I’ve been on a pretty intense research into the realms of Bavarian commercial beers recently which is partially down to the warm weather in the northern hemisphere (they’ve gone down very well) but also down to the fact that there’s such a deep history with a wide variety of styles.
Over the last couple months of research there’s been on beer style that seems to be showing up everywhere and it the Märzen or alternatively known as the Oktoberfestbier. Just like most Bavarian beers they come with a pretty deep history one that will have some of the beer geeks out there arguing for months but i’m going to try and sum it up in a couple sentences for you all.
Back in 1553 the Bavarian brewing ordinance decreed that ’new’ beer could only be brewed between 29 September and 23 April. This meant that brewers would have to brew enough beer through that period to last until the following September which is where the Märzen style came from. Brewers would typically brew a beer with slightly more hops, abv, with a fuller body and much darker then the ‘typical’ Bavarian lager. The reason for the increased abv and hop count was simply to prevent the beer from going bad over a long period (similar to India Pale Ale).
Over time this style has changed due to changes in technology (regular chilling) and what the drinkers like. The modern day Märzen can be pretty tough to really define but based on all 6 of the official breweries who’ve trademarked ‘Oktoberfestbier’ it’s safe to say we’re looking for a much lighter colour beer compared to the original style but with a generous 20-28 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) and a crisp finish.
With that being said, we’ve decided to share our recent recipe (1 gallon) that we’ll be popping open come the end of September. Like we said above, this beer is typically brewed in March and then slower fermented and conditioned through the summer but as long as you ferment it at the right temperature and let it site for 6 weeks you should be good. Anyway, give our recipe a go. This is our first attempt and just like most brewers we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our beers so let us know if you have any suggestions. Enjoy & keep brewing!
12°C / 53°F
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger
Boil 60 (start of boil)
Boil 0 (end of boil)
W-34/70 Saflager Lager
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