Oktoberfest inspired Ale

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Oktoberfest

Postby slothrob » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:22 am

Sorry, I must have been half asleep and posted this (with some editing) in the bug report:

I'm going to have to defer to the experts on this one. I've talked to a lot of brewers getting ready for my first run of lagers this fall and have a pretty good idea of how to formulate an Oktoberfest, but I don't have the experience with a particular recipe that you're looking for.

There's Jamil and John Palmer's Style book, that probably has one of Jamil's award winning recipes. Also, [urlhttp://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=93720]this thread[/url] has some good looking recipes from a couple of brewer's who's recipe skills I've witnessed with other beers. Kenlenard and Mtnbrewer are reliable, and Mtnbrewer's recipe looks interesting.

My thoughts are that you're looking for a beer that has an OG in the mid to high 50's, IBUs in the mid to high 20's. The grain bill should be about 50-60% Munich Malt (I'd make a pound of that Dark Munich to duplicate the effects of decoction), and 40-50% Pilsner. You need to keep the Crystal Malt low to keep it from being too sweet with all that Munich, a little Caramunich would probably be okay, but I'd keep it below 0.5#; less than 0.25# would probably be better. I think I'd go with Melanoidin instead of Crystal (or maybe just the Dark Munich), if I needed to add something to get the right color, but I like my Oktoberfests on the drier side. Any Germanic hop should work well, even Mt. Hood or Sterling, since the hop flavor and aroma should be subtle.

From other pseudo-lagers I've done, I'd go with WY1007 if I was going to use an ale yeast if I could ferment it close to 60°F, but you may need to cold crash it to clear it. The steam yeast would be another option.
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Postby Bryon » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:45 pm

So, I've never racked to a secondary before, but will probably do some with this brew Tuesday... I've read that some folks put a little sugar/water in teh secondary to allow for a little extra fermentation to...
produce a thin layer of carbon dioxide over the top of your beer which will help stop infections and stop your beer from oxidizing.


Do you recommend this? Or go with no added sugar?

Thanks!
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sugar

Postby slothrob » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:11 am

I've never added sugar to a secondary.

I've always imagined that enough CO2 gets knocked out of solution during the transfer to fill up what should be a minimal headspace in the secondary container.
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Using sugar

Postby billvelek » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:58 pm

slothrob is probably correct, plus a lot of brewers will fill up most of the headspace in their secondary with sanitized water. My opinion is that this is fine if the beer is for a competition and the dilution won't cause it to drop out of style guidelines, but if it's not for competition and just for drinking, why add water that you'll just need to bottle anyway (assuming you're bottling). I'd just rely on the CO2 that slothrob mentioned coming out of solution, and bottle and drink my beer undiluted. Now, if you ARE going to add some sanitized water, I don't suppose it would hurt (even be noticeable at all) to add maybe a teaspoon or even tablespoon of sugar to it; some _possible_ advantage to it is that it might rouse the yeast a bit to help clean up the secondary a bit more, and not be all flocculated out at bottling time. I've have a few beers that sat in the fermenter long enough that it took a long time to carbonate my bottles; in fact, I added extra yeast to the bottling bucket for the last batches which sat for a really long time in the carboy, because I suspected that almost all of the yeast was likely to have flocculated out; those bottles carbonated very well.

Cheers.

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Postby Bryon » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:40 pm

Thanks for the continued support and advice... No sugar and no added water it will be then...
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