Rich German malt aroma of Vienna and or Munich malt a light to moderate toasted malt aroma is often present. Clean lager aroma with no fruity esters or diacetyl no hop aroma and Caramel aroma is inappropriate. Dark gold to deep orange-red color with bright clarity and solid off-white foam stand.
Grist varies, although German Vienna malt is often the backbone of the grain bill with some Munich malt, Pils malt and possibly some crystal malt. All malt should derive from the finest quality two-row barley. Noble hop varieties are most authentic. Somewhat alkaline water (up to 300 PPM), with significant carbonate content is welcome a decoction mash can help develop the rich malt profile.
OG: 1.050 – 1.057, IBUs: 20 – 28, FG: 1.012 – 1.016, SRM: 7 – 14, ABV: 4.8 – 5.7%
The preceding description was taken from the Beer Judge Certification Program description of the Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager style beer, the topic of this month's post and my first lager beer brewing project of 2013. The five gallon recipe I created calls for pitching 435 billion yeast cells of White Labs WLP820 - Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast™ at 56° F and fermenting at 50-54° F until a hydrometer sample reads 1.018, signalling the start of the diacetyl rest, then raising the temperature of the fermenting beer to 60° F over the course of three days.
Using a single infusion mash at 154° F for 60 minutes I included a small addition of Melanoidin malt to the grain bill to provide a big malty flavor and reddish color without having to do a complicated decoction mash schedule and extended boil on brewday. The other two grains used in the recipe are German Vienna malt, with roughly half as much German Munich malt, making up the backbone of the grist. The goal of this recipe is to produce as authentic tasting a Marzen Lager beer as I possibly can using my current brewing process. This beer should deliver all it's flavor and aroma from the recipe's malts, with no distractions caused by esters or hop additions to get in the way.
For bittering I chose to use Czech Saaz hops and a smaller amount of Slovenia Styrian Gold in the kettle to offset the malt sweetness and compliment the malty biscuit aroma of the grains. I used my local tap water, which is not considered to be hard, filtered with a two stage G&E water filter before using it in the mash, I haven't had my tap water analyzed yet and I didn't add do anything else to modify the water profile to increase the hardness to 300 PPM. Well there we have it all the background information about the beer style the ingredients the brewing process and what to look for in the finished beer.
I picked up a really fresh vial of White Labs WLP820 - Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast™ at Princeton Homebrew and made a series of yeast starters over the course of a week to step up to the number of viable cells needed to ferment this beer. To prepare the starter wort I added 1 cup of extra light dme to 2 liters of filtered water then added a small pinch of yeast nutrient and boiled for 10 minutes. Once cooled and just prior to adding the vial of yeast I hit the starter wort with a burst of pure oxygen, dropped in the stir bar, poured in the yeast and sat the flask on a stirplate for 24 hours.
|WLP-820 Lager Yeast Starter|
|Cold Crashing 4 Liters Of Starter Wort|
|60 Minute Full Rolling Boil|
|Wort Chiller And Pre-chiller Setup|
|1.057 Original Gravity Reading|
|Marzen Lager Samples Prior To Pitching Yeast|
|Hammerfest Marzen Lager|
I have another 2.5 gallon corny keg of this beer sitting on 12 psi of Co2 in the refrigerator and it'll be ready to drink in about 5 days. I moved the beer from the fermentor to sanitized corny kegs after 3 weeks of fermentation at 50F and another week of cold crashing in the refrigerator at 36F. The corny kegs were filled with the 36F beer and then placed in the fermentation chamber at 50F for another 3 weeks to allow the beer time to condition. All these extra steps and extra time produced a really clean tasting beer that showcased the flavors and aromas of the malts used in the beer, this recipe is a keeper and I look forward to brewing it again then next time I decide to treat myself to a great tasting lager beer.