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© istockphoto.com/Ryan Lane

 

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Brew Your Own Oktoberfest Lager

Start your homebrew now and you can celebrate with your very own beer this fall.

 

Want to uncap your very own Oktoberfest brew? We tapped Raleigh, North Carolina, homebrewer Roko Peros for this DIY, all-grain recipe. A longtime fan of the German Märzen, or Oktoberfest, style of lagered beer, Peros developed this recipe based on the classic attributes he loves most about the style—a malty, toasted taste with a dry finish. You’ll need a mash tun, a wort chiller, plenty of room in your (preferably temperature-controlled) refrigerator or freezer, and a lot of patience—it won’t be ready to drink for three months after the day you brew it. As Burningham notes in her article, summer heat can make brewing a challenge, but Peros, who runs the homebrew blog Brewmorebeer.com, has some advice to help you cope. “Run ice-cold water through your chilling system when cooling the wort after the boil,” he says. “Sunscreen and a few cold ones also help.”


 

 

Grains

6 lbs. German Pilsner Malt

2 lbs.  Munich Malt

2 lbs. Vienna Malt

1 1/4 lbs. Cara-Pils/Dextrine

1/2 lb. Caramel/Crystal 120°L

Note: Peros mills his grains himself, but you can also buy pre-milled grains.

 

Hops

1 1/4 oz. Hallertauer (Pellets, 4.80 %AA) boiled 60 min.

1/2 oz. Hallertauer (Pellets, 4.80 %AA) boiled 15 min.

1/2 oz. Hallertauer (Pellets, 4.80 %AA) boiled 0 min.

 

Yeast

Wyeast Labs Bavarian Lager Yeast (1 smack pack) or Wyeast Labs Octoberfest Lager Blend

Note: Peros uses a two-day starter with a stir plate, to get the yeast ready for the month-long feast.

 

Mash Instructions

Start the mash by placing milled grains in a clean, sanitized 10-gallon mash tun. Add 2.6 gallons of water that’s been heated to 132 degrees F. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Add 2.3 gallons of water that’s been heated to 197 degrees and let sit for another 30 minutes. Add 2 gallons of water that’s been heated to 205 degrees and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain all the water (wort) through a sparge filter into a clean, sanitized 10-gallon brew pot. Sparge the grains by adding 1.4 gallons of water that’s been heated to 170 degrees to the grain mixture, let sit for 15 minutes, then drain the water (wort) through a sparge filter into the brewpot.

 

Boil Instructions

Bring the wort to a boil and maintain the boil for 90 minutes. After 30 minutes, add 1¼ oz. Hallertauer hop pellets. After 75 minutes, add ½ oz. Hallertauer pellets. After 90 minutes, turn off the heat and add the remaining ½ oz. Hallertauer pellets. Cool the wort quickly using a wort-cooling system. When it reaches 55-60 degrees F, drain the wort into a clean, sanitized carboy and add the yeast.

 

Fermentation Instructions

Ferment between 53–56 degrees F for four weeks, then siphon into another clean, sanitized carboy and ferment for another three to four weeks at 53-56 degrees. Caution on the fermentation: It should be held in a temperature-controlled environment. This can be achieved by using a chest or upright freezer power-regulated by a temperature controller.

 

Bottling Instructions

Prime the beer by combining 3/4 cup corn sugar with a pint of water, bringing that mixture to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan, stirring slowly for five minutes, then allowing the priming solution to cool to room temperature before adding it to a clean, sanitized bottling bucket along with the fermented beer. Bottle the primed beer and let it condition in bottle for at least two weeks.

 

Makes 5 gallons. Final measurements should be around 1.050–1.057 original gravity, 1.012–1.016 final gravity, 20–28 IBU, and 4.8–5.7% ABV.

 

 

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