This recipe kit is shared by the users of Jims Beer Kit, a very popular home brewing forum where you can find lots of information and knowledge shared by award winning home brewers. Please be sure to check out their site and give them a follow on twitter.
This Märzen (March beer) won ‘Best of Show’ for Nick Davis in the 2022 Scottish Nationals competition, beating out all other entries. Nick has a particular interest in German and Belgium beers and regularly wins awards for his creations.
Märzen is an amber, malty German lager with a clean, rich, toasty, bready malt flavour, restrained bitterness, and a well-attenuated finish. The overall malt impression is soft, elegant, and complex, with a rich malty aftertaste that is never cloying or heavy. It was the amber lager style served at Oktoberfest from 1872 until 1990 when the golden Festbier was adopted as the standard festival beer. If you have not tried some of the other styles of German lagers then this is a great one to start off with.
The 23L recipe kit was calculated using default Brewfather G30 profile, adjust if needed to your own system using the detailed information below.
PLEASE NOTE – this kit does not include yeast, this is so you can choose which to use and the quantity you need based on if you choose to make a starter.
Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt (3350 grams)
Weyermann Munich Malt I (2610 grams)
Weyermann CaraMunich Type 3 (250 grams)
Magnum Pellets (21 grams)
Beer Style (main): European Lagers
Beer Style (sub): German-Style Maerzen
Batch Size: 23L (in FV)
Original Gravity: 1.059
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV %: 6.1
Temperature °C: 66
Length (mins): 60
Out temp °C: 77
Out time (mins): 15
Boil time (mins): 75
Additions and timing:
Magnum hops added @ 60 mins
Secondary additions and timing:
See comments below for full process.
Yeast: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager – NOT INCLUDED
Fermentation temperature/steps: 7 days @ 10C, followed by 3 days @ 14C and then racked to secondary for 4 weeks lagering @ 2C before bottling/kegging
Please see the thread on Jim’s Beer Kit (https://bit.ly/3w4d1iN) for more details, an interview with the brewer and to ask any questions you may have.
PS here is how to pronounce Märzen correctly: https://bit.ly/3tchY7p
Batch size: 23L (in FV)
Colour: 19 EBC
54% Weyermann Pilsner malt (5 EBC)
42% Weyermann Munich malt (15 EBC)
4% Weyermann Caramunich III malt (150 EBC)
Single step infusion mash at 66C for an hour followed by a 15 minute mashout step at 77C.
Boil time: 75 minutes
Hops: Magnum @ 60 minutes to achieve 23.5 IBU.
Fermented using Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager (make an appropriate starter):
10C for 7 days
Ramp up to 14C for 3 days
Crash cooled to 4C for 4 days
Lager at 2C for 4 weeks (in secondary, keg or bottles)
If bottling with dextrose as priming sugar use a rate of 5.5g per Litre.
Water profile target:
BJCP guidelines for the Märzen style (including commercial examples):
Märzen (BJCP 2021 style ‘6A’) appears under the “Amber Malty European Lager” category, alongside Rauchbier and Dunkles Bock, in the latest 2021 BJCP guidelines, the full details of which can be seen below (I have taken the liberty of fixing the typos from their broken ‘u’ key 😜 ):
Overall Impression: An amber, malty German lager with a clean, rich, toasty, bready malt flavour, restrained bitterness, and a well-attenuated finish. The overall malt impression is soft, elegant, and complex, with a rich malty aftertaste that is never cloying or heavy.
Aroma: Moderate malty aroma, typically rich, bready, somewhat toasty, with light bread crust notes. Clean lager fermentation character. Very low floral, herbal, or spicy hop aroma optional. Caramel-sweet, biscuity-dry, or roasted malt aromas are inappropriate. Very light alcohol might be detected, but should never be sharp. Clean, elegant malt richness should be the primary aroma.
Appearance: Amber-orange to deep reddish-copper colour; should not be golden. Bright clarity, with persistent, off-white foam stand.
Flavour: Moderate to high rich malt flavour often initially suggests sweetness, but the finish is moderately-dry to dry. Distinctive and complex maltiness often includes a bready, toasty aspect. Hop bitterness is moderate, and the floral, herbal, or spicy hop flavour is low to none. Hops provide sufficient balance that the malty palate and finish do not seem sweet. The aftertaste is malty, with the same elegant, rich malt flavours lingering. Noticeable sweet caramel, dry biscuit, or roasted flavours are inappropriate. Clean fermentation profile.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a smooth, creamy texture that often suggests a fuller mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Fully attenuated, without a sweet or cloying impression. May be slightly warming, but the strength should be relatively hidden.
Comments: Modern domestic German Oktoberfest versions are golden – see the Festbier style for this version. Export German versions (to the United States, at least) are typically orange-amber in colour, have a distinctive toasty malt character, and are often labeled Oktoberfest. Many craft versions of Oktoberfest are based on this style. Historic versions of the beer tended to be darker, towards the brown colour range, but there have been many ‘shades’ of Märzen (when the name is used as a strength); this style description specifically refers to the stronger amber lager version. The modern Festbier can be thought of as a lighter-bodied, pale Märzen by these terms.
History: As the name suggests, brewed as a stronger “March beer” in March and lagered in cold caves over the summer. Modern versions trace back to the lager developed by Spaten in 1841, contemporaneous to the development of Vienna lager. However, the Märzen name is much older than 1841 – the early ones were dark brown, and the name implied a strength band (14 °P) rather than a style. The amber lager style served at Oktoberfest from 1872 until 1990 when the golden Festbier was adopted as the standard festival beer.
Characteristic Ingredients: Grist varies, although traditional German versions emphasised Munich malt. The notion of elegance is derived from the finest quality ingredients, particularly the base malts. A decoction mash is traditional, and enhances the rich malt profile.
Style Comparison: Not as strong and rich as a Dunkles Bock. More malt depth and richness than a Festbier, with a heavier body and slightly less hops. Less hoppy but equally malty as a Czech Amber Lager, but with a different malt profile.
OG: 1.054 – 1.060
IBUs: 18 – 24
FG: 1.010 – 1.014
SRM: 8 – 17
ABV: 5.6 – 6.3%
Commercial Examples: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen, Hofmark Märzen, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Saalfelder Ur-Saalfelder, Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050