Monday, October 12, 2009

Sara & Kate's NuptuAle

In late August, KJ and I teamed up to brew a batch of beer as a wedding gift for a couple friends. Other than our attempt at brewing root beer a few months ago, this was the first time we brewed together. Of course, I couldn't write about it until after the wedding, as we wanted it to be a surprise.

Since theirs was an October wedding, we decided to go the Oktoberfest route. As I wrote recently, I've always been a bigger fan of the American microbrewed style over the more authentic German varieties, but I honestly have yet to figure out what the difference is in terms of ingredients. I do know that the good American Oktoberfests are a little more malty and full-bodied, so that's what we were shooting for.

Regardless of my personal preference, it is a German style, so we developed a recipe that remained true to the origins of the style, while trying to add a little something to make it a little heartier.

For specialty grains, we used Munich and Vienna malts, while adding a little chocolate malt—an ingredient not foreign to some Oktoberfests—in an effort to make it a little more flavorful and full-bodied. We went with the German varieties of Hallertau hops for bittering, and Tettnang for aroma, while adding the Oregon-indigenous Mt. Hood hops—as a little KJ personal touch—for flavoring. Oktoberfests are usually brewed with lager yeast, but many home brewers utilize ale yeast with this style, since they can be fermented at room temperature. We went this route, opting for German Ale/Kölsch yeast. Here's the full recipe:

1.5 lbs. Munich malt (steeped for 20 mins.)
1.5 lbs. Vienna malt (steeped 20 mins.)
0.25 lbs. chocolate malt (steeped 20 mins.)
6.6 lbs. light malt extract (boiled for 60 mins.)
1.5 oz. Hallertau hops - 3.8% alpha (boiled 60 mins.)
1 oz. Mt. Hood hops - 5.2% alpha (boiled 30 mins.)
1 oz. Tettnang hops - 4.7% alpha (boiled 15 mins.)
0.5 tsp. Irish moss (boiled 15 mins.)
1.5 oz. German Ale/Kölsch yeast

Sara & Kate's NuptuAleWe also took liberties with the name, going with a derivation of a common mispelling of nuptial. We wanted it to be pronounced nup-shu-ale, as we thought trying to say nuptiale (nup-shale?) would be awkward and even a little confusing.

So, at yesterday's wedding, we delivered 36 12-oz. bottles and one 64-oz. growler of Sara & Kate's NuptuAle. KJ and I were quite pleased with our gift, and we have every reason to believe that it was, and will continue to be, quite the hit.


  1. It's delicious!!! Everyone wanted to know where the beer on the gift table came from!

  2. Thanks Sara. I guess that's the ultimate endorsement.

  3. I agree, it was (and still continues to be) awesome. Did you guys keep any for yourselves?!?

  4. Thanks Kate. Yes, we sampled a couple before the wedding...had to make sure it was gift-worthy, of course.