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Oktoberfest, when is the best time to brew?

I’ve been doing extract brews and wanted to know when the best time to do Oktoberfest is… was thinking I should do a batch at the beginning of July.

My recipe currently is:

3 lbs Briess Sparkling Amber DME (15 min)
3 lbs Briess Pilsen Light DME (60 min)
1 oz German Tradition hops (60 min)
1 oz German Mandarina hops (15 min, maybe overkill? do I need this?)
2 lbs Weyermann Caramunich Malt (I II or III though? Not sure… is there a better choice?)

I don’t have a way to lager yet, so I needed help on the yeast strain, obviously Oktoberfest is usually lagered, but is there an ale strain that can produce similar results? Also, is there anything you would change about this recipe? Trying to keep costs low, but tasty. :wink:

What climate/part of the world do you live in?

I would omit the Mandarina in this traditional malty brew. Let the malt shine through. I’ve always lagered mine but the “Mocktoberfest” threads should be easy to find on this and other forums… @sneezles61 brews one I think.

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Also two pounds of cara- anything is too much…more like .25 or .5 lbs or you’ll end up a brew that’s cloyingly sweet.

As to your original question, anytime now is fine.

I live in the Midwest, pretty much where you would expect NB to be.

Well as a midwesterners I think you can figure out when you might be able to lager using wyeast california lager

which has a range of 58-68 F. I’m planning to use it this winter when ambient temperatures are pretty much that in my apartment.

I would use as well some saaz. At flame out. 1 oz

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I did some for last years festival, one with Burton yeast and the other with Australian yeast… All who attended, Australian yeast was enjoyed the most… That is the Whites lab, 009. I have a brew with the 9th generation of pitching, just about ready for cold crashing… Sneezles61

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Munich malt and mittelfrue hops are what I use. You could use a clean ale yeast like 1056 the key is the lagering so get it brewed now and let it age as cool as you can for as long as you can. Make sure to strain out the cold break and hop material when transfer to the fermenter. Then cold crash at freezing for a couple days before bottling or kegging


Saaz and mittelfrueh are both good flavor and aroma hops for an Oktoberfest. The Mandarina would go well in Wheat beers and IPA’s. But these are all lines written in jello, if you want to use something else, it’s your beer. I tend to be a bit pedantic with the classic styles.

I agree with voodoo about the caramunich- too much, especially as you’ll be steeping it. Cut it back to about 1/2 lb. As to which, if I remember right, CM2 has a SRM of 43 and CM3 56. Similar flavor profiles. Either would be fine. Also might consider adding 1/2 lb of melanoidin malt, which helps add some of the ‘maltiness’ that you want in an Oktoberfest.
Hops- The Tradition is OK, the Mandorina, not so much (too ‘orangey’). In my Marzens, I like to use Tettanger and Hersbruker, but Tradition and Hallertau are more commonly used.
Another yeast to consider would be WY1007, german ale yeast. It yields a clean, almost lager-like, especially if you can cold rest it for a couple weeks.

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[quote=“voodoo_donut, post:10, topic:26234”]
But these are all lines written in jello
[/quote]And make sure you only drink it in September.

Thanks for all the help! This is my first Oktoberfest, I’ll be swapping out the Mandarina hops for Hallertau. Also will cut back on Caramunich, didn’t know it was too sweet, thought more would be better.

New recipe:

0.5 lbs Weyermann Caramunich Malt (steep for 15-20 min)
3 lbs Briess Pilsen Light DME (60 min addition)
1 oz German Tradition hops (60 min addition)
6 lbs Munich LME (15 min addition)
1 oz German Hallertau hops (1 min addition)

Wyeast California Lager 2112 or White Labs Australian WLP009 (will keep at 64-68 F with water bucket method)

How does that look? Any additions/subtractions?

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Where can I get Melanoidin Malt from? Can’t seem to find it on NB…

Did see at more as well

Should be able to locate WL009, and use it, do plan a blow off tube… That was some of the most active yeast I’ve used… Did I mention alot of head room too? Read up on harvesting yeast too… You’ll be able to save some more bucks! Sneezles61

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