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Oktoberfest recipe formation

As for yeast, I’m not sure if I can use a friends freezer or not so I may use the Wyeast Octoberfest blend or the Bohemian Lager yeast because I’ve read you can ferment successfully with that at warmer temps. I have room in the keezer to lager one beer but if I can’t snag some room in the fermentation chamber I will go with the Bohemian Lager.

I think I might mess around and try my second decoction mash with this one as well just (because I hate myself and want more work) for fun.

I’m getting ready to brew one myself, and had Daniels’ book out last night too. I have little more experience with the style than you, so I’m watching with interest.

My thought was something like:

4lb Weyermann pils
4lb Weyermann Vienna
2lbWeyermann Light Munich
0.5lb Weyermann dark Munich
0.5lb Weyermann Caramunich I

And of course I think thats probably too busy.

I do have a nice big starter of WLP833, I made a 1gal batch of helles then stepped it up in a 3gal batch of Vienna lager. So I have plenty of yeast to brew this weekend.

I’ve brewed a couple of vienna lagers before with 100% Vienna malt from Global and the malt was a lot darker than the Weyermann (8L as I recall), and it seemed to be too much of a good thing. I’m hoping the lighter Vienna and Munich will work out better, and adding some pils is still on my agenda.

You might be able to acheive mid-50’s with a swamp cooler setup.

Fortunately I have a temp controlled chamber for ferm.

I’m debating decoction too, its messy and a pain though so I’m leaning away from this.

I’ve been using the swamp cooler for every beer lately just to keep the temp within the 60s with how crazy hot July was and don’t want to mess with it enough to get it into the 50s. Your recipe looks more concise than mine and so does Northern Brewers so I might downsize by dropping out the Wheat unless others think otherwise.

I think I’ll ditch the dark Munich and just use 4lb each of Pils, Vienna and Munich plus the 0.5lb of Caramunich.

So I guess what I’m mostly looking for is input on the C-20 and Biscuit Malt. I have them so I originally put them in the recipe but should I stick with it?

Go with your gut and simplify. My first oktoberfest this year was 80/20 Vienna/D. Munich with a single decoction (40 minute boil). Talk about malty! If I would have added crystal malt it would have been too much.

Certainly the biscuit would probably make only a minor contribution, Vienna/Munich will give you your appropriate bready malt character. As for the crystal I think thats a personal choice and one that seems popular based on Daniel’s data.

Its killing me to simplify but I think I’ll use 5lb of Pils and 5lb of light Munich, plus 0.25lb of Caramunich I.

Best of luck to the both of you! Now I have to figure out what food to serve with my beer (O’fest, Kolsch, Hefe) at my Oktoberfest party next month. Already tried my hand at Brezels, now to something more meaty.

I read through some recipes in the recipe forum and came across Ken Lenard’s. He’s good at lagers so I trust his stuff. Its in the link below, about halfway down. He’s using equal parts pils and munich, and he’s got a little biscuit and aromatic malt in the recipe but at 1% of the grist I don’t know if its bringing anything more than a super-subtle contribution. You could probably skip the aromatic with a decoction, if you’re using Vienna malt you might add the biscuit. His caramunich is 3.5%, that makes my mind up not to go 10% on the cara. I think I’ll go with roughly 5%.

http://www.freewebs.com/kenlenard/recipes.htm

Sausages and brown mustard of course!

Screw it, I’m finding a new home for my C-20 and Biscuit Malt. I don’t know why I want to get rid of it so much… It can hang out for a while.

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5 lbs German Pilsner (1.6 SRM) Grain 1 45.5 %
4 lbs German Vienna Malt (3.8 SRM) Grain 2 36.4 %
2 lbs Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 18.2 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 18.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 6.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 4.5 IBUs
1.0 pkg Bohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -

Personally I love both Vienna and Munich. Munich is maltier, but they are very similar. IMO you can’t put too much of either in an Oktoberfest. My Oktoberfest leans heavier on the Munich and less on the Pils. If you decide to go with more Pils, then the caramunich is a good idea. Try all you can to get that beer in a fridge and lager. It’s pretty late at this point (Oktoberfests should be brewed in the spring, IMO), but maybe a 3 week primary and a 4 week lager would work. The longer you can lager the better. And to me, fauxtoberfests are just wrong! So if you can’t ferment cold or at least very cool and lager for a minimum of 4 weeks, I wouldn’t brew it.

Lose 'em. And the wheat.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]Certainly the biscuit would probably make only a minor contribution, Vienna/Munich will give you your appropriate bready malt character. As for the crystal I think thats a personal choice and one that seems popular based on Daniel’s data.

Its killing me to simplify but I think I’ll use 5lb of Pils and 5lb of light Munich, plus 0.25lb of Caramunich I.[/quote]

That data comes from a long time ago when lot of the ingredients we have now were hard to find or unavailable. Like Fix’s VMO book, they made do with what they had. I wouldn’t take recipes from either too literally.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]You might be able to acheive mid-50’s with a swamp cooler setup.
[/quote]

Depending on your ambient you can actually do better than this. For my Ofest I was able to get my swamp cooler down to 45 to pitch. Maintaining the temp is a bit of a PITA, but I was able to keep things between 50-54 most days. I am fermenting in a basement that is a steady 68F so YMMV.

Will do, I was figuring I’d ferment in August and lager for Sept and at least half of October.

I’m drinking a little of a Vienna lager I made and its really light in color, more of a helles. Way different than the stuff I brewed with Global Vienna. I may go with equal parts Vienna malt and light Munich malt with a little Caramunich 1. I’d get away from a long boil and DMS issues this way. Neither of these malts is real dark. I could even add some dark Munich.

Well I’m brewing this today. My grain bill ended up being:

3.5lb Vienna
7lb Light Munich
1lb Dark Munich
3oz Caramunich I
3oz Caramunich II
2oz Melanoidin

I only used both crystals because I only had the 3oz of the I. The melanoidin was added since I’m doing a single infusion, no-sparge mash and wanted a little fake decoction flavor. The mash is going right now, 9.5gal of adjusted water thats abot 3.2qt/lb. I’m mashing for 2hrs at 150F for a nicely attenuative wort.

It sounds reasonable to “brew on the ones”, but its hard when it comes right down to it!

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