Author Topic: Oktoberfest 2011  (Read 19263 times)

Offline bluesman

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #75 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!
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Offline gmac

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #76 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.  

Offline bluesman

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #77 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.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #78 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!  :) 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 04:40:36 PM by Beer Monger »
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #79 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.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #80 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.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #81 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!  :)
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #82 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?    
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Offline gmac

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #83 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.













Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #84 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.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #85 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.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #86 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. 
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #87 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.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #88 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.
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Offline denny

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Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« Reply #89 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.
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