What is a bitter Märzen!?

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by sbaclimber, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    340
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    I have brewed a Vienna Lager/Märzen quite successfully a couple of times using Mandarina Bavaria as both bittering and aroma hops. It takes some getting used to, but it really isn't a bad hop for for a bit of a twist on the style.
    Now for the challenge....
    Most of my friends who have been subjected to my brew attempts over the years really like MB, but also like a beer a bit bitterer than a traditional Märzen, so......this time I decided to move the MB additions up to a 10 Min. aroma addition and substitute some Magnum in for the bittering....which has bumped the IBUs up above "style true" for a Märzen.
    As I am not a BJCP guideline expert....the question, is it still a "Märzen", or another known style, or just "other"!?
    Ref: https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1039983/2020-08-mrzen-1-plan
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Main question is "does it matter if it's still a Marzen?" If you're entering in a competition, it could be problematic. If you just want to brew a beer and say it's a Marzen and it's got a big hop flavor and extra bitterness, nobody's going to call you on it. :) If you have style-stickler friends, they might note the divergence but so what?.
    If you want to make it fit the guidelines, just adjust the hop amount and your good to go.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,670
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    In a competition it's a problem. When you call your beer "style x" we're looking for the characteristics we associate with style x. I've scored good beers in the 20's because they weren't "to style." On the other hand a bitter Maerzen sounds delicious. Look at the guidelines for ambers if you want to enter it into a competition, otherwise drink and enjoy.
     
  4. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    340
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    #4 sbaclimber, Aug 22, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
    Thanks for the replies!
    It definitely doesn't actually matter what style the beer is, as I am not entering any comps and my friends are happy drinking anything called "beer" :D, but I was still curious...
    Nosybear, your tip on ambers was perfect! My "bitter Märzen" looks a lot like an American Amber Ale according to the guidelines.
     
    J A and Blackmuse like this.
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I was going to suggest that the recipe calculator will list the styles that are appropriate for your parameters. The first thought I had was that a hoppy marzen is essentially an American Amber. Some styles are defined by certain hop flavors, too. A German Marzen wouldn't seem right with fruity, citrus-y American hops but an American Amber can get along quite nicely with a strong noble hop flavor, especially if the hops are the more floral varieties.
     
  6. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    340
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    I just realized that even though the malt and hops may fit well to an AAA the yeast is completely wrong!
    W34/70 is quite the opposite of an ale yeast...
    Searching "amber" and "lager" I stumbled across "Czech Amber Lager", which looks like a pretty good fit. MB is an odd hop for it, but the rest looks good.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  7. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    340
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    @JA, the tip about suggested styles in the recipe editor is good, but I find the list to be quite "broad" as it only takes the stats into account but not something like yeast type and/or fermentation temp.
     
    J A and Megary like this.
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    That's exactly right! Most styles are distinguished by specific flavors from yeast and hops that can't be accounted for by numbers alone. ;)
     
    sbaclimber likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white