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Old 03-19-2008, 01:18 AM   #1
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Default Fermenting Lager Yeast at Ale Temperatures

I'm brewing a batch Saturday and want to make a lighter beer. What would happen if I used a lager yeast (Bohemian, Bavarian, or California) at Ale temps of 68-70 degrees? Or Perhaps an Ale yeast w/ a lager recipe?

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Old 03-19-2008, 02:10 AM   #2
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if you use a lager yeast at ale temps, it will be filled with unpleasant esters and likely not taste very good.

there are a couple exceptions, however, like the WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast which is considered a "hybrid" yeast and does very well at higher temperatures. I wouldn't go higher than 65, tho, and 60 is probably best.

as for using an ale yeast with a lager recipe, all that will do is change the profile. it will get the fruitiness and character of the ale yeast, but won't be as light and crisp as an ale.

if you are experimenting with trying to make a clean, crisp beer with higher temperatures, i would suggest a true Cream Ale or Steam Beer (california common.)

ideally, however, both these beers would ferment best at around 60F and you would certainly want to keep them below 65F

EDIT: For the Cream Ale, use the WLP080 Cream Ale Yeast Blend. This is a mix of lager and ale yeasts and will give it a nice, crisp flavor.

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Old 03-19-2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Death.

I think I may try to brew an Anchor Steam clone and try to find the coldest place in the house to ferment it. If I have a spare fridge, is there a switch or something I can use to get it up to lager temperatures?

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Old 03-19-2008, 01:13 PM   #4
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Biere de Garde is a style that sometimes is brewed with lager yeast at ale temps. It doesn't produce a lager, more esters/etc, but the taste can be very good. I am not sure which strains work best in this regard, but my firend made this:

"Based on the info about Bier de Gardes in Farmhouse Ales. The basemalt again dominates with some home toasted malt for complexity, and just a touch of honey malt which can easily get overpowering. I am keeping the IBUs on the low side of the style guidelines because both because the OG is also on the low end and I remember this beer being malt centered.

1 gallon, (assuming I will loose .25 gallons before blending)
2.25 lbs American Pale
3 oz Toasted Malt (toasted in a pie plate on a pizza stone)
1 oz Honey Malt
OG 1.060

20 IBUs
.125 oz German Brewer’s Gold @ 60 min
.05 oz Strissespalt @ 15 min
.05 oz Spalt @ 15 min
.05 oz Czech Saaz @ 15 min

90 minute, “standard” boil.

White Labs German Lager fermented in the low 60s for 2 weeks followed by a month or so of lagering" -MikeT(madfermentationist.blogspot.com)

And it tasted verrrry good. Quite a unique taste, from the German lager strain at low ale temps. So it is possible, and certainly not without precedent. I don't have Farmhouse Ales in front of me, but it lists 3 lager strains to use at ale temps to make a biere de garde.

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Old 03-26-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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Default Oktoberfest with ale yeast?

I am looking to make an Oktoberfest, but I do not have the facility to lager...can I still make a good Oktoberfest using an ale yeast? If so, what would you recommend?

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Old 03-26-2008, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nl724
I am looking to make an Oktoberfest, but I do not have the facility to lager...can I still make a good Oktoberfest using an ale yeast? If so, what would you recommend?
I haven't made it myself, but I've been thinking about making a partial mash of BierMuncher's Oktoberfast (which uses ale yeast) later this year.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nl724
I am looking to make an Oktoberfest, but I do not have the facility to lager...can I still make a good Oktoberfest using an ale yeast? If so, what would you recommend?
I am brewing a Schwartzbier right now using a Koelsch yeast (White Labs). From what I understand the Koelsch strain has Lager characteristics while still fermenting at Ale temps. It does need a cold crash though to get the yeast out of suspension. I am going to try some clearing agents to see how it works since I don't have any lagering/refrigeration facilities either (and I'm in FL).

I am going to rack my Oktoberfest on this yeast cake when I brew either this weekend or next.

-Ron
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:23 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=DeathBrewer;603979]if you use a lager yeast at ale temps, it will be filled with unpleasant esters and likely not taste very good.

what do esters taste like?

Also when is a 'cold crash' appropriate?

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Old 10-10-2009, 07:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevorino View Post
What would happen if I used a lager yeast (Bohemian, Bavarian, or California) at Ale temps of 68-70 degrees?
Most lager strains kick off a lot of diacetyl at temperatures > 55F. Reportedly, New Belgium makes 1554 with a lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures (low 60's).
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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I've had good results over the years using lager yeasts at ale temps. Recently I brewed an Oktoberfest with the WL German Lager yeast, lagering with it and then turned around and brewed a porter onto the yeast cake and left it about 65-70. And the porter turned out just fine.

As far as brewing an Oktoberfest with an ale yeast, I wouldn't. I'd go ahead and use the German lager yeast or whatever you like and just brew it at room temps. Just try and keep it around 70F or under. There will be additional esthers produced, but once you keg or bottle and stick it in the fridge for awhile, those will dissapate.

With that said, expect the Oktoberfest to be not as clean and crisp as a trully lagered one. But I've used this over the years and it's yeilded very good beers.

Cheers

~r~

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