The following is an excerpt from John Palmer’s newly updated book How to Brew:
“The original Oktoberfest celebrated the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese in 1810, and they have been celebrating ever since (some beers are worth it). The hallmark of the Oktoberfest/Märzen style is a rich maltiness but high attenuation to make it less filling. If you plan to polka for 12 hours straight, then this is your beer.”
Wort A: 3.3 lb. (1.6 kg) Vienna light malt extract
Wort A: 1 lb. (0.5 kg) aromatic Munich 20° L malt, steeped
Wort A: 0.33 lb. (150 g) CaraVienne malt, steeped
Wort B: 3.5 lb. (1.6 kg) Munich dry malt extract – added at knockout
1.0 oz. (28 g) German Tradition pellet hops, 6% a.a. (60 min)
1.0 oz. (28 g) German Tettnanger pellet hops, 4% a.a (20 min)
German lager yeast with sufficient yeast starter (465 billion cells)
0.75 tsp. (3 g) Irish moss added 15 minutes before end of the boil (optional)
Recommended water profile, PPM (optional):
Total alkalinity: 100–150
Original Gravity: 1.055 (13.6° P)
Final Gravity: 1.013 (3.3° P)
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Pre-boil Volume: 3 gal. (11.4 L)
Pre-boil Gravity: 1.042 (10.5° P)
Put 2 gal. (7.6 L) of water in the boil pot and heat to 160°F (71°C). While the water is heating, put the Wort A specialty grains (Munich and CaraVienne malts) into a grain bag and tie off the ends so the grains can’t escape.
Once the water has reached 150–170° F (66–77° C), immerse the grain bag in the water for 30 minutes. For more information on steeping specialty grains, visit Let’s Brew on the AHA website.
After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag and let it drip until it stops. Add the rest of Wort A (Vienna LME) to the water and stir until totally dissolved.
Bring to a rolling boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at specified intervals from end of boil. Add Wort B (3.5 lb Munich DME) at knockout (0 min) until totally dissolved.
Strain wort into sanitized fermentation vessel with 2–3 gal. (7.6–11.4 L) of pre-boiled, chilled water for a total volume of 5 gal. (18.9 L).
Chill wort and pitch yeast when temperature reaches 52° F (11° C), leaving it in primary fermentation for 14–20 days at 52° F (11° C).
Hold a diacetyl rest for three days at 57–59° F (14–15° C).
Gradually lower to 48° F (9° C) and hold for 8 days.
Gradually lower to 33° F (1° C) and hold another 16 days.
Keg at 2.5 volumes (5 g/L) of CO₂ or bottle condition with 4 oz. (113 g) corn sugar.