I do not like cold weather. OK, I hate cold weather. Like it got a bit cool recently and it reminded me that Fall was coming, and that reminded me Winter was coming, and that put me in a bad mood in anticipation of the cold weather in 4 months. I may need to seek counseling for this. But, as much as I hate the cold I love the beers that come along with the cooler weather. Stouts, porters, winter warmers, more stouts, Oktoberfests, I even enjoy the occasional pumpkin beer.
In anticipation of this our homebrew club decided to have an all Festbier/Marzen competition. After careful “research’ of many of the highest rated Oktoberfests as well as a few locals (shout out to my local brewery Red Hare for making an awesome Oktoberfest) we formulated our recipe and got set to brew.
This is our first lager brew and we decided to follow Brülosophy’s fast lager method. There are a lot of positive results shared from those that have used this method and it saves about 3 months over a traditional method. Not being able to tie up our fermentation chamber for a long lager has been the biggest reason we haven’t brewed a lager before so if we get good results here we’ll probably add more lagers to our brewing plan.
The quick and dirty of this version is that you ferment to 50% attenuation at your initial temp of 50°-55°F, ramp up to 65°-68°F until fermentation is complete and there are no signs of diacetyl or acetaldehyde, ramp down to 30°-32°F and hold this for 3-5 days, then package your beer. You can have a lager ready to serve in about a month.
We had really bad luck with German Oktoberfests in our tasting. Even though the stores said the beers were recently delivered each one we tried seemed to be pretty old with papery, cardboard, and lightstruck flaws. No worries, there are some really good domestic versions available.
- Red Hare Hasenpfeffer Oktoberfest
- Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
- Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest
- Sam Adams Octoberfest
- New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest