The German Marzen and Oktoberfest beer styles are seasonal favorites of beer drinkers worldwide. This week we take a look at the traditional Marzen and Oktoberfest beer recipes and how to brew them at home.
Marzen has a mixed origin. Some sources note the extremely close relationship between Marzen and Vienna beers. Ray Daniels notes that the term Marzen was first used for beers brewed in Vienna in the 1700’s. Marzen is also close in relation to brown beers brewed in Bavaria as early as the 16th century, though the term Marzen was not originally applied to this style. Most modern authors attribute the origin of the name “Marzen” to Vienna, as no references can be found of Munich Marzen’s prior to the late 19th century (Ref: Daniels), though simillar styles were being brewed in Bavaria much earlier.
Marzen, the German word for the month of March, refers to the month when these beers were originally brewed. Summer was too hot to brew and ferment beers properly, so by a 1539 ordinance in Bavaria, beer could only be brewed between the days of St Michael and Saint George (29 Sept-23 April).
As beer was not brewed in the summer, the last beers of Spring were made with a higher alcohol content and stored in cellars, often refrigerated with ice to last the summer. This higher gravity beer was named after the month when most were brewed – March or Marzen.
The modern Marzen and Oktoberfest styles may bear little resemblence to the early Marzen of Vienna or even Munich. The early Marzen was described as dark, brown and full bodied. In fact, the turmoil of the wars of the early 20th century Europe nearly brought an end to both Marzen and Vienna style beers, though the modern Marzen enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when the Munich Oktoberfest started up again after World War II. The Oktoberfest style, a slightly stronger version of Marzen, is brewed specifically for the world famous Munich festival each year.
The Marzen Beer Style
The BJCP style guide describes Marzen as as a rich, slightly malty beer with a slight hint of toasted character from Vienna malt. No roasted or caramel flavors are present, and the beer has a fairly dry finish. Noble hops are present though should be only lightly perceived in the finished beer which is decidedly malty.
The original gravity of a Marzen is in the 1.050-1.057 range, lightly bittered with noble hops providing 20-28 IBUs of bitterness. Some “fest” beers are brewed at a slightly higher starting gravity. The beer is well attenuated, with a finishing gravity of 1.012-1.016. Color should be golden to orange-amber with a color range of 7-14 SRM. The alcohol by volume is 4.8%-5.7% and Marzen’s are usually fairly well carbonated.
Brewing a Marzen Recipe
Marzen is generally made from a combination of Munich, 2-row Pale Malt, Pilsner and Vienna malts. Generally, the malty Munich malts makes up as much as half of the grain bill, with either Pilser or Pale Malt making the balance of the grain bill. For extract recipes, a Munich based extract made from Munich and Pale malt is generally best to use as a base. Vienna may be added to substitute for 10-15% of the Munich malt to add a slightly more toasted flavor. A small number of homebrew recipes also add 5-10% Crystal or 5% Cara-pils malt to add body and head retention.
Hops for Marzen/Oktoberfest beers is typically of the Noble German or Bohemian variety, and the bitterness ratio (BU:GU) is generally around 0.5-0.6. Popular hops selections include Saaz, Tettnanger, and Hallertauer though occasionally American hops are used by homebrewers. Generally these are added only for bittering, and aroma or dry hops are rarely used.
The mash is almost always a single infusion mash for homebrewers in the middle range of around 152-154F for the conversion step. Purists can try a traditional German decoction mash, though in most cases it is unnecessary given modern highly modified malts.
Bavarian lager yeast or Marzen/Oktoberfest yeast is the prime choice for Marzens, with Bohemian Pilsner yeast providing a reasonable backup. Ferment ar around 50F (depending on yeast choice) and lager near freezing (33-37F) for at least 5 weeks.
Water treatments are rarely needed, but you might want to consider alternative water sources if your water is exceptionally hard.best selling christmas song of all time worldwide resort worldwide properties expert in the science of worldwide weather wethepeople worldwide telegram concern worldwide jobs covid 19 worldwide worldwide shipping company "intitle:""index of"" bring it on worldwide" worldwide demonstration march 20 worldwide waste management arrived in the uk heathrow worldwide dc second biggest selling album worldwide worldwide newspapers best worldwide medical insurance pushpa box office collection worldwide thomson worldwide holidays causes of death worldwide worldwide events worldwide hospitality anjunabeats worldwide 07 flu deaths worldwide worldwide rally for freedom is democracy experiencing a setback worldwide worldwide baggage worldwide brands review worldwide brands reviews how many coronavirus deaths worldwide seven seas worldwide review biggest cause of death worldwide search cadbury worldwide hide hardcore worldwide kochhaus worldwide 4px worldwide express co mr worldwide pitbull nordic jobs worldwide microsoft worldwide telescope cadbury worldwide hude cphi worldwide 2022 carta worldwide parcelforce worldwide express 24 plague deaths worldwide itunes worldwide chart think worldwide limited scam kylie minogue itunes worldwide rrr day 2 collection worldwide life insurance worldwide worldwide courier when will worldwide travel resume rrr box office collection day 2 worldwide bbc worldwide twitter what is cadbury worldwide hide highest grossing movie 1997 worldwide wyndham worldwide worldwide covid 19 deaths top 10 biggest cats worldwide signal cryptocurrency feature has worldwide twitter worldwide trending worldwide deaths 2022 instagram down worldwide worldwide freedom rally worldwide astrofest 2022 flower delivery worldwide are energy prices going up worldwide inclusive roaming in 83 worldwide destinations how many trophies have been collected by racers worldwide in the gran turismo series? obesity statistics worldwide 2022 music business worldwide a&r awards champions league final viewers worldwide 2022 nike worldwide air max 90 how many packages did fedex express ship worldwide on the day of the uefa europa league final 2022? covid vaccination rates worldwide worldwide disclosure facility hmrc is mother's day worldwide bbc worldwide careers skyline worldwide worldwide patent royal mail international standard worldwide air max day worldwide worldwide torrent 2x2 worldwide 51 worldwide games download code single trip worldwide travel insurance ichi worldwide worldwide vaccine count worldwide rally for freedom london 2022 worldwide disclosure facility letter animal worldwide freeride satellite solutions worldwide share price worldwide mental health statistics worldwide life insurance concern worldwide ukraine worldwide vaccine comparison rrr worldwide collection optima worldwide group worldwide timeshare exchange availability cadburys worldwide hunt havas worldwide ait worldwide logistics near me carers worldwide nike worldwide hoodie worldwide freedom rally may 15 rs worldwide covid vaccinations worldwide disney resorts worldwide nike worldwide 95 driven worldwide strategia worldwide worldwide group facebook users worldwide dhl express worldwide time how many watched philips funeral worldwide malaria deaths worldwide worldwide football fixtures how many people died worldwide in 2022 average deaths per year worldwide turkish online shopping worldwide shipping doing bits worldwide best dating worldwide snapchat jay park worldwide sultan box office collection worldwide worldwide disclosure facility reasonable excuse worldwide hide easter egg bing worldwide top 10 most popular cocktails worldwide ancestry worldwide membership discount how much does a worldwide patent cost aj worldwide services worldwide covid cases worldwide ocean frags worldwide arms ltd radhe shyam collection worldwide worldwide sim card cryptocurrency feature gone worldwide celebrities worldwide nike tn worldwide new covid strain worldwide flu deaths worldwide 2022 worldwide crossword nomad worldwide travel insurance edin worldwide share price covid restrictions worldwide worldwide festivals 2022 does oh polly ship worldwide bbc worldwide address worldwide freight services svp worldwide cadbury worldwide hide how much how many catholic priests have been accused worldwide 2022 corona cases worldwide zain worldwide