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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * April 18, 2004 * Maerzen aging question < Previous Next >

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Kevin McDonough (198.110.192.97)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've heard on the newsgroups and read in Designing Great Beers, that Maerzen's (Octoberfests) were traditionaly brewed in March and served at the end of September or October. In Promash this style has a gravity range of 1.050 - 1.064. I believe Designing Great Beers has a similar range, but I don't have it in front of me at the moment.

What I find weird is that comes out to a 6-7 month aging period. From reading some threads on the brewing newsgroups, it appears many people drink their beer a lot earlier than I do. I like appropriate aging to blend in the flavors. For me, an IPA of 1.060-1.065, tastes best 3-4 months from the day I brewed it. I realize a lager takes a longer time to age, and I often hear people lagering for 6-8 weeks. However, 6-7 months seems like a long time for an beer in the gravity range listed above.

So what is different about a Maerzen that requires such a long aging period? Does everyone's experience affirm this long of an aging period? Just curious.
 

Tom Meier (144.228.85.98)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It doesn't require that long. As a lager 4 weeks is minimum, 6-8 works for me.

It is just the tradition behind it that is 6 months. The beer was brewed in March (end of the legal brewing season) and then was rolled out of the cellars at the end of the summer to celebrate the start of the new brewing season.

I am aging an O'fest - its at 3-4 weeks now. I can't see how 6 months is required. No one would commercially produce it if that were the case.
 

Mark Tigges (24.85.169.245)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I think this is historical too.
A Maerzen by definition is brewed in March. It was the last beer to be brewed that year. Now Germans being Germans, they always ensured that they had enough supply to last until the new brewing season, so de facto the last beer brewed lasted until October.
 

Kevin McDonough (204.38.58.12)
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 11:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It just seems that a beer of this gravity, drank 6-7 months later, would be way past it's prime. I can't imagine the Germans would do that. I could see them making a higher gravity beer to last that long, but not one in the range I quoted above. It just doesn't make much sense.

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