzen?

40% Pils
20% Munich I
20% Vienna
17% Caramunich III
3% Melanoidin

This puts me at roughly 13.5 SRM. I really like Sam Adams Octoberfest but there's one that I remember liking even more (its been years since I had it). It was from the brewery my wife and I got married at - Prairie Street Brewing in Rockford, IL. It's a bit darker than the SA example...

1597326953023.png


This color is kind of what I'm shooting for. I remember liking how malty it was. The hops were probably overshadowed by the malt a bit but I was OK with that.

Anyway, thoughts on the grain bill above?
 
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Rob2010SS

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Read a few things about the usage of Caramunich III and Melanoidin. I've never used either so these are new to me. However, From what I've read about Melanoidin is a little goes a long way. Some posts said start at 5%, some posts said 5% was too much.

In regards to Caramunich III, Weyermann recommends no more than 20% of the grist. That, in combination with the BJCP guidelines for Marzen stating that, " Noticeable caramel, biscuit, or roasted flavors are inappropriate...", I decided to drop the Caramunich III back a bit.

To get the color I think I want (13 SRM), I changed from Munich I to Munich II.

That puts me here...

31% Pils
31% Munich II (10 SRM)
25% Vienna
10% Caramunich III
3% Melanoidin

Curious what the thoughts are there?
Anyone think this is going to be gross?
Anyone think it's going to be WAY outside the guidelines of the BJCP? (I'm not entering this in a competition but I do like to try and match the guidelines a bit.)
 

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You definitely want to avoid too much crystal malts, in my opinion. I am more of a fan of the German varieties instead of the American ones. I think American breweries use way too much crystal malt because that's what they think they get the flavor from. I don't agree. I think the best flavor should come from a mix (for me, I use an even mix) of each, Pils, Vienna, and Munich malts, with maybe a splash of caramunich for a little sumpin sumpin and a dash of a debittered black malt, like carafa III special or midnight wheat or blackprinz, for color. Like 1oz. That's just me though. Take my opinion con un grano de sal.
 
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Rob2010SS

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You definitely want to avoid too much crystal malts, in my opinion. I am more of a fan of the German varieties instead of the American ones. I think American breweries use way too much crystal malt because that's what they think they get the flavor from. I don't agree. I think the best flavor should come from a mix (for me, I use an even mix) of each, Pils, Vienna, and Munich malts, with maybe a splash of caramunich for a little sumpin sumpin and a dash of a debittered black malt, like carafa III special or midnight wheat or blackprinz, for color. Like 1oz. That's just me though. Take my opinion con un grano de sal.
Thanks for the input! That said, do you think that the above is too much crystal?
 

beersk

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Thanks for the input! That said, do you think that the above is too much crystal?
For me, it probably would be. But not sure how much you're planning to use. I usually use around 4-8oz for a 5 gallon batch. It's probably in the 5-7% range. But it might be OK. I guess if you like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, it'll probably be good for your tastes. I always like to get some SA Oktoberfest every year too, but it's been getting sweeter and sweeter on my palate the last several years.

EDIT: Strike what I said about 5-7%. The Oktoberfest I just made has 2.3% C60 in it (which is all I had and is close enough to caramunich III). It turned out nicely. Can't wait to drink it in 3 weeks.

OG 1.050 (a little lower than I usually go for)
FG 1.010
5.2% abv
10.8 SRM, which I think is a good color. You may want it a tad darker, like 12 SRM. A half pound of caramunich should be fine.
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Pilsner (2.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
4.0 oz​
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)​
Grain​
2.31 %​
1.0 oz​
Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM)​
Grain​
0.56 %​
 
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Rob2010SS

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For me, it probably would be. But not sure how much you're planning to use. I usually use around 4-8oz for a 5 gallon batch. It's probably in the 5-7% range. But it might be OK. I guess if you like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, it'll probably be good for your tastes. I always like to get some SA Oktoberfest every year too, but it's been getting sweeter and sweeter on my palate the last several years.

EDIT: Strike what I said about 5-7%. The Oktoberfest I just made has 2.3% C60 in it (which is all I had and is close enough to caramunich III). It turned out nicely. Can't wait to drink it in 3 weeks.

OG 1.050 (a little lower than I usually go for)
FG 1.010
5.2% abv
10.8 SRM, which I think is a good color. You may want it a tad darker, like 12 SRM. A half pound of caramunich should be fine.
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Pilsner (2.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
4.0 oz​
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)​
Grain​
2.31 %​
1.0 oz​
Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM)​
Grain​
0.56 %​
Interesting approach! Does the midnight wheat turn it a really dark color, or really brown, or does it give it a nice deep reddish color?
 

Maxkling

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I’m going with the Brewing Classic Styles Munich Madness.

5lbs Pilsner 39%
4lbs Munich 31%
3lbs Vienna 23%
1lb CaraMunich 7%

151 mash, 90 min boil with noble hops at 60 & 20 shooting for around 25 IBU.
 
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Jag75

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Hey max , if I swap out the crystal 40 2 row with caramunich what could I expect? I used 1 pound. The color of mine was perfect, the taste was really good . I even had a few people think it was better then a local Breweries Oktoberfest.
 
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Rob2010SS

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For me, it probably would be. But not sure how much you're planning to use. I usually use around 4-8oz for a 5 gallon batch. It's probably in the 5-7% range. But it might be OK. I guess if you like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, it'll probably be good for your tastes. I always like to get some SA Oktoberfest every year too, but it's been getting sweeter and sweeter on my palate the last several years.

EDIT: Strike what I said about 5-7%. The Oktoberfest I just made has 2.3% C60 in it (which is all I had and is close enough to caramunich III). It turned out nicely. Can't wait to drink it in 3 weeks.

OG 1.050 (a little lower than I usually go for)
FG 1.010
5.2% abv
10.8 SRM, which I think is a good color. You may want it a tad darker, like 12 SRM. A half pound of caramunich should be fine.
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Pilsner (2.0 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
3 lbs 8.0 oz​
Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)​
Grain​
32.38 %​
4.0 oz​
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)​
Grain​
2.31 %​
1.0 oz​
Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM)​
Grain​
0.56 %​
Just for conversation sake, the percentages I listed above equate to the following weights. This would be for 18.5 gallons post boil.

1597355353321.png
 

Maxkling

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Hey max , if I swap out the crystal 40 2 row with caramunich what could I expect? I used 1 pound. The color of mine was perfect, the taste was really good . I even had a few people think it was better then a local Breweries Oktoberfest.
Honestly I don’t know. When I go to get my grains I’m going to munch on them side by side. I did read an article about the differences and it seems moisture content when the grain is prepared is different between the two, leading the crystal to be more caramel sweet flavor vs the other being more biscuity.

The big question is can such a subtle difference in flavor with a smaller mash % be tasted in the final product?

I just feel it’s a German style so use German malts but theres probably no harm using either. Crystal is used in a lot of recipes and as you’ve stated it results in a fine product.
 

beersk

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Personally I'd drop that caramunich III addition down to at least 5% or less. Maybe 1.5-2 pounds. Then if that doesn't get you where you want to be for color, add in a half percent of something like midnight wheat. It does add color without affecting flavor, which is the point. I know some brewers will use a bit of chocolate malt also. Although, that's not really how I'd do it. I think about 10-12 SRM is perfect. If you want it to be red, like an Irish Red Ale, make it more like 14-15 SRM.
 

beersk

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Do you have a pic of one you've done that with? Curious on the color...
EDIT: This is the Irish Red I was referring to. It was 14 SRM. That was with 2% roast barley. So if that's the color you're after, go for about 5% C60 or caramunich III and 1% midnight wheat. This is a style where you want the base malts to do the talkin', not the specialty malts like most American breweries.
IMG_20200710_184133073.jpg
 
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jclark248

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Thoughts on this grain bill for a marzen?

40% Pils
20% Munich I
20% Vienna
17% Caramunich III
3% Melanoidin

This puts me at roughly 13.5 SRM. I really like Sam Adams Octoberfest but there's one that I remember liking even more (its been years since I had it). It was from the brewery my wife and I got married at - Prairie Street Brewing in Rockford, IL. It's a bit darker than the SA example...

View attachment 693723

This color is kind of what I'm shooting for. I remember liking how malty it was. The hops were probably overshadowed by the malt a bit but I was OK with that.

Anyway, thoughts on the grain bill above?
Looks like you’ll achieve what your after. Don’t worry about the hops as not really supposed to be pronounced anyway. I may even give yours for a test run myself.
 

wepeeler

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I'll be running a test run off of @BierMuncher OktoberFAST recipe, except I'm lagering:

36.4% Pilsner
18.2% Vienna
18.2% Munich
9.1% Crystal/Caramel 20L
9.1% Aromatic
4.5% Carapils
4.5% Crystal/Caramel 40L
Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest Blend BIG STARTER
Tettnang @60, 20, 10 = 23 IBU

Plan is to ferment @50F and have it ready for the middle of October. It will be done 👍
 

monkeymath

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I'll be running a test run off of @BierMuncher OktoberFAST recipe, except I'm lagering:

36.4% Pilsner
18.2% Vienna
18.2% Munich
9.1% Crystal/Caramel 20L
9.1% Aromatic
4.5% Carapils
4.5% Crystal/Caramel 40L
Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest Blend BIG STARTER
Tettnang @60, 20, 10 = 23 IBU

Plan is to ferment @50F and have it ready for the middle of October. It will be done 👍
I've never had an American Märzen (btw, if your keyboard doesn't have the letter 'ä', transcribe it as 'ae'), but 27% specialty malts sounds like a lot. A ton, actually.
 
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Rob2010SS

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So, I went out on a limb and reached out to the brewer of the brewery that makes my favorite Oktoberfest to date. Asked him if he'd share any insight into the recipe and minus the water, he gave me the whole damn thing!

He definitely went the route that @beersk was talking about, in regards to limiting crystal malts and using midnight wheat to darken it up...

45.75% Pilsen
45.75% Munich
5% Crystal 40
2.5% Crystal 20
1% Midnight wheat

Definitely will be trying something similar to this!
 

TheMadKing

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Here's my recipe. I've won a couple medals with it and I'm happy with it.

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 9.00.03 AM.png


The biggest tip I can offer you is that this beer is just as much about process as it is about ingredients. Because it is a malty beer, everyone focuses on selecting malts to get the flavors they want, but the single most important thing in a Marzen (or any German style really), is the balance. It needs to smell malty, initially taste like its going to be rich and filling, and then finish crisp and dry and leave you wanting more.

So to achieve that you need to have a very fermentable wort, and I like the hops to be right up against the limit for the style. I use a modified Hockhurz mash schedule, starting at 143, then I pull a decoction with a kitchen strainer (basically all grain and almost no liquid). Boil it for 10-20 minutes, and add it back to the main mash to hit 156. Then I ramp the temp up to 168 for a mashout and sparge. I have also baked the decoction in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 to add some really nice bready flavors.

Another thing is yeast. I like WLP833, WLP820, and WY2633. I also like a BIG starter, like 3L. I oxygenate my wort with pure oxygen, and use servomyces yeast nutrient. I ferment at 50 for about 7 days, and then ramp the temperature by 2 degrees per day for a diacetyl rest at 65, and then cold crash to 38 for a few days before kegging. Keep oxygen on the cold side at a minimum, it's the enemy of good malt flavor. So closed transfers, liquid purged kegs, etc.

Hope that helps!
 

beersk

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So, I went out on a limb and reached out to the brewer of the brewery that makes my favorite Oktoberfest to date. Asked him if he'd share any insight into the recipe and minus the water, he gave me the whole damn thing!

He definitely went the route that @beersk was talking about, in regards to limiting crystal malts and using midnight wheat to darken it up...

45.75% Pilsen
45.75% Munich
5% Crystal 40
2.5% Crystal 20
1% Midnight wheat

Definitely will be trying something similar to this!
Great minds think alike! ;)
 

marc1

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Here's my recipe. I've won a couple medals with it and I'm happy with it.

View attachment 694530

The biggest tip I can offer you is that this beer is just as much about process as it is about ingredients. Because it is a malty beer, everyone focuses on selecting malts to get the flavors they want, but the single most important thing in a Marzen (or any German style really), is the balance. It needs to smell malty, initially taste like its going to be rich and filling, and then finish crisp and dry and leave you wanting more.

So to achieve that you need to have a very fermentable wort, and I like the hops to be right up against the limit for the style. I use a modified Hockhurz mash schedule, starting at 143, then I pull a decoction with a kitchen strainer (basically all grain and almost no liquid). Boil it for 10-20 minutes, and add it back to the main mash to hit 156. Then I ramp the temp up to 168 for a mashout and sparge. I have also baked the decoction in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 to add some really nice bready flavors.

Another thing is yeast. I like WLP833, WLP820, and WY2633. I also like a BIG starter, like 3L. I oxygenate my wort with pure oxygen, and use servomyces yeast nutrient. I ferment at 50 for about 7 days, and then ramp the temperature by 2 degrees per day for a diacetyl rest at 65, and then cold crash to 38 for a few days before kegging. Keep oxygen on the cold side at a minimum, it's the enemy of good malt flavor. So closed transfers, liquid purged kegs, etc.

Hope that helps!
Wow, that's a lot of melanoidin!
What do you shoot for with the water profile, mash pH, and boil pH?
 

TheMadKing

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Wow, that's a lot of melanoidin!
What do you shoot for with the water profile, mash pH, and boil pH?
I use pretty close to RO water (my house water), and adjust to a mash pH of 5.4 with lactic acid for optimal conversion. I shoot for a boil knockout pH of 5.0. I based the boil pH on some reading I did awhile back but I can't actually remember specifically why right now. I have used gypsum and CaCl in the past targeting a 2:1 ratio of sulfate to chloride, but I honestly don't taste a difference between that at RO water.

On the melanoidin, I started off this recipe with half that amount and it has crept up, and I don't find it to be too much. It would definitely be too much in a sweet beer, but as long as you get that dry finish, it just comes across as malty without being sweet or cloying.
 

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I've been going back and forth and I think this is what I've come up with. Paulaner Oktoberfest is the goal, using data from their website, this is what I've come up with. They made no mention of Caramunich, but I'm a bit scared to just have Munich and Pilsner with that low of a FG. Using a step mash of 142 for 30 mins and 154 for 30 mins. Any comments?

1597870994410.png


1597871319330.png
 

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I've been going back and forth and I think this is what I've come up with. Paulaner Oktoberfest is the goal, using data from their website, this is what I've come up with. They made no mention of Caramunich, but I'm a bit scared to just have Munich and Pilsner with that low of a FG. Using a step mash of 142 for 30 mins and 154 for 30 mins. Any comments?

View attachment 694592

View attachment 694593
The recipe for Paulaner Marzen is just Munich/Pilsner with sinamar for the color. Use more munich than pilsner, add a small amount of carafa special (1-2oz) for color, and you should have plenty of malt flavor. Make sure you are using german malts (Weyermann Barke line being my personal favorite). Mash for your malt (if you know gelatinization temperatures), or alternatively, try using the brauwelt mash: 144-20, 148-20, 153-20, 163-30, 171-10 or hochkurz mash 147-30, 163-30, 171-10. Adjust/Extend the lower temperatures of that mashing regimen as needed to get proper attenuation. You can also get rid of the late hop addition, or just include it with the 60min addition. Use a soft boil. Pitch/Ferment cold with a LOT of healthy yeast, and spund if possible.

Target
OG 1.054-1.056
FG 1.008-1.012 range
IBU 22-24 after lagering

For best/most authentic results, brew it low oxygen.
 

wepeeler

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I've never had an American Märzen (btw, if your keyboard doesn't have the letter 'ä', transcribe it as 'ae'), but 27% specialty malts sounds like a lot. A ton, actually.
American versions tend to be overly malty ie Sam Adams Oktoberbest. Definitely leaning toward that vs a traditional Festbier or Marzen.
 

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The recipe for Paulaner Marzen is just Munich/Pilsner with sinamar for the color. Use more munich than pilsner, add a small amount of carafa special (1-2oz) for color, and you should have plenty of malt flavor. Make sure you are using german malts (Weyermann Barke line being my personal favorite). Mash for your malt (if you know gelatinization temperatures), or alternatively, try using the brauwelt mash: 144-20, 148-20, 153-20, 163-30, 171-10 or hochkurz mash 147-30, 163-30, 171-10. Adjust/Extend the lower temperatures of that mashing regimen as needed to get proper attenuation. You can also get rid of the late hop addition, or just include it with the 60min addition. Use a soft boil. Pitch/Ferment cold with a LOT of healthy yeast, and spund if possible.

Target
OG 1.054-1.056
FG 1.008-1.012 range
IBU 22-24 after lagering

For best/most authentic results, brew it low oxygen.
Thats funny because I pulled the Carafa and added the Caramunich at the last second thinking it wouldn't be enough, thanks, I'll definitely revert back to 2 oz of Carafa I and omit the Caramunich.

I might be able to pull off the hockhurz mash with my set up.
 

MrPowers

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Thats funny because I pulled the Carafa and added the Caramunich at the last second thinking it wouldn't be enough, thanks, I'll definitely revert back to 2 oz of Carafa I and omit the Caramunich.

I might be able to pull off the hockhurz mash with my set up.
I'd flip your percentages of Munich and pilsner too. You're going to want that higher percentage of munich.
 

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I thought of Octoberfest about a month ago and decided to brew a moctoberfest. Followed an Octoberfest recipe but fermented it with WY1056 American Ale Yeast at 70 degrees for primary. Then cold crashed and have had it at 40 degrees in my kegerator. It’s now ready to keg. I wanted it for September.

I had read the seperate descriptions of Marzen vs Festbier. And decided to go with the Festbier description. Marzen being the amber lager that all the companies label as Octoberfest and sell in the fall - Festbier being more lighter gold color and a revised version of a Helles recipe that is actually sold under the tents in Germany. And only 6 breweries are licensed to brew beer for Octoberfest. Paulaner being one of them, noting the recipe posted above.

I recently bought a couple six packs of Festbier and found some companies (won’t name names) are labelling the amber stuff as Festbier.
 
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bwible

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So, I went out on a limb and reached out to the brewer of the brewery that makes my favorite Oktoberfest to date. Asked him if he'd share any insight into the recipe and minus the water, he gave me the whole damn thing!

He definitely went the route that @beersk was talking about, in regards to limiting crystal malts and using midnight wheat to darken it up...

45.75% Pilsen
45.75% Munich
5% Crystal 40
2.5% Crystal 20
1% Midnight wheat

Definitely will be trying something similar to this!
Interesting that there is no Vienna malt at all in the recipe.
 
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