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Neil346E

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Hi! I'm a newbie brewing in Melbourne. I've done 2 kit brews so far that both turned out a lot better than I expected, followed by an all-grain BIAB brew that is still in the fermenter getting ready to bottle. The kits were both from Craft-a-Brew in the US, one was an Oktoberfest Ale and the other an Abbey Amber. The BIAB brew I'm doing is a London Brown Ale.

I'm keen to keep exploring brewing further, and have been reading a ton and considering the next steps. I really want to upgrade to a temp control setup soon so that I can keep going through the summer, looking at getting a TC1000 or an Inkbird for my old fridge. I may have stuffed up the London Brown when I was cooling it in an ice bath before pitching, because it took like 3 hours to get it down to pitching temperature, so I'm worried that it'll taste infected. Since then I've bought a cube to go with no-chill next time. I'm limited to ~10L brews because my stove pot is 19L, but I think ~10L is a good amount to be experimenting with so I don't end up with piles of bad beer. :p

I'm into less bitter, less hoppy beers in general. My favourite is probably Belgian Quads, but I'm planning to build up to that with some easier beers first. I'd really love to find a clone recipe for the Oktoberfest Ale and Amber from the Craft-a-Brew kit but I haven't been able to find anything about them online. I'm guessing Craft-a-brew isn't real popular down under. If anyone has experience with them let me know please! I'm probably going to do a Pacific Ale next, or maybe skip that and go for a Belgian Dubbel.
 

bradmcm

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It sounds like you are well on your way.
I doubt very much there would have been anything wrong after a three hour chill. That's nothing.
 

Neil346E

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It sounds like you are well on your way.
I doubt very much there would have been anything wrong after a three hour chill. That's nothing.
I hope so! I’ll find out in a couple of weeks when it finishes carbonating.
 
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Oktoberfest ales are generally Oktoberfest lagers with an ale yeast. So, a grist of at least 40% Munich malt is likely, the rest pilsner or base ale malt. If your model beer tastes caramelly or is darker than golden, you could toss in 2% 50-60L crystal.

Noble continental hops highlight malty beers, but Summer, Loral and the newer, fruitier German hops Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon work well too; given your stated tastes, you could try those in moderation, a 1 or 2 g/L at knockout, but use a neutral bittering hop such as Magnum or Horizon at -60 minutes.

Or, Oktoberfest lager recipes are everywhere. Sub Nottingham or US-05 yeasts, fermenting at the low end of the recommended temperature range. With Notty you would want to raise to 20 after fermentation subsides, to clean up some tastes.
 
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Barry

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Find out which is your local home brew club, best way to learn and to meet great people that are willing to help.
 

GrumpyPaul

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Agree with the post about find a new club. Great social environment to meet other Brewers, but also a great way to learn and talk about brewing and get feedback/advice on your beer.

@Neil346E where in Melbourne are you located.

Melbourne Brewers services east.
Merri Mashers is a bit north of the CBD
Bayside Brewers is down the frankston side of the bay.

There is also Westgate Brewers and a Geelong club.

If your in the east i can give you details of the Melbourne Brewers. We meet last Wed of the month, usually in Ferntree Gully.
 

Neil346E

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Oktoberfest ales are generally Oktoberfest lagers with an ale yeast. So, a grist of at least 40% Munich malt is likely, the rest pilsner or base ale malt. If your model beer tastes caramelly or is darker than golden, you could toss in 2% 50-60L crystal.

Noble continental hops highlight malty beers, but Summer, Loral and the newer, fruitier German hops Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon work well too; given your stated tastes, you could try those in moderation, a 1 or 2 g/L at knockout, but use a neutral bittering hop such as Magnum or Horizon at -60 minutes.

Or, Oktoberfest lager recipes are everywhere. Sub Nottingham or US-05 yeasts, fermenting at the low end of the recommended temperature range. With Notty you would want to raise to 20 after fermentation subsides, to clean up some tastes.
I've found an Oktoberfest Ale recipe online which I might try out, but I don't know enough about it to tell if it's a reasonable recipe or not.

35% Pilsner
20% Vienna
15% Munich
15% Caramel 20
10% Crystal 60
3% Gambrinus Honey
2% Carapils
Hops: Perle & Hersbrucker
US-05 yeast

Thoughts? Maybe I should start a separate thread for this, not sure what the custom is here. :)

One thing to note is I've bought a couple of different Oktoberfests from my local bottle-o (lagers though I assume), and I didn't like them nearly as much as the Okt Ale from the kit I made. The kit ale was biscuity malty, whereas the commercial versions I tried tasted very different, kinda burnt tasting?
 

MHB

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You have a lot more crystal/stewed malts there (30%) than would be normally used in an Octoberfest.
Traditionally the beer is malty rather than the sweet you get from crystal. Munich and Vienna really should be the backbone of the beer (90%)
Stay with the tractional Noble hops and avoid too much late, the style really is an exhibition of malt flavours with balancing bitterness and little in the way of hop taste and aroma.
If you want to dig into the style further it might be a good idea to start a new thread as if we keep going here we will be heading well off topic.
Mark
 
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Second MHB's comments.

Crystal is indeed out of Oktoberfest style. If you like caramelly beers and aren't entering a competition, you could add a little crystal, up to 5% 20L OR 2% 60L, no more. Sheesh, 25% crystal is in excess in any style I can think of. I'd sub more Munich, preferably Munich II.
 

Neil346E

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If you want to dig into the style further it might be a good idea to start a new thread as if we keep going here we will be heading well off topic.
Thanks, appreciate the input! I've started a separate thread in the Kits section.
 

An Ankoù

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Hi Neil,
It's always a joy to hear about a new brewer really getting into it.

Quote ['m into less bitter, less hoppy beers in general. My favourite is probably Belgian Quads]

If you like Belgian beers, the biggest maltster in Belgium in Castle Maltings (Château) and they have a recipe section. Sure, you have to scale the recipes down from 100L, but that's easy enough. Don't worry about the some of the strange names of the malts- I have the same trouble interpreting the odd names that Gladfield come up with, most of these malts can be substituted with Gladfield malts. I'm working on a conversion chart and I'll post it when I'm finished.


Quote [I've found an Oktoberfest Ale recipe online which I might try out, but I don't know enough about it to tell if it's a reasonable recipe or not.]

As others have said, above, that's not a good recipe for Oktoberfestbier, which is really just a heavier, maltier lager than the everyday drinking stuff. I'll search you out a recipe if you like.

All the best from Brittany.
 

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