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Oktoberfest, Vienna, Marzen [Paperback]

George Fix , Laurie Fix
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 11.95
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Book Description

Jan. 26 1998 Classic Beer Style (Book 4)
George and Laurie Fix have written this well-researched profile of an enjoyable beer style to both drink and brew.

Frequently Bought Together

Oktoberfest, Vienna, Marzen + Kolsch: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes + Pale Ale, Revised: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes
Price For All Three: CDN$ 32.34

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  • Kolsch: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes CDN$ 10.79

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  • Pale Ale, Revised: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes CDN$ 10.79

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series... March 1 2004
Format:Paperback
Oktoberfest is one of my favorite types of beers, and homebrewing is my newest hobby. Unfortunately, this book does not give a true "flavor" to the brew. The background information is rather amatuerishly written while the recipes are too involved for beginners. Those wanting to know more about brewing Oktoberfest would be better served by searching the web for numerous websites/recipes.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly what I expected Aug. 31 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book could have been so much better. This is one of the most popular German lager styles to brew, yet the authors suggest the use of Belgian and crystal malts in place of the standard Munich malt which is used by all Bavarian breweries. Definitely the most disappointing book in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Main emphasis is Vienna June 28 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a helpful book for brewers, however the main emphasis is on the Vienna style. I have travled extensively in Germany for 5 years and never seen a Vienna beer. I felt more attention should have been placed on the popular and robust styles of Marzen and Fest beers. However, the book does contain good material and was helpful to me.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is difficult to read and make sense of the facts in this book. The history of the beer style is hard to follow. Information is presented in a scattered fashion, and ranges from extreme detail in some areas to glossing over other points.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Filled with ill-advised shortcuts, yeilding mediocre results Aug. 19 2007
By Darby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My chief complaint about this book is that it was written by George Fix, rather than Darryl Richman. Unlike this book, Richman's book on Bock is a gem. This book however (written about a closely related style), is a disappointment by comparison.

The author built his recipes around Belgian pale and pilsner malts (wrong country, wrong lovibond, wrong flavor), and achieved the requisite color in his recipes with the addition of varying amounts of crystal malt. In other words, he cheated in his recipes by using color malts in order to take advantage of simple infusion mashing. That is *NOT*, the way to make authentic tasting Oktoberfest !

The CORRECT way is brewing with real German vienna & munich malts (correct country, lovibond and flavor), and the correct technique (labor, energy, and time intensive triple decoction mashing, and subsequent long wort boils that generate the distinctive melanoid and caramelization flavors).

Fix also recommends using the wrong yeast strains.

This book is basically a bunch of ill-advised shortcuts and poor recipe decisions, rather than a serious treatise on how to make real authentic Oktoberfest, Marzen, and Vienna style Lagers. This book is a glaring example of why authentic German brewmasters look down their nose and laugh at Americanized versions of their native beer styles.

Speaking as an experienced homebrewer, I was VERY disappointed with this book. Interested readers would do much better to buy Richman's book on Bock instead, and simply adjust the recipes slightly to lower the desired gravity, color, and caramel/melanoid profile.

Not recommended.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly what I expected Aug. 31 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book could have been so much better. This is one of the most popular German lager styles to brew, yet the authors suggest the use of Belgian and crystal malts in place of the standard Munich malt which is used by all Bavarian breweries. Definitely the most disappointing book in the series.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is the least useful of the Classic Beer Style series. Sept. 7 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is difficult to read and make sense of the facts in this book. The history of the beer style is hard to follow. Information is presented in a scattered fashion, and ranges from extreme detail in some areas to glossing over other points.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but useful Nov. 10 2008
By GrundlagenS62 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The main criticism of _Vienna, Marzen, Octoberfest_ (VMO) by G. and L. Fix is that the contained recipes use pilsener malt enhanced with caramel malt additions rather than "authentic" vienna malt. I do not agree with this criticism.

The Fixs' reason for this approach is clearly explained: quality vienna malts were hard to come by at the time of writing, and in light of this supply problem, an alternative formulation was necessary. Continental pilsener malt is closer to vienna malt than standard american 2-row malts, and so it was the natural pick. Contemporary brewers have reasonable access to higher-quality European vienna-style malts and may be able to formulate more authentic recipes, though it is still the case that darker colored malts tend to be made from lower grades of barley. Even though the homebrewer has access to authentic vienna malts, he may still prefer to follow the Fixs' lead in the likely scenario that the vienna-style malts he has access to are not especially fresh; since Pils malt often has a better turnover than specialty styles, it is likely to be fresher. A formulation using crystal malt will also not display as much harsh graininess. While long lagering will generally compensate for such problems and may reward the brewer with a finer product, many home brewers do not have the patience or space to lager a batch of beer for several months, which makes the Fixs' alternative formulations more attractive.

A hybrid of the Fix's approach with the "purist" approach is vindicated in In _Brewing Classic Styles_, Zainasheff and Palmer recommend around equal parts continental pilsener, vienna, and munich malts for both Vienna and Oktoberfest beers (the latter containing caramel malt as well). In addition, Daniels writes in _Designing Great Beers_ that one can be successful in brewing Vienna and Oktoberfest styles using "Munich, Pilsener, and Vienna malts in virtually any proportion (337)."

In addition, while no explicit recipe is given, VMO does present historical information on the vienna style that any experienced brewer could use to formulate an "authentic" or "throwback" recipe. Here's a start: use exclusively vienna-style malt; target between 1.055-1.060 original gravity; use a decoction mash procedure to develop further color and flavor; use styrian goldings or similar hops for all additions, targeting about 30 IBU (perhaps higher to compensate for loss of bitterness over the long lagering time); split the wort and ferment with two different yeasts: one fruity lager strain and one clean lager strain (or even one fruity ale strain and one clean lager strain); blend the two beers before lagering for a heck of a long time.

Another reviewer pointed to Richman's book on Bock beers as an alternative to VMO. I do not agree that _Bock_ is a better alternative, but Richman's book is a great resource for anyone interested in perfecting older lager brewing techniques like decoction mashing---essential for anyone interested in producing turn-of-the-last-century-type lager beers including throwback versions of Vienna and Oktoberfest.

VMO is definitely not the strongest book in the classic beer style series, but the criticism I have seen in reviews on this website is overly harsh.

Happy Brewing
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series... March 1 2004
By Thomas Wilk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Oktoberfest is one of my favorite types of beers, and homebrewing is my newest hobby. Unfortunately, this book does not give a true "flavor" to the brew. The background information is rather amatuerishly written while the recipes are too involved for beginners. Those wanting to know more about brewing Oktoberfest would be better served by searching the web for numerous websites/recipes.
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