Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oktoberfest, August 27 2010

Oktoberfest, August 27 2010
Another year goes by and yet I don't fly.
While many homebrewers would find Belgium as a premium beercation, I would prefer an extended intoxication at Oktoberfest in Germany.   As an educator, October is not a practical time for a vacation.  The fall is typically a teacher's tax season, leaving virtually no window of opportunity for a distant beer binge.  For now, I've got to make this happen locally (always replicated and never duplicated as far as I know).  I'm running a bit late this summer but hopefully this will turn out just fine for a fine Oktoberfest brew towards Halloween time.
I changed a few aspects from last year's batch that I hope will solve some of the judging issues where the beer fell shy.  To toot my horn, last year's Oktoberfest won our club-only competition and was sent to nationals where it went to second-round.  Nationals were in the mid-west and the judging comments described the beer as being flawless but slightly lacking in a bigger malt profile and hops.  My guess, this is simply the fact of competition; you gotta make your beer stand out.  Another well established homebrewer in my club remarked that they haven't had an Oktoberfest like this since he was in Germany.  I gotta be doing something right here!

BJCP Category 3B. Oktoberfest
5 Gallons, All Grain, Step Infusion Mash, 90 Minute Boil

4 lbs. German Pilsner
5.5 lbs. Vienna
1.5 lbs. Munch
1 lb. Caramunich
0.75 lb. Caravienne
4 oz. Melanoidan

Protein Rest at 126°F for 20 minutes
Saccharification Rest at 149°F for 60 minutes
1g Calcium Carbonate added to 5 gallons of 170°F sparge water
Fly-sparged at 165°F for about 50 minutes

1 oz. Hallertauer 60 min.
1 Whirlfloc tab 20 min.
0.25 oz. Hallertauer 10 min.

White Labs WLP830 German Lager Yeast  Vial (Thanks, Kara!) to 900ml starter

Currently in ferment at 52°F

OG: 1.061 @ 68°F
FG: 1.013 @46°F
ABV: 6.5% (temperature corrected)

Image Source:
User: Senator86. Mass Krug. Digital image. Oktoberfest. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 24 Sept. 2006. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.

Evaluation: Took this beer to the QUAFF evaluation panel last night.  It needs a bit more body to accentuate the malt profile.  It was suggested to keep the protein rest under 10 minutes to avoid the breakdown of body-building proteins.  Since my last visit with the panel, I've already employed this strategy.  

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