Octoberfest Beers

Reads 1394 • Replies 18 • Started Monday, September 1, 2008 8:57:07 PM CT

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BigBeer45
beers 1644 º places 17 º 20:57 Mon 9/1/2008

I am wondering what the real deal is, the BJCP guide reads that caramel aromas or flavors are inappropriate in Octoberfest Beers, I know I have smelled and tasted faint caramel in some Ocotberfest, is the BJCP wrong?

Maybe the Octoberfest beers are brewed differently here in the US?

Is a caramel aroma or flavor so bad in a Octoberfest?

I would think a little caramel flavor would not hurt the beer as far as style while too much caramel would push the beer into the Bock or Dunkel category?


I noticed that one German brewer refers to caramel in their description of their Octoberfest Beer, maybe this reference has nothing to do with aroma or taste?, link to Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest:

Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest


Another brewer (US) proudly says they brew their beer to have caramel flavor, link to Samuel Adams Octoberfest:

Samuel Adams Octoberfest


What do you think?

 
Petrucci914
beers 921 º places 9 º 20:59 Mon 9/1/2008

I think they, like Scotch Ales, taste like shit.

 
BigBeer45
beers 1644 º places 17 º 21:13 Mon 9/1/2008

Originally posted by Petrucci914
I think they, like Scotch Ales, taste like shit.


Well Petrucci, our palates are different, Octoberfest and Scotch Ales are two of my favorite beer styles, anytime you get a Scotch Ale please send it to me, thanks

 
zappafan99
beers 463 º places 10 º 21:26 Mon 9/1/2008

I have tasted two octoberfest beers today. (One with and one without.) Brewers choice I guess.

 
aspidites
beers 1271 º places 1 º 21:46 Mon 9/1/2008

Originally posted by BigBeer45
I am wondering what the real deal is, the BJCP guide reads that caramel aromas or flavors are inappropriate in Octoberfest Beers, I know I have smelled and tasted faint caramel in some Ocotberfest, is the BJCP wrong?

Maybe the Octoberfest beers are brewed differently here in the US?

Is a caramel aroma or flavor so bad in a Octoberfest?

I would think a little caramel flavor would not hurt the beer as far as style while too much caramel would push the beer into the Bock or Dunkel category?


I noticed that one German brewer refers to caramel in their description of their Octoberfest Beer, maybe this reference has nothing to do with aroma or taste?, link to Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest:

Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest


Another brewer (US) proudly says they brew their beer to have caramel flavor, link to Samuel Adams Octoberfest:

Samuel Adams Octoberfest


What do you think?

Yes and they often are.

 
zappafan99
beers 463 º places 10 º 21:52 Mon 9/1/2008

Originally posted by Petrucci914
I think they, like Scotch Ales, taste like shit.


Scottish elves only taste like sh*t because they are so short and spend their days shoveling peat. You should stop eating them whether they taste good or not. They are endangered you know. Save the elves!

 
Petrucci914
beers 921 º places 9 º 21:54 Mon 9/1/2008

Originally posted by BigBeer45
Originally posted by Petrucci914
I think they, like Scotch Ales, taste like shit.


Well Petrucci, our palates are different, Octoberfest and Scotch Ales are two of my favorite beer styles, anytime you get a Scotch Ale please send it to me, thanks


Will do!

 
SamGamgee
beers 2452 º places 182 º 22:32 Mon 9/1/2008

Caramel is one of the only things that comes to mind when I think Oktoberfestbier, that and unnaturally strong Bavarian waitresses, and maybe camping in a u-boat though that seems pretty irrational for normal people.

 
zappafan99
beers 463 º places 10 º 22:34 Mon 9/1/2008

Originally posted by bulletrain76
Caramel is one of the only things that comes to mind when I think Oktoberfestbier, that and unnaturally strong Bavarian waitresses, and maybe camping in a u-boat though that seems pretty irrational for normal people.


Shhhh....ping....ping.....ping....

 
wunderbier
beers 1434 º places 17 º 02:45 Tue 9/2/2008

Originally posted by BigBeer45
I am wondering what the real deal is, the BJCP guide reads that caramel aromas or flavors are inappropriate in Octoberfest Beers, I know I have smelled and tasted faint caramel in some Ocotberfest, is the BJCP wrong?

Being that it is a descriptive guideline for homebrew competitions it can often clash with real world examples. That doesn’t make it wrong necessarily, just misused.
Maybe the Octoberfest beers are brewed differently here in the US?

Yes.
Is a caramel aroma or flavor so bad in a Octoberfest?

I don’t think so, but it can get a little too sticky. I think they’re wanting to avoid heavy usage of crystal and cara-Munich malts in entrants which would make for unacceptably sticky beers. Maillard flavors that come from decoction mashing can be very similar to caramelization, but they are different.
I would think a little caramel flavor would not hurt the beer as far as style

Again, it’s probably Maillard flavors they’re going for.
while too much caramel would push the beer into the Bock or Dunkel category?

Making a Märzen too dark through the use of carafa type malts would make it a very strong Dunkel--Export Dunkel. It could have a little more caramel malt too. Making a Märzen a little stronger in alcohol would almost pretty much make it a bock.
I noticed that one German brewer refers to caramel in their description of their Octoberfest Beer, maybe this reference has nothing to do with aroma or taste?, link to Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest:

Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest

I couldn’t find that quote on their website. They say:
Paulaner Oktoberfestbier is festive, full-flavoured and ultra delicious, and is brewed specially for the most famous festival in the world. Every year, more than one million liters are served at the Oktoberfest. You can create your own "beer tent atmosphere" at home with this golden yellow, mildly hoppy seasonal speciality - but only between July and October.

Another brewer (US) proudly says they brew their beer to have caramel flavor, link to Samuel Adams Octoberfest:

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

SA isn’t competing in any BJCP judged events.
What do you think?

That the BJCP guidelines ought to be left to homebrew competitions.

 
omhper
beers 27784 º places 269 º 09:16 Tue 9/2/2008

Originally posted by BigBeer45
I am wondering what the real deal is, the BJCP guide reads that caramel aromas or flavors are inappropriate in Octoberfest Beers, I know I have smelled and tasted faint caramel in some Ocotberfest, is the BJCP wrong?

Maybe the Octoberfest beers are brewed differently here in the US?

Is a caramel aroma or flavor so bad in a Octoberfest?

I would think a little caramel flavor would not hurt the beer as far as style while too much caramel would push the beer into the Bock or Dunkel category?


I noticed that one German brewer refers to caramel in their description of their Octoberfest Beer, maybe this reference has nothing to do with aroma or taste?, link to Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest:

Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest


Another brewer (US) proudly says they brew their beer to have caramel flavor, link to Samuel Adams Octoberfest:

Samuel Adams Octoberfest


What do you think?


Oktoberfest is IMO a style where most American brewers fail to do anything even remotely connected to the style (which of course doesn’t mean that they can still be good beers). Usage of caramel- and crystal malt is the reason. Sam Adams is a prime example of that, and Hacker-Pschorr is probably the worst German example of the style.