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Oktoberfest brewing etc

What’s everyone brewing for octoberfest this year. I have 1 1/2 kegs of Ofest lagering. I have an American session Blonde with German hops fermenting now and plan on throwing a session NEIPA onto that after I rack it. Notice I have two session beers, have to knock down the ABV this year. Last year got crazy. I’m also building a new BBQ pit with a double rotisserie and adjustable grill. At least that’s the plan. I’m going to do the stone facing tomorrow .

I’ve never attempted an Ofest because I don’t have the appropriate temperature control setup to properly handle lagers. . .yet. :smiling_imp: I am really hoping to be able to attempt one next year in time. This year I should have Denny’s Wry Smile and Lakefront Bridge Burner on tap for September and my modified Smashing Pumpkin and maybe a black IPA on tap for October. I am intrigued by the Pumpkin Spice Late stout though, I may need to give that one a try and see how it turns out.


The plan for Sunday, a 10 gallon batch, 10 of pils,6 of MO, 4 of dark munich. 1oz magnum, and at 15 there are a couple of choices, tettanang, or challenger. We will split, Ive got 838 lager and friend will use ale, not sure yet which he has. There are more finite details, but… Sneezles61

Yeah, last year I brewed a traditional big Oktoberfest in the spring and lagered it over the summer. It was a heavy 1.080 and had about 5 different malts. Malty goodness in spades but the ABV kicked you in the schweinshaxe!

Simplicity is the goal this year, especially since I have to get this one going now. I’ll be making more of a Festbier this year:
OG 1.056

Pilsener malt 4 lbs.
Vienna 3.5 lbs.
Munich lt. 2.5 lbs.

Wyeast 2124

Hallertauer mittelfrueh 1 oz 60
Tettnanger 1 oz 15
Ferment at 50*/DA rest 60*/lager for 5 weeks-ish

Mine 5# Vienna
4# munich
.5# wheat
.25# caramunich
.5 oz magnum @60
.5 oz mittlefruh @15
1 oz mittlefruh @5
Mash 154 OG .055 two weeks 50 deg slow rise to room temp mid 60 week then cold crash 3 days
How about some more recipes. It’s interesting what others do

I’ve got 10gals OFest and 5gals cider. Trying to decide what to make… A traditional hefeweizen or a Helles.

Know what you mean about too high ABV and things getting crazy. A few years ago I made one at 7% but it drank at 4%. People lost their keys, left their wallets, were vomiting in the bushes. Not pretty.


I’ve got my October Charlie Foxtrot lagering

This year’s Oktoberfest recipes
5 lbs pilsner malt
2.5 lbs light Munich
1.75 dark Munich
1.25 caramunich
0.75 biscuit malt
Spalt and Perle hops
Second recipe I left out the biscuit malt and toasted two loafs of pumpernickel bread in the oven and added it in place of the biscuit malt.

I just brewed two Marzens this weekend as an experiment with Batch #1 decocted and normal sparge, and Batch #2 single infusion and no-sparge, targeting huge efficiency differences with the same recipe. Batch #1 got 81% efficiency, and Batch #2 is 64% efficiency. The same recipe, same percentage of each grain were the same for each batch, the only differences being mash & sparge methods and the mass of grain to hit the efficiency goals (Batch #1 about 2.25 lb malt for 1.3 gallons, vs. Batch #2 had about 3 lb for 1.3). Both fermenting at about 54-55 F (as cold as I can get it in my cooler with ice bricks) they are visually different already with Batch #1 more cloudy/tan and with darker krausen, and Batch #2 fermenting more “cleanly” visually with off-white krausen. It will be fun to see how these turn out and what the differences might be. I plan on accelerating the lagering via the Tasty McDole method with gelatin, so they should be okay to drink in September although probably more tasty in Oct/Nov. Learn more on AHA if interested:

So beer #2 is a lower gravity beer? That might explain the difference in the fermentor. I’ve switched to biab with a dunk sparge and get between 80 and 90 when I did full volume mash I also got about 65. Sparge works no two ways about it. When I used the tun I woul double sparge and do better than single sparge.

Both of these were BIAB. I designed the masses and process to try to hit identical gravities of 1.053 or so. I was just a little off… Batch #1 was at 1.049 and Batch #2 at 1.054. So, 5 points different. I was purposely trying to get great efficiency on Batch #1 and “bad” efficiency on Batch #2, and accomplished this goal. Later we get to see just how much difference these things make – I think it might be huge.

Oh now I understand. How much more grain % did you use for batch #2 ? Do you think it will be sweeter than #1? I would have guessed #2 would hav been the cloudy one.

I used almost 1.5 times as much mass of malt for Batch #2. Another unintended variable in this experiment is that I totally forgot to “vorlauf” or strain the tiny malt particles out of Batch #1 but I decided I just had to do so for Batch #2 because it was extremely hazy after the mash, even worse than Batch #1. So that could explain why Batch #1 (lack of vorlauf) is now more cloudy than Batch #2, even though the opposite was true originally. I hope this doesn’t ruin my experiment – I don’t think it will except for appearance only, which isn’t worth much. But we’ll know more later. In future I would recommend vorlauf or straining of malt junk out of the mash before the boil, even for BIAB’ers. This is easy to do if you just lay a spare grain bag on a colander and pour your sweet wort through to filter some of the finer particles, that’s what I typically do, as opposed to just lifting the bag out of the mash and immediately boiling with all those little chunks of hazy stuff in there. I BIAB almost all the time but I really don’t like doing that and it’s so simple to correct and only takes an extra 3-4 minutes of your time.

But anyway… sorry for the tangent/derailment.

I also don’t have the equipment to lager, so am hoping the German Altbier recipe is somewhat close. Has anyone made this one before?

Altbier is good stuff. Use Wyeast 1007 and you still want to ferment cool around 60-62 F or thereabouts.

For what it’s worth, I don’t have proper lagering equipment either. However I’m able to ferment in the low 50s by placing the fermenters in a large cooler full of water then adding & replacing ice bricks every 12 hours. It’s been a reasonable 52-55 F in the cooler this way – a little warm maybe but worthy of experimentation.

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I used the Oktoberfest AGK Recipe from BeerSmith for my first Ofest that I brewed Saturday. In primary now and will come up with another recipe to brew up and pitch right on top of the yeast cake in a few weeks.

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