It’s that time of the year again and soon the surplus of the Oktoberfest brews will make it to specialist shops world-wide.
The modern Oktoberfest is much lighter than it used to be. Here is a table of how they compare among each other. One is not mistaken that the modern brew is simply a Helles brewed at higher gravity.
The Hofbräu Oktoberfest was often my favourite. I don’t know what happened last year, maybe my taste-buds turned? I found it way too salty and rather harsh to drink. This said, everyone knows that it is a seasonal brew, so these kinds of variations are expected.
I once made a fest-beer that was quite close to the Hofbräu. Here is the grain bill
It works really well with the classic cold fermentation and WLP838 — if one has enough time to wait for the sulphur to disappear (for me that’s usually 8 weeks in lager), alternatively any W34/70 strain, such as WLP820 will do nicely as well. Other malt-forward lager strains should also be suitable.
The Hofbräu is quite floral. So a good hop would be the tried and trusted Mittelfrüh or Spalt Select. Nowadays I tend to favour Tettnanger and Hersbrucker, so this year its probably going to be them. And because I don’t have time to wait, I’ll do an accelerated classic fermentation together with WLP820.
Let’s see how this turns out…