Author Topic: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)  (Read 10618 times)

Offline timmyr

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Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« on: August 09, 2010, 03:09:26 AM »
Hmph. At 4-weeks, both 5-gal batches of a 1.059 OG Oktoberfest have settled at 1.020. 66% apparent attenuation. Both pitches were on target (one WLP820, one WLP833) and a little on the high side for the Mr Malty calculator and I oxygenated both worts for about a minute well prior to pitching then just after pitching. Both taste good (but will improve I assume as they cold condition).

I know I could post all the mash details, etc., but wondered if anyone had experience with theses yeast strains/lagers and whether they trickle down those last 3-4 points over 4-6 weeks of lagering?
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Timmy

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Offline wingnut

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 03:40:39 AM »
Timmyr,  I have not had any problems with either yeast attenuating down.  Yes, tweaking the mash schedule will have an effect on how low you can go with attenuation, but as long as you are following a normal  Oktoberfest recipe, you should have no issues getting the listed attenuation.

In my process, as fermentation begins to wind down, I warm the beer up to 65F.  This encourages the yeast to finish out the last little bits, and since all the replication is finished, there are very little off flavors in the beer.  If you did not perform this step, then maybe the yeast does not finish out the last little bit.   You may want to agitate the yeast a bit at a warmer temperature and see if you can get the last few percentage points to drop down.  However, if your beer tastes OK, you may just want to let it go.

The other thing I do,  with this yeast (and this is well after the beer has reached final attenuation, so this will not directly help your problem), is after the fermentation is done, I swirl the carboy gently or lift and twist the bucket a few times.  Not a lot, but enough to get some of the CO2 to bubble a bit.   I have found that the two yeast you have selected, provide a bit more sulfur then I like, and I have found that by having a little more CO2 off gas, this scrubs the extra sulfur out as well.

Good luck, but I am afraid it sounds like you have a stuck fermentation, but not a very serious one! 
-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline timmyr

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 03:46:00 AM »
Thnx...it is not a serious stuck ferment.  I did raise to 62F for 4 days and fermented the rest of the time at 50F.  I sort of question my hydrometer (maybe some CO2 in solutiuon???), because it does not taste overly sweet, but who knows how well calibrated my palate is.  It is now sitting at 36F racked to kegs for lagering.  I can pitch more yeast or raise the temp if needed I suppose.
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Timmy

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Offline animaldoc

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 09:52:53 PM »
Try taking a small sample and keep it at warm room temperature for a few days and see if it drops -- sort of a forced fermentation to determine fermentability of your wort.  If it doesn't change, you're pretty much done and should look at your mash parameters as a potential cause.

I think it's more likely mash related as you got similar numbers with 2 different yeasts.

-- Scott

Offline timmyr

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 02:34:37 AM »
Try taking a small sample and keep it at warm room temperature for a few days and see if it drops -- sort of a forced fermentation to determine fermentability of your wort.  If it doesn't change, you're pretty much done and should look at your mash parameters as a potential cause.

I think it's more likely mash related as you got similar numbers with 2 different yeasts.

-- Scott

Likewise, but suprising, since I started at 120F and rested for about 15-20 min then ramped up to 152F over 30 min or so, and held.  I expected a REALLY fermentable wort...I better check my notes.  The weird thing is it does not taste sweet at all like I'd expect a 1.020 FG beer.  The WLP833 is really dry-tasting.  After re-checking my hydrometer, I think the gravities are really 1.019 (WLP820) and 1.018 (WLP833)
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Timmy

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Offline timmyr

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 12:31:25 PM »
Last night I gave the kegs a good shake and raised temp to 55F.  Hoping to knock it down 4 more points.
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Timmy

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Offline lazydog79

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 05:56:59 PM »
I brewed a 'Fest w/ 820 in June.  Trickling is the word for my fermentation.  I have finally gotten it down to 1.026.  I haven't heard great things about this yeast, but it's what JZ used in Classic Styles.  The consensus I have gotten from several sources is that it will make a good 'Fest if you have the patience and skills to get it to do its job.  Me, I think I'm going to try Saflager 34/70 next time around.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 06:53:45 PM »
I didn't like the Oktoberfest strain; I found it too sulfury, but I dont like that flavor much in my beer.  On the other hand, the Ayinger strain is one of my favorites.  Not that surprising, since I like most Ayinger beers.  I make my Oktoberfest with the bock yeast, not the oktoberfest yeast; those are just the marketing names for the yeast. Ignore those and look at where they originated, and how they perform.

Wort composition plays a bigger factor in attenuation than yeast strain.  Pitch enough yeast, follow good fermentation practices, keep the yeast in their preferred environment, and most yeast will attenuate about the same.

If your beer tastes dry (lack of residual sweetness) then it is likely fully attenuated. Dry-but-malty is the impression you want in many of the German styles. If it tastes good for the style, don't worry about the FG reading too much.

If you want it to finish lower, mash more in the mid-140s and start with a lower gravity. Both of those would help. I often make German beers with a 145 rest followed by a 158 rest; the first so it attenuates, and the second so that it has some body. I wouldn't expect a 152 rest to give you super-attenuating wort; that's an average temperature.

Are you accounting for temperature when taking hydrometer readings? Is it calibrated? Did you shake the CO2 out of solution? Each of those could be messing with your reading.  For that matter, are your thermometers calibrated, and did you stir the mash enough that you had consistent temperatures throughout the mash tun? Those could have affected your mash, and hence your expectations.

But when in doubt, use your palate.  Sounds like your beer is good, so that should be enough.  Let it finish lagering, then go drink it.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline timmyr

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 01:12:36 AM »
Gordon - it was a pleasure to briefly meet you at NHC (at the BN/NB Anniversary Party I believe) and thanks for the detailed response.

So far,

- I do not like 820 either, but really do like the 833 (Bock)
- The beer does seem to taste dry, but I have a lack of trust w/rt my palate, I'll enter it in competition and get some objective feedback
- OG 1.059 (overshot target by 4 points) and doughed in to hit 122F.  From there I did a constant recirculation and direct-fired my tun to raise to 152F.  That took about 20 min I think..I anticipated a pretty fermentable wort (JZ's recipe) but this is my first lager
- I am correcting all hydrometer readings for temp and recalibrated in distilled water to double-check my readings.  I think my hydrometer may read about a point or so high, but that could be just recalibrating my eyeball


Thanks for the detailed feedback and congrats on your success at NHC...awesome. 

Hopefully I pick up some tips in Chicago this Fall.  I was the lucky AHA Siebel winner...and that was my first NHC attendance  :o  Maybe I can send you a couple bottles for comparison.

Cheers,

Timmy
Cheers,

Timmy

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 01:22:26 AM »
See?  Help people out and good things happen in return.

Sure, send me a couple and I'll let you know what I think.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline timmyr

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 02:07:52 AM »
See?  Help people out and good things happen in return.

Sure, send me a couple and I'll let you know what I think.

Cool man.  No doubt...did not think I'd even make it when I booked the hotel last year while deployed.  Ended up rallying a buddy of mine who shares my love for good beer to join me and had a great 5-days (arrived on Tuesday)

I'll let you know when I have in in some bottles...can't pass up your offer or evaluation.
Cheers,

Timmy

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Offline lazydog79

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 02:23:07 PM »
I didn't like the Oktoberfest strain; I found it too sulfury, but I dont like that flavor much in my beer.  On the other hand, the Ayinger strain is one of my favorites.  Not that surprising, since I like most Ayinger beers.  I make my Oktoberfest with the bock yeast, not the oktoberfest yeast; those are just the marketing names for the yeast. Ignore those and look at where they originated, and how they perform.

Wort composition plays a bigger factor in attenuation than yeast strain.  Pitch enough yeast, follow good fermentation practices, keep the yeast in their preferred environment, and most yeast will attenuate about the same.

If your beer tastes dry (lack of residual sweetness) then it is likely fully attenuated. Dry-but-malty is the impression you want in many of the German styles. If it tastes good for the style, don't worry about the FG reading too much.

If you want it to finish lower, mash more in the mid-140s and start with a lower gravity. Both of those would help. I often make German beers with a 145 rest followed by a 158 rest; the first so it attenuates, and the second so that it has some body. I wouldn't expect a 152 rest to give you super-attenuating wort; that's an average temperature.

But when in doubt, use your palate.  Sounds like your beer is good, so that should be enough.  Let it finish lagering, then go drink it.

As always, great insights Gordon!  Good point about the palate.  I thought mine still tasted a little sweet, but not as sweet as you would expect. 1.026 to taste.  I will admit part of my problem could be my attempt at a single decoctition I did.  The finished product is where the rubber meets the road!

What is the Ayinger strain sold under with Whit Labs/Wyeast?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 02:39:18 PM »
Quote
What is the Ayinger strain sold under with Whit Labs/Wyeast?

Sorry, I should have been clearer. The OP asked about WLP833 German Bock yeast -- that's the Ayinger strain; I know that for a fact.

I don't know if there is a Wyeast equivalent.  I've seen some data online that says WY2487 is the same, but without any proof.  Others have said this is from Hurlimann or Eggenberg, which might fit better given how some have described its profile.

Anyhow, I would just skip trying to find a Wyeast equivalent and use the White Labs version.  It's known, and it works.  Even with common heritage, the yeast strains can be different when obtained from different suppliers.  I can't get the White Labs 530 yeast to act the same as Wyeast 3787, for instance.  So I just use the Wyeast version.

You can try a lot of different yeasts, but I think it's probably more useful for you to use a smaller subset of them repeatedly so you can learn their characteristics and how they respond to different fermentation conditions.  Your goal should be a predictable outcome, so if you understand how the yeast performs, you'll be in a better position to do this.  For me, I have WLP833 picked as my "malty German lager" strain, but have used it in other styles where I want that same character (CAP, for instance).
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 03:04:49 PM »
I recently made an Ofest using WLP830 with very good results (OG=1.052).

I used a single infusion mash at 152F and fermented at 48F.  It finished at 1.010 (80.7%attenuation).  The beer has a smooth medium body with a slight creaminess which I was surprised to find knowing it attenuated as much as it did.  This is a 2nd generation of WLP830. It also had a very nice complex malt and a firm bitterness with a low background hop flavor.  I really like the performance of this yeast in a fest bier.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 03:18:24 PM by bluesman »
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Offline blatz

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Re: Oktoberfest Gravity (WLP820/WLP833)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 03:10:48 PM »
Anyhow, I would just skip trying to find a Wyeast equivalent and use the White Labs version. 

I think Hellabock (WY2487) is a seasonal (or VSS) release anyhow so its harder to find. 

Had many fantastic beers with 833, though I use 830 exclusively. Hard to go wrong with either of those.
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