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Oktoberfest/Märzen (One Gallon)

Style Name: Märzen
Style Category: Amber Malty European Lager
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.059 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.0 %
Estimated Calories: 0.0 kcal/12oz
Batch Size: 1.25 gal
Bitterness: 22.4 IBUs
Description: Before refrigeration, it was nearly impossible to brew beer in the summer due to the hot weather and bacterial infections. Brewing ended with the coming of spring, and began again in the fall. Most were brewed in March (Märzen). These brews were kept in cold storage over the spring and summer months, or brewed at a higher gravity, so they’ would keep. Märzenbier is full-bodied, rich, toasty, typically dark copper in color with a medium to high alcohol content. The common Munich Oktoberfest beer contains roughly 5.0-6.0% alcohol by volume, is dark/copper in color, has a mild hop profile and is typically labeled as a Bavarian Märzenbier in style.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.51 lb Munich Type I (8.6 SRM) Grain 1 53.0 %
1.26 lb Pilsner; German (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 44.2 %
0.08 lb Carafa® Special I (337.5 SRM) Grain 3 2.8 %
0.39 oz Hallertauer [4.30 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 4 22.4 IBUs
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 5 -
0.13 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 6 -
1.0 pkg Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -

Note: SafLager West European Lager S-23 may be used as a dry yeast alternative.

Recommended Brew
Day Equipment

Brewing the beer

1. Read

Read all of the recommended procedures before you begin.

This recipe assumes that you have a boil pot large enough to boil 2.05 gal of wort.

2. Sanitize

Thoroughly clean and sanitize ALL brewing equipment and utensils that will come in contact with any ingredients, wort or beer.

3. Bag your Grains

Place your grains into a disposable muslin bag or reusable nylon bag. Make sure not to compact the grains, give them room to breath and swim around.

4. Mash The Grains

Mash the following 2.85 lb pounds of grain:

Mash Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.51 lb Munich Type I (8.6 SRM) Grain 1 53.0 %
1.26 lb Pilsner; German (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 44.2 %
0.08 lb Carafa® Special I (337.5 SRM) Grain 3 2.8 %

To do this, heat your "strike water" in your pot (just regular water heated for the mash) to the proper temperature stated in the mash steps. Add your bag of grains, stirring gently but thoroughly with a paddle or spoon. This step is called "doughing in". Take the temperature of the mash and make sure it is exactly where it should be (as described in the mash steps below). You may need to add some heat if the mash is too cold. If the mash is too hot add some cold water or ice.

Mash steps, tempteratures and times:

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 3.56 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

5. Lautering

After the mash steps are done, we need to lauter. Using a pair of tongs, lift the grain bag out of the pot allowing the wort to drain back into the pot. Place a large strainer under the bag and rest the grain bag in the strainer on top of the pot.

6. Sparge

Heat 1.50 gal of water to 168.0 F to prepare the sparge. Pour that water directly over the grains. Continue until you collect 2.05 gal of wort. Discard grains, or use them to make dog treats.

7. Start The Boil

Bring your wort to a vigorous rolling boil. Right before the sweet wort begins to boil, break material will form a foam that can boil over quickly and unexpectedly. Spray some water on it to break up the foam or use a anti-foaming agent like Fermcap-S. Continue the vigorous rolling boil for 90 minutes.

9. Add Ingredients According To The Schedule

Add the hops into the boiling wort according to the hop schedule. If there are steeping hops add them after flameout.

Boil Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
0.39 oz Hallertauer [4.30 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 4 22.4 IBUs
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 5 -
0.13 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 6 -

10. Cool Wort And Transfer

Cool the wort down to approximately 54.0 F by placing the brew pot in a sink filled with ice water or by using a wort chiller. Pour or siphon the wort into a sanitized fermentor. You should now have 1.25 gal in your fermentor. Take the OG reading and write it down on this sheet. It should be approximately 1.059 SG .

11. Aerate The Wort

During the boiling process most of the oxygen is removed from the wort. In order to provide our wort with healthy yeast we must add oxygen back into the wort. The yeast will use the oxygen to build healthy cell walls resulting in greater attenuation and an overall healthier fermentation. To aerate the wort you can shake your carboy back and forth or stir the wort vigorously. Some people use pure oxygen and a diffusion stone to add the maximum amount of oxygen.

12. Pitch Yeast

If you are using liquid yeast open the pack and pour the yeast into the wort. If you are using dry yeast, open the pack and sprinkle the yeast onto the top of the wort. There is no need to stir. Firmly secure the lid/stopper/bung onto the fermentor. Fill your airlock halfway with water and gently twist the airlock into the lid/stopper/bung. Move fermentor to a dark, cool, temperature stable area at 54.0 F .

Fermentation Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.0 pkg Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -

Fermenting The Beer

13. Fermentation

The wort will begin to ferment within 24-72 hours and you will notice CO2 releasing (bubbling) out of the airlock. Airlock activity will be slower at 54.0 F then an ale fermentation. If you do not see any activity and you are fermenting in a bucket, spray sanitizer on the airlock and around the grommet. Gently twist the airlock out of the grommet and peek inside. If you see a foam also called "krausen" then fermentation is active. There may be a ring of dried krausen around the edge of the bucket right above the beer. This is normal and means that fermentation is working. Replace the airlock gently twisting it back into the grommet.

When the bubbling slows significantly or when the fermentation is 3/4 of the way done (measure with a hydrometer) move on to the next step.

14. Diacetyl Rest

Lager yeast tend to produce large amounts of diacetyl during fermentation. Diacetyl is a buttery flavored compound and must go. Fortunatly yeast will absorb it we just need to warm the beer slightly. Raise the temperature of the fermenting beer to 64.0 F and let it rest for 2.00 days.

15. Lager

Lower the temperature to 34.0 F and wait 48 hours. Then rack your beer into a cleaned and sanitized secondary fermentor, avoid transferring any sediment (trub), wait 30.00 more days and your beer will be ready for bottling*. Take a FG reading with a cleaned and sanitized hydrometer and record it on this sheet. It should be approximately 1.014 SG .

*If you are not going to use a secondary fermentor then simply let the beer sit in one fermentor for the entire duration.

Bottling The Beer

16. Sanitize

Thoroughly clean and sanitize ALL brewing equipment and utensils that will come in contact with any ingredients, wort or beer.

17. Prepare Priming Sugar

The easiest way to bottle condition such a small amount of beer is to use carbonation drops. Place one drop in each 12 oz bottle.

Or to do it the traditional way...

In a small saucepan dissolve 0.98 oz of priming sugar into enough boiling water to dissolve the sugar. Cool and pour this mixture into a cleaned and sanitized bucket. Carefully siphon beer from the fermentor to the bucket. Avoid transferring any sediment (trub). After the beer is in the bucket, cover it and let it sit and mix for 5 minutes. By siphoning your beer onto the priming sugar stirring is not necessary.

18. Bottle

Connect a hose and bottling wand to the spigot on your bottling bucket. Fill the bottles to the top of the bottle. When the bottling wand is removed the perfect amount of head space will be left in the bottle. Use a bottle capper to apply sanitized crown caps.

19. Bottle Condition

Move the bottles to a dark, cool, temperature-stable area (approx. 67.0 F). Over the next 21.00 days, the bottles will naturally carbonate. Carbonation times vary depending on the temperature and beer style, so be patient if it takes a week or so longer.

Drink, Share and Enjoy!

Tips and Suggestions

  1. The volume of wort boiled affects hop utilization. Boiling more than 2.05 gal gallons will increase the IBU’s and they will decrease if wort volume is less than 2.05 gal gallons. IBU’s for this recipe are calculated for a 2.05 gal gallon boil.
  2. To avoid bacteria growth chill your wort as quickly as possible. Do not add ice directly to the wort.
  3. Consider transferring your beer to a secondary glass jug.
  4. Use standard crown bottles, preferably amber color. Make sure bottles are thoroughly clean. Use a bottle brush if necessary to remove stubborn deposits. Bottles should be sanitized prior to filling.
  5. When consumed, hops can cause malignant hyperthermia in dogs, sometimes with fatal results.
Bull City Homebrew
1906 E. NC Hwy 54, Suite 200-B
Durham, NC 27713