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True Brew Oktoberfest

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Coff

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Yea I know, kinda late to be doing an Oktoberfest but figured Id give it a go. I plan on doing the batch this evening and have a few questions about the instructions.

Ive done 8-10 batches in my very young brew career, all of which being NB kits or Brewers Best, mostly the latter. All of the instructions have called for a 2.5 gallon boil, from what Ive read the larger the boil the better the beer but Im just not there yet.

But the True Brew instructions are calling for a 1-1.5 gallon boil? Why is this? It just doesnt seem optimal to me. Link to TB Oktoberfest Instructions

My questions is, would it be ill-advised to just go with my own process similar to what Ive been doing as opposed to following these instructions? For instance, steep the grains in 2.5 gallons of water and then do my boil with that amount of tea and just follow everything else documented?

Thanks in advance.
 

CypressTop

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I have brewed 2 batches of the True Brew Oktoberfest. I followed the instructions as stated, with one exception, I used 2.5 gallons for the boil. Both batches are still fermenting, one is getting close to bottling, as it has not changed gravity in a few days, and is clearing nicely. I used 2.5 gallons as I have a 30 Qt pot, and the 1.5 Gallons was just not enough in my opinion, and my boil thermometer could not reach that low of water level.
 
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Coff

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Well Im glad I wasnt the only one that found it odd to do a 1.5 gallon boil.

I guess that seals it, I'll go ahead an do the 2.5 gallons as well. Thanks for the quick response.
 

uwjester

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It is possible that the True Brew instructions intentionally call for a smaller boil because they think you should have some kettle caramalization from the extra sugary wort. I personally don't think that's quite to style on an Oktoberfest, but I could see how it might be kind of tasty.
 
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Coff

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Arent there other ways of going about that though?
 

uwjester

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Well, for a Scottish ale, you might pull off a small volume to a 2nd kettle and hit it pretty hard with the heat, but since you are already doing a partial boil for this batch, the recipe designer may have thought it would be OK to just add a little caramelization in the main boil.

I should re-state, though, that I don't really like the idea of caramelization in an Oktoberfest. I can't say for sure, because I haven't tried it, but I think it would add more toffee flavor than the style really calls for.
 

CypressTop

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Tasting the ferment, 10 days old yesterday, it tasted quite good. Well rounded. By using 2.5 gallons, it still boiled down to just under 2 gallons. 1st batch, steeped for 30 min, then I boiled for about 80 min instead of the 60 the recipe called for. (no timer, lost track of time a bit). I boiled the second batch for 60 min. I can't tell the difference in taste between the in the ferment stage.
 
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Coff

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Well, for a Scottish ale, you might pull off a small volume to a 2nd kettle and hit it pretty hard with the heat, but since you are already doing a partial boil for this batch, the recipe designer may have thought it would be OK to just add a little caramelization in the main boil.

I should re-state, though, that I don't really like the idea of caramelization in an Oktoberfest. I can't say for sure, because I haven't tried it, but I think it would add more toffee flavor than the style really calls for.
I see what youre saying.

Tasting the ferment, 10 days old yesterday, it tasted quite good. Well rounded. By using 2.5 gallons, it still boiled down to just under 2 gallons. 1st batch, steeped for 30 min, then I boiled for about 80 min instead of the 60 the recipe called for. (no timer, lost track of time a bit). I boiled the second batch for 60 min. I can't tell the difference in taste between the in the ferment stage.
The recipe only calls for a 30 minute boil, is that something else you changed? From a 30 minute boil to a 60 minute? What would be the advantage to changing the boil time from 30 min to 60 min.
 
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It seems to me that they adjusted the instructions to account for the people who generally buy those kits -- inexperienced and lacking in a big kettle.

An hour is pretty standard boil time, so if you wanted to do 60 instead of 30 just boil for 30 minutes and then start the hop additions from 30 down. I don't see any harm in changing that.

However, I'd be careful about changing the boil volume, because that will affect hop utilization and change the flavor of the end product.
 
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Coff

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In case anyone was wondering which Im sure you werent.

I adjusted the boil size to 2.5 gallons. I steeped at 155F for 30 mins in 2.5 gallons. Then boiled all 2lbs DME and 3.3lbs Amber LME for 60 mins. I then did my hop additions at 30 mins.

I also added another 1/2 pound extra of Light DME at flameout for the hell of it. I guess I was hoping itll add some extra body and a little higher SG. The SG was a bit higher, came in at 1.048 so we will see how it turns out.
 
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Coff

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This has been in the primary since 9/16 so going on 14 days which is plenty. Took a gravity reading the last 2 days and they were both 1.011, so comin in at about 4.8%ABV.

I think the late DME addition off the recipe helped me hit my marks.
 

azlane

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I'm curious how these batches turned out as I just purchased a TB Oktoberfest kit for my 2nd batch. They mentioned it should turn out close to the Sam Adams Oktoberfest that I like so much.
 

RM0312

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Gentlemen (and Ladies if there are any on this thread),

What is your review of the TB Oktoberfest now that you've no doubt partaken of the beer?

I purchased and brewed this one just about two weeks ago and plan on moving it to the secondary carboy this weekend if the FG is stable. I made similar changes to the water volume and boil time mentioned in your posts just because of my experience with Northern Brew recipes…just wondering how it worked out for you.

Also, how long and at what temperature did you bottle condition? Since this is an ale rather than a lager (i.e., not a true Oktoberfest), I’m curious to know what you did and perhaps what you’d do different.

Thanks.
 

urg8rb8

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I fermented this kit with tart cherry extract in a secondary and it turned out amazing!!!
 
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