Saturday, September 26, 2009

88. Stoudt’s Oktoberfest

Our fourth beer from Stoudt’s Brewing (our last one was their American Pale Ale), and our third Oktoberfest of the year—don’t worry, more are on the way.

Oktoberfest smells lightly malty with some toastiness; it has a clean white head, nice small bubbles and active carbonation, and brilliant clarity to go with the orange-yellow color—it is not as deeply colored as some other Oktoberfests we’ve had. Starting with a toasty malt flavor, Stoudt’s Oktoberfest reveals some light bitterness in the middle that accompanies the developing malt profile—it gets richer and breadier in the middle as it moves towards the end—before finishing rather clean and dry. With a medium body, the mouthfeel is smooth and mellow, with only minimal carbonation bite. It does have just about the perfect amount of hop bitterness in it. The solid lager flavors in the second half do round out the beer well; the malt profile is rich but not as complex as it could be—while balanced toward the malt side, as any Oktoberfest should be, it could use more sweetness to bulk up the flavor profile. Nonetheless, a well-balanced and enjoyable beer.

From Stoudt’s website: “This medium-bodied amber beer elegantly combines a touch of malty sweetness with a pleasingly subtle aromatic hop character. A traditional German-style Oktoberfest beer brewed from the finest imported ingredients.”

ABV: 5%
IBU: 26
Malts: Two-row & Munich
Bittering Hops: Perle & Hallertau
Aroma Hops: Saaz & Hallertau

Today was the second meeting of my BJCP class; our focus was grain and malting, and we sampled Ambers, Dark Lagers, and Bocks. We started with the basics: the anatomy of barley, including the germ, endosperm, acrospire, rootlets, and the husk, and how malt and kiln grains (well, in theory—we weren’t actually malting and kilning, although that would be fun to try). We also discussed adjuncts, and the different malt characteristics that you want to consider when choosing a malt along with malt types and styles: base malts (like 2-row and 6-row, and also Vienna and Munich malt), caramel and crystal malts (no enzymes, used to add sweetness to a beer), and specialty malts and grains (chocolate malt, black patent malt, and roasted barley).

Today we sampled:
3A. Vienna Lager: Negro Modelo
3B. Oktoberfest/Marzen: Ayinger Oktoberfest/Marzen
4A. Dark American Lager: Blackened Voodoo
4B. Munich Dunkel: Hofbrau Dunkel
4C. Schwarzbier (Black Beer): Kostriker Schwarzbier
5A. Maibock/Helles Bock: Hofbrau Maibock
5B. Traditional Bock: Stegmaier Brewhouse
5C. Dopplebock: Ayinger Celebrator
5D. Eisbock: Kulmbacher Eisbock
15C. Weizenbock: Schneider & Son Aventinus


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