About two weeks after brewing the latest batch of Festbier, the next batch up to brew was my Oktoberfest Märzen. The recipe was consistent with the previous batch though with some slight adjustments because of hop and yeast availability, and included ingredients purchased from the local homebrew store:
- 9.5 pounds of Munich Malt (10°)
- 0.5 pound Cara-Pils Malt
- 0.5 pound Cara-Munich Malt
- 2 ounces Aromatic Malt
- 2 ounces Biscuit Malt
- 3.0 ounces Hersbrucker Hops (2.2%) (remaining from the Festbier batch)
- WLP 823 Oktobefest Märzen yeast
The predicted specs for this beer (using BrewPal) were as follows:
- Original Gravity: 1.053
- Final Gravity: 1.014
- 5.1% ABV
- 22 IBU
I again had issues with the grain crush being too fine and clogging my mash tun valve. Once that was fixed, lots of small grain pieces were pulled through. In frustration, I didn’t bother regulating the sparge water flow into the mash tun – I drained the hot liquor tank into the mash tun. This seemed to help compact the grain bed because the small pieces stopped coming though the valve into the brew pot shortly afterwards.
Other than that and a small boil over at the start of the boil, the brew day was uneventful. Starting gravity was a bit higher than predicted at 1.058.
After two weeks in primary fermentation, the beer was transferred to secondary fermentation. The gravity at this point was still a bit high, at 1.024. I left the secondary fermenter sit out in my kitchen overnight, and put it in the chest freezer for lagering later that afternoon.
I let the beer lager for six weeks. I checked the final gravity before putting the gelatin finings in – it didn’t budge from 1.024. I let the beer sit on the gelatin for three days before kegging and carbonating.
Despite the high final gravity (or maybe because of it), the beer came out really well – the first time since I had been making the Festbier and the Oktoberfest together where I preferred the Märzen to the Festbier.