October BOTM – Prost! An Oktoberfest Ale

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Beer of the Month Program

October – Prost! – $25

One of the best parts about making beer (aside from drinking it) is the social aspect. Brewers love to swap recipes, discuss what well or horribly wrong in their brews. We thought it would be a fun idea to start a beer conversation here. We’re going to make a beer every month here and encourage other brewers to make it as well. In the end, we’re hoping we can share our opinions and experiences with the recipe and crowd-source some improvements. 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 websiteFacebookInstagram, and Twitter. We will also have a set price for the recipe that will include a discount of up to 25%!

Prost!

Oktoberfest Ale – 5.5 Gal – OG 1.056 – FG 1.014 – ABV 5.5% – IBU 26 – SRM 10

There was no way we could let October pass without making a classic Oktoberfest style beer. A common phrase heard at Oktoberests across the world is “Prost!” which means simply, Cheers!

True Oktoberfest beers tend to be lagered and much lighter than the one we are producing. Since lagering can be a challenge for most homebrewers we thought we would make more of a Märzen style Oktoberfest beer. This style features rich malty notes, with a copper-brownish colour. Typically, these beers are hopped only to the point of balancing the malt forward flavours. For the malt, we have chosen 100% Weyermann malts for the beer, this should help lend some authenticity to it! So brew up a batch and be sure to serve in a big ole’ stein along with some great hearty foods.

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Ingredients (All available at our shop)

Grains
  • Vienna x 4lbs
  • Pilsner Malt x 3lb
  • Munich Light x 2lb
  • Munich Dark x 1lb
  • CaraMunich 1 x 1lb
Hops
  • Magnum (12% Alpha Acid) – 0.5oz @ 60 minutes
  • Hallertau (2.5% A.A.) – 1oz @ 20 minutes
  • Hallertau (2.5% A.A.) – 1oz @ 5 minutes
Yeast
  • K-97 (Our first time using this in a BOTM)
Extras
  • Irish Moss (1 tsp for last 15 minutes of boil)
  • Dry Malt Extract (150-170g for priming at bottling)

Required Equipment (All sold at our shop too!)

8 Gallon (or larger) brewpot – $79-$160

5 or 6 gallon carboy for fermenting/aging – $35-$45

Fermenting/Bottling pail – $20-$30

#6.5 rubber bung and 3 piece airlock – $3.50

Hydrometer – $12

Autosiphon with tubing – $23

Starsan (sanitizer) – $10

Brewing Bag (re-usable) – $7-$10

Thermometer – $10-$20

Later on -> Bottles/Growlers/Kegs (contact us for some great ideas.)

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Instructions

We’re going to be producing this beer with the Brew-in-a-Bag (BIAB) method. We believe it is an easy, and cost effective way to make great all grain beer. These instructions are also catered to novice brewers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Mashing -> converting the grain into a fermentable liquid.

  • Bring 6 gallons of water in your brew pot to 168°F. This is our strike temperature.
  • 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 154°F for 60 minutes. It is very important to hold the temperature at 154°F. If the temperature rises above 155°F it could make it significantly harder to ferment later.
    1. Most brew pots will be able to maintain 154°F without adding heat, if it drops add more heat to bring it up.
  • 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. There might still be some sugar on the grain that we’ll want to extract.
    1. Your brew pot will likely have about 4-5 gallons of water left in it, be sure that it is at 6 gallons for the next stage.
    2. *tip* we like to try eating a bit of the grain at this stage. If it tastes sweet then there is still sugar that needs to come off, if it tastes neutral then the majority of the fermentable sugar has been extracted.

Boiling -> Hop addition time

  • Bring 6 gallons of your wort to a rolling boil. Time to add hops. The total boil for this will be 60 minutes.
  • Add the 0.5oz of Magnum and start a timer for 60 minutes. All the while keeping the wort at a rolling boil.
    1. Keep an eye on the brew at all times, a boil over could be disastrous!
  • With 20 minutes left, add an ounce of Hallertau hops
  • With 15 minutes left, add 1 tsp of Irish Moss, and if you’re using an immersion wort chiller, add that too!
  • With 5 minutes left, add the final ounce of Hallertau
  • When your timer goes off, take the pot off of heat, and try to get the temperature down to 72°F as quick 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 in regards to 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 1.048 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. A 6 gallon carboy or pail would be large enough to ferment a 5 gallon batch.
  • Once the beer is in the fermenter. Open the US-05 yeast and pour it in. 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.
  • Place your fermenter somewhere that is 18°C and let it ferment. Do not disturb it or open it up. The K-97 yeast we’re using does best when it is used at 18°c, we recommend finding a spot that will consistently remain in that temperature.
  • After 10 days have passed, take a hydrometer reading. It should be somewhere between 1.010-1.015
  • Rack the beer into a 5 or 6 gallon carboy (this is called secondary). Place the beer somewhere cool if possible. We like to chill it around 1°C. A cooler temperature will help clarify the beer

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

  • It’s now been two weeks since we first starting brewing. Rack the now fermented and clarified beer into your bucket.
  • At the same time, mix the 150g of dry malt extract (you can use dextrose too) with 300ml of boiling water and add to the beer. Stir it in VERY gently.
  • Rack the beer into your bottles or growlers. Then, let them sit for 2 weeks at room temperature. Chill and enjoy!
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