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[BSHB] Brewing Marzen and Oktoberfest Recipes


Master Brewer
Dec 7, 2015
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BSHB said:
The modern Marzen and Oktoberfest styles may bear little resemblence to the early Marzen of Vienna or even Munich.  The early Marzen was described as dark, brown and full bodied.
I just read the latest BeerSmith Home Brewing News from Brad Smith, and I've got a question or two about it.
I'm a fan of the darker beers, especially historical beers (Pattinson's, Durden's books on historical British beers) - Most Marzens and Octoberfest beers that I've found/tasted (like Sam Adams Octoberfest which is NOT a dark beer to me), are rather a ruby, nut brown or an amber beer to me ---- (just my opinion, folks, don't hate me ;>) ).
Does anyone know of any 'reconstructed/historical recipes for Marzen/Octoberfest beers that would be more like the "early Marzen" which seems to be described in the article as more of a 'stout' or 'porter' -type/color rather than an amber or nut brown - lighter-colored beer? I'm not concerned with BJCP style guide rules, I don't do contests, I only brew for my own enjoyment.
Sounds like something I'd like to try, so that's why I'm asking.
You would probably need something like Brown malt to come close to it as Caramel malt was not used and neither were really dark roasted malts.  Brown malt is probably the closest thing we have to the historical malt used.  Not sure of the quantities - you may have to experiment.