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Reflecting on a Year of Brewing

It’s been almost one year since I started brewing, and a bit over a year since I began lurking on this forum. I was deployed overseas in a country where drinking isn’t allowed, and passed the time by thinking about making my own.

I’m kind of amazed at how far I’ve managed to come in a year, thanks largely to the information I’ve obtained from this forum. Thanks to all your help, I’ve been able to go all-grain, understand water chemistry, and begin kegging. There have been some missteps, but nothing I’ve made has been an outright disaster, and for each step back I’ve been able to take two steps forward.

All that came together this weekend, when my buddy and I threw an Oktoberfest party. I supplied two cornies full of Festbier, one a straight-ahead Marzen and the other a Wiesn. He supplied sausages and a big back yard full of hop bines. Our guests managed to finish both kegs in a couple of hours and were clamoring for more.

The Wiesn particularly was a hit. It had awesome clarity, a really delicate hop presence, and a big fluffy white head. I can (and did!) drink many liters of the stuff. Here are some pictures…damn I wish I had more of it. Thanks again, and happy brewing!



Yea!

Very nice!

Das BOOT!

Whats the difference between marzen and a wiesn?

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style03.php http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style15.php

Good on ya Flashman! Brewing for a party is tough, but usually results in a really memorable experience. Especially when the beer is good, its gone REAL early.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style03.php http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style15.php

Good on ya Flashman! Brewing for a party is tough, but usually results in a really memorable experience. Especially when the beer is good, its gone REAL early.[/quote]

Hey Pietro, actually I didn’t make a Hefeweizen at all. By Wiesn, I meant more of a contemporary festbier, like you’d be served at Oktoberfest this year. The BJCP added it as a style for 2014. Here’s the link–it’s listed as “Festbier.”

http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2014%20BJCP%20Style%20Guidelines%20(DRAFT).pdf

It’s described as more of a beefed-up Helles than a true Marzen:

Appearance: Deep yellow to deep gold color; should not have amber hues. Bright clarity. Persistent white to off-white foam stand. Most commercial examples are medium gold in color.

Flavor: Medium to medium-high malty flavor initially, with a lightly toasty, bread dough quality and an impression of soft sweetness. Medium to medium-low bitterness, definitely malty in the balance. Well-attenuated and crisp, but not dry. Medium-low to medium floral, herbal, or spicy hop flavor. Clean lager fermentation character. The taste is mostly of Pils malt, but with slightly toasty hints. The bitterness is supportive, but still should yield a malty, flavorful finish.

wow, I’m lucky they don’t take away my judging creds for not knowing the style guidelines updates were released! Though we have a one month old, so I suppose I’d get a pass.

I thought you just misspelled it, and rabeb was asking the difference between a weizen and a marzen.

I’m so glad they added this as a style. I love “Oktoberfests” like Warsteiner’s, which IIRC is deep deep gold, but as the guideline says, NOT amber. As the guideline says as well, somewhere between a helles and a maibock I guess?

Will have to review the new guidelines tonight with my daughter on my lap. This changes EVERYTHING with my brewing schedule! :cheers:

Congratulations on the baby girl! I’m impressed you can even refer to a “brewing schedule” with a one-month-old in the picture.

I brewed this up in mid-July, so you can imagine my surprise when the BJCP broke it out as its own style one month later. Something about this style of Oktoberfest beer just makes me happy-it’s got a purity and freshness to it, I suppose.

It was a pretty easy brew as well. I used the “yellow malty” water specifications in Bru’n Water, 80% German Pils, 20% German Munich, 1oz Hallertauer at 60, 1 oz Hallertauer at 5, WY2633 and lager for six weeks. O.G. was 1.056

I did a mashout decoction, but skipped that step the second time I made it to see if I could taste the difference. I’ll know the answer to that in about a month.

[quote=“Flashman137”]Congratulations on the baby girl! I’m impressed you can even refer to a “brewing schedule” with a one-month-old in the picture.
[/quote]

Thanks! She’s been awesome so far. Well, if I brew on my system, I can get away with a 3.5 hour brewday from pulling the equipment to being on my couch (or as the case is now, burping my daughter). A lot of dead time therein to hold, diaper, and comfort an immobile baby!

However, brewing on our 1/2 bbl system at my friend’s house is another matter. A 6-hour brew day away from the house does not necessarily put me in the best graces with Pietroette, so I’ll need to plan accordingly for large batches :mrgreen:

That’s a good lookin’ beer Flashman! Sounds like you jumped in with both feet like I did. I brewed my first batch in Jan 13, quickly went to brewing all grain and just recently brewed my 50th batch which was my first lager.

Thanks for your service to our country and happy brewin’ brother! :cheers:

Great post. Brew on! :cheers:

[quote=“dannyboy58”]That’s a good lookin’ beer Flashman! Sounds like you jumped in with both feet like I did. I brewed my first batch in Jan 13, quickly went to brewing all grain and just recently brewed my 50th batch which was my first lager.

Thanks for your service to our country and happy brewin’ brother! :cheers: [/quote]

Holy f*ck, you brewed 50 batches this year?

[quote=“Beersk”][quote=“dannyboy58”]That’s a good lookin’ beer Flashman! Sounds like you jumped in with both feet like I did. I brewed my first batch in Jan 13, quickly went to brewing all grain and just recently brewed my 50th batch which was my first lager.

Thanks for your service to our country and happy brewin’ brother! :cheers: [/quote]

Holy f*ck, you brewed 50 batches this year?[/quote]
Haha. Well since jan 2013. Year and a half.

Do you happen to live in Baltimore? Those looks like federal hill/canton rowhouses

Congrats and I’m so sorry to hear you were deployed to a country where alcohol is illegal (I can’t imagine living in a god forsaken place like that) That Wiesn looks fabulous I want to brew one this winter. Think I’ve brewed about 16-17 batches in the last year since I started and I agree this forum is awesome with so much talent. I feel honored to have guys like Denny giving me advice :slight_smile:

That’s Petworth, Washington D.C. I’m lucky enough to live in a pretty cool city that is getting on board with craft beer in a big way. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend trying the offerings from Three Stars Brewing, Atlas Brew Works, and Right Proper Brewing.

Scalded Dog, you’re absolutely right about getting advice from the likes of Denny. I was going to include a thank-you in my original post, but decided I owed too much to too many people on the forum to risk leaving anyone out.

The deployment was actually a very cool experience (I say this with the benefit of hindsight, of course!). I was able to save up enough to buy a house, and of course it also led me to this awesome hobby. I’ve more than made up for the beer I missed during that six months, as my waistline can attest!

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