Oktoberfest/Marzen – All Grain


General Info

Recipe based upon one found in Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide - with my own tweaks, of course. This one should age up just in time for Oktoberfest.

Concentration was 25.39 points/pounds/gallon (ppg).

  • Pre-boil gravity was 1.042
  • I collected 6.5 gallons of wort
  • The grain bill had 10.75 pounds of grain

42 x 6.5 / 10.75 = 25.39 ppg.

Efficiency was about 71% - not bad for my first run with all grain.

To calculate efficiency I referenced John Palmer’s How To Brew book for typical malt yields in points/pounds/gallon, multiplied that number by the amount of each grain and divided by the wort collected (6.5 gallons). Then, I added each together and divided into the pre-boil gravity (42).

  • British Pale 2 Row = approx. 35 ppg. (35 x 6 / 6,5 = 32.3)
  • German Light Munich = approx. 37 ppg. (37 x 4 / 6.5 = 22.7)
  • Belgian Aromatic Malt = approx. 34 ppg. (34 x .5 / 6 5= 2.6)
  • German CaraMunich = approx. 34 ppg. (34 x .25 / 6.5 = 1.3)
  • 32.3 + 22.7 + 2.6 + 1.3 = 58.9
  • 42 / 58.9 = .7130 or 71.3 %

I’m explaining this now so I know how to calculate efficiency in future batchs... Carry on.


On the spur of the moment, I decided to add 8 oz. of honey to the boil, which shot the post-boil gravity to 1.062. We’ll see how it will affect things. Generally, I like the taste honey lends to most styles of beer, so I think it will suit this style as well. I am a bit worried about there being a strong alcohol taste in the finished product, however (August 13, 2006).

Racked to secondary, took a gravity reading and had a taste. Definite fruitiness and the malt is evident. Bitterness is subdued. Should be in secondary for at least a week - will probably go about 9 days or so to let the yeast do its thing (August 19, 2006).

I have to say that I’m a bit worried about this one. It has a particular nose that I cannot pin down. Not really as extreme to say as ’rank’ or ’skunky’ - but an unusual one just the same. Since I haven’t brewed an Oktoberfest before, I don’t have a frame of reference for what the smell should be during fermentation. All I can do is lager it for a while and see if it turns out. If not, back to the drawing board (August 23, 2006).

There was some definate contamination. I can’t figure it out, so I’ll be giving all my equipment a extra thorough cleaning and sanitizing just to be safe. As much as it hurt me to do it, this one had to be dumped. So goes my first all-grain beer. Curses!! Maybe next year (September 2, 2006).

I discovered the off-flavors were a result of the Gott cooler I have as a mash tun. This was the first batch with the new tun and I guess I didn’t get it as clean as I could have. I should have used vinegar to temper the interior plastic (September 9, 2006).

OK, I figured it out. It wasn’t the new cooler or anything equipment-related. It was the damn yeast. It was old and tired. And infected. I had to dump this one due to the "skunkiness" and I had to dump another batch, about four months later, due to the same problem. This recipe should be tried again in the late spring.

Malts and Grains

Amount Malt/Grain %
6.00 pounds German Light Munich Malt 55.8%
4.00 pounds British Pale Ale Malt 37.2%
0.50 pounds Belgian Aromatic Malt 4.7%
0.25 pounds German CaraMunich Malt II 2.3%
10.75 pounds Total Grain Weight 100%


Amount Non-Fermentable Time
1/8 tsp. Super Irish Moss 15 minutes


Amount Hop Time AA
1.00 ounces Hallertauer Mittlefruh 60 min 4.8%
1.00 ounces Tettnanger 15 min 3.0%
2.00 ounces Total Hop Weight


Name Lab/Manufacturer Form Amount
Octoberfest/Marzen White Labs Liquid 35 ml

Mash Infusion

Step Description Temp. Time
Dough In 4 quarts of strike water added to begin, stirring 153° F 10 min.
Mash Mash in with the rest of the strike water (9.5 quarts), stirring every 15 minutes 153° F 60 min.
Sparge (Batch #1) Add 4 quarts of water to tun, stir, let sit, recirculate, runoff into kettle 168° F 15 min.
Sparge (Batch #2) Add 12 quarts of water to tun, stir, let sit, recirculate, runoff into kettle 168° F 15 min.


  • Total boil time: 60 minutes
    • Add Hallertauer hops at boil (bittering)
    • Add Tettnanger hops at 45 minutes (flavor/aroma)
    • Add Irish Moss at 45 minutes
  • Cool wort to 70-75 degrees
  • Pitch yeast

Fermentation and Aging

6 days @ 65° F
9 days @ 65° F
28 days @ 45° F


Date Brewed:  

Brew Day Data

  Target Actual Notes
Strike Water Amount: 3.6    
Strike Water Temperature:      
Mash Temperature(s):      
Mash Time:      
Sparge Water Amount: 4.2    
Sparge Water Temperature:      
Pre-Boil Gravity:      
Pre-Boil Amount: 5.5    
Post-Boil Amount: 5.0    
Boil Time: 60    
OG: 1.062 / 15.2° P    
Mash PH:      
Boil PH:      

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