Author Topic: Oktoberfest aging time?  (Read 396 times)

Online Bel Air Brewing

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Oktoberfest aging time?
« on: February 21, 2020, 02:46:09 AM »
Is there a standard time for lagering an O-Fest beer? Any official guidelines?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 02:54:40 AM »
March to September?  Just kidding.....
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Offline Richard

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 02:57:12 AM »
Is there a standard time for lagering an O-Fest beer? Any official guidelines?
Until it's done.

The traditional lore is that it takes many weeks or months of lagering, but there are homebrewers who are making "fast lagers" in much less time. It is up to you which approach you want to take, or anything in between.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 03:00:32 AM by Richard »
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Offline Robert

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 04:49:37 AM »
Not just homebrewers, the Germans themselves.  The "March" or "Summer" beer process was dictated by the lack of refrigeration and a local Bavarian prohibition (rescinded ~1851) against brewing between April and September.  The rest of the year, a process virtually identical to the modern "fast" process was used.  I lager all my beers for 6-7 weeks.  Which is well over 3 times the length of lagering modern German brewers typically employ.

Short answer: lager as long as it takes to clarify the beer.  After that, it's not ageing, it's just getting old and staling.
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2020, 12:38:50 PM »
I usually Lager my Oktoberfest for about 30 [+/-] days, then I crash it for a few days.  Works very well.
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Online Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2020, 01:36:27 PM »
Not just homebrewers, the Germans themselves.  The "March" or "Summer" beer process was dictated by the lack of refrigeration and a local Bavarian prohibition (rescinded ~1851) against brewing between April and September.  The rest of the year, a process virtually identical to the modern "fast" process was used.  I lager all my beers for 6-7 weeks.  Which is well over 3 times the length of lagering modern German brewers typically employ.

Short answer: lager as long as it takes to clarify the beer.  After that, it's not ageing, it's just getting old and staling.

You would be correct. During our tour of the Spaten Brewery (Munich) last month, they explained that beer was not brewed during these months as they needed the grains for food. The breweries used so much barley that it actually caused a shortage for regular food products.

Also, the real reason for the annual party (Oktoberfest) was many breweries had old beer leftover from the spring, and they wanted to get rid of it to make room for more brewing. So what did they do? They had a beer party!

As to lack of refrigeration, the brewers had many deep underground cellars, or "caves". They would harvest ice from the nearby frozen rivers and lakes, and place that in their deep cellars. The ice would last most of the summer.

Note that American brewers (Yuengling) did the same thing with regards to harvesting ice during the winter months, prior to refrigeration.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 01:40:47 PM by Myron Oleson »
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 02:25:11 PM »
2 weeks
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Online BrewBama

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2020, 02:44:30 PM »
I have a 7-8 week pipeline grain to glass. All my beers follow the same timeline post fermentation regardless of Ale or Lager.

1-2 wks ferment > Keg > 2 wks cold crash/carbonate in freezer side of side-by-side > move to serving side > 2 wks ‘on deck’ to finish carbonating/clearing in the serving side > tap > 2 wks serve. 

So, they all get a month to lager/condition/mature/whatever. I do that so I don’t have to change the process for Ale vs Lager.


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Online Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2020, 03:14:51 PM »
2 weeks

A number of recipes recommend a conditioning time of 30 to 60 days.
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 03:30:46 PM »
2 weeks

A number of recipes recommend a conditioning time of 30 to 60 days.

I'm sure they do. My experience with my beers tells me otherwise. There are very few hard rules anymore in my opinion...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 03:37:39 PM by Iliff Ave Brewhouse »
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Fermenting: Mojito Cider, Citralaxy IPA
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Online BrewBama

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 03:35:01 PM »
If it’s the way you like it no reason to do anything else.


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Offline denny

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2020, 04:00:11 PM »
2 weeks

A number of recipes recommend a conditioning time of 30 to 60 days.

I'm sure they do. My experience with my beers tells me otherwise. There are very few hard rules anymore in my opinion...

So true.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2020, 04:15:25 PM »
2 weeks

A number of recipes recommend a conditioning time of 30 to 60 days.

I'm sure they do. My experience with my beers tells me otherwise. There are very few hard rules anymore in my opinion...

So true.

And therein lies the joy of brewing at home...the ability to break the rules, or make them up as you go!
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Offline goose

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2020, 05:21:46 PM »
2 weeks

A number of recipes recommend a conditioning time of 30 to 60 days.

I'm sure they do. My experience with my beers tells me otherwise. There are very few hard rules anymore in my opinion...

So true.

And therein lies the joy of brewing at home...the ability to break the rules, or make them up as you go!

Yup!
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Oktoberfest aging time?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2020, 06:07:54 PM »
Age it until it tastes good.

That's the only correct answer AFAIC.

The lager I just brewed and bottled less than 2 weeks ago already tastes awesome.  I see zero reason to age it.  But other times, when there is sulfur or diacetyl or odd esters present, aging can be very beneficial.  I think a lot of this is yeast strain specific, also yeast health, temperatures, gravity, etc.  Lots of variables.  Hence, my advice above, and now below as well:

Age it until it tastes good.
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