Thursday night I kegged my first beer in almost a year…YIKES!!! It was a German Pils that I made a few weeks earlier. I know, it only lagered for a very short period of time. But I really needed some beer in a keg as the local liquor store was draining my wallet with it’s limited selection and over priced brews.
I made the brew lower in alcohol % from the actual style guidelines, as my goal was to have a nice sharp bitter pils to my liking and be able to drink a few without the alcohol taking over.
My only worry when kegging this brew was that I didn’t do a check list to make sure that I had everything that I need to keg (CO2, dispensing line, clean taps etc). The dispensing line and taps were not a major worry. It was when I put the CO2 line on the keg post that I got worried…nothing or very little was coming out. It turned out it was just one of my valves that wasn’t opened. (Which reminds me to take my CO2 tanks in to get them refilled.)
After a few days in the keg and being fully carbed up to style, to my tastes, it was just what I was looking for. Crisp, dry and a nice hop bitterness bite that isn’t overpowering. Success…
Easter Sunday I had the chance to brew one of my favourite beer styles, a VMO. Well I guess that the style guidelines have change a bit over the last year but for now I will still call it a VMO (Vienna Märzen Octoberfest). I tend stick to the Märzen end of the style. It is a lager which is amber in color and the taste is malty but not sweet and also has a toasty favour.
“In the Middle Ages, brewers had a difficult time brewing good-tasting beers during the hot summer months when the brew could easily become infected with air-born bacteria. To have an ample supply of saleable beer on hand during the summer, brewers worked overtime in March to brew an extra strong and well-hopped beer that would keep for a long time. Märzen is German for March, so the beer came to be known for the month in which it was brewed.
In time, the March beer turned into an October beer. When the summer was over and it was safe to resume brewing again, the brewers needed to empty their kegs to make room for the new brews. That meant that Märzen had to be finished off in a hurry. Throw a little bit of merriment into the mix, and you’ve got an Oktoberfest with a Märzen beer party. Modern Märzen, like Oktoberfestbier, is always well-aged, usually for at least four to eight weeks. It is usually amber in color and has an alcohol content of 5 to 6.2%.”
– German Beer Institute