Oktoberfest Help

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Brewmaster Tom, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Brewmaster Tom

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    Good morning fellow brewing enthusiasts,

    I was hoping that some assistance could be given in helping to make my Oktoberfest great. I bottled mine up this past weekend (no fridge so have to lager in the garage in winter) and while I was generally happy with it (good color, crystal clear, clean taste) it still feels like it's missing something. I think to some of my favorite commercial examples that have a nice malty initial kick and I'm just not getting that out of mine. Here is my recipe and numbers for this batch and hopefully someone has some advice how I can try to amp up the initial malty taste.

    RECIPE
    3.15# Pilsen LME
    3.15# Munich LME
    1# Pilsen DME
    1# Carahell
    1.5# Caramunich III
    0.5# Carafoam
    0.5# Maltodextrin
    2 oz. Hallertau @ 60 min
    1oz. Mt. Hood @ 10 min
    Wyeast 2633 Octoberfest Blend

    READINGS
    O.G. = 1.056
    F.G. = 1.016
    IBU = 23
    ABV = 5.25%

    Hopefully someone has some thoughts to help resolve this issue but I'd also be glad to hear any general thoughts on the recipe anyone might have to help improve it. Thank you in advance.

    CHEERS!
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've found lagers don't do well with extracts. In the past I've done very big partial mashes augmented with malt syrup and they've come out drinkable, if less than inspired. I think the secrets to a good lager are as follows:

    - All-grain (or mostly all-grain) using either decoction or "hochkurz" mashing.
    - Full boils and, if pilsner malt is a large portion of the grist, 90 minute boils.
    - Simple, clean grain bills.
    - Proper yeast selection (I once tried an Oktoberfest with California Common yeast - the result, while drinkable, was one I'd describe as "interesting.").
     
  3. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Melanoidin malt may help some with the malty character. Maybe try subbing munich for the carahell.

    The yeast does have a lot to do with the malt character, so maybe try a different strain and see how it compares.

    Tettnanger will spice it up. Hallertau is a more flora hop. Mt. Hood is somewhat spicy but not as potent. My latest oktoberfest, which is fermenting right now, has 65 IBU, with hallertaue/tettnanger at 60 minutes, and at 10 minutes. Technically it doesn't match style because of that, but I wanted to amp it up some more. Last time it was 45 and that worked really well.

    I personally made some great light lagers with extract.
     
  4. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Are you priming with DME or sugar? Sugar will take away some of the malty flavor, mouthfeel.
     
  5. Brewmaster Tom

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    I did not know that about sugar. I do prime with sugar but I did my taste testing prior to bottling so I don't believe that would be much of a factor at this point.

    Perhaps for this beer I'll have to step it up to a partial mash and toss in some melanoidin malt. This is the only style of lager I've not been able to get the flavor profile to my liking. I've made Maibocks, Schwarzbiers and Dopplebocks that have come out how I wanted, but the Oktoberfest has never been quite what I was looking for.

    Thanks for the tips gentlemen.

    CHEERS!
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Priming sugar is such a minor contributor to the overall fermentables, I doubt it would make a difference.

    Cheers!
     

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