Thoughts on Oktoberfest


Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Jul 16, 2012
Reaction score
This evening, "Die Frau" (aka Lola) and I had our Anniversary dinner, German food at one of the best German restaurants I've tried outside of Deutschland (I lived there over 8 years). So with the dinner, I had a Hofbraeu Oktoberfest. It was the simplest thing in the world, Munich malt, Hallertau hops and perhaps a touch of Melanoidin, since the German commercial breweries rarely decoct these days. And it was delicious, perfect with my Veal Geschnitzeltes, dry, none of the caramel or toast of the darker Oktoberfests. Quaffable, designed to drink by the Mass (1 liter) in beer tents in the heat of a Munich September. So, gents, what do you think of this recipe for "Einfach" (simply) Oktoberfest:

10# dark Munich malt
4 Oz Melanoidin
1.5 Oz Hallertau hops at 60 mins
Wyeast Oktoberfest/Maerzen yeast

90 minute boil, primary fermentation @55°, 4 week lagering at 38°.
Drinking my 2013 Oktoberfest as I write this!

My Okto has 25-50% Tettnanger to give spice. Hallertau by itself might be too floral. To me, Okto is a special occasion beer and should be more 'in your face'. That is probably because my first experience with Okto was from Spaten's Oktoberfest, which is strong tasting.

From my brewery, this one turned out the best so far: ... ktoberfest

I like my Okto bitter, my last one was 65 IBU, but this may be a bit too rich. The recipe above is about 42, which is still on the high end of the style. I do a 10 minute hop addition but it could be earlier, 15 or even 30 minutes.

Melaniodin is one of my favorite malts. Up to 8oz would be fine too.

Since you don't have pils in the grain bill, a 60 minute boil would be okay.

I've tried this Okto with Wyeast - Bavarian Lager 2206, and Wyeast - Munich Lager 2308. The 2206 was better. Not sure about the 2633 blend.
My 2013 is coming out of the fridge this afternoon to warm to bottling temps.

Good thoughts! I really liked the clean simplicity of the Hofbrau Oktoberfest and will do it next year, upping the Melanoidin (I'm sneaking up on how much of its flavor I want). Tettnanger over Hallertau is a good thought as well, although I think I may just go with can't-lose Saaz, single addition at 60 mins or since it's really just bitterness, something like Perle or Saphir. For March, I have a recipe I put together called "Anno 2014" - you can guess it's inspiration! This year's Oktoberfest was a translation of a Swiss recipe (Sios Betzn Brau). The green beer is good, although I had a major uh-oh - the ground-fault circuit the fridge is on failed on me while I was out of town. I want something I could theoretically drink by the Mass and last night's half-liter convinced me: Simple is better.

I'll still go with the 90-minute boil to generate the Maillard reactions.