With this year being quite different I decided to brew my own beer for an at-home Oktoberfest celebration instead. After looking around at a few different recipes I settled on Martin Keen’s Oktoberfest/Märzen recipe.
This is of course a pretty straight forward recipe but I wanted to do my best to capture that classic Oktoberfest water chemistry. I settled on a profile from Brewfather using the following additions:
0.7 g Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
0.6 Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
0.6 Gypsum (CaSO4)
A clean and standard brew day had me ending up with an Original Gravity (OG) of 1.045 which was quite a bit off mark. I’m really not sure what might have caused my efficiency to be so far off.
As this is a lager I let the fermentation go as long as I could before I had to get it bottle conditioning (otherwise I would have missed my Oktoberfest timeline!). All told it sat for about a month and a half in the fermenter. The Final Gravity (FG) measured at 1.010, hitting the target, for an ABV of 4.59%.
A well rounded if not muted scent. Hints of complexity but nothing overly so.
A bit darker than I was expecting which made me wonder if it oxidized a bit. Still has a good rocky head when poured and definitely looks the part.
Not the easy guzzler that you might find in North American Oktoberfest celebrations but overall well rounded. A little too soft for my tastes so I would probably change the water chemistry up a bit if I were to rebrew this again.
This brew cost $29.60 in ingredients to make and yielded 48x355ml bottles ($0.62/bottle)
As classic German styles go this one actually turned out pretty well. My only real complaint with it is, as I said above, the very softness of the water so I would probably dial back the salt additions. That and next time I think I’ll try to give myself a bit more time to let the beer properly lager for a longer. Prost!