Time To Think Oktoberfest
|Home Brewing Recipes
Baker Street Ales Associate Brewer
the crossroads of the beer world
Believe it or not it is now time to think about making an
Oktoberfest Beer. If you really want to be authentic, you will need
to use a lager yeast and add a 3 to 4 week lagering period to your
You will need to have a basement or cool room that is between
35-55 degrees for lagering. Otherwise you will need an extra
refrigerator that will fit your fermentor, and can be adjusted to
You can also try making the same beer and pitching an ale yeast
instead. I would recommend a German ale yeast, Scottish ale
yeast or your favorite american ale yeast. In this case you won't
need to lager the beer, although you could let it go 3 weeks in
the fermenter, rack if necessary.
When you make a style of beer that is historically from a certain
country or region it is best if you purchase ingredients from malt
to specialty grains, to hops and yeast that are from those areas.
In this case you will want amber malt extract from a German
supplier as opposed to a British, American or Australian one.
As always, read my article on Belgian Triple for advice on
sanitizing your equipment and bottling. This procedure should
become routine and can't be stressed enough.
1) Start with three gallons of clean water in your saitized carboy,
and 2 1/2 gallons of water in your brewpot. Be sure you have
activated your yeast as per instructions.
2) Begin by placing 3/4 lb crushed crystal malt in a grain bag. Also
place 1/3 lb chocolate roasted barley and 3/4 lb toasted malt in
grain bags. Add these to the brewpot and bring the water up to
165 degrees stirring occasionally.
3) Turn off the heat and put a lid on your brewpot. Allow to sit 1/2
hour stirring occasionally.
4) Remove the grain bags, allow to drain but do not squeeze
5) Now bring the resulting liquid to boiling and stir in about 7 lbs
of a German amber malt extract (canned). Stir well so it won't
settle and burn on the bottom.
6) Once again my favorite part...adding hops !! For this I
recommend Hallertauer, Tettnanger or your favorite 4.5-6.5 alpha
acid hop variety. Remember it's your homebrew, make it how
you want. You will want to add 2 oz or more of your bittering hop
choice now and boil for about 50 minutes or so. Be careful to
keep an eye on the brewpot because once the hops are in, you
need to avoid over-boiling and making a big mess. If it's going to
boil over take the pot off the stove and stir it up. After a few
minutes it will be safe to put back on the heat.
7) After 50 minutes you will want to add your aroma hops. Again I
recommend Tettnanger, Hallertauer or your choice of 4.5-6.5
alpha acid hop variety. This time add 1 oz or more and boil for 15
8) Now cool the wort rapidly below 90 degrees and transfer to
your carboy. Pitch your yeast when the liquid in the carboy is at
the specified temperature on your choice of yeast.
9a) If you used an ale yeast procede as you would with any other
9b) If you used a lager yeast, after fermenting has slowed
transfer your lager to another sanitized carboy. Place a sanitized
airlock on it and put the carboy in your cool room, basement or
modified refrigerator. Lager for 3-4 weeks and then prime and
bottle. Store bottles at room temperature for 10-14 days before
Enjoy your Oktoberfest !!!
What is Oktoberfest anyway?
Oktoberfest began October 18, 1810 to celebrate the Crown
Prince Ludwigs marriage to Princess Therese of
Saxe-Hildburghausen. It is now celebrated for 16 days, beginning
15 days before the first Sunday of October. This year it will begin
on the 18th of September and end on the 3rd of October.
Due to Reunification Day there is a slight quirk in the length of
the fest. If the first Sunday of October is the 2nd the fest runs for
one more day. Seventeen days in all.
Even better if the first Sunday of October is the 1st, the fest runs
2 extra days. Eighteen days in all.
So plan ahead so your Oktoberfeast Lager/Ale will be ready to
drink on September 18th.
Happy Oktoberfest !
Cheers---I mean----Prost !
More recipes from Arny:
Belgium Style Triple
Pale Ale or Porter
I'll be joining my
good friend and
Arty Hannemann on
his open invitation
excursion to NYC on
July 18. Hope all my
readers will think
about joining me on
Get the details on Arty's Rails
to Ales page or contact him at