The appealing copper color and widely recognized malty sweetness have made Oktoberfests a popular seasonal brew. Our Oktoberfest is adapted from traditional German Märzen lagers which were brewed in March and stored until harvest festivals. The use of California Lager yeast enables a faster, warmer ferment while still capturing the smooth flavor of the original.
Original Gravity 1.055
Final Gravity 1.017
Alcohol Content 4.9%
7 lb. Bierkeller Light Malt Extract
1 lb. Weyermann Caramunich I 48 L
1/2 lb. Munton & Fison Carapils Malt 20 L
2 oz. Munton & Fison Chocolate Malt 338 L
1 1/2 oz. Perle Hop Pellets (Bittering)
1/2 oz. Perle Hops (Finishing)
Wyeast # 2112 XL California Lager Yeast
A few hours before you begin to brew , prepare your liquid yeast according to the package instructions. We assume that you are familiar with basic homebrewing techniques, so these procedures are abbreviated.
1. Divide the cracked grains among 3 of the muslin bags (about pound per bag) and add them to your brew kettle along with 1-1/2 gallons of cold water. Heat slowly.
2. Steep the grains in hot water (about 145°–160°F) to extract flavor and color – do not allow to boil. After about 30 minutes, remove the grain bags and then bring the water to a boil.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cans of malt extract. Keep the kettle off the burner and stir until the malt extract is completely dissolved.
4. Put the pot back on the burner and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place bittering hops into a muslin bag, add to the pot, and set your timer to boil for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the pot to avoid boil-overs.
5. After 45 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon of Irish moss (or 1 Whirlfloc tablet) to help clarify your beer (optional).
6. After 58 minutes of boiling, add the finishing hops (in a muslin bag) and boil for 2 more minutes.
7. After 60 minutes of boiling, turn off the heat. Put a lid on your pot and cool it in an ice bath (use your sink) for about 30 minutes. Remove the hop bags from the kettle.
8. Pour 2 gallons of cold water into your sanitized fermenter, add the cooled wort (the stuff in your pot), and top up with additional water to 5 gallons. Aerate the wort with vigorous stirring, rocking the fermenter, etc.
9. Make sure the wort is below 80F before adding yeast. Take a hydrometer reading if desired. Add the yeast.
10. Store the fermenter where the temperature will be a fairly constant 60–65°F. Active fermentation may take only a few days, or it can last up to 2 weeks. A hydrometer reading is a great way to determine when the fermentation is done. Keep the beer in the primary fermenter for up two weeks or until active fermentation is done (no signs of active fermentation for the last 2 to 3 days).
11. This beer may benefit from a secondary fermentation. This extended aging at cool temperatures should be done in a glass carboy for an additional 2 to 3 weeks before bottling.
12. When ready to bottle, siphon beer into your sanitized bottling bucket, leaving sediment behind. Boil the priming sugar in 1–2 cups of water for a few minutes, gently stir into the beer, and bottle as usual.