Author Topic: Lagering first märzen  (Read 414 times)

Offline Ace_Atlas

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Lagering first märzen
« on: April 25, 2019, 11:37:45 PM »
I brewed my first märzen in march and just got it down to lagering temp (~36°F). I have been trying to figure out how should I lager it. Traditional märzen ferments from March to September but alot of the reading I have been doing says 4-6 weeks. Anyone have experience with lagering this style?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 01:41:36 AM »
Congrats on the first Märzen!  You can go anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, but will you keg or bottle?  If you will be bottling, I would opt for a shorter time frame to keep some good yeast in solution to carb your batch.  Cheers.
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Offline brian_welch

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 01:42:08 AM »
Originally lagering was just storing (lager literally means to store). They couldn’t brew during warm months so they brewed a beer in March that was drinkable in September. And they discovered that lagering improved the flavor. Do you have to lager it that long? No. Can you? I have brewed a Märzen in March that I lagered in a carboy for a month or two, then bottled and kept cold until September. It was a great beer!  I’m not sure when it would have been at its peak of flavor but drinking an Oktoberfest Märzen that was brewed in March is very satisfying!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 01:49:28 AM »
And for what it is worth, kegging any style and putting it on tap results in lagering for the portion that isn’t consumed early on!  So I have had beers stay pretty good for months (but they do fall off with significant time, regardless and the time for slippage is dependent on the style.)
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Offline Ace_Atlas

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 01:59:29 AM »
Thank you for all the advice. The original plan was to lager it until September then keg and force carbonate it. My homebrew club is hosting our inaugural BJCP competition (shameless plug: www.reddingbeercup.com) and I would have just enough time lagered to keg and enter it and store some bottles for september and possibly brew another batch and compare the two.

Offline Robert

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 02:15:06 AM »


And for what it is worth, kegging any style and putting it on tap results in lagering for the portion that isn’t consumed early on! 

This is a little like what happened in the old days.  Normal "lager" or "winter beer" was "lagered" for just 7-10 days, long enough to settle the yeast.  "Summer" or "March" beer was just the last, big batch before weather precluded brewing, and it was consumed through the coming months. So it was "lagered" for days, or months,  depending on when it was consumed.  The last stocks, now stored for months,  were drained in festive manner when the first brew of the new season was about to be tapped. 

If you use good practices, perhaps employ a diacetyl rest, and so on, the flavor will be matured as much as it's ever going to be as soon as the beer has fermented out.  You only NEED to chill it long enough to clarify.   In fact, it may deteriorate with long storage, through oxidation and slow precipitation of hop resins and bitter substances and of foam- and body-forming colloids.  On the other hand, some of these changes may contribute to its being "true to style," and there's something to be said for tradition -- that aforementioned satisfaction of drinking an Oktoberfest actually brewed in March. 

Me, I'm lucky if I remember sometime in July or August to get a Märzen going in time to have it on tap by Oktoberfest time!  Kudos on the foresight.
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Offline Ace_Atlas

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 02:26:22 AM »
[quote author=Robert  link=topic=33421.msg425991#msg425991
Me, I'm lucky if I remember sometime in July or August to get a Märzen going in time to have it on tap by Oktoberfest time!  Kudos on the foresight.
[/quote]

I made a 2019 To Brew list and added 8 new styles I never brewed before and an Oktoberfest/märzen was on the list so I had to start early. I recently bought Resigning Great Beer and jumped ahead to the Oktoberfest section for a few pointers.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 02:30:15 AM »
Well done.  I am doing a Vienna Lager this weekend, but it won’t see August, let alone July, if my friends have their way!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 02:39:56 AM »
And for what it is worth, I just poured a pint of Imperial Helles Bock that I made from first runnings at a commercial Brewery from their Helles batch last summer. It has held up remarkably well (For a style that I made up on the spur of the moment...gravity was 1.084 out of the Brewery’s mash, then boiled for an hour for an SG of around 1.090, fermented down to 1.020 or so - all from memory, so don’t hold me to that!). 
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Offline JD5055

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 12:36:49 AM »
I too was late getting a marzen going last year. I gave this a shot and it makes great beer on short notice. http://brulosophy.com/recipes/moktoberfest/

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Lagering first märzen
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 12:39:57 PM »
I brewed my first märzen in march and just got it down to lagering temp (~36°F). I have been trying to figure out how should I lager it. Traditional märzen ferments from March to September but alot of the reading I have been doing says 4-6 weeks. Anyone have experience with lagering this style?

Well finally!  I was beginning to think I was the Lone Ranger!  For years, I have traditionally brewed my Oktoberfest in March.  Doing so, my LHBS never had any of the appropriate yeast styles and always laughed at me for brewing an Oktoberfest in March even though I explained the reason for doing so (I’m somewhat of a “traditionalists”).  This year, however, they actually had the appropriate yeast and now I see I’m not alone in Brewing this outstanding beer style in early spring!  This post just made my day!

Edit:
I begin my Lager stage at about 55° and slowly lower to about 35° and hold it for about 3 weeks.  Then just let it sit in my basement till September.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 12:42:21 PM by KellerBrauer »
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