Author Topic: Mocktoberfest?  (Read 1376 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Mocktoberfest?
« on: June 26, 2015, 10:53:59 AM »
I don't have the facilities to  keep lager yeast cool enough for proper fermentation, but do like the Ocktoberfest style. 

If I make it during the summer, I'll be fermenting it at about 72 F.

Other than using one of the standard recipes and substituting ale yeast for lager yeast does anyone have any suggestions?

I know it won't be as good as the lager recipe and fermentation, but I'm not much of a purist: if it tastes good to me, that's what counts.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 11:38:23 AM »
You can make a great Oktoberfest style ale with a  clean fermenting ale yeast. But probably not at that temp. WY1007 is the most "lager-like" ale strain I know of. But you need to keep the temp in the 50s or very low 60s. Why can you not use a "swamp cooler" or other device to control you temp better? If you could get the beer down to 56-58 or so even just for 48 hours during high krausen you would make a much tastier beer. It's really not that difficult to maintain a cold temp for a short period. After about 48 hours you can let the temp get warmer with very little ill effects.

Offline brulosopher

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 01:22:01 PM »
Here's my (m)Oktoberfest recipe:

http://brulosophy.com/recipes/moktoberfest/

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 02:07:50 PM »
I just tried out mangrove jack's workhorse. It ferments really clean and they recommend it for mock lagers, may be a good choice. I've read some people having attenuation issues with it though (it was fine for me but I also tend to brew low gravity beers).

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 02:43:22 PM »
You can make a great Oktoberfest style ale with a  clean fermenting ale yeast. But probably not at that temp. WY1007 is the most "lager-like" ale strain I know of. But you need to keep the temp in the 50s or very low 60s. Why can you not use a "swamp cooler" or other device to control you temp better? If you could get the beer down to 56-58 or so even just for 48 hours during high krausen you would make a much tastier beer. It's really not that difficult to maintain a cold temp for a short period. After about 48 hours you can let the temp get warmer with very little ill effects.

+1 to this.  I brewed an Octoberfest a couple month's back and kept it in the 50s by placing the fermenter in a rubbermaid tub of water with frozen 1 liter bottles.  I changed the bottles once or twice a day and followed Marshall's lager schedule.  It tasted damn good when I kegged it and it's now in the cool room waiting to be tapped.

Obviously, it was cooler a couple month's back but my basement ambient temp hangs out at about 68 year round.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2015, 03:04:27 PM »
You can make a great Oktoberfest style ale with a  clean fermenting ale yeast. But probably not at that temp. WY1007 is the most "lager-like" ale strain I know of. But you need to keep the temp in the 50s or very low 60s. Why can you not use a "swamp cooler" or other device to control you temp better? If you could get the beer down to 56-58 or so even just for 48 hours during high krausen you would make a much tastier beer. It's really not that difficult to maintain a cold temp for a short period. After about 48 hours you can let the temp get warmer with very little ill effects.

+1 to this.  I brewed an Octoberfest a couple month's back and kept it in the 50s by placing the fermenter in a rubbermaid tub of water with frozen 1 liter bottles.  I changed the bottles once or twice a day and followed Marshall's lager schedule.  It tasted damn good when I kegged it and it's now in the cool room waiting to be tapped.

Obviously, it was cooler a couple month's back but my basement ambient temp hangs out at about 68 year round.

Rubbermaid tub of water with frozen water bottles is the way to go if temp control is an issue. I did my first lager using this and it turned out great. It definitely take more baby sitting but works reasonably well.

I used US05 @ 60F in my first mocktoberfest and it turned out pretty well.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 03:22:54 PM »
72F is pretty warm for any yeast. I'd say if you can get it cooler, ferment with Saflager 34/70. It's a very versatile yeast, even into the 60's it ferments clean.
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Offline curtism1234

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2015, 03:37:05 PM »
I just tried out mangrove jack's workhorse. It ferments really clean and they recommend it for mock lagers, may be a good choice. I've read some people having attenuation issues with it though (it was fine for me but I also tend to brew low gravity beers).

I've tried that for the very first beer I made and liked it. My problem is it's so darn hard to find locally.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 03:52:46 PM »
72F is pretty warm for any yeast. I'd say if you can get it cooler, ferment with Saflager 34/70. It's a very versatile yeast, even into the 60's it ferments clean.

A big +1 to this. You will get much closer to your target with a temperature-tolerant lager strain like 34/70 (aka WY2124) than a clean ale yeast. I brewed quite a few Ofests using the "bucket with frozen water bottles method" and have had very good results with both 34/70 and WY2633 (Octoberfest lager blend, which is my personal favorite yeast for malty lagers).

The biggest tips I have are to pitch a large, healthy starter, and to pitch as cold as you can manage. If you can get down to the mid 40's for a pitching temp then you can make a pretty clean lager even if your fermentation temps climb near 60F (and probably higher).
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 05:00:09 PM »
72F is pretty warm for any yeast. I'd say if you can get it cooler, ferment with Saflager 34/70. It's a very versatile yeast, even into the 60's it ferments clean.

A big +1 to this. You will get much closer to your target with a temperature-tolerant lager strain like 34/70 (aka WY2124) than a clean ale yeast. I brewed quite a few Ofests using the "bucket with frozen water bottles method" and have had very good results with both 34/70 and WY2633 (Octoberfest lager blend, which is my personal favorite yeast for malty lagers).

The biggest tips I have are to pitch a large, healthy starter, and to pitch as cold as you can manage. If you can get down to the mid 40's for a pitching temp then you can make a pretty clean lager even if your fermentation temps climb near 60F (and probably higher).

I agree with all of this. 2124 ferments pretty cleanly at temps into the low 60s. It's the best option for Mocktoberfest IMO.
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Re: Mocktoberfest?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2015, 04:01:45 AM »
It depends on wher you live, of course, but a large laundry tub, fan and rotating frozen water bottles should get you where you need to be.  I am blessed with the resources to use a chest freezer with an external thermostat and my summer time is when lagers are easy - I heat ales the rest of the year with thermowell controlled bucket wraps.... Even so, you can do it.  It's just a matter of finding a way that works best for you.  Best of luck and keep on brewing!
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