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MrPowers

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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.
The description I provided was for Paulaner’s Marzen (amber). They do also make a Festbier (they call it the Oktoberfest Wiesn in the US) which is excellent as well!
 
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Rob2010SS

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Thank you everyone for input here. I think I have my grain bill built...

1.057 OG
13.56 SRM

15.86lbs German Pilsen (44.5%)
8.33lbs Munich I (24%)
8.33lbs Vienna (24%)
2.32lbs Caramunich III (6.5%)
.40lbs Midnight Wheat (1%)

We'll see how this goes. (Still open to suggestions if there are any)

Thanks.
 

TheMadKing

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Thank you everyone for input here. I think I have my grain bill built...

1.057 OG
13.56 SRM

15.86lbs German Pilsen (44.5%)
8.33lbs Munich I (24%)
8.33lbs Vienna (24%)
2.32lbs Caramunich III (6.5%)
.40lbs Midnight Wheat (1%)

We'll see how this goes. (Still open to suggestions if there are any)

Thanks.
I would suggest reducing that caramunich to 4% or less unless you want a caramelly flavor. I don't personally like that in my märzen recipe, but to each their own.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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I would suggest reducing that caramunich to 4% or less unless you want a caramelly flavor. I don't personally like that in my märzen recipe, but to each their own.
You think that 6.5% is going to make it very caramelly? I could drop it to 4% and change the Munich I to Munich II at 10L and help the color maintain a little bit...
 

TheMadKing

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You think that 6.5% is going to make it very caramelly? I could drop it to 4% and change the Munich I to Munich II at 10L and help the color maintain a little bit...
I wouldn't say "very" no, but I think it would be noticeable. Like I said, if you like that flavor that's totally ok, it's just not my personal preference, so take it with a grain of salt. You brew you!
 
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Rob2010SS

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@TheMadKing Yeah, I definitely don't want it overly caramelly. The Oktoberfest that I described in previous posts used 5% Cara 40 and 2.5% Cara 20. Do you think that the flavor from the 6.5% Caramunich III will be more than the flavor from the combined Cara 40 and Cara 20 mentioned?
 
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Alright, so hops, I'm thinking tettnang and hallertau mittlefruh. I was thinking hallertau at 60 and tettnang at 20 for a total of 21 IBUs. However, BJCP guidelines state no hop aroma. So I think I'm going to drop this to one addition at 60 and that's it.

That said, I have zero experience with either of these hops. Some articles online seem to say that Tettnang has better flavor but how much of that flavor are you really going to pick up from a 60 min addition when the malt is really the start of the show in this style?

What do you guys prefer? For one addition at 60 min, what would you pick and why?
 

MrPowers

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Alright, so hops, I'm thinking tettnang and hallertau mittlefruh. I was thinking hallertau at 60 and tettnang at 20 for a total of 21 IBUs. However, BJCP guidelines state no hop aroma. So I think I'm going to drop this to one addition at 60 and that's it.

That said, I have zero experience with either of these hops. Some articles online seem to say that Tettnang has better flavor but how much of that flavor are you really going to pick up from a 60 min addition when the malt is really the start of the show in this style?

What do you guys prefer? For one addition at 60 min, what would you pick and why?
Blend them both together and add them at 40-50. If you're not boiling too hard, you should have fair bit of flavor come through.
 

shetc

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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.
Me, too, but going Short & Shoddy on the ferment - Imperial Global at 66F.
 

TheMadKing

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@TheMadKing Yeah, I definitely don't want it overly caramelly. The Oktoberfest that I described in previous posts used 5% Cara 40 and 2.5% Cara 20. Do you think that the flavor from the 6.5% Caramunich III will be more than the flavor from the combined Cara 40 and Cara 20 mentioned?
No probably about the same, but at 70 SRM, the caramunich is significantly darker and will have a different flavor than those lighter crystal malts. Give it a shot, I don't think it will be bad by any stretch
 

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Alright, so hops, I'm thinking tettnang and hallertau mittlefruh. I was thinking hallertau at 60 and tettnang at 20 for a total of 21 IBUs. However, BJCP guidelines state no hop aroma. So I think I'm going to drop this to one addition at 60 and that's it.

That said, I have zero experience with either of these hops. Some articles online seem to say that Tettnang has better flavor but how much of that flavor are you really going to pick up from a 60 min addition when the malt is really the start of the show in this style?

What do you guys prefer? For one addition at 60 min, what would you pick and why?
I love both Tettnang and Mittelfrueh. I use them in my Helles and Kolsch. I was only going to use Tettnang in my Marzen, but when I went to brew it I didn't have enough. So I bittered with Tettnang and used Mittelfrueh at 20 and 10. It was the best smelling boil to date.
 
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Rob2010SS

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So, question... Not sure if anyone will be able to answer it.

I'm toying with changing up my recipe. I'm thinking of something like this (don't have percentages worked out yet)...

50/50 Munich / Maris Otter
1% midnight wheat
the rest caramunich III (or some form of crystal malts)

I've seen the munich/MO split talked about in an article by Craft Beer and Brewing. I've talked to a couple of other brewers who have done it and had really good results.

However, I looked at the winning NHC recipes for Marzens and ALL of them are the typical...
Pils
Munich
Vienna
Some sort of Crystal

...or something very similar to that. None of them are like what I listed above.

I guess my question is - is there something about the 50/50 munich/MO split that would throw this off from tasting like a Marzen that I'm not seeing?
 

wepeeler

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So, question... Not sure if anyone will be able to answer it.

I'm toying with changing up my recipe. I'm thinking of something like this (don't have percentages worked out yet)...

50/50 Munich / Maris Otter
1% midnight wheat
the rest caramunich III (or some form of crystal malts)

I've seen the munich/MO split talked about in an article by Craft Beer and Brewing. I've talked to a couple of other brewers who have done it and had really good results.

However, I looked at the winning NHC recipes for Marzens and ALL of them are the typical...
Pils
Munich
Vienna
Some sort of Crystal

...or something very similar to that. None of them are like what I listed above.

I guess my question is - is there something about the 50/50 munich/MO split that would throw this off from tasting like a Marzen that I'm not seeing?
Depends on what you're shooting for for taste imo. I modeled my recipe after Sam Adam's Octoberfest, which is a Marzen, but definitely an Americanized version. More malty and sweet than a traditional. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you regarding taste, because it's currently fermenting, but their website says:
Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend,
Munich-10,
Samuel Adams OctoberFest malt,
and Caramel 60

Tettnang Tettnanger
Hallertau Mittelfrueh

Deep red, amber color.
 
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Rob2010SS

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Depends on what you're shooting for for taste imo. I modeled my recipe after Sam Adam's Octoberfest, which is a Marzen, but definitely an Americanized version. More malty and sweet than a traditional. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you regarding taste, because it's currently fermenting, but their website says:
Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend,
Munich-10,
Samuel Adams OctoberFest malt,
and Caramel 60

Tettnang Tettnanger
Hallertau Mittelfrueh

Deep red, amber color.
Yeah, I really like Sam Adams version myself as well. I have some at home currently that I've been having every night and pondering about the recipe. There must be something about the combo of pils/munich/vienna/crystal that the judges seem to like and seem to think it meets the style well if that's how all the winning recipes are designed.
 

wepeeler

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Yeah, I really like Sam Adams version myself as well. I have some at home currently that I've been having every night and pondering about the recipe. There must be something about the combo of pils/munich/vienna/crystal that the judges seem to like and seem to think it meets the style well if that's how all the winning recipes are designed.
Problem with the Sam version is I'm not sure it would do well in an actual competition under the Marzen category. I think it's too sweet/malty. I could be wrong. German Marzens are typically more balanced and definitely not as sweet. Obviously, they tend to be malt forward, with balanced bitterness, but are dry to the finish. They tend to be a bit lighter in color as well. I think the Sam version isn't really that dry. It's crisp, but not what I would consider dry. I was shooting for what I prefer to drink, not the exact style. I'll let you know in a few weeks!
 
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Rob2010SS

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I tweaked my recipe a bit. I really like Sam Adams and while I know this won't come out just like Sam Adams, I think it'll be good! I question if it will be malty enough but I'm hoping the extra Munich 10L and Caramunich III will give it that maltiness without having to add melanoidin or aromatic malt or anything. I wish I knew what was in the "Sam Adams Octoberfest Blend"... 🤔 We'll see how it comes out!

19.5 gallons pre-boil
18.5 gallons post-boil

12.21# Pils (34.25%)
12.91# Munich 10L (34.25%)
8.33# Vienna (24%)
2.32# Caramunich III (6.5%)
.40# Midnight Wheat (1%)

3.0oz Tettnang (60 min, 12.28 IBUs)
2.75oz Hallertau Mittlefruh (20 min, 5.68 IBUs)

14.98 SRM
17.96 IBU
1.057 OG
1.013 FG
5.78% ABV
 
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Rob2010SS

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This one is done an in the tank! I had wanted it a tad darker than Sam Adams and I think it ended up right where I wanted it in terms of color. Below is a pic comparing ours with the sam adams version - same glass, same location, same lighting.

IMG_20200830_143244.jpg
 
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Rob2010SS

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We'll see. Even if it were, I wouldn't be too upset. I really like the Sam version! My predicted FG is 3 points lower than what I saw in a clone recipe. I didn't use crystal 60 as they do, instead I used caramunich III. So we'll see how it comes out! I'll post it back here when it's done.
 

burtom

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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!
Hi I like the process your using. My question is are you using 10% Melanoiden Malt and doing a Hockhurz Mash? When I do a decoction I normally skip the Melanoiden and rely on the decoction for flavor.

Thanks
Tom
 

TheMadKing

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Hi I like the process your using. My question is are you using 10% Melanoiden Malt and doing a Hockhurz Mash? When I do a decoction I normally skip the Melanoiden and rely on the decoction for flavor.

Thanks
Tom
Hi Tom,

I added the melanoidin because I am only doing a single decoction instead of a triple decoction. I found that I prefer the additional bready malt flavor that it gives.
 

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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 👍
It's ready now, and boy is it DELICIOUS! It's not overly sweet by any means. Just the right malt backbone and Noble hop bitterness, for me anyway. Everyone who has tried it so far wanted more. I get almost a light Cinnabon flavor. Amazing. Can't wait for the Fall! The only thing I would change so far is the color. I'd prefer it a bit darker amber.
20200921_201019.jpg
 
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Rob2010SS

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Nice! Looks great! Just pulled the first carbed pour of ours. Only been lagering a week. Got a few more to go but pretty tasty. I'm reserving judgement on it until it's ready.

20200924_204718.jpg
 
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I've tried a lot of Ocfest variations over the years, but now I just use 80% pilsner malt and 20% Caramunich 1. Comes out just the way I like it. I'd normally have it on tap right now, but made vienna lagers this fall instead. In fact, just put first keg on tap last night, and tonight it gets the seal broken :)

Here's a pic of that ocfest from last fall (some butternut squash soup there, too, nom nom).

1605882493341.png
 
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