Author Topic: Oktoberfest style without lagering???  (Read 980 times)

Offline plowhorse33

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« on: July 20, 2014, 01:34:08 PM »
Hi all. I was just curious if anyone had any info on doing an Oktoberfest style of beer for someone who does not have ability to lager. and if someone has that info, for a 5-gallon batch... Thanks much!

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13475
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 01:37:20 PM »
Sure, just make it and don't lager...although if you're gonna make it as a lager you'll need to ferment cold, too.  Without lagering, you'll lose a lot of the crispness that's a hallmark of the style.  Whether or not that matters is up to you.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3894
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 08:56:11 PM »
You can always lager in the bottles after they're carbonated. How cool can you maintain your fermentation temps?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1572
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 04:28:54 AM »
For alternative lagering methods, try a swamp cooler with rotating ice bottles a couple times a day or use a big cooler sitting on end with ice bottles rotated in the same manner. 
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline beersk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 06:59:03 AM »
You can always lager in the bottles after they're carbonated. How cool can you maintain your fermentation temps?
I have a friend who does this, it works pretty well. Perhaps not ideal, but it still produces pretty good lagers.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Jesse

Offline braufessor

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 08:01:29 AM »
Regardless or what you brew, you are going to probably need the ability to keep some reasonable fermentation temperatures.

If you are going for an "oktoberfest-like" beer, I would maybe suggest brewing an Alt...... it is a german style, malty beer that you could scale the hops back on just a bit and it would get you that "type" of beer.  It is fermented with ale yeast which gives you a bit more flexibility on temperature.  (German Ale Yeast is a good one for this)

Another option is to brew a "mocktoberfest"..... basically a festbier/oktoberfest grainbill, but use something like german ale yeast, or a kolsch ale yeast.  Again - not a "true" oktoberfest, but will get you in the ballpark.

That said, these beers/yeasts are still going to benefit from cooler fermentation temps (lower 60's) and both beers are going to benefit from some conditioning at cooler temps after they are not done - but, a bit more forgiving and flexible than a lager.

Offline braufessor

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2014, 08:06:32 AM »
For some recipe ideas - check out these recipes - NHC Gold Medal Winners.  Look at categories 3A, 3B, 7A, 7C.
http://www.alternativecommutepueblo.com/2011/10/ahanhc-gold-medal-winning-recipes-for.html

Basically, check those out for grainbill/hops/water/tips/etc....... and then select a different yeast - german ale, kolsch would be two possibilities.....but you could probably go a variety of ways and others may have some better yeast ideas.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1663
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 08:46:27 AM »
I tried the whole oktoberfest with ale yeast thing once upon a time. Beer tasted very similar but lacked that crispness and that unmistakable lager mouthfeel that one gets in a lager.

If you can use the swamp cooler method or some other method to get into the low to mid 50s for a couple weeks then you could ferment with a lager strain and after bottling lager the beer in the bottle in your fridge. If you can only get into the 60s then ferment with a very clean ale strain and lager the bottles after carbonation.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Online erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3894
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:09 AM »
I think you're much better off using a lager strain that tolerates warmer temps than using an ale strain. WY2124 or Saflager 34/70 will get you closer than any ale strain, even pushing the low 60s for fermentation temps. The yeast character is distinctly different between an Alt, Koelsch or lager strain.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5596
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 09:20:52 AM »
I made a few Ofests before getting a fridge/temp controller using a tub of cool water, 2124, and swapping out frozen water bottles 2 or 3 times a day. 2124 as mentioned stays clean at warmer temps than most lager strains. If you devote the time to monitoring the tub water temp and swapping out bottles , you can make a nice beer that way.
Jon H.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13475
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 09:22:50 AM »
I think you're much better off using a lager strain that tolerates warmer temps than using an ale strain. WY2124 or Saflager 34/70 will get you closer than any ale strain, even pushing the low 60s for fermentation temps. The yeast character is distinctly different between an Alt, Koelsch or lager strain.

I disagree.  I made much better pseudoests with WY1007 than 2124.  Much cleaner.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3894
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 03:38:34 PM »
I think you're much better off using a lager strain that tolerates warmer temps than using an ale strain. WY2124 or Saflager 34/70 will get you closer than any ale strain, even pushing the low 60s for fermentation temps. The yeast character is distinctly different between an Alt, Koelsch or lager strain.

I disagree.  I made much better pseudoests with WY1007 than 2124.  Much cleaner.

I guess fermentation temps and personal preference are the deciding factor here. As clean as it may be, WY1007 still produces a characteristic fermentation profile that tastes more like an Alt than a lager to me. To me, that lager yeast fermentation character is more important.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5596
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 04:07:01 PM »
I can't claim to have used 2124 above maybe 57 or 58F back then - depending on the time of year I could keep the water in the tub from low 50s (cooler months) to upper 50s in the hot part of the year by rotating frozen bottles regularly. Today I would ferment it @ 48F, but all in all, I got pretty good results especially when I could keep temps under 55F obviously. Gotta say I do love 1007 though  -just never used it in an 'ale-toberfest'.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 05:54:31 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline ajk

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 06:38:10 PM »
I like 1007 for a Mocktoberfest unless the reason for your inability to lager is lack of time, which is often the case for me.  I say that because in my experience that yeast takes forever to clear.  I suppose you could filter or fine your way around that problem.

The best balance of clean character and clarity for me has been 1056.  That said, I don't think it brings out the malt the way 2124 does.

Offline beersk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Oktoberfest style without lagering???
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 07:45:18 PM »
I think you're much better off using a lager strain that tolerates warmer temps than using an ale strain. WY2124 or Saflager 34/70 will get you closer than any ale strain, even pushing the low 60s for fermentation temps. The yeast character is distinctly different between an Alt, Koelsch or lager strain.
Good call. If you have the option, do this. That strain is clean into the mid 60's, very versatile.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Jesse