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Cheat Code Märzen

Cheat Code Märzen

Beer of the Month Program

September 2021  - Cheat Code Märzen -  $37.99

Each month we release a new recipe for our Beer of the Month. They are always recipes that we have personally brewed ourselves, and have to pass a taste test amongst all of the staff here (tough job we know!). The recipes will be easy to make and we will gladly assist new home brewers in the production of these beers. They will all be 5.5 gallons in size. We find that after fermenting and racking a 5.5 gallon batch turns into a standard 5 gallon batch pretty quickly.

At the start of every month we will post the recipe in store, as well as on our websiteFacebook, and Instagram. We will also have a set price for the recipe that will include a discount of up to 25%!

Cheat Code Märzen 

Märzen (Oktoberfest) – 5.5 Gal - OG 1.052 – FG 1.005 – ABV 6.0% - IBU 17 – SRM 11

Purchase it Online | Printable Instructions

We’ve been working on this one for a while. The idea was to create an authentic Oktoberfest style Märzen, but in an accessible fashion. Traditional Märzen beers are fermented like a lager at a consistent 10°C, and then aged (lagered) at 0°C for months before being consumed. This process requires equipment, storage space, and patience (:p) that not all of our fellow homebrewers possess. The goal was to make an authentic tasting Märzen recipe that can be brewed at room temperature and be enjoyed in a shorter time. And, we ah, nailed it – this one is a winner.

This recipe is a combination of high-quality German (and 1 Belgian) malts, along with authentic Hallertau hops, and the secret ingredient – KRISPY from Escarpment Labs. To get it to the ideal final gravity of 1.005, we added ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) of Escarpment Labs new yeast nutrient: Yeast Lightning.

The end result is a malt forward, crisp and complex Oktoberfest style lager – but fermented at 21°C and not lagered for months. Start this beer in September, and you’ll be drinking this out of a stein in October.

Ingredients

Grains
  • Bohemian Pilsner x 2.5lbs
  • Munich Light x 4.0lbs
  • Vienna x 2.5lbs
  • Caramunich x 1.0lbs
  • Biscuit x 0.7lbs
  • Acidulated Malt x .1lbs
Hops
Boil Schedule (minutes)
  • Hallertau - 2.0 oz @ 15 minutes
  • Hallertau - 1.0 oz @ 0 minutes
Yeast
  • KRISPY - Escarpment Labs
Extras (Must be purchased separately)
  • Yeast Lightning -  (INCLUDED with Recipe) 1/4 teaspoon at fermentation. 
  • Gypsum - 1/2 teaspoon at mash.
  • DME/Dextrose - 150g at bottling for priming

Yeast Lightning vs Amylo 300

When designing this recipe, we wanted the beer to finish lower than the standard final gravity of 1.010-1.012; especially so because we have found KRISPY occasionally struggles to finish even there. We COULD use Amylo 300 to assist the fermentation, but, Amylo is so effective beers tend to finish right at 1.000 which is dryer than we want for this recipe. Enter, Yeast Lightning from our pals at Escarpment Labs. It is a yeast nutrient that helps the fermentation along, but doesn't ferment all the way down to 1.000, but rather, somewhere in the 1.005-1.008 range. 

 

Important Tips on Brewing
  • Be extra cautious when it comes to cleaning! Once you have stopped boiling your wort everything that gets in contact with the beer MUST be sanitary.
  • The temperature of your mash is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. Not being in the 150-155f range can drastically affect your beer. Make sure you correct the temperature ASAP once all of the grain has been added to the mash.
  • Always let your beer ferment for 10 days! Do not disturb it, do not open the lid. It is absolutely natural for the airlock to stop bubbling after a few days, it is still fermenting though.
  • Oxidization: Airspace is always something to consider. When undergoing primary fermentation airspace is needed so that the beer can bubble up and ferment vigoursley without leaking out of the container. The fermentation creates a layer of CO2 that remains in the pail due to the airlock. Once primary fermentation is over, and the lid has been opened, the layer of CO2 dissipates, and oxygen replaces it. At this point airspace can ruin your beer. When racking into carboys make sure they are filled to the top, or you blast CO2 inside to prevent oxidization. Ask us for details on this!
  • Before bottling, make sure you use a priming calculator (many can be found online) to verify the amount of sugar that needs to be added.
  • What's the deal with the acidulated malt? If you're using Guelph water, or any tap water from Ontario it is almost always very hard water. Hard water has a high pH, in order to get the pH down to the proper level for brewing we recommend adding 2.5-3% acidulated malt to your beer. It depends on the style a bit, but this is a good rule of thumb. Get in touch with us if you'd like a more in-depth explainer of pH and water adjustment!

Instructions

Mashing -> converting the grain into a fermentable liquid.

  • Bring 6 gallons of water in your brew pot to 155°F. This is our strike temperature. Turn off the heat to the pot.
  • Wrap the muslin/nylon bag around the brew pot and slowly pour all the milled grains into the bag. Stir them in while adding to prevent clumps. The addition of grain should drop the temperature down to 150-155°F.
  • We want to mash the grain at 153°F for 60 minutes. It is very important to hold the temperature at 153°F. If the temperature rises above 155°F it hurts the fermentation, or if it dips below 149°F it can lead to a thinner tasting beer.
    1. The first 15-30 minutes are essential for the success of your brew. The temperature HAS TO BE IN THE RANGE OF 150-155°F. Sometimes adding the grain to the strike water does not lower the temperature enough, in this case add a little bit of cold water to bring the temperature down. Cover the pot with your lid and let it sit.
    2. Most brew pots will be able to maintain 153°F without adding heat for 20 minutes, we recommend checking the temperature every 15 minutes, and if it drops add more heat to bring it up. We recommend opening the lid and using a thermometer in the liquid.
  • After 60 minutes, bring the temperature of the mashing grain up to 170°F and hold for 10 minutes. This is our mash out.
  • Time to remove the grain. Lift the bag full of grain out of the brew pot. Let the liquid in the bag dribble into your wort. Once that is done, put the bag inside of a brewing pail, or another empty pot. There will be about 4 gallons of wort in the brew pot, we need to get it to 6 gallons before we can begin the next stage.
  • Run warm water through the grains in the bag, aim for 170°f – let it run through the grains and add to the brew pot. Add until you reach 6 gallons.
    1. PSA: It is natural to think that the grains need to be squeezed to get all the liquid out of them, DO NOT DO THIS. Aggressively squeezing the grains will lead to tannin extraction and a doughy taste in your beer. Lightly pressing the bag is fine, but do not try to squeeze every last drop out.

Boiling -> Hop addition time

  • Bring 6 gallons of your wort to a rolling boil, and let it boil for 5 minutes, this is called the hot break.
  • Set a timer for 60 minutes, keep the wort boiling (212°f) and uncovered.
  • With 15 minutes left, add two ounces of Hallertau, 1 tsp of Irish Moss, and if you’re using a wort chiller add that too.
  • When your timer goes off, turn off the heat, add 1 ounce of Hallertau, and then proceed to the cooling stage.
  • Now it’s time to cool the beer down to 75°f (20-25°c) as quickly as possible.
    1. We love using a wort chiller for this, it can get the beer down to temperature in 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, you can immerse the brew pot in an ice bath or wait it out. The longer it takes, the greater the risk of infection

Fermentation -> Turning the wort into beer

  • After the boil is done it is time to be extra careful regarding sanitation. We recommend using a no-rinse sanitizer called Starsan. Mix ¼ tsp of it with water in a 500ml spray bottle. Before we touch any part of the beer, we spray it with Starsan.
  • Transfer the cooled wort into your fermenting pail or carboy. Run it though a strainer to catch any hop or grain residue.
    1. It is also an important time to take a hydrometer reading. It should be around 1.052 give or take a few points.
  • Your choice of fermentation vessel is important. During primary fermentation, it will bubble up quite a bit, you want to be sure there is airspace for it to work away. Otherwise, the pressure of it will push out the airlock.
  • Make sure the wort has been cooled to at least 25c!!! Adding yeast at a higher temperature will likely kill it.
  • Once the beer is in the fermenter, pour in the entire package of KRISPY yeast from Escarpment Labs, and then add ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) of Yeast Lightning to the fermenter.
  • Put the bung and airlock in the hole (make sure there is water filled up to the line in the airlock). If using a pail, make sure the lid is sealed tight. Put the pail in a room that is in the range of 20-22°C. The KRISPY yeast creates clean tasting lager like beers when fermented at this temperature.
  • Let the beer ferment for 12 days. It will do the majority of the fermentation in the first few days, but letting it sit will help with clarity and settling flavours.
  • It’s now been 12 days; time to proceed to the bottling stage. First, take a hydrometer reading. It should be somewhere between 1.000-1.007
  • Lately, we have been of the opinion that secondary is an unnecessary step. Unless you are kegging, we recommend skipping secondary and going straight to the bottling process. Clarification can occur in the bottle rather than in a carboy, and the risk of oxidization is greatly reduced.

Bottling -> We’re getting close to Beer Time now.

  • Rack the now fermented beer into a bucket.
  • At the same time, mix the priming sugar with 300ml of boiling water and add to the beer. Stir it in VERY gently.
    1. Make sure to check out a priming calculator to verify the correct amount of sugar. Too much sugar and your beer will end up foamy, or even start blowing the caps off! Too little and the beer won’t be fully carbonated.
  • Rack the beer into your bottles or growlers. Then, let them sit for 2-3 weeks at room temperature. Chill and enjoy!