Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: tygo on April 23, 2011, 02:45:34 AM

Title: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 23, 2011, 02:45:34 AM
Not too early to start thinking about this years batch (probably some have already brewed theirs  ;)).  What's everyone going with this year?

I probably won't brew mine for another few weeks.  Here's what I'm going with as of right now but I'm sure there will be a good amount of tweaking prior to brew day.

Recipe: Charyou Tree 2011
Brewer: Tygo
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 6.00 gal     
Boil Size: 9.01 gal
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 7.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 26.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
4.00 lb       Pilsner (2 Row) Best Malz (2.0 SRM)       Grain        34.78 %       
3.00 lb       Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        26.09 %       
3.00 lb       Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                     Grain        26.09 %       
1.00 lb       Munich Malt - 15L (15.5 SRM)              Grain        8.70 %       
0.50 lb       Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        4.35 %       
1.00 oz       Mt. Hood [5.90 %]  (60 min)               Hops         17.1 IBU     
0.75 oz       Mt. Hood [5.90 %]  (25 min)               Hops         8.9 IBU       
1 Pkgs        Hella-Bock (Wyeast Labs #2487)            Yeast-Lager               
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: beveragebob on April 23, 2011, 03:15:39 AM
That looks good. it looks real close to my recipe except I used .5 lb of 80L Crystal in mine. I brewed it in Marzen(March) and it is lagering away at 33F till the 3rd week of Sept.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 23, 2011, 03:20:23 AM
Yeah, I'll probably shoot for an earlier brew next year but didn't have a second chest freezer until recently and didn't want to tie up the fermentation freezer for that long.  So this one will be brewed in May/June and get about 12 weeks of lagering.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on April 23, 2011, 03:22:44 AM
Here's the recipe I made most recently that turned out the best so far. I really like using Vienna as the base malt in this style.

Spangler Oktoberfest 4
Oktoberfest/Marzen

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 6.62 gal
Boil Time: 90 min  
  
Ingredients
 
Amount Item Type % or IBU
9.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 83.72 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (6.0 SRM) Grain 9.30 %
0.50 lb Caramunich Malt 2 (60.0 SRM) Grain 4.65 %
0.25 lb Caramunich Malt 3 (120.0 SRM) Grain 2.33 %
0.75 oz Hallertauer [3.90 %] (60 min) Hops 8.7 IBU
0.75 oz Spalter [4.10 %] (60 min) Hops 10.2 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer [3.90 %] (20 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.50 oz Spalter [4.10 %] (10 min) Hops 2.5 IBU  
German Lager (White Labs #WLP830) [Starter 4000 ml] Yeast-Lager  

Beer Profile
 
Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.48 %
Bitterness: 24.9 IBU
Est Color: 10.7
 
  
Mash Profile
 
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body
  
Single Infusion, Medium Body Step Time Name Description Step Temp
90 min Mash In Add 21.00 qt of water at 161.3 F 151.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 13.00 qt of water at 198.0 F 168.0 F

 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: jamminbrew on April 23, 2011, 03:24:36 AM
I like the name, too. From one of my all time favorite seires. Thankee-sai!
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 23, 2011, 04:06:42 AM
I like the name, too. From one of my all time favorite seires. Thankee-sai!

Come Reap!
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on April 23, 2011, 04:48:10 AM
I'm planning to brew mine sometime in May (probably around the 14th) - it'll be the first lager I've ever made.  Next year, I'll have to plan on brewing it a bit earlier. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on April 24, 2011, 04:04:27 PM
Does the yeast strain matter?  Is there one particular yeast that really defines an Octoberfest or would any lager yeast work?
I just got 4 more carboys and 4 more ball-lock kegs from a friend who used to brew and decided he's not going to anymore (plus another CO2 tank, lines, manifold etc...all free).  So, I have more room to put up something that needs to age a bit longer and this seems like a pretty good idea.

I will need to order ingredients but I expect that the yeast is the key ingredient so please let me know what you've used and like.
Thanks
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: a10t2 on April 24, 2011, 09:26:57 PM
Last year's recipe was such a hit that I'm going to be doing ~210 gal of it this year. ;D

I'll need to brew a Helles or something to get enough yeast together, though, so I probably won't get around to my personal 10 gal batch until sometime in June.

Krasny Oktyabr Mk2
3-B Oktoberfest/Märzen
Author: Sean Terrill

(http://www.beertools.com/images/colors/10.jpg) (http://www.beertools.com/)

Size: 10.5 gal
Efficiency: 77.0%
Attenuation: 73.6%
Calories: 231.55 kcal per 16 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.052 (1.050 - 1.057)
|============#===================|
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.012 - 1.016)
|==============#=================|
Color: 10.62 (7.0 - 14.0)
|================#===============|
Alcohol: 5.03% (4.8% - 5.7%)
|============#===================|
Bitterness: 24.2 (20.0 - 28.0)
|================#===============|

Ingredients:
10.0 lb Cargill Munich
8.0 lb Cargill Euro Pils
2.0 lb Belgian Caramunich
45.0 g Magnum (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 90 min
30.0 g Hallertau Tradition (6.4%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
0.0 L WYeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Schedule:
Ambient Air: 10 °C
Source Water: 3 °C
Elevation: 9320 ft

00:50:16 Mash In - Liquor: 6.4 gal; Strike: 78.26 °C; Target: 68.0 °C
01:50:16 Rest - Rest: 60 min; Final: 67.4 °C
02:05:16 Batch Sparge - Sparge #1: 4.06 gal sparge @ 85.0 °C, 15 min; Total Runoff: 8.2 gal

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.15 (http://www.beertools.com/)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 25, 2011, 01:42:05 AM
Does the yeast strain matter?  Is there one particular yeast that really defines an Octoberfest or would any lager yeast work?

You don't need one specific strain but you'll want to go with a German one that tends to accentuate the malt flavor.  I used 2124 in last years batch and liked it.  I've used 833 in other malty German lagers and liked that in those.  Anything along those lines will work.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on April 25, 2011, 01:30:19 PM
Here's the recipe I made most recently that turned out the best so far. I really like using Vienna as the base malt in this style.

<snip>

hah - this is almost exactly the grist i used for my Vienna on Friday (though I used 12L munich) - hope its good!

For my Fest this year, I'm going with BryanH's suggestion: 70% Weyermann Munich II, 30% Pils, 21-22 ibus Tradition at 60min, 830 yeast.  I should be tapping that directly after the Vienna above, so I will be able to save some and sidexside taste.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: chumley on April 25, 2011, 08:09:53 PM
This year, with an OG of 1.068, I brewed a BOCKTOBERFEST!

6.25 lbs. Best pils malt (Planned on using 5 lbs., but this was the end of a 55 lb. sack, so WTF?)
4 lbs. MFB Special Aromatic
3 lbs. Best Munich light
0.5 lbs. Weyermann CaraRed
0.5 lbs. MFB Caramel Vienna
Mash at 153°F for 2 hours, Batch sparge.

0.5 oz. Magnum 2+ hours (I boiled for 3 hours)
1 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 30 min
1 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 15 min
1 oz. Tettnanger 0 min

WLP833 Ayinger yeast

I brewed this March 27.  Will rack to a keg this week.


Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on April 26, 2011, 03:10:47 AM
Here's the recipe I made most recently that turned out the best so far. I really like using Vienna as the base malt in this style.

<snip>

hah - this is almost exactly the grist i used for my Vienna on Friday (though I used 12L munich) - hope its good!

For my Fest this year, I'm going with BryanH's suggestion: 70% Weyermann Munich II, 30% Pils, 21-22 ibus Tradition at 60min, 830 yeast.  I should be tapping that directly after the Vienna above, so I will be able to save some and sidexside taste.

There's a fine line between the two styles.

On a different note. I've done multiple blind tastings of various German and American examples and find that there's a distinct taste difference between the American and the German examples. I can't quite put my finger on the difference but is there.

I have been trying different ratios of Pils/ Munich/Vienna and find that Vienna as the majority is the winner...as of right now.  ;)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 26, 2011, 11:54:21 AM
On a different note. I've done multiple blind tastings of various German and American examples and find that there's a distinct taste difference between the American and the German examples. I can't quite put my finger on the difference but is there.

Could it be... oxidation?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: dmtaylor on April 26, 2011, 11:59:22 AM
Does the yeast strain matter?  Is there one particular yeast that really defines an Octoberfest or would any lager yeast work?
I just got 4 more carboys and 4 more ball-lock kegs from a friend who used to brew and decided he's not going to anymore (plus another CO2 tank, lines, manifold etc...all free).  So, I have more room to put up something that needs to age a bit longer and this seems like a pretty good idea.

I will need to order ingredients but I expect that the yeast is the key ingredient so please let me know what you've used and like.
Thanks

Yeast matters some, but isn't crucial.  My favorite thus far is 2206 Bavarian lager.  Most other lager yeasts will also get the job done nicely.  One word of advice, though, and this is ironic -- whatever you do, do NOT use the WLP820 "Oktoberfest" yeast.  It is a crap yeast that should not be sold.  I've had nothing but problems with it underattenuating and crapping out, and it's just no good.  The Wyeast version of the same thing (I don't recall the number offhand) is just fine.  It's just the 820 that's bad.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 26, 2011, 12:16:57 PM
I would avoid the Oktoberfest yeast as well.  It throws way too much sulfur for my taste.  Didn't have problem with it finishing.  I just didn't like the resulting flavor profile.

The Ayinger yeast works great.  2206 works well for just about any lager too, but it will attenuate more.  Love how clean it is, though.  I use the Ayinger (WLP Bock) yeast for that style personally, but I agree that 2206 is fine.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 26, 2011, 12:27:13 PM
On a different note. I've done multiple blind tastings of various German and American examples and find that there's a distinct taste difference between the American and the German examples. I can't quite put my finger on the difference but is there.

Could it be... oxidation?

The reason that I seldom buy German beer in the US. 

For the others, often German beers here have a "honey" aroma, or the hops bitterness has turned from smooth and delicate to rough and harsh.  These defects are not in the beers in Germany, and are signs of oxidation.  Man, we have to get back there to see some friends soon!
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on April 26, 2011, 01:47:10 PM
On a different note. I've done multiple blind tastings of various German and American examples and find that there's a distinct taste difference between the American and the German examples. I can't quite put my finger on the difference but is there.

Could it be... oxidation?

It's a mystery.  :-\

I've debated this effect time and again. I keep going back and forth between aging (which could be an oxidation effect) and the specific varieties of noble hops used to the water profiles. Kai T. had suggested possibly aging the beer on the yeast and the fermenter geometry as a possible effect. Regardless of what it is, the fact is that it is there and it's distinctive.

The tasting that I did last October was done deliberately to try to eliminate the "stale beer factor" but the "distinct taste" amongst the German varieties was still there.

Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: a10t2 on April 26, 2011, 04:24:24 PM
The Wyeast version of the same thing (I don't recall the number offhand) is just fine.  It's just the 820 that's bad.

That would be 2206, FWIW.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on April 26, 2011, 07:16:16 PM
Mine was brewed the last weekend of March and is in a secondary (corny) right now, will be transferring to the serving keg soon.

Mine was mostly Weyermann Munich Type I with some Global Dark Munich and a little Carafoam.  Hallertau hops.  WLP833 Bock yeast slurry from previous brew.  OG was 1.058 and IIRC the FG was 1.014.  I don't think I decocted but maybe I got frisky that morning.

I like to brew a Maerzen in March to be consumed before Oktoberfest.  Then I'll brew a light colored, slightly hoppier 'Tent Beer' to be tapped in September.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on April 27, 2011, 01:28:42 PM
Any opinions on using WLP830?  I know Gordon says he uses WLP833 (Bock), but I was wondering if anyone had given WLP830 a try(?)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on April 27, 2011, 01:35:12 PM
Any opinions on using WLP830?  I know Gordon says he uses WLP833 (Bock), but I was wondering if anyone had given WLP830 a try(?)

830 is my 'house' lager strain - I get it from a pro friend and since i make lagers frequently, I just cycle through it, splitting slurries along the way to keep the gens below 5.

anyway, 830 makes a great Festbier.  I've used the 833 Wyeast equivalent (Hella-bock) once, and have had others made with 833 and I will say, it does seem to accentuate the malt a bit more which would make it ideal for the style. But 830 is a solid second choice. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on April 27, 2011, 01:36:07 PM
Any opinions on using WLP830?  I know Gordon says he uses WLP833 (Bock), but I was wondering if anyone had given WLP830 a try(?)

I think 830 is a great festbier yeast. It lends a very clean and attenuable quality to the beer which can desireable in an Ofest. You may want to adjust your recipe to work with the yeast as far as the maltiness. Either bump the chloride to sulfate ratio, increase the mash temp and/or adjust your grist to accomodate the attenuability of this yeast.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 27, 2011, 01:39:49 PM
I think WLP830 is the same as WY2206.  Some of my best lagers were made with 2206.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on April 27, 2011, 01:42:46 PM
I think WLP830 is the same as WY2206.  Some of my best lagers were made with 2206.
Great.  Thanks.  :) 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on April 27, 2011, 01:43:44 PM
I think WLP830 is the same as WY2206.  Some of my best lagers were made with 2206.

WLP830 is Weihenstephan 34/70
WY2206 is Weihenstephan 206
WY2124 is Weihenstephan 34/70

as per mrmalty.com
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on April 27, 2011, 01:44:12 PM
I think WLP830 is the same as WY2206.  Some of my best lagers were made with 2206.

WY2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast is the one that's been quoted as = 830

WY2206 is supposedly 820 as noted above.

but you've proven Kristen wrong before  ;)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on April 27, 2011, 03:23:11 PM
Weihenstephan 206
Wyeast 2206
WLP820

I see a trend! :)

EDIT: And FWIW, Wyeast Hella Bock 2487-PC yeast is NOT the Ayinger strain, that is straight from Wyeast.  So either WLP833 is not the same yeast as 2487-PC or it's not the Ayinger strain.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 27, 2011, 06:00:21 PM
People I respect have said they have gotten good results with 2124, but I haven't used it.

I know 2206 makes good lagers, so take that first-hand.

I know WLP833 is the Ayinger strain; Jeff Renner was involved in obtaining it, so he can confirm.  I know this strain makes good lagers.  I used it in a CAP, and it was great, so it's not just for German beers.  2206 attenuates a bit more than WLP833, but I love the flavor from both of them.  Either would make a great beer.

Beyond that, I'm less sure.  Except that I thought WLP820 threw a lot of sulfur that wouldn't go away.

Even if yeast strains are supposedly from the same sources, I would always evaluate them.  I like some versions from WL and some from WY.  It's a personal opinion.  Plus I like both groups, so I like to support them.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on April 27, 2011, 06:50:28 PM
So I had order WL German Lager yeast (my supplier doesn't list the #) and he tells me it isn't in so I need to sub something tomorrow when I go to pick up my order. Can anyone tell me what the # is and what a good sub would be?  Looking for a lager yeast for this O'fest as well as something for a good generic lager yeast. Thanks
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on April 27, 2011, 07:00:24 PM
So I had order WL German Lager yeast (my supplier doesn't list the #) and he tells me it isn't in so I need to sub something tomorrow when I go to pick up my order. Can anyone tell me what the # is and what a good sub would be?  Looking for a lager yeast for this O'fest as well as something for a good generic lager yeast. Thanks

There are lots of good suggestions in this thread.  Can you get any of those strains? 

WLP830
WY2206
etc.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on April 27, 2011, 07:04:59 PM
Just checked the web. WL830 is what I had ordered. I will try to get 833.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Jeff Renner on April 27, 2011, 09:26:28 PM
I know WLP833 is the Ayinger strain; Jeff Renner was involved in obtaining it, so he can confirm.  I know this strain makes good lagers.  I used it in a CAP, and it was great, so it's not just for German beers.

Actually, Dan McConnell, a fellow Ann Arborite and friend, got the Ayinger yeast in the mid 90's (I think) from Germany via Herr Durst (don't know his first name).  Dan owned the Yeast Culture Kit Co. at the time and was producing yeast for GW Kent as well, and Kent was the exclusive distributor of Durst Malts.

When Arbor Brewing Co., our first local brewpub (established July, 1995), started brewing a lager, Dan provided five lager strains and they fermented a small amount of identical Pilsner wort with each at 50F, and then lagered it at 50F.  I was on the taste panel to chose the best along with Dan, the owners, Matt and Rene Greff, and the assistant brewer.  The Ayinger was my clear favorite and was the consensus favorite as well, although it wasn't unanimous.  (Of course, the owners' opinion was final.)  They used this strain until some time a few years ago when they switched to high pressure fermenting and lagering.

When Dan closed the YCKC about ten years ago, he transferred his collection of yeasts (several hundreds, kept at -80C) to WhiteLabs.  I think Marc Sedam of Raleigh, NC may actually have been responsible for providing the strain to WhiteLabs a bit before that, but I'm not certain.  I was somewhat involved with helping to chose its name, since they obviously couldn't call it "Ayinger."  Regardless, it is definitely the source of WLP833.

At first, WhiteLabs was going to distribute it as a Platinum strain two months a year, but I got an email campaign going via HomeBrew Digest (HBD) to convince that Chris White there was enough demand to make it available year-round.  We even had Australian homebrewers sending email!  We convinced them to put it on the regular year-round list and it's stayed there, so I guess Chris thinks it's popular enough to keep it there.

It is absolutely my favorite yeast for most lagers, including CAPs. as Gordon says.  (I think that that is part of the official description by my suggestion.)  It emphasizes malt, which is nice for a CAP since while is is a malt/hop balanced beer, it is not 100% malt, so the malt boost is welcome.  I have a CAP on right now that is fantastic, even though it hasn't lagered enough to be clear yet.  I'm trying to stay away from it for another two weeks.

For malt-driven lagers such as Helles, any bock or Vienna/Martzen/Fest, it is also my clear first choice.

In a separate post I will make some suggestions for putting together a O'fest.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Jeff Renner on April 27, 2011, 09:51:33 PM
Here are some thoughts on my favorite way to make a Vienna or its bigger brothers.

I use 100% German Vienna malt and use a pseudo-decoction as I described in an article in March/April 2010 Zymurgy.  This involves two parallel mashes in much the manner of an American cereal mash.  A portion of the malt, say 20-25%, is mashed at around 150F for 30 minutes, then boiled for ~ 30 minutes.  I actually use a pressure cooker, with a smaller pot in the bit pressure cooker so there is no direct heat to the malt, and so no need for stirring to avoid scorching.

Regardless of how I boil this smaller mash, I mash in the rest of the malt at ~144F for full fermentability, then after 30-45 minutes, I add the boiling hot smaller mash to boost the combined mash to about 158F and rest it there for another 30-45 minutes.  There is sufficient enzyme action to convert any starches released by the boil.

The advantage of this pseudo-decoction is that it produces lots of tasty, malty melanoidins.  It also works great with all-dark-Munich malt for Dunkels and dark bocks.

For bittering, I like to use one of the Pacific Northwest derivatives of the noble hops such as Mt. Hood.  I find these to be reliably fresher than European imports, and less expensive.

A Vienna (and O'Fest and Martzen) is an elegant beer and should holler MALT! and whisper hops, so keep the bittering in check.  No need for aroma hops.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Jeff Renner on April 28, 2011, 01:53:45 AM
I think Marc Sedam of Raleigh, NC may actually have been responsible for providing the strain to WhiteLabs a bit before that, but I'm not certain.

Upon further reflection, I don't think that Marc was involved with providing this yeast to WhiteLabs, but rather the Samiclaus and perhaps the Mexican lager.  I may well have sent it to them myself.  I remember sending more than one off by FedEx.

I'm only posting this to provide some history for future researchers. ;-)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 28, 2011, 02:09:35 AM
Kristen England's yeast chart says that 2487 is the WY equivalent of 833.  Yea/Nea?  Any history behind how WY got it?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Jeff Renner on April 28, 2011, 02:24:00 AM
Kristen England's yeast chart says that 2487 is the WY equivalent of 833.  Yea/Nea?  Any history behind how WY got it?

I don't see that number at all in the Wyeast yeast chart. http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 28, 2011, 02:41:59 AM
Thanks, Jeff. I knew you'd have the full story. I remember the email campaign. And I'm really happy it's a year-round strain. Now, if only the Orval strain was...
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 28, 2011, 04:44:13 AM
Kristen England's yeast chart says that 2487 is the WY equivalent of 833.  Yea/Nea?  Any history behind how WY got it?

I don't see that number at all in the Wyeast yeast chart. http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm

Jeff, you have to look in the Private Strain section, and it was on in Jan-March 2011.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/PC1Q2011.cfm

"Direct from the Austrian Alps" makes me wonder if it is the same as 833.  Aying is between Munich and Innsbruck, so maybe they were clouding the origin a little.  Will wait until some else comes along with the inside story.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Jeff Renner on April 28, 2011, 11:52:52 AM
Kristen England's yeast chart says that 2487 is the WY equivalent of 833.  Yea/Nea?  Any history behind how WY got it?

I don't see that number at all in the Wyeast yeast chart. http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm

Jeff, you have to look in the Private Strain section, and it was on in Jan-March 2011.

Thanks, Jeff.  I didn't find it even when doing a search on their site for 2487.  I guess their search engine isn't thorough.

One possible difference between the two strains is that Wyeast recommends a diacetyl rest.  I have never had had even a hint of diacetyl from 833, and I am well known in my club to very sensitive to it.  I generally ferment it at 48-50F.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on April 28, 2011, 02:08:32 PM
When Wyeast distributed the 2487-PC strain back in late '09 I e-mailed them about it, also mentioning that the 'yeast comparison' chart said it was the same as WLP833 and was the Ayinger strain.  They told me it was definitely not the Ayinger strain and provided enough hints that I could tell it was the Samiclaus strain (I had forgotten it was Samiclaus until Jeff mentioned it above).  I agree about not getting diacetyl from 833.

I then e-mailed Kirsten about it and was told they were aware (and had been for some time) but they just don't have the time to update it.

Also fwiw, the Wyeast 2124 strain is a little higher attenuator than some.  Those are my two favorite lager yeasts; Wyeast 2124 and WLP833, depending on what I want.  For an O-fest I prefer 833.  For highly attenuated lagers like a German Pils I like 2124.

EDIT: Just checked the Yeast Comparison chart and it says the WLP885 Zurich Lager yeast is the Samiclaus strain.  So maybe just maybe the 2487-PC is the same strain (originally) as WLP885.  If you check those yeasts on each mfrs' website, the attenuation numbers don't really match but then they often don't so I never put any stock into that.  It also seems that Wyeast is more conservative regarding D-rests (i.e. they suggest them more often than White); the White Labs site says Zurich lager diacetyl production is minimal.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 28, 2011, 03:16:12 PM
I have never had had even a hint of diacetyl from 833, and I am well known in my club to very sensitive to it.  I generally ferment it at 48-50F.

+1  Exactly my experience.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on April 28, 2011, 03:19:32 PM
"Direct from the Austrian Alps" makes me wonder if it is the same as 833.  Aying is between Munich and Innsbruck, so maybe they were clouding the origin a little.  Will wait until some else comes along with the inside story.

That suggests Schloss Eggenberg to me. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: denny on April 28, 2011, 03:28:39 PM
Some of my best lagers were made with 2206.

My all time favorite lager yeast.  Clean, easy to work with.....
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 28, 2011, 04:13:34 PM
Great information as always.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: pyrite on April 28, 2011, 10:40:08 PM
Here are some thoughts on my favorite way to make a Vienna or its bigger brothers.

I use 100% German Vienna malt and use a pseudo-decoction as I described in an article in March/April 2010 Zymurgy.  This involves two parallel mashes in much the manner of an American cereal mash.  A portion of the malt, say 20-25%, is mashed at around 150F for 30 minutes, then boiled for ~ 30 minutes.  I actually use a pressure cooker, with a smaller pot in the bit pressure cooker so there is no direct heat to the malt, and so no need for stirring to avoid scorching.

I feel really dumb for asking this one, but I thought by mashing above 76-78C or higher it produces tannins. This gentleman, boils his malts? How is he not producing tannins when he boils his malts.  I've also read to keep the sparge water at 76C so that tannins are not extracted, and possibly the reduction of a band-aid taste.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: morticaixavier on April 29, 2011, 02:04:53 AM
all decoctions involve boiling the malt. don't ask me why no tannins. I am sure someone knows

also I don't think the bandaid flavour is from tannins. it's from phenols
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: jeffy on April 29, 2011, 02:17:31 AM
Here are some thoughts on my favorite way to make a Vienna or its bigger brothers.

I use 100% German Vienna malt and use a pseudo-decoction as I described in an article in March/April 2010 Zymurgy.  This involves two parallel mashes in much the manner of an American cereal mash.  A portion of the malt, say 20-25%, is mashed at around 150F for 30 minutes, then boiled for ~ 30 minutes.  I actually use a pressure cooker, with a smaller pot in the bit pressure cooker so there is no direct heat to the malt, and so no need for stirring to avoid scorching.

I feel really dumb for asking this one, but I thought by mashing above 76-78C or higher it produces tannins. This gentleman, boils his malts? How is he not producing tannins when he boils his malts.  I've also read to keep the sparge water at 76C so that tannins are not extracted, and possibly the reduction of a band-aid taste.
It's the lower pH of the mash that makes it safe to boil without extracting tannins.  You know that rule about stopping the sparge when your pH is as high as 6.0 or so?  Same thing.  Boiling wort of 5.4 pH is just fine.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: pyrite on April 29, 2011, 03:16:50 AM
Thanks morticaixavier, I do realize the band-aid preception is from phenol extracting, but I forgot it was a pH thing.  Man jeffy, everything about beer production seems to be pH related.  I never take any kind of pH readings, I hate pH in my beer.   When the sparge is going, I just taste and when the pour, into the kettle, from the sparge doesn't taste sweet is when I stop.  I need to buy a pH meter.   pH readings and adjustments just seem so complicated. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on April 29, 2011, 10:42:16 AM
 pH readings and adjustments just seem so complicated. 

It's like anything else.  It seems complicated reading about it but once you get a pH meter and start taking using it it's really not that bad.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: jeffy on April 29, 2011, 11:45:51 PM
Thanks morticaixavier, I do realize the band-aid preception is from phenol extracting, but I forgot it was a pH thing.  Man jeffy, everything about beer production seems to be pH related.  I never take any kind of pH readings, I hate pH in my beer.   When the sparge is going, I just taste and when the pour, into the kettle, from the sparge doesn't taste sweet is when I stop.  I need to buy a pH meter.   pH readings and adjustments just seem so complicated. 

Do not fear.  The coolest thing about decoction mashing is that it evolved before any of our modern instruments were invented.  They found that well water plus malted grain in a certain proportion resulted in what turns out to be the perfect temp for an acid rest, without even having a pH meter.  Then they figured out that boiling a third ot the thick mash and adding it back brought the mash to a protein rest temp without even knowing what proteins are.   They figured out that it made the beer turn out better.  And so on until you get a perfect decoction with no thermometer, no pH meter, no hydrometer.
I have only owned a pH meter for a couple of years, but I've done decoctions successfully for a long time.

Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: pyrite on April 30, 2011, 03:24:01 AM
Right on! Nice story. I'm all about the old school German decoction.  But I'll have to read up on pH stuff now. thanks.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on May 01, 2011, 12:10:05 PM
Right on! Nice story. I'm all about the old school German decoction.  But I'll have to read up on pH stuff now. thanks.
Kaiser has some great articles on braukaiser and Martin has a nice 'Water Knowledge' section in Bru'n Water.  We often talk about mash pH and it is very important but it also carries over to the finished beer.  The final pH also has an influence on the perception.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 02:26:52 PM
Here's the recipe I've come up with for my Oktoberfest Lager.  I'm hoping to brew this Saturday the 7th, but I may have to push it off a week.  We'll see....

4.0lbs Vienna Malt
3.5lbs Pilsner Malt
2.0lbs Munich Malt
0.5lbs Crystal 60
.25lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine

0.5oz Hallertauer 60 Mins
0.5oz Spalter 60 Mins
0.5oz Hallertauer 20 Mins
0.5oz Spalter 20 Mins

Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter

Now - this will be my first ever lager so I have a couple of quick questions:

-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

-How long do I leave my lager in the primary fermenter?

-Will I need to rack the lager off the yeast after an amount of time or can I go straight from the primary fermenter (after fermentation is complete) to the kegs for conditioning? 

Thanks guys!   8)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2011, 02:36:10 PM
Here's the recipe I've come up with for my Oktoberfest Lager.  I'm hoping to brew this Saturday the 7th, but I may have to push it off a week.  We'll see....

4.0lbs Vienna Malt
3.5lbs Pilsner Malt
2.0lbs Munich Malt
0.5lbs Crystal 60
.25lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine

0.5oz Hallertauer 60 Mins
0.5oz Spalter 60 Mins
0.5oz Hallertauer 20 Mins
0.5oz Spalter 20 Mins

Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter

Now - this will be my first ever lager so I have a couple of quick questions:

-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

-How long do I leave my lager in the primary fermenter?

-Will I need to rack the lager off the yeast after an amount of time or can I go straight from the primary fermenter (after fermentation is complete) to the kegs for conditioning? 

Thanks guys!   8)

It's OK to make your lager starter at 65-70 degrees.

Leave it in the primary until you've reached terminal gravity. Typically about 2-3weeks depending on temp and yeast strain. Let your gravity be your guide. You may need to do a D-rest at 60 degrees depending.

I like to go straight from primary to keg.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 02:40:10 PM
OK.  Thanks for the info.  :) 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: a10t2 on May 04, 2011, 02:41:27 PM
Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter
-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

Yes, but you'll probably want to make a much bigger starter than that. Starting with a fresh smack pack, MrMalty says about 3.0 L on a stir plate, 4.5 L shaken. (5.25 gal, 1.050 OG)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2011, 02:47:20 PM
Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter
-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

Yes, but you'll probably want to make a much bigger starter than that. Starting with a fresh smack pack, MrMalty says about 3.0 L on a stir plate, 4.5 L shaken. (5.25 gal, 1.050 OG)

+1

I didn't notice that but definitely agree with Sean.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on May 04, 2011, 03:12:19 PM
Now - this will be my first ever lager so I have a couple of quick questions:

-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

-How long do I leave my lager in the primary fermenter?

-Will I need to rack the lager off the yeast after an amount of time or can I go straight from the primary fermenter (after fermentation is complete) to the kegs for conditioning? 
I let the starter ferment at room temp but give it at least 24-48 hours in the fridge before I decant/pitch, then pitch cold.

I leave it in the primary until it's a couple of points from FG (determined by an FFT (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fast_Ferment_Test)) but I increase the temp towards the end.

You can go straight from primary to keg.  I like to harvest the yeast so I tend to rack as soon as it's within a few points of FG and secondary in a keg, then do a closed transfer to another keg (going from liquid OUT to liquid OUT, pushing with CO2 into a keg purged with CO2) after 3-4 weeks of that.  Lots of options, check out Kaiser's Fermenting Lagers article (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fermenting_Lagers) for some good info.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 03:42:56 PM
Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter
-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

Yes, but you'll probably want to make a much bigger starter than that. Starting with a fresh smack pack, MrMalty says about 3.0 L on a stir plate, 4.5 L shaken. (5.25 gal, 1.050 OG)

That much?  That's a starter thats more than a gallon (3.7L = 1 Gallon).  That seems extreme (1/4 of the batch!?)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on May 04, 2011, 03:48:06 PM

That much?  That's a starter thats more than a gallon (3.7L = 1 Gallon).  That seems extreme (1/4 of the batch!?)

hence why we chill and decant spent wort before pitching.  ;)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 03:51:47 PM

That much?  That's a starter thats more than a gallon (3.7L = 1 Gallon).  That seems extreme (1/4 of the batch!?)

hence why we chill and decant spent wort before pitching.  ;)

With my 600 ml starters, I usually just add the whole starter to the batch.  Are you saying you decant off the wort from the starter & just pitch the yeast cake that's left behind w/ a starter this big? 

I'll need to buy a new jar.  I don't have a 2-gallon starter vessel - just 1-gallon ones. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on May 04, 2011, 03:54:40 PM
Are you saying you decant off the wort from the starter & just pitch the yeast cake that's left behind w/ a starter this big? 

yep - although I do it with all starters - starter wort, esp when its been on a stir plate is not exactly tasty - I want as little of that in my finished product as possible.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 03:58:19 PM
Are you saying you decant off the wort from the starter & just pitch the yeast cake that's left behind w/ a starter this big? 

yep - although I do it with all starters - starter wort, esp when its been on a stir plate is not exactly tasty - I want as little of that in my finished product as possible.

Yeah, I suppose I shouldn't be pitching the whole 600ml starters either.  Laziness.  lol  I guess I need to change my ways.  ;)

Thanks for the info.   I guess I'd better get my starter going today (brewing on Saturday). 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on May 04, 2011, 04:00:34 PM
just to be sure - you did see the chill step, correct?  you'll need to cold crash the starter at least overnight before decanting, otherwise you'll be dumping a lot of good yeast.  I find 48 hours is optimal.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:02:15 PM
If you want some sweetness in the beer, I might swap out the C-60 for CaraMunich.  The flavors will be more appropriate. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 04, 2011, 04:16:35 PM

That much?  That's a starter thats more than a gallon (3.7L = 1 Gallon).  That seems extreme (1/4 of the batch!?)

hence why we chill and decant spent wort before pitching.  ;)
The Engineer in me has to point out that 1 gallon = 3.79 liters, so use 3.8l/gallon.  You often see recipes stated as 19 liters or 5 gallons, so the 3.8 works better for quick calculations.

If your yeast is healthy, the correct amount is pitched, and you give them plenty of O2 in the wort before they are pitched, you fermentation should be just about done in 5 to 6 days.   I used to say 2 weeks for a lager, but not anymore.  Keep an eye on the gravity and start the D-rest while you have a few degrees plato to go.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on May 04, 2011, 04:17:25 PM
Are the crystal/cara malts necessary?  Here's what I have been debating for mine (work in progress)

5 lb Vienna Malt
4 lb 2-row Pale Malt
0.5 oz Perle at 90
0.5 oz Hallertau at 30
0.5 oz Hallertau at 15
Irish Moss at 15
WLP833 - 3L starter - shaken and chilled prior to decanting

That's it.  I was going to try this as a small decoction to develop more of the malt flavours (30 min boil and then add to raise temp from 146 to 154).

This is partly because I don't have any crystal and partly because I've never brewed without it and am curious what the body will be like.  I'm assuming that an O'fest should be a bit darker than this will likely be and I'm considering a colour addition of 1 oz of chocolate malt at sparge (or Black Patent) to add colour only (no sinimar on hand).

I need new batteries for my pH meter or I'd have it done.  My water is pretty alkaline so with this much light malt, I want to be sure I can hit the right pH before I decoct anything.  Or am I worried about that for no reason as well?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2011, 04:24:29 PM
Are the crystal/cara malts necessary?  Here's what I have been debating for mine (work in progress)

I recommend a small addition of Caramunich to give the malt profile some complexity. I would suggest Cara 2. It has some of the richer notes that a Spaten or an Ayinger possess. It will also depend on the exact profile that you're trying to achieve. Do you have a commercial example in mind?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:27:08 PM
Not necessary but I like the taste so I usually add some.  I leave it out of Viennas.

I would swap the 2-row pale out and replace with pils malt.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 04:27:50 PM
If you want some sweetness in the beer, I might swap out the C-60 for CaraMunich.  The flavors will be more appropriate. 

Thanks, Gordon.  I'll try that swap.  :)


A few more questions for a lager newbie:

-I know the packet will tell me, but what is the proper fermentation temp for WY2206

-How long do I hold the fermenter at that temp?  And will I need to raise the temp at some point for a dicetyl rest?  

-Am I supposed to lower the temp from the fermentation temp for the longer 'lagering' phase?  

-I'm OK doing the lagering in kegs, right?  After racking off the yeast?  

-If I lager in kegs, will I need to later rack them to other kegs - or can I finish & serve from these kegs?  

Thanks!!!!!  :)  
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 04:28:27 PM
Not necessary but I like the taste so I usually add some.  I leave it out of Viennas.

I would swap the 2-row pale out and replace with pils malt.

+1  Agreed. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: tygo on May 04, 2011, 04:28:48 PM
I put a little crystal in mine last year (slightly less than 5%) and I thought it was too caramelly.  This year I'm leaving it out entirely to try that approach out.  All depends on your tastes.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:33:09 PM
I tend to ferment lagers at 48-50F (9-10C).  How long?  Until it's done.  D-rest?  Only if it needs it.  Taste it.  Lower temp?  Yes, ramp it down so you don't inadvertently crash the yeast.  You want the yeast to still be active.  Yes, you can lager in kegs.  Yes, you rack it before lagering. You can finish and serve in the lagering keg, but I prefer to fine with gelatin and rack into a serving keg for a better presentation.  But if you aren't moving the keg around, you might just leave it.  Just look for extra trub when you pour the first pint.  General keg advice.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:35:20 PM
I put a little crystal in mine last year (slightly less than 5%) and I thought it was too caramelly.  This year I'm leaving it out entirely to try that approach out.  All depends on your tastes.

Right; that's why I suggested ditching the C-60.  Caramel is the wrong flavor.  You can leave these malts out entirely, but if you use them, I think the CaraMunich flavors fit best.  CaraVienne would be a distant second choice.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2011, 04:35:37 PM
If you want some sweetness in the beer, I might swap out the C-60 for CaraMunich.  The flavors will be more appropriate. 

Thanks, Gordon.  I'll try that swap.  :)


A few more questions for a lager newbie:

-I know the packet will tell me, but what is the proper fermentation temp for WY2206 - I recommend starting it at 44F.

-How long do I hold the fermenter at that temp? Slowly increase the temp to 50F over a weeks time. 

And will I need to raise the temp at some point for a dicetyl rest?  Let it warm up to 60F for 2-3 days

-Am I supposed to lower the temp from the fermentation temp for the longer 'lagering' phase?  After D-rest. Crash cool to 36F and keg then lager at 34-36F

-I'm OK doing the lagering in kegs, right?  After racking off the yeast?  Yes

-If I lager in kegs, will I need to later rack them to other kegs - or can I finish & serve from these kegs?  Either way is fine. Racking a second time will aide inn clarity.
Thanks!!!!!  :)  

Your Welcome!
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on May 04, 2011, 04:35:55 PM
Not necessary but I like the taste so I usually add some.  I leave it out of Viennas.

I would swap the 2-row pale out and replace with pils malt.
I don't have a commercial example in mind.  My lager choices and my beer choices in general are usually local products.  I'm partial to a couple different bock examples from around here but you probably won't know them (Creemore Urbock for example).

I have 55 lbs of 2-row and 0 lbs of Pilsner malt.  I guess I could order some if you think it will make that much difference.  Beertools also tells me I'm just a touch bitter for the style so I may drop the 15 min addition back to 1/4 oz or forget it all together and just do 90 and 30 which should be more bitter than flavour.

Maybe if we think outside of the O'fest style, would my proposed recipe make a decent lager or will it be short on character?  I'm really wanting to try a lager of just 2-row and hops.  
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2011, 04:37:17 PM
I put a little crystal in mine last year (slightly less than 5%) and I thought it was too caramelly.  This year I'm leaving it out entirely to try that approach out.  All depends on your tastes.

I've done them both ways and it's really a personal choice. I use a small Cara2 addition but YMMV.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 04:37:28 PM
I tend to ferment lagers at 48-50F (9-10C).  How long?  Until it's done.  D-rest?  Only if it needs it.  Taste it.  Lower temp?  Yes, ramp it down so you don't inadvertently crash the yeast.  You want the yeast to still be active.  Yes, you can lager in kegs.  Yes, you rack it before lagering. You can finish and serve in the lagering keg, but I prefer to fine with gelatin and rack into a serving keg for a better presentation.  But if you aren't moving the keg around, you might just leave it.  Just look for extra trub when you pour the first pint.  General keg advice.

Thanks again, Gordon.

So, based on this info, I'm planning to hold the fermenter at 48 degrees for 4 weeks, then rack to a secondary fermenter (it will be easier for me to do this & onlyl rack to kegs when ready to carbonate & serve) and lager at 36-40 degrees for three months.  Then I'll keg w/ gelatin, carbonate, condition for another week or so & enjoy! 

Sound about right? 

Thanks for helping the lager newbie - but I'm glad I'm branching out!  :) 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:39:25 PM
Sure, call it an American Amber Lager and it would be fine.  Just wouldn't want the base malt to be too bready or biscuity; I think that wouldn't taste right.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:42:08 PM
I tend to ferment lagers at 48-50F (9-10C).  How long?  Until it's done.  D-rest?  Only if it needs it.  Taste it.  Lower temp?  Yes, ramp it down so you don't inadvertently crash the yeast.  You want the yeast to still be active.  Yes, you can lager in kegs.  Yes, you rack it before lagering. You can finish and serve in the lagering keg, but I prefer to fine with gelatin and rack into a serving keg for a better presentation.  But if you aren't moving the keg around, you might just leave it.  Just look for extra trub when you pour the first pint.  General keg advice.

Thanks again, Gordon.

So, based on this info, I'm planning to hold the fermenter at 48 degrees for 4 weeks, then rack to a secondary fermenter (it will be easier for me to do this & onlyl rack to kegs when ready to carbonate & serve) and lager at 36-40 degrees for three months.  Then I'll keg w/ gelatin, carbonate, condition for another week or so & enjoy!  

Sound about right?  

Thanks for helping the lager newbie - but I'm glad I'm branching ou!  :)  

Sounds good.  Make sure your transfers are oxygen free.  Be sure to give the gelatin time to work.  Do that before racking into your conditioning/serving keg.  I also agree with pitching cooler, but you have to have a large starter.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 04:47:48 PM
I tend to ferment lagers at 48-50F (9-10C).  How long?  Until it's done.  D-rest?  Only if it needs it.  Taste it.  Lower temp?  Yes, ramp it down so you don't inadvertently crash the yeast.  You want the yeast to still be active.  Yes, you can lager in kegs.  Yes, you rack it before lagering. You can finish and serve in the lagering keg, but I prefer to fine with gelatin and rack into a serving keg for a better presentation.  But if you aren't moving the keg around, you might just leave it.  Just look for extra trub when you pour the first pint.  General keg advice.

Thanks again, Gordon.

So, based on this info, I'm planning to hold the fermenter at 48 degrees for 4 weeks, then rack to a secondary fermenter (it will be easier for me to do this & onlyl rack to kegs when ready to carbonate & serve) and lager at 36-40 degrees for three months.  Then I'll keg w/ gelatin, carbonate, condition for another week or so & enjoy! 

Sound about right? 

Thanks for helping the lager newbie - but I'm glad I'm branching ou!  :) 

Sounds good.  Make sure your transfers are oxygen free.  Be sure to give the gelatin time to work.  Do that before racking into your conditioning/serving keg.  I also agree with pitching cooler, but you have to have a large starter.

I'll make them as oxygen-free as possible.  I can spray some CO2 to fill the 2nd fermenter before racking - and I'll add the gelatin to the 2nd fermenter about a week before I rack to the serving keg. 

I should also be able to start the fermenter out at around 40-42 degrees and bring it up to 48 over the course of a few days.  I may not be able to get a new 2-gallon fermentation vessel for the starter, so I may just make a 3.3L starter (which I can make in a 1-gallon jug I have).  That's a bit light on pitch amount (should be 4.5L), but it should be sufficient, no? 

Once agian.  Thanks.  I think I'm all set now.  Wish me luck!  :)
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: pyrite on May 04, 2011, 04:52:53 PM
I tend to ferment lagers at 48-50F (9-10C).  How long?  Until it's done.  D-rest?  Only if it needs it.  Taste it.  Lower temp?  Yes, ramp it down so you don't inadvertently crash the yeast.  You want the yeast to still be active.  Yes, you can lager in kegs.  Yes, you rack it before lagering. You can finish and serve in the lagering keg, but I prefer to fine with gelatin and rack into a serving keg for a better presentation.  But if you aren't moving the keg around, you might just leave it.  Just look for extra trub when you pour the first pint.  General keg advice.

Okay I've followed these methods, and now the keg of oktoberfest sits in the garage.  I used the white labs German Bock lager yeast, and when I pour beer samples to clear the settling sediment I taste a clean oktoberfest lager with a pronounced sulfur note.
Will the sulfur go away?    
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on May 04, 2011, 04:55:40 PM

I should also be able to start the fermenter out at around 40-42 degrees and bring it up to 48 over the course of a few days.  I may not be able to get a new 2-gallon fermentation vessel for the starter, so I may just make a 3.3L starter (which I can make in a 1-gallon jug I have).  That's a bit light on pitch amount (should be 4.5L), but it should be sufficient, no? 

Once agian.  Thanks.  I think I'm all set now.  Wish me luck!  :)

Good luck!

I'm as far from an expert as anyone can be when it comes to lagers but if you're really worried about the starter size, can you do it in steps (this is probably a question for others on here more than you)?  Do a 3L starter for 48 hours, crash it, pour off the liquid and add another dose of fresh wort.  I know when doing this that 3+3 does not equal 6 but it may equal 4.5?

I did an amber lager back at the first of March and you know what the worst part is?  The WAITING!  I fermented it at 34-36 degrees for 6 weeks, brought it up to 65 for a D rest, kegged it yesterday and now another 6 weeks of waiting...  Once you get a bunch in rotation you'll be good, but waiting 3 months to try my first lager is killing me.












Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gordonstrong on May 04, 2011, 04:58:22 PM
It always has for me.  If you are sensitive to sulfur, be aware that most lagers are going to have some present.  Whether it's at flavor threshold is up to your palate.

How long has it lagered?  If the beer is young and there is still some yeast present, the sulfur notes can be stronger.

Some have recommended hitting the beer with CO2 and venting it repeatedly to reduce the character.  Haven't used that method so I can't explain it.  I do try to vent the kegs while lagering.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on May 04, 2011, 06:25:20 PM
Lots of good stuff has been covered in this thread. I'll just add that if you don't want to make a 3L (or larger) starter, you can always pitch more than one smackpack or vial to a smaller starter. I routinely make 2L starters with two smackpacks/vials for a 5.25 gallon batch of lager. Is it a little more expensive?  Sure, but not prohibitively so. I just find that this method is easier for me.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 04, 2011, 07:06:12 PM
Any opinions on using WY2308?  I'm still on the fence about which yeast I'll be using. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: pyrite on May 05, 2011, 03:15:33 AM
It always has for me.  If you are sensitive to sulfur, be aware that most lagers are going to have some present.  Whether it's at flavor threshold is up to your palate.

How long has it lagered?  If the beer is young and there is still some yeast present, the sulfur notes can be stronger.

Some have recommended hitting the beer with CO2 and venting it repeatedly to reduce the character.  Haven't used that method so I can't explain it.  I do try to vent the kegs while lagering.

I think I'm sensitive to sulfur, but expected pilsner yeast to contribute more sulfur than the german bock yeast.  I often use the German Bock yeast and haven't noticed sulfur notes as apparent as this last batch.  But then again I've never brewed light beers such as an oktober fest's with it, they have always been bocks and dopple bocks.

The beer has been lagering for 3 weeks in corny keg in the garage and there is little to no sediment in the keg, maybe tiny bits of yeast, but that is why i draw samples once in a while, so that I can clear it out as it settles.  I will try to light CO2 scrub / vent.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 04:40:29 PM
Well, I grabbed WY2308 as my yeast, but had to make 2 small changes to my recipe.

-Swapped Malto-Dextrin (4oz) for the .25lbs of Cara-Pils - which my brew shop was out of.
-Swapped Spalter hops to Tettanger (they had no Spalter).

My starter is at around 60 degrees and I'll be cooling it to put in a 48 degree fridge later today. Tomorrow I'l lower the fridge to about 45 and then down to about 42 on Saturday morning - at which temp I'll pitch the yeast then bring things slowly back up to 48 degrees over the next 4-5 days. 


After that month, I'd like to raise the temp to closer to 60 for a dicetyl rest.  How may days should I leave it at that temp for the rest?  And after that, should I chill the beer back to the 42 degree range over a few days before racking to the 2nd fermenter? 

Thanks.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: denny on May 05, 2011, 04:46:52 PM
I wouldn't worry about a d rest until you taste the beer a month down the road and see if it's needed.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 05, 2011, 04:47:16 PM
After that month, I'd like to raise the temp to closer to 60 for a dicetyl rest.  How may days should I leave it at that temp for the rest?  And after that, should I chill the beer back to the 42 degree range over a few days before racking to the 2nd fermenter?  
Thanks.

I like to leave the primary at 60-68 degrees for 3-5 days. Then take a sample and taste/smell it to see if you still pick up diacetyl. It's usually mostly dissipated after a few days but the key is to still have yeast in suspension prior to the d-rest (typically 70% attenuation) in order to clean up the diacetyl.

I wouldn't worry about a d rest until you taste the beer a month down the road and see if it's needed.

I agree with Denny in that a D-rest is needed only if you actually have it so check it before you act on it.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 04:52:30 PM
After that month, I'd like to raise the temp to closer to 60 for a dicetyl rest.  How may days should I leave it at that temp for the rest?  And after that, should I chill the beer back to the 42 degree range over a few days before racking to the 2nd fermenter? 
Thanks.

I like to leave the primary at 60-68 degrees for 3-5 days. Then take a sample and taste/smell it to see if you still pick up diacetyl. It's usually mostly dissipated after a few days but the key is to still have yeast in suspension prior to the d-rest (typically 70% attenuation) in order to clean up the diacetyl.

I wouldn't worry about a d rest until you taste the beer a month down the road and see if it's needed.

I agree with Denny in that a D-rest is needed only if you actually have it so check it before you act on it.

After the 1st month, however, I'm planning to move the beer to the 2nd fermenter.  So are you saying I should sample it just before racking to the 2nd fermenter to see if the D-Rest is needed? 

If it is needed, do I do it in the 1st or 2nd fermenter?  Or should I be leaving my beer in the 1st fermenter longer?

Sorry again w/ all the questions - 1st lager & I never have to think about this stuff w/ Ales!  ;) 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 05, 2011, 05:01:47 PM
I recommend not racking to the secondary fermenter as it is not necessary and can potentially have adverse affects (oxidation) on the beer. I suggest sampling the beer near the end of the ferment while in the primary and if you detect diacetyl then go ahead and do a D-rest. If you can't detect diacetyl then let it ferment to terminal gravity and keg from there. Let the beer decide.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 05:12:24 PM
I recommend not racking to the secondary fermenter as it is not necessary and can potentially have adverse affects (oxidation) on the beer. I suggest sampling the beer near the end of the ferment while in the primary and if you detect diacetyl then go ahead and do a D-rest. If you can't detect diacetyl then let it ferment to terminal gravity and keg from there. Let the beer decide.

I may need to grab a couple more kegs.  It sounds like it's a much better idea to lager (after fermentation is complete) in kegs rather than in a 2nd carboy(?)

The only reason I was gonna rack to a 2nd is for the lagering (I want it off the yeast for the 3-month lagering period, right?), and I didn't want to devoe a keg to that for 3 months.  But I guess I may have to.


I'll want to rack it off the lagering keg to another keg, under pressure, before serving though. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: denny on May 05, 2011, 05:14:36 PM
IF you need to do a d rest, you want to do it in the primary.  The reason behind a d rest is that warmer temps make the yeast more active and they reduce the diacetyl.  If you rack to secondary before the d rest, you reduce the amount of yeast in there to work on it.  IF you're going to rack to secondary, you;ll be checking the gravity anyway, right?  So taste the sample and determine if you have diacetyl and if you need to do a rest.  And keep in mind what John Palmer says about it.  I've posted a bit of his response from the "Ask the Experts" section.

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering."
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 05:20:27 PM
IF you need to do a d rest, you want to do it in the primary.  The reason behind a d rest is that warmer temps make the yeast more active and they reduce the diacetyl.  If you rack to secondary before the d rest, you reduce the amount of yeast in there to work on it.  IF you're going to rack to secondary, you;ll be checking the gravity anyway, right?  So taste the sample and determine if you have diacetyl and if you need to do a rest.  And keep in mind what John Palmer says about it.  I've posted a bit of his response from the "Ask the Experts" section.

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering."
Thanks Denny, but one last question I don't seem to be getting the answer to...

Can I/should I leave the beer in the primary fermenter for the 3-month lagering period (i.e. Do it ALL in the primary fermenter until I'm ready to move it to the serving kegs) or do I need to get the beer off the yeast and into kegs for lagering once the fermentation is complete? 

Tanks. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: denny on May 05, 2011, 05:28:47 PM
I can't say for certain that you NEED to get the beer off the yeast for lagering, but I do.  I lager in a keg that I end up serving from.   I want to get the beer off the yeast so it's ready to go hen I'm done lagering.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: gmac on May 05, 2011, 05:50:15 PM
So is there a danger of doing a D rest if it's not needed?  I can't really say for sure that I've ever tasted diacetyl and although I've read the description (buttery, butterscotch etc), I'm not sure how well I'd do picking it out.  It's only 2 or 3 days in the primary at a warmer temp so besides the risk of dropping the carboy if you have to move it, is there a downside to doing a diacetyl rest as a preventative action? 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 05:52:30 PM
I can't say for certain that you NEED to get the beer off the yeast for lagering, but I do.  I lager in a keg that I end up serving from.   I want to get the beer off the yeast so it's ready to go hen I'm done lagering.

OK.  Thanks. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: blatz on May 05, 2011, 05:52:56 PM
So is there a danger of doing a D rest if it's not needed?  I can't really say for sure that I've ever tasted diacetyl and although I've read the description (buttery, butterscotch etc), I'm not sure how well I'd do picking it out.  It's only 2 or 3 days in the primary at a warmer temp so besides the risk of dropping the carboy if you have to move it, is there a downside to doing a diacetyl rest as a preventative action? 

i don't think there is.  I tend to do one almost everytime out of habit.  its just less pragmatic.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: Beer Monger on May 05, 2011, 05:54:53 PM
So is there a danger of doing a D rest if it's not needed?  I can't really say for sure that I've ever tasted diacetyl and although I've read the description (buttery, butterscotch etc), I'm not sure how well I'd do picking it out.  It's only 2 or 3 days in the primary at a warmer temp so besides the risk of dropping the carboy if you have to move it, is there a downside to doing a diacetyl rest as a preventative action? 

i don't think there is.  I tend to do one almost everytime out of habit.  its just less pragmatic.

That's kind of what I was thinking.  Why not do one anyway if there's no risk.  All it takes for me it a simple turn of the temp knob. 
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on May 05, 2011, 06:54:54 PM
Can I/should I leave the beer in the primary fermenter for the 3-month lagering period (i.e. Do it ALL in the primary fermenter until I'm ready to move it to the serving kegs) or do I need to get the beer off the yeast and into kegs for lagering once the fermentation is complete?  

I like to ferment in the primary for three weeks then raise the temp to 60F for a week and then keg the beer. Lagering is done in the keg for at least 4 weeks but 8-12 is better IMO. The beer should be perfectly clear after 4 weeks of lagering YMMV. This is my SOP and you can experiment with it by varying the fermentation temps and lagering times. I like to use gelatin for clarifying the beer after fermentation.
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: mtnandy on June 26, 2011, 05:09:08 PM
I am a little late to the party brewing my O-fest this year. I'll be trying an all-grain fest for the first time and wanted to get everyone's opinion on my recipe.

4 lbs Vienna
3 lbs Munich
2.5 lbs Pilsner
0.5 lb Carapils
0.5 lb Caramunich
0.25 lb Melanoidin
1.5 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4% (60 min)
0.5 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4% (20 min)

Single Infusion at 153, batch sparge.

Also, I am going to try playing with my water profile, since I have had some trouble with my tap water recently. I am planning on just using distilled and adding minerals, but I have no idea what to look for when doing this. So far, I have come up with this for 3.5 gallons:

1g Gypsum
1g Calcium Chloride
3g Epsom Salt
1g Baking Soda
3g Non-iodized Salt
1g Chalk
2mL Lactic Acid

Any of you chemistry gurus care to help me out?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: bluesman on June 27, 2011, 02:04:17 AM
I am a little late to the party brewing my O-fest this year. I'll be trying an all-grain fest for the first time and wanted to get everyone's opinion on my recipe.

4 lbs Vienna
3 lbs Munich
2.5 lbs Pilsner
0.5 lb Carapils
0.5 lb Caramunich
0.25 lb Melanoidin
1.5 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4% (60 min)
0.5 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4% (20 min)

Single Infusion at 153, batch sparge.

Also, I am going to try playing with my water profile, since I have had some trouble with my tap water recently. I am planning on just using distilled and adding minerals, but I have no idea what to look for when doing this. So far, I have come up with this for 3.5 gallons:

1g Gypsum
1g Calcium Chloride
3g Epsom Salt
1g Baking Soda
3g Non-iodized Salt
1g Chalk
2mL Lactic Acid

Any of you chemistry gurus care to help me out?

The recipe looks really good.

I'm not so sure about the water profile.....have you tried plugging it into Brunwater or another calculator?
Title: Re: Oktoberfest 2011
Post by: lupulin5446 on June 27, 2011, 02:31:03 AM
An easy festbier recipe:
50% pilsner malt, 5% Weyerman caramunich III, 5% Weyerman carared, 35% light munich malt, 3% acid malt, 2% Weyerman cara-aroma (added at mash out to reduce 'roasted' flavors).  First-wort hop with 22 IBUs from noble hops-preferably Tettnang or Hallertau varieties.  Single infusion mash at 152-usually 30 minutes or less, boil 90 minutes, O.G. 1.055

pH is very important for this style of beer, both in the mash, and sparge water.  You will want a residual alkalinity as close to 0 as possible, and this can be easily achieved with gypsum and calcium chloride.  The high enzyme content from the pils malt will reduce the mash time.  This combined with the lower pH in the mash will leech fewer tannins from the barley hulls.  Cara-aroma contains no enzyme, so adding it at mash out will extract color and aroma while minimizing roasted notes that would be out of character.  First-wort hopping will enhance the 'noble hop' character.  

Most german lager strains are acceptable as long as they accentuate the malt character.  My fermentation profile may seem odd at first, but it has really worked well for me.  I pitch at 45 F for the first 72 hours (after first signs of fermentation).  Then raise to 48 for another 72 hours. after that, I raise the temp 1 degree per day until 58 F.  Usually it only needs 1-2 days at 58 to finish fermentation.  When fermentation has finished, I rack to the secondary vessel, and begin lowering the temperature over 72 hours.  In the first 24 hours I drop it to 50 F, in the second, 40 F, the third day I drop it to the final lagering temperature of 28-29 F.  Lager for 3-5 weeks depending on gravity of the beer.  For high gravity lagers, I double the fermentation times below 50 F.

Decoction mashes can be fun if you want to brew old-school, but are generally unnecessary with modern malts, unless you have unusually low enzyme content in your mash.  Heffeweizens can benefit from a single or double decoction because of the lower enzyme wheat malt as well as the high protein/glucan content that makes sparging an all-day event.