New Oktoberfest not flavorful

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Jonja12

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This is the third time I have made an all-grain Oktoberfest with the same recipe. The first two times it was fantastic, smooth and deliciously malty in a balanced way. I just transferred it off the yeast where it has been on primary for the past month to start a 3-month long lagering period. I am a bit of a Marszen traditionalist.

As I always do, I tasted it after transferring it and found it to be -- kind of bland. This has never happened before.

I have strict temp control and used about 4 oz of melanoidin malt in the mash which has always worked out well in the past. It spent about 10 days at 53 F, then I raised it to 60 F slowly over a week, then did a diacetyl rest at 68 F for 3 days, then finally brought it down to 34 F to cold crash it - another week - before transferring it to the keg for lagering. The OG was 1.061 and it finished at 1.008. No off flavors at all -- just not that tasty. Bland.

OK - there was just one difference in the recipe. In the past I used Wyeast Oktoberfest yeast but my home brew store is going out of business and all they had in stock was Wyeast Bohemian which they recommended for Oktoberfests. I substituted for this.

I do not see this developing more flavor over the next 3 months as it lagers -- that process generally rounds out the flavors, it doesn't make it stronger.

So what to do if anything?
 

day_trippr

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Perhaps commit oneself (and any available helpers) to consume this batch rapidly and brew another batch using your favorite yeast with which you can do the whole Marszen thing...

Cheers!
 

rburrelli

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This is the third time I have made an all-grain Oktoberfest with the same recipe. The first two times it was fantastic, smooth and deliciously malty in a balanced way. I just transferred it off the yeast where it has been on primary for the past month to start a 3-month long lagering period. I am a bit of a Marszen traditionalist.

As I always do, I tasted it after transferring it and found it to be -- kind of bland. This has never happened before.

I have strict temp control and used about 4 oz of melanoidin malt in the mash which has always worked out well in the past. It spent about 10 days at 53 F, then I raised it to 60 F slowly over a week, then did a diacetyl rest at 68 F for 3 days, then finally brought it down to 34 F to cold crash it - another week - before transferring it to the keg for lagering. The OG was 1.061 and it finished at 1.008. No off flavors at all -- just not that tasty. Bland.

OK - there was just one difference in the recipe. In the past I used Wyeast Oktoberfest yeast but my home brew store is going out of business and all they had in stock was Wyeast Bohemian which they recommended for Oktoberfests. I substituted for this.

I do not see this developing more flavor over the next 3 months as it lagers -- that process generally rounds out the flavors, it doesn't make it stronger.

So what to do if anything?
Drink it and move on.
 

Beermeister32

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One thing about doing 5 gallon batches is the difficulty of repeatability. Differences in malt, hops, yeast type, health of yeast & procedures all make small differences.

It takes many brew sessions to fill commercial lagering tanks. I have some info from the old Olympia brewery showing there was over 100 brew sessions in their huge tanks. Plus they blended those tanks.

In old times even European brewers would divide their batches, so you would have about beer from about 10 batches in any particular keg. All to average out the flavor differences between batches to make a more uniform product.
 
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