Recipe Series: October Fest

October Fest beer, also known as Marzen, was historically brewed in Germany during the month of March and consumed in September/October during October Fest.

Good examples of October Fest beer exhibit strong malt characteristics, present but delicate hop bitterness and a dark gold colour. Lager yeast is always used, decotition mashing is suggested and an extended period of ageing will help produce an incredibly smooth flavor. All this is tied together with a moderate level of carbonation.

The Ingredients

Grain Selection

  • 12 lbs Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt
  • 2 lbs Weyermann Munich Type I Malt
  • 2 lbs Weyermann Munich Type II Malt
  • 2 lbs Weyermann Vienna Malt
  • 5.6 oz Weyerman Aciduated Malt

Hops

Tettnang (GR) 3.7 AA

  • 40 minutes 4oz  (7.4 HBU)
  • 15 minutes 1.5oz (2.7 HBU)
  • 2 minutes 1oz (3.7 HBU)

Psalter Select (garden grown)

  • 2 minutes 1oz

Yeast

  • Saflager S-23

We ferment at 52 degrees for one month before racking beginning an extended period of aging.

Bottled with 2.5 cc maple syrup.

Review

Not my favorite but definitely drinkable. A bit too malty for my taste which could be corrected by substituting most of the Munich and Vienna malt with smaller amounts of caramel malts. Final gravity of 1.014 which is spot on for the style. Could use more hops. 

Changes I would make are:

  • Grain bill of 16 pounds pilsner, 1 pound Munich malt or Vienna malt, 1 pound Weyermann caramunich II 46° L. This should decrease the malty flavor and add more color and complexity.
  • More hops
  • Saflager W-34/70 Lager Dry Yeast



Happy as a clam!

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