so here is the premise: REAL (as we know them anyway) Oktoberfest beers are lagers that should have been made months ago. what if you want to make one and have it ready in a month? "O-fest ale" recipes abound (maybe even on this site ~wink-wink~, but what about one based on a wheat beer? crazy? not entirely. the good brewers from Erdinger in Germany put out a very limited run of this Oktoberfest wheat beer each year. I was able to try one last year (2011), and I remember it being pretty unique as the flavors typical of weizen and festbier blended together. so, with that in mind, I give you:
FEST-WEIZEN - brewed on 9/8/2012 (all Weyermann grains, and 2.8 gallons post boil) light wheat: 3 lbs 8 oz vienna: 2 lbs caramunich I: 4 oz Hallertau pellets: 3/4 oz @ 60, 1/4 oz @ 20 wyeast 3068
OG 1.059 - IBU 20 - ABV 5.7%
this recipe takes the main backbone grain from the 2 different styles, with a touch of color and caramel sweetness from the caramunich I. looking to ferment the yeast cool (62-64°), to keep the banana esters in check. the small 20 minute hop addition should lend a touch of noble spiciness that "could" aid the transition the 2 styles. so it's not a hefe for sure, not quite in the realm of a dunkleweizen, and definitely atypical for a festbier...
anyway, with a big enough yeast pitch, I can't see why this isn't drinkable in a month! so stay tuned...
well I kicked another keg of Smacked Apple, so I NEEDED something to fill a corny with...this batch was it! however, I got a little greedy and decided to bump the water volume to 3.5 gallons, but with the same grain bill. I mashed (free fall) from 156 down to about 150° for just over an hour, then got my boil on. the hydro reading was all over the place. it was either 1.043 or 1.052...it kept bouncing back and forth and I didn't leave a lot of wort in the kettle to play around with (wanted more beer to ferment and then get into the keg!). SO, who knows? the sample did taste light and the hops were a bit more pronounced than anticipated, but it is beer one way or the other! Just not sure if it is more towards 4 or 5%
kegged on 9/22/2012
As you can see in the pic above, it pours out a nice copper-orange with a big thick head that lingers and laces nicely. The taste has been different, IMO, just about every time I've pulled a glass. Sometimes it seems more wheat like, times there was a residual sweetness, and others it was a bit lemony and tart. I'm not sure if it was the recipe, the temperature, what I have been eating, it is just odd. Which unfortunately leads me to believe I MAY have had a problem with an infection in my yeast. I say this because I've had some "interesting" bubbles forming on top of my wort in every subsequent batch...up to and including a monster of pellicle that formed when I went to make some simple cider (see the blogspot). so while it is still drinkable, this batch was doomed from the beginning to be nothing more than just an okay brew.