Let's talk about Oktoberfest Lager

I know it's too late in the season for anyone to brew an Oktoberfest. The big party is over already but I wanted to talk about this style and a recipe that I've been making for the past few years that's as simple as it gets. First, I posted about this on my main brewing board and there is a discussion here... https://brews-bros.com/topic/131543-my-oktoberfest-and-how-its-changed/page-1 In that thread you'll notice that my recipe has changed over the years and it's gotten simpler. There is a German Brewers Group on Facebook and it includes members from around the world. A German member mentioned in a post that a good Oktoberfest Lager could simply be pilsner malt and Munich 2, a single hop addition and a suitable yeast. I used to add small amounts of things like melanoidin, Aromatic malt, CaraMunich II, etc. I feel like many American breweries make attempts at this style but they go overboard with malts (often using large amounts of crystal malt) or overhopping the beer because they just can't restrain themselves. I get it. I also get that everyone has their favorites and that's all good. But being a lover of German beers, I appreciate the more authentic examples. The picture above is 65% Swaen Pils malt and 35% Weyermann Munich 2 that was mashed in a 60-minute single infusion at 150°. There were some low-O2 measures taken which created some very nice grainy, bready character from the Munich malt. The beer is simple, balanced, refreshing and when you take a sip, you want to take another one. The aroma of the beer is fantastic too which brings me to the yeast. I have been using Omega Bayern lager yeast for a lot of different beers lately and I'm a big fan of it. It's supposedly Augustiner's yeast (known as the oldest brewery in Munich) and the yeast works particularly well in many German styles including pilsner, helles, vienna, dunkel, bock and dortmunder. It has a great character and aroma. This beer is similar in taste and color to Hofbrau's Oktoberfest which looks very much like a helles or pilsner. Finally, I used just one hop addition in this beer to get to about 27 IBUs. I used Magnum at the start of the boil. I could have used Hallertau and I also could have used two additions... one at the start and one later but I happen to like this single addition which allows the beer to finish malty-but-balanced and also allow that great yeast character to come through. I made this batch late (early September) and quickly got it to the taps. It may be too late to make one this year but keep this in mind for when you want to make this style. I happen to make Oktoberfests throughout the year... not just around the time of The Big Fest. As always, if you have any questions on this or anything else, reach out to me using the information on the contact page. Prost!

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