Among several words that are confusingly similar to the non-German speaker, this one means “meadow”. It implies a beer brewed for a carnival or festival (an Oktoberfest beer may be described as a Wies’n Marzen) or a rustic speciality.
– Michael Jackson, beerhunter.com
“There is a popular myth that there is one distinctive style of beer brewed for Oktoberfest – but historical evidence shows there have been many changes in the beers served at the festival … in the first 60 or so years the then popular Bavarian dunkel seems to have dominated … up until World War I, Bock-strength beers dominated the Wiesn. For decades reddish-brown Marzenbier ruled the tents, but … since 1990 all Oktoberfest beers brewed in Munich have been of a golden color … with medium body and low to moderate bitterness.”
– Conrad Seidl, The Oxford Companion to Beer
Technically I missed my cutoff to brew an honest Märzen this year, but since my Wies’n (why, what do you call your backyard?) is under some fresh, wet April snow I feel like I can fudge it a little.
Because it’s a little late, and because there’s a high probability that temptation will get the best of me and enjoyment will commence before Oktober, today’s brew session is going paler than my past O-fests, a la Paulaner’s Wies’n or Ayinger’s Oktoberfest. More of an overbuilt Helles, blonde with tracers of sweet-spicy Tettnanger pungence: something that won’t feel too out of place mid-summer. But honestly, you had me back at “rustic speciality.”
Target OG: 1.058
- 92% German Pils
- 8% German Munich
- 135°F for 30′
- 158°F for 20′
- Mashout at 170°F for 10′
- Tettnanger (pellet, 3.7% aa) at FWH to 24 IBU
- Tettnanger (pellet, 3.7% aa) at 15′ to 2 IBU
- Chill to 45F, O2 and pitch with Wyeast 2487 Hella Bock
- Free rise up to 56-57F over approx. 48 hours.
- Once we hit TG and diacetyl-negative: fine, rack, crash cool, try to forget it’s there. Like you do.