Marzen Lager

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Marzen Lager

Post by EckersKlein »

Here's a lager Ariel and I (Eric) brought to the April BCB meeting. Its basically an amber lager, traditionally brewed in March. We used a less aggressive variation of the Brulosopher fast-lagering method, which seems to work ok despite our lack of precise temperature control.

BS8 tap water, treated with campden and 1 mL of CRS per L of BS8 tap water. All brewing water treated as such. Target mash pH: 5.4.

Fermentables by wt%
Lager malt (apparently same as US 2-row): 35%
Munich: 65%

68 degC for 1hr

Tettnang 50g for 60m
Tettnang 50g for 10m

Mauribrew lager, one packet, no starter, pitched at 18 degC. Aerated for 1hr, chilling began after 12hrs. The idea here was to encourage growth of a healthy yeast population, which is normally scuppered by low pitching temps. Then, by chilling before primary fermentation begins, you keep the fermentation clean and lager-like. I was worried a bit about cold-shocking the yeast during the chill, but in the end, there were no issues. The carboy was placed out in a shed, so fermentation temperatures were at the mercy of the weather. I'd guess it was 6-10 degC for the most part. After two weeks of primary outdoors, we moved the carboy indoors (18 degC) for one week to finish up. Then the carboy was lagered for another week outdoors before bottling.

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.6%

Brewing comments: A straightforward brew day. No real twists to look out for.

Tasting comments: A nice amber lager for sunny spring days. The fermentation wasn't perfect, I can pick up a bit more esters than one would expect from this style. Clarity is excellent, and the yeast has formed a hard enough cake at the bottom of each bottle that one can be rather clumsy with the pour and still avoid getting yeast in their cup. Head retention was poor for reasons I don't understand.

Having now just returned from Vienna where these lagers are popular, I can say the body and malt profile seems easy enough to replicate, but we struggled to ferment as cleanly as needed for this style.

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