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Oktoberfest | Märzenbier | BeerCo Recipe | How to Brew

Its time to reach for the lederhosen, knee high socks, put your hair up in piggy tails or pull on some skin tight skivvies and amp up the German techno whilst drinking a traditional Märzenbier or Oktoberfest bier! Märzenbier or Märzen is traditionally a Bavarian beer that takes its moniker from two months of the calendar: March and October (spelled März and Oktober in German).  Down under you can brew in March and Lager (store cool) through the months of winter giving your Märzenbier a traditional long cool lagering for an extra clean and crisp and malty taste.  This traditional malt forward style is a very popular beer during the globally recognised Oktoberfest!

This Oktoberfest | Märzenbier | BeerCo Recipe is a modern twist on an ancient hero where we use a layered Gladfield Malt bill for depth and flavour and a moderate hopping regime with the traditional German noble hop Hallertau Mittelfruher to hit the upper reaches of the style guidelines target at 28 I BU.  We trust this will help you celebrate the change of seasons in style with a brew to style – Prost!

vital stats:

  • Original Gravity:  1.057
  • Final Gravity: 1.017
  • IBU 27
  • SRM 8
  • ABV 5.3%
  • Balance: 0.49

Gladfield Malt Bill:


75g Hallertau Mittelfruher T90 GR Hop Pellets @3.60% A/A

You could try an additional kiwi twist and use the new world NZ Hops triploid Wakatu in place of Hallertauer Mittelfruher and even go a step further and dry hop your Märzen.  We will leave it to you to do as you please to put your own twist on a classic style.



  1. GY045 German Lager GigaYeast or
  2. GY030 American Lager GigaYeast or
  3. GY005 Golden Gate Lager GigaYeast (if you are in a hurry!)



  1. Mash – the brewer should do normal mash regime, mashing at 67 C for at least 65 mins with a water to grain ratio of 3:1
  2. Sparge – once again the brewer should do normal regime at around 76 C to top up the kettle to required amount of pre-boil wort for a 90 minutes’ boil down to 23L.
  3. Boil – vigorous boil for 90 mins.  First bittering hop addition at 60 mins.
  4. Hops: Add 50g Hallertauer Mittelfruher GR Hop Pellets at 60 minutes for 22 IBU and second addition of 25g Hallertau Mittelfruher GR Hop Pellets at 15 minutes for 6 IBU.
  5. Pitch Yeast & Fermentation – Aerate well and ferment cold 12-15 C ideally closer to 12C until FG is reached or terminal gravity is table for two days.  You may like to raise the ferment up to 15-18C for a few days’ diacetyl rest at the end of the secondary fermentation.
  6. Rack and Yeast off and lager cold 0-2C for a long as possible – if you brewed this in March (Märzen) by all means lager through the cool winter months to September / October because we can as a homebrewer.  If you have no ability to keg or lager, bottle and store cold as possible for ideally a minimum of 6-12 weeks lagering.
  7. Crash chill and bottle or keg as normal.  You may or may not need to add some bottle conditioning yeast if you are bottling after an extended lager period off the yeast.  For this we recommend Fermentis Safbrew T-58 Yeast
  8. Mature for 7-10 days after carbonating in the keg or 6-12 weeks if bottled at around 10-12C.
  9. Enjoy with friends during your own Oktoberfest celebration! Prost!

All the Ingredients you need to brew this recipe are available in the shop or if you like we can pick and mill and pack and dispatch as a completed fixed recipe kit with your choice of dry or liquid yeast – milled or unmilled.

Oktoberfest – Märzen – BeerCo Recipe Kit

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4 Dogz Brewery – Manuka Smokin Marzen

Brewer: John Hayman

John got into brewing following on from his late father. He can remember as a kid being in the kitchen on the stove and adding sugar to the bottles in the laundry. John also remembers 2 old sheds with hundreds of bottles of beer and an explosion or two. From there John got into brewing himself and over the last 4 years has never looked back. John built his own 4 Vessel home brew system and pretty much uses Gladfield Malt exclusively now for all his award winning brews.

One of John’s proudest homebrew moments was winning Champion Brewer with an almost clean sweep at Melbourne Brewers Beerfest 2015 and coming 3rd at the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships with his Russian Imperial Stout American Bourbon Oaked beer, which also won gold at Westgate Brewers Stout Extravaganza 2015.  John loves helping new brewers out and designing new recipes.  We guess its John’s genetics & microbiology background that contribute to his brewing power! Stay tuned for more great recipes and beers from John in the future.  John has recently moved from brewing ‘big beers’ into ‘sours’.  The 4 Dogz Brewery name originated from John’s love of his 4 HUGE Bernese Mountain Dogs.

The following recipe John is sharing with us was 3rd Place in the peoples choice award and 4th overall for the category in the Bayside Brewers Oktoberfest.   Clearly it was extremely popular with everyone at Oktoberfest and we thank John for sharing his brewing knowledge with our readers and fellow brewers – cheers John!


4DogzBrewery – John Hayman


Manuka Smokin Marzen


All Grain

Vital Stats:

  • Boil Size: 23.00 l
  • Post Boil Volume: 20.00 l
  • Batch Size (fermenter): 18.93 l
  • Bottling Volume: 18.93 l
  • Estimated OG: 1.060 SG
  • Estimated Color: 28.1 EBC
  • Estimated IBU: 29.0 IBUs
  • Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
  • Est Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
  • Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Malt Bill:



  • 36.94 g               Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] – Boil  25.7 IBUs (your could substitute Pacifica NZ Hops)
  • 18.15 g               Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] – Boil  Hop  3.4 IBUs (your could substitute Pacifica NZ Hops)


  • 1 pkg               WLP820 Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast

You could easily substitute for:

Mash Schedule:

  • Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain

Step Time

  • Mash In           Add 12.81 l of water at 72.4 C          65.6 C        75min


  • Fly sparge with 15.11 l water at 75.6 C


  • Start at 10 degrees Celsius  – Ramp up over 1 day
  • Ferment 12 degrees Celsius for 2 weeks
  • Transfer to secondary for 2 weeks and lower gradually over a week to 0.5 degrees Celsius for layering for 1 month.
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OktoberWeist Bier

Time to reach for the leaderhosen, funny pants, knee high socks, put the hair in piggy tails or try on some skin tight skivvies and put on some strange German techno and put down a traditional Marzen or Octoberfest bier!  Using all Gladfield Malt and a moderate hopping regime for me with just under 40g of Hallertau Mittelfruh and a dash of Warrior at the 60 mins boil mark to hit target 28IBU.  In place of a traditional Weyermann Caramunich III I have substiuted 10% of the grain bill with Gladfield toffee malt.
Read on for Brewers Friend recipe and brew day notes – Sat 10 Aug 2013.  Will be targetting a 1 month extended cold lagering post racking after primary and secondary fermentation and pre-bottling which should hit its straps right on time for octoberfest – umpha umpha 🙂


  Method:   BIAB 
Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen 
Boil Time: 90 min 
Batch Size: 23 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 28 liters 
Boil Gravity: 1.045 (recipe based estimate) 
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)
Source: Michael Wallace 





Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
2.3 kg Gladfield – Pilsner 38 1.6 39.8%
1.73 kg Gladfield – Munich 37 6 29.9%
1.12 kg Gladfield – Vienna 37 4 19.4%
0.63 kg Gladfield – Toffee 34 57 10.9%
5.78 kg Total
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
35 g Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellet 4.8 Boil 60 min 19.44
4 g Warrior Pellet 16.7 Boil 60 min 7.73
5 g Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellet 4.8 Boil 15 min 1.38
Hops Summary
Amount Variety Type AA
40 g Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellet 4.8
4 g Warrior Pellet 16.7
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
28 L Temperature 66 C 60 min
Wyeast – Octoberfest Lager Blend 2633
Attenuation (avg):
Optimum Temp:
8.9 – 14.4 °C
Fermentation Temp:
12 °C
Pitch Rate:
Michael Wallace 2nd in NSW Championship and 4th in the Australian championship Marzen/Octoberfest Lager – all grain with some edits using Gladfield malts in place of Weyermann including Gladfield Toffee malt in place of Caramunich III.  Also a small addition of Warrior hops at start of boil to get target IBU of 28.
Heated the Urn to 72C before lettting it cool down to 66C and putting the grain in and tweaking as required for 1 hour for the mash.  Hung and strained the grain bag off the trusty ladder and put the wort back on to boil.  Took nearly 30 mins to get to a rolling boil before adding the 35g Hallertau and 4g of Warrior at 60 mins in hops sock and the final 5g of Hallertau 15 mins before flame out.  Immersion chilled quite rapidly down to 35C then racked off into the fermenter for a starting gravity of 1054 (right on) but pulled through a lot of trub by mistake having forgot to strain the trub through a tea-towel or similar.
Planted the fermenter outside in the turkish beer fridge and primed with Wyeast 2633 which had been popped since 1pm but showed no/low swell and was dated Apr 13 (not good).  Primed at 24C and set the fridge for maximum temp.  Checked on Sunday morning and the brew is at 14C with a target fermentation temp of 12C.
Sluggish on the get go this bier took till the following Thursday to get a good ferment going with a decent head on top and Krauzen forming.  Once up and running I maintained a temp on the Keg King fridge controller of 12C although it did seem to fluctuate a little up and down for my liking.
Racked off the beer on Sat 24th Aug @12C and managed to get 21L transfered across into the conditioning vessel with a FG of 1012 as Brewers Friend predicted 😉 Thanks Brewers Friend 😉
Bottled off on Sat 14 Sep adding 180g of DME to 500mL of boiling water to bulk prime and filling over a dozen champagne style 750ml bottles and over a dozen stubbies and a few Bombers 650s.  Tasting the beer it was very clear with a nice golden amber hue and a very mild hop palate as expected.  Tasted clean and put it away back in the friendly Turkish neighbours beer fridge turned up to 12C to bottle condition for coming 10 days before chilling again for a few more weeks cold conditioning in the bottles.

First tasting on Fri 11 Oct in Christchurch with Billy Keane and Arthur Keane.  Good colour but a little hazy perhaps due to the transit and felt could benefit from more lagering.  Pleasantly suprised by the hop tones given low IBU.  Still fresh and there but may disappate with extended lagering.  Home supply still under cold bottle conditioning in readiness for the OktoberWest celebration on Sat 26 Oct @Dowlhaus.  Should be fun!