Back at the end of August, I brewed my very first lager - an Oktoberfest of my own design. I kept intending to post a brew report, but never did. I felt guilty about that failing, and ended up being a chucklehead and not posting to the blog at all for a while. Boo on me.
The whole idea behind the beer was that I wanted a big, red, malty Oktoberfest. I really enjoy the Sam Adams interpretation, though I am aware that it makes some purists cringe. I find the style to be extremely interesting, as the BJCP guidelines leave a *lot* of room for interpretation. I also discovered anew how passionate - and condescending - some beer nerds can be, after I opened a thread on homebrewtalk to discuss recipe formulation, and was basically informed by some that a sweet beer like the Sam Adams version is not really worthy of the name "Oktoberfest", and that I should be ashamed for daring to enjoy it.
Those discussions did inspire me to add a real wiesnbier to my eventual brew list, but in the end, isn't homebrewing about creating beers that you enjoy? I certainly believe so, and to that end, I collected a lot of advice (including some major influence from Ray Daniels' outstanding book, Designing Great Beers), then pushed on with my idea.
I had gone back and forth on yeast choice, but ended up going with WLP820 (Oktoberfest/Märzen lager). I know that some advocate picking a "house lager" yeast and using it for every lager that they brew, but I don't bank yeast anyway, so I'd just as soon go with something that's a perfect fit for whatever I'm brewing. This yeast is supposed to really accentuate the malt aspects of a beer, and after a lot of homework, I felt that it would perfectly go with my own Oktoberfest.
I have seen that WLP820 gets some negative press. It isn't listed as...
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Thanks for the quick reply think I'm going to go with this recipe how would you change your bill or process to attain a redder color?
posted by Gustifer on 2/04/2014 at 07:44:27 PM
Ah, red... the unicorn of beer colors.
You could always add a couple of ounces of roasted barley for a nice red color, but I purposely did not do that in the interest of brewing this with authentic ingredients.
My best guess would be that you could up the melanoiden malt and drop the base malt a bit.
Please do let me know how it goes for you!
posted by homebrewadad on 1/10/2015 at 10:11:18 PM
Hello and greetings from Bavaria!
Looks like a lovely recipe but I'd stay away from Caramel malts if you want a slightly more authentic flavour :) For these beers all you have to play with are Pilsner, Vienna and Munich. Not that this recipe doesn't sound delicious though!
I always do them with a Hochkurz decoction (well modified malt) at 62/72/77 respectively. Boiling the grains for 5-10 mins (after taste).
At 50 EBC you are already in Dunkel territory...
Congrats to working successfully with WLP820 - it's an incredible product! I pitch at 5-6C, main ferment at 7-9C, then warm maturation after 50% EVG (attenuation) where it goes up by 3C from main fermentation temp until final attenuation is reached.
Then it disappears into the lager vessels at -1C for 2 weeks at 0.5 BAR pressure.
The textbooks refer to this as cold fermentation with warm maturation ;)
posted by Nico on 11/08/2014 at 03:41:59 AM
Tags for this post: Oktoberfest, lager, brewing, homebrewing, wlp820, yeast