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Oktoberfest in Munich Needs Bottles, Kegs

Oktoberfest in Munich Needs Bottles, Kegs


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Don't panic just yet — but brewers in Munich are running out of bottles, making beer lovers worry

Brewers in Munich are facing a challenge as they prepare for Oktoberfest: they're out of beer bottles to supply the upcoming celebrations.

As both NPR and CNBC report, brewers are getting desperate for bottles to serve Oktoberfest drinkers, even asking some to return empty bottles, according to local newspaper accounts. Munich brewers wash and re-use bottles from customers, but Munich drinkers have been slow to return bottles.

It's becoming a bit of a problem: some brewers are thousands of bottles short behind their production schedule, while others say they're running out of kegs. What does that mean for Oktoberfest? Brewers could start "prioritizing" what beers they sell, which would keep light and wheat beers in production. Dark beer lovers are the ones who might have to worry; the priority production could shelve dark beer those temporarily — and what's a good Oktoberfest without dark beer?

It's a crisis that needs a solution, and fast: NPR reported last year that more than 7.5 million pints were sold at Munich's Oktoberfest.


German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

The brewers aren't out of beer — there's plenty of that to go around, they say. The trouble is that makers of beers like Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr don't have enough bottles to supply the festival. In some cases, they've fallen tens of thousands of bottles behind their production schedule. Other say their kegs are in short supply.

The situation led Heiner Mueller of the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery to appear in Munich's TZ newspaper today.

"Dear Munichers — bring back your crates," he said, according to the German news site The Local. "We need our empties!"

The reason for the shortage is simple: People have been drinking a lot of beer in Munich lately. The spike in consumption is being blamed on some really nice weather the city's been having at the end of summer.

As we reported in 2011, 7.5 million liters of beer were served at Munich's Oktoberfest last year. And of course, much of it is consumed in the festival's famous steins, the large mugs that hold draft beer.

Because the brewers wash and reuse their bottles over and over — as many as 50 times, according to TZ — they rely on their customers to turn them back in. That hasn't been happening quickly enough to let beer-makers build up the supplies they need.

"We're tens of thousands of bottles short," said Stefan Hempl of the Hofbrau brewery.

The Local describes what, for some, would be a nightmare scenario:

"The crisis has led to Hofbrau prioritizing its two most popular beers — Helles and Wiesnbier. 'At the moment we could have a situation where we don't have any dark beer for a few days,' said Hempl, sending a chill down many Bavarian spines."

Even the big boys like Spaten and Lowenbrau — both of them owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev — are feeling the squeeze. Those breweries say they're running out of kegs.


Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

The brewers aren't out of beer — there's plenty of that to go around, they say. The trouble is that makers of beers like Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr don't have enough bottles to supply the festival. In some cases, they've fallen tens of thousands of bottles behind their production schedule. Other say their kegs are in short supply.

The situation led Heiner Mueller of the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery to appear in Munich's TZ newspaper today.

"Dear Munichers — bring back your crates," he said, according to the German news site The Local. "We need our empties!"

The reason for the shortage is simple: People have been drinking a lot of beer in Munich lately. The spike in consumption is being blamed on some really nice weather the city's been having at the end of summer.

As we reported in 2011, 7.5 million liters of beer were served at Munich's Oktoberfest last year. And of course, much of it is consumed in the festival's famous steins, the large mugs that hold draft beer.

Because the brewers wash and reuse their bottles over and over — as many as 50 times, according to TZ — they rely on their customers to turn them back in. That hasn't been happening quickly enough to let beer-makers build up the supplies they need.

"We're tens of thousands of bottles short," said Stefan Hempl of the Hofbrau brewery.

The Local describes what, for some, would be a nightmare scenario:

"The crisis has led to Hofbrau prioritizing its two most popular beers — Helles and Wiesnbier. 'At the moment we could have a situation where we don't have any dark beer for a few days,' said Hempl, sending a chill down many Bavarian spines."

Even the big boys like Spaten and Lowenbrau — both of them owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev — are feeling the squeeze. Those breweries say they're running out of kegs.

"We can still fulfill all the orders, but it's getting tight," said Anheuser-Busch InBev's Oliver Bartelt.


Oktoberfest

We wanted to keep it simple this week so we thought, why not talk about Oktoberfest!! It starts this Sunday and there is no better way to celebrate than with a nice cold homebrew, Cheers!

For those of you who do not know Oktoberfest starts this Sunday the 21st. It’s an awesome time of the year for anyone who loves beer. It seems that in most cities there is some type of Oktoberfest event going on, which is awesome because you can go try all kinds of good beers and food.

What I wanted to do with this episode was just explain what Oktoberfest is really quick to get everyone ready to celebrate. So this will be a nice short episode.

Also keep an eye on your inbox this week for possibly some new recipes.

Every year Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany and it is the worlds largest beer festival usual puling in around 6 million people over the deration of the event.

It is estimated that over 1.9 million gallons of beer are consumed during the event, that is about 950,000 LBKs.

The event has been going since 1819. The only beer that is served at Oktoberfest has to conform to the German purity law which states that beer can only be brewed with water, barley and hops.

The main style of beer that is served is what is considered a Marzen style of beer. These are kind of full body beers which a dark brown color to them.

Okay so if you are wanting to brew some Mr. Beer Refills or Recipes to celebrate here are few that you can brew.

Our Oktoberfest Lager Standard Refill is a sure choice to brew. Also if you wanted to get a little higher ABV and get a more malty full bodied flavor brew the deluxe refill.

Zombie Fest Lager is also a good beer to brew. That beer is a true lager, so if you can brew at the colder temperature then you should brew this.

Our Oktoberfestivus German Amber would also be a good beer to brew. This one brews as an ale so if you cant brew the lager then you should brew this guy.

I am also going to put our Munich Malt Monster Dopplebock in this list. It would not really confirm to the traditional style served at Oktoberfest, but its just a darn good beer and perfect for this time of year.

Really though if you are just brewing your favorite beer and enjoying the process and the beer and sharing your beer with friends and family then your celebrating cuz that is what I think it is all about.


Wanted: The Best Oktoberfest Recipes!

Brewed one last year from AHS and it was pretty good. But I'm looking for something a little better. I am AG but I haven't done decoction or step mashes yet. I might have to read up on them if they are indeed necessary for making a great marzen.

Really looking forward to getting this brew going for the early fall, if I can wait that long!

ScrewyBrewer

EzRecipe - Beer Recipe Design Made Easy!

This is my favorite Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager all grain recipe so far, I've brewed it several times and in fact I plan on brewing it again this weekend. It's straightforward and uses a simple mashing process of 155F for 60 minutes. The grains include German Munich and Pilsner malts with the additions of CaraMunich and Melanoidin for body and color.

I brew 2 1/4 gallon Mr. Beer sized batches so if you're doing a bigger batch just increase the ingredient wieghts accordingly. The 3 hop additions work extremely well with the grain bill and the beer produced is crisp, clean and very drinkable.

Size 2.13 gallons: Estimated IBU=26, SRM=13, OG=1.058, FG=1.015, ABV=5.6%

1/4 pound Melanoidin
2.0 pounds Munich (German)
2.0 pounds Pilsener (German)

3/4 ounce Hallertauer (Germany) pellet hops boiled for 60 minutes
1/4 ounce Hallertauer (Germany) pellet hops boiled for 20 minutes
1/8 tab WhirlFloc boiled for 9 minutes
1/4 ounce Hallertauer (Germany) pellet hops boiled for 7 minutes

11.5 grams Saflager W-34/70 (rehydrate using package directions before pitching)
Aerated and pitched at 65F and fermented at 54F for 25 days
Raised to 60F over days 26 to 28 then racked to secondary fermenter
Cold lager secondary fermenter for 4-6 weeks at 34F
Keg at 12psi for 5-7 days and serve at 34F

Directions:
** Infusion mash at 155F for 60 minutes **

Heat 7 quarts of filtered water to 170F
Soak mash tun in 8 quarts of 180F water for 20 minutes to pre heat it
Pour 3.5 quarts of 170F water into mash tun
Mix in 4.5 pounds of crushed grain mix at 60F
Pour 3.5 quarts the remainder of the 170F water into mash tun
Stir water and grain mixture and adjust to 155F and mash for 60 minutes
Sparge with 7 quarts 173F strike water to set mash bed to 168F
Lauter for 20 minutes adding 10.5 quarts of sweet wort to the boil pot


Boil for 60 minutes (8.5 quarts remaining for fermenter)
Add 3/4 ounce bittering hops at 60 minutes to flameout
Add 1/4 ounce flavoring hops at 20 minutes to flameout
Add 1/8 tab WhirlFloc at 9 minutes to flameout
Add 1/4 ounce aroma hops at 7 minutes to flameout


Remove from heat and remove hop sacks
Use a wort cooler until the wort temperature cools to 65F
Pitched at 65F and fermented at 54F for 25 days
Raise to 60F over days 26 to 28 then rack to secondary fermenter
Cold lager for 4-6 weeks at 34F
Keg at 12psi for 5-7 days and serve at 34F

Well-Known Member

Pilsner 7.5 lb
Munich Type II 3 lb
Cara Munich III 0.5 lb
Dark Munich 0.5 lb

Hallertau 90min (roughly 20ibu)


IMO, its all about the mash schedule, Decoction only way to go for malty lagers.

Boerderij_Kabouter

Well-Known Member

Duffman2

Well-Known Member

Looking pretty good guys. Kabouter I think it sounds like you liked yours and if I can absorb some of Kai's decoc tricks I'll be taking a closer look at your brew.

I also saw Yooper's marzen and KingBrian's looked pretty good too. Lots of options, and they're all making me thirsty!

Duffman2

Well-Known Member

And also I'm still wondering about the debate between decoction vs no decoction? I'm sure it's been asked before but I thought I'd ask one more time

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member

Mine is very simple:
10# German Munich Type I (Weyermann, 6L)
1.5# German Dark Munich (Global, 12L)
.5# Carafoam (Weyermann, optional)

You can use any noble hop to

22-24 IBUs, I used Hallertau this last time.
The style doesn't need any flavor/aroma hops (especially aroma) but you can use a little flavor hops (noble) if you like.

WLP833 German Bock Lager yeast (huge starter), aerate the cold wort extremely well.

If you just stick with flavorful, malty, continental base malts like Vienna and Light Munich and then use a little specialty malts like Dark Munich/Aromatic/Melanoidin you should be good. Don't use much, if any, caramel malt and if you do use caramunich. Keep the bitterness low and the aroma/flavor hops either non-existent or very subtle. I like using the lesser attenuating Bock lager yeast but I've made good ones with the more 'crisp' lager yeasts too.

EDIT: that was for 5.5 gal at the end of the boil.
EDIT2: originally wrote 11# light and .5 dark munich but it's actually 10 light and 1.5 dark.

Gwitz

Well-Known Member

Heres my planned recipe for next weeks brew.

16# vienna
4# pilsner
2# munich
60 min 1oz perle
30 min .5 oz Saaz

Mash 66C 1hr. Im going pull 10% of the mash out for a single decoction, boiled and added at mash out.

I only have wyeast california lager so that will have to do.

Edit: Decoction v no. Well i did a decoction once on a pale ale by accident, dont ask, but it turned out rediculously good, to much work to do every time but it does give good results.

Duffman2

Well-Known Member

Alright, time to educate myself on decoctions. And I'm still compiling these recipes into one combination that sounds like it hits a home run with the flavors I'm looking for.

I think I want it to be sweet and malty per style, but I still want to retain the utmost "drinkability" down to the last gulp.

Markg388

Well-Known Member

Just racked mine to corny kegs yesterday for lagering, and it's not much different from the other recipes, though it is on the light-colored end of the spectrum.

2oz Saphir - 60 min
.5oz Magnum - 60 min. 22.4 ibu

i'm using saflager "weihenstephan lager" (don't remember what the numbers for it are) and so far it tastes awesome.

As far as decoction mashing goes, I recommend using beersmith to calculate your volumes, I've always hit my temperatures perfectly using their math.

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member

markg, that's probably the W34/70 strain. Allegedly the same as WY2124/WLP830. When I don't use the Bock lager yeast, that's the one I usually use. It is a higher attenuating yeast.

duffman,
O-fest should have an initial malty 'sweetness' but it should not be sweet in the typical sense. I almost don't like using the word 'sweet' to describe that initial maltiness because it can be misunderstood to mean sweet in the typical sense (and it definitely should not be that). In any case, it should not really taste sweet per se, just really malty.

Well-Known Member

Duffman2

Well-Known Member

MachineShopBrewing

Well-Known Member

This beer took the gold medal for oktoberfest last year at the Schooner(http://www.theschooner.org/2010 Top scores.pdf) Homebrew competition. The Rye really added a nice creamy mouthfeel to the beer without contributing any rye flavor to make it out of style.


BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Rye-Fest
Brewer: Machine Shop Brewing Co.
Asst Brewer:
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 11.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 27.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 80.00 %
1.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
42.00 gm Hallertauer [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 20.6 IBU
28.00 gm Hallertauer [4.80 %] (15 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
2 Pkgs German Bock Lager (White Labs #WLP833) [StYeast-Lager


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15.00 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 20.00 qt of water at 166.0 F 150.0 F

Duffman2

Well-Known Member

Ok, here's what I have gathered (keeping in mind that my only attempt so far has been out of a kit)

I will be using a majority of base malts with some combination of:

And I want to include just a little bit maybe of the following:

- dark munich
- caramunich
- rye malt (i like the idea of this for mouth feel!)
- melanoidin malt (probably not since it appears the decoc is the way to go)


My question now is, has anybody adjusted the base malts one way or the other and can vouch for the results? I know that brewing, like cooking, is all a matter of taste but with vienna, munich, and pilsener I have seen many recipes that had mostly vienna with small amounts of munich, some with almost equal amounts of munich, vienna, and pilsener and still some with no pilsener malt. So which is the better way to go to get the "best" flavor and smoothness?

I'm looking for that certain "drinkability" that Budweiser claims to have in that it should be smooth, and easy to drink one or two or eight of them. And I know simplicity is key but I also know that this style can have a nice combination of several malts.

I have WL820 washed so I'll try that out (unless you guys really recommend that I go 833, or something else)

And I still haven't watched the kai videos, but I'm hoping to be ready to brew by early next week so thanks for all the help!

MachineShopBrewing

Well-Known Member

Here was my thought process when crafting my recipe. I was basing mine loosely off of Surly's Surlyfest beer mixed with traditional o-fest. I love the drinkability of the Surly beer and wanted to replicate it.

Surlyfest
A traditional Oktoberfest bier from Surly? Nein! If you want one of those, grab your passport and head over to Munchen (bring us back some pretzels.) Our Fest inspired beer is brewed with imported malted barley, rye, and a German lager yeast strain. We hop this beer with a single variety. and then we dry hop it. A single hop, dry hopped, rye lager bier? Ja!
STYLE: NOT a German Style Oktoberfest Bier
MALT: Vienna, Rye
HOPS: Sterling
YEAST: German Lager

OG: 14.5º Plato
ABV: 6.0% v/v
COLOR: 14 ºSRM
IBU: 34
AVAILABILITY: Septemberish

I also liked the idea of Vienna malt because I love the flavor and I don't need to worry about DMS with it like Pilsener. I was brewing a lot when I crafted this one and was trying to cut some time off my brewdays by not needing a 90 minute boil. I also didn't want mine super bready from high amounts of Munich malt. I wanted it to be a little lighter flavor with a nice balance of drinkability and breadiness. I think it turned out really great. I sent some bottles down to Dave at Schell's brewing who took the gold at GABF last year for o-fest and he said it was a great oktoberfest.


As far as yeast, if you are comfortable with 820 than use it, but I have heard that many people have trouble with that yeast. I have used the 830, 833, and 838. I like the 833 the best for drinkability, flavor, fermentation, and it had no sulfur like the 830 does.

I wouldn't necessarily worry about doing a decoction. I don't feel that it is the only way to make a great beer. Probably more trouble than it is worth, unless you really enjoy the process. I don't have the time personally to brew like that with a wife and kids. A single infusion mash will still get an award winning beer. I have won golds with a few lagers and have never done any decoctions. I would focus more on the fermentation side and get that locked down first. I pitched two vials into 2000ml starter on a stir plate. With lagers, I always prepare the starter ahead of time and decant the spent wort.

If you are looking for a older style traditional o-fest with a super bready character, then I would go with higher amounts of Munich malt similar to the BCS recipe from Jamil. My recipe is more along the lines of what you find commercially available now. Something that you can really drink liter after liter of and not get overwhelmed by the malt. The other thing if you want drinkability is to stay in the 1.053-1.055 range. I see a lot of people making these 1.062+ beers. You can do that if you wish, but you loose some of the ability to drink this in quantity.


Spaten München Isar Tankard Beer Stein, 0.5L

Spaten Munchen Isar Tankard Beer Stein, 0.5L

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • For 21+ only. Enjoy responsibly
  • One Spate Munched 0.5L beer stein
  • Hand wash recommended
  • 0.5L capacity

Spaten Munchen Isar Tankard Beer Stein, 0.5L – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

The brewers aren't out of beer — there's plenty of that to go around, they say. The trouble is that makers of beers like Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr don't have enough bottles to supply the festival. In some cases, they've fallen tens of thousands of bottles behind their production schedule. Other say their kegs are in short supply.

The situation led Heiner Mueller of the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery to appear in Munich's TZ newspaper today.

"Dear Munichers — bring back your crates," he said, according to the German news site The Local. "We need our empties!"

The reason for the shortage is simple: People have been drinking a lot of beer in Munich lately. The spike in consumption is being blamed on some really nice weather the city's been having at the end of summer.

As we reported in 2011, 7.5 million liters of beer were served at Munich's Oktoberfest last year. And of course, much of it is consumed in the festival's famous steins, the large mugs that hold draft beer.

Because the brewers wash and reuse their bottles over and over — as many as 50 times, according to TZ — they rely on their customers to turn them back in. That hasn't been happening quickly enough to let beer-makers build up the supplies they need.

"We're tens of thousands of bottles short," said Stefan Hempl of the Hofbrau brewery.

The Local describes what, for some, would be a nightmare scenario:

"The crisis has led to Hofbrau prioritizing its two most popular beers — Helles and Wiesnbier. 'At the moment we could have a situation where we don't have any dark beer for a few days,' said Hempl, sending a chill down many Bavarian spines."

Even the big boys like Spaten and Lowenbrau — both of them owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev — are feeling the squeeze. Those breweries say they're running out of kegs.

"We can still fulfill all the orders, but it's getting tight," said Anheuser-Busch InBev's Oliver Bartelt.


How to decorate for an Oktoberfest party

If an authentic-ish Oktoberfest party is what you’re after, you’re in luck. I’ve spent years at Munich’s Oktoberfest just staring blankly at the beer tent decorations so you don’t have to. (Alcohol is fun!) And it’s based-off-the-original or bust in my book. There’ll be no “photo booth props” at my shindigs. The only cheese you’ll find here is for dipping your Oktoberfest pretzels into.

For everything else, check out these tips on how to decorate for an Oktoberfest party.

Base your Oktoberfest party decorations on actual Oktoberfest

This is Oktoberfest—the world’s largest beer and folk festival, not a child’s birthday party. (Though, while researching for this article I did find a page on how to throw an Oktoberfest-inspired birthday party for a ONE YEAR OLD. Seems a little overboard? Then again, filling baby bottles with apple juice and inciting a chugging contest also seems like something I would definitely do. *I do not have children.)

Back to my point, we’re all adults and should party accordingly. Again, this is not a kids’ party. Your at-home Oktoberfest should not look like a Pinterest board exploded in your backyard. Real Oktoberfest does not incline itself with things like lace-tied wheat bundles or calligraphic chalkboard menus.

Take a look at some actual photos from Oktoberfest and base your Oktoberfest party decorations around those. You really don’t need a ton of decorations—the Oktoberfest music, the Oktoberfest party foods, and the traditional Oktoberfest outfits will all help to bring your backyard bierfest together.

Though Oktoberfest is an affair with flare, it’s important to keep your décor to a minimum. No one wants to be tripping over props, signs, balloon arches, and whatever else erupted from Mount Pinterest.

Choose your favorite Oktoberfest beer tent and mimic it

One easy way for how to decorate for an Oktoberfest party is to just straight up copy the original. Look no further than your favorite Oktoberfest beer tent.

If you’ve been to Oktoberfest in Munich, you definitely already have a favorite beer tent. (Which is it? I wanna know!) If not, a simple image search for “Oktoberfest beer tents” will get you some great inspiration.

For me, my favorite tent is the Hacker-Pschorr Festzelt. So for Oktoberfest party decorations I would choose:

But my choice would actually be a toss-up between the Hacker tent and the Festzelt Tradition which would be wunderbar to recreate at home. Pine garland with white lights and Bavarian bunting.

If you’re a fan of the Hofbraü tent, you could do: White streamers with sunflower and hop bundles (Seen at the top of this post–I’m sure there’s a Pinterest tutorial for this).

For Löwenbräu and Paulaner fans: Yellow streamers with fairy lights, simple wreaths with blue and white ribbons. You could easily make these out of Christmas garland and hula hoops for larger spaces.

For Armbrustschützenzelt: Green and white streamers, and faux animal heads on the walls – hey, there’s an Oktoberfest motif for everyone. Bonus points for everyone who shows up with their own crossbow. (Yes, there’s a crossbow-shooting range inside the Armbrustschützenzelt.)

For Augustiner tent lovers: Bright green and black streamers, wreaths with light blue ribbons. Or take it twelve steps further and create these amazingly elaborate wreaths also found inside the Augustiner tent:

Stick to a Bavarian motif

If you are planning to go the route of more traditional party decorations: banners, themed plates and napkins, balloons, etc., be sure to stick to a Bavarian motif, not a German one. There is very much a difference and I’m not just talking about the colors.


Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

The brewers aren't out of beer — there's plenty of that to go around, they say. The trouble is that makers of beers like Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr don't have enough bottles to supply the festival. In some cases, they've fallen tens of thousands of bottles behind their production schedule. Other say their kegs are in short supply.

The situation led Heiner Mueller of the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery to appear in Munich's TZ newspaper today.

"Dear Munichers — bring back your crates," he said, according to the German news site The Local. "We need our empties!"

The reason for the shortage is simple: People have been drinking a lot of beer in Munich lately. The spike in consumption is being blamed on some really nice weather the city's been having at the end of summer.

As we reported in 2011, 7.5 million liters of beer were served at Munich's Oktoberfest last year. And of course, much of it is consumed in the festival's famous steins, the large mugs that hold draft beer.

Because the brewers wash and reuse their bottles over and over — as many as 50 times, according to TZ — they rely on their customers to turn them back in. That hasn't been happening quickly enough to let beer-makers build up the supplies they need.

"We're tens of thousands of bottles short," said Stefan Hempl of the Hofbrau brewery.

The Local describes what, for some, would be a nightmare scenario:

"The crisis has led to Hofbrau prioritizing its two most popular beers — Helles and Wiesnbier. 'At the moment we could have a situation where we don't have any dark beer for a few days,' said Hempl, sending a chill down many Bavarian spines."

Even the big boys like Spaten and Lowenbrau — both of them owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev — are feeling the squeeze. Those breweries say they're running out of kegs.

"We can still fulfill all the orders, but it's getting tight," said Anheuser-Busch InBev's Oliver Bartelt.


Mocktoberfest

Missed the window for brewing an Oktoberfest beer for your Oktoberfest party? No problem! Mocktoberfest to the rescue.

Oktoberfest beer, also called Märzenbier, is an autumnal favorite of commercial brewers and homebrewers alike. Perfectly paired with grilled sausages and fluttering leaves, Märzen is just the thing to mark the arrival of fall.

Märzenbier was historically brewed in March (März in German), lagered all summer long, and served to thirsty revelers at the Munich Oktoberfest. And while Märzen is no longer the star of the Theresienwiese’s beer tents (a strong Helles replaced it ages ago), the style’s blend of fleeting sweetness, toasty malt flavor, and a supremely quaffable dry finish remains unsurpassed.

The problem for homebrewers reading this is that March is well behind us, and October is sneaking up fast. But fear not! The window for brewing an authentic Märzen may have come and gone, but you can still serve a great knock-off at your Oktoberfest party—and your guests might not even know the difference. It’s time to fake it till you make it with Mocktoberfest, an Oktoberfest beer in every sense but yeast and process. You may not have eight or more weeks to brew a legitimate lager, but you can crank out an ersatz ale in a month or so.

Malz und Hopfen

The malt and hops for a Mocktoberfest ale are the same as for a traditional Oktoberfest lager. Malts should consist mostly of varying amounts of Pilsner, Munich, and Vienna, with optional small amounts of crystal malt to round out the flavor and supply a little upfront sweetness.

Hops are traditionally noble German varieties such as Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, but Mt. Hood and Liberty are good domestic substitutes. Avoid U.S.-grown Hallertau hops, though, which aren’t even close, despite the name.

Yeast

The yeast is where Mocktoberfest says Auf Wiedersehen to German lagers. The key is to use a clean ale strain and to ferment on the low end of the recommended temperature range. Clean ale yeasts are strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that produce fewer esters and fermentation by-products than other varieties. The lower the fermentation temperature, the closer you’ll approximate true Märzenbier. Good yeast options include

  • American wheat (Wyeast 1010)
  • Chico (Wyeast 1056, White Labs WLP001, Safale US-05)
  • CL-50 “Denny’s Favorite” (Wyeast 1450)
  • Nottingham ale (White Labs WLP039, Danstar Nottingham)

You might be tempted to use a California Common strain, which is a true lager yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) that can comfortably tolerate temperatures as high as 68°F (17°C). But such strains produce inappropriate esters that are better suited to San Francisco than Bavaria.

Lagering

Okay, so Mocktoberfest isn’t technically a lager in the strict microbiological sense. But the German word lagern, meaning “to store,” still very much applies: If you have time, cold condition your Mocktoberfest ale for two weeks or more. Those who keg can lager their beer in the keg as it carbonates, but those who bottle need to include at least two weeks at room temperature to ensure proper carbonation.

Brewing Schedule

Munich’s Oktoberfest starts in late September, lasts sixteen days, and ends the first weekend in October. But Americans don’t usually think about Oktoberfest until Munich’s festival is winding down. So let’s assume you’re planning an Oktoberfest party for the weekend of October 3–4, 2015 (if you start this weekend, August 19–20, you can plan your party for October 7–8, 2017just plug in the right dates for the current year). The chart below has two schedules to get you there.

The relaxed-pace schedule is the most lager-like and requires six weeks. You can use just about any yeast you like, even true lager strains if you’re careful. The second schedule can be completed in just four weeks and is for those really in a rush. You’ll need to stick to fast-acting ale yeasts to get the job done in time, but better to brew a good ale than a poor lager.

The schedules are arranged so that you need to take care of brewing chores only on the weekend.

Oktoberfest is about spending time with friends in a spirit of shared Gemütlichkeit. If the beer is good and plentiful, nobody will care that you faked it with an ale.


Watch the video: Bayern Munichs Oktoberfest Away Kit (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Mooguk

    Do you have a migraine today?

  2. Kigakree

    boyan

  3. Kajikinos

    I do not see the point in this.

  4. Fekinos

    You hit the mark. Excellent thought, agree with you.

  5. Kyland

    I liked your site



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