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Old 07-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Oktoberfast recipe - critique please

New to the forum but have been home brewing/wine making off and on for the better part of a decade. For brews, typically I just do extract recipe kits and have been satisfied with them. Thinking about branching out a smidgen. This is the recipe from Ritebrew's oktoberfest kit:

3.3lbs Munich LME 60 minute boil
4lbs Pilsen Light DME 60 minute boil
1oz Hallertau hops 60 minute boil
Saflager W34/70 dry yeast Ferment at 54F, then lager

Love the simplicity of it minus the fact I can't lager right now. So thinking of buying the ingredients and using an ale yeast and fermenting in a water bath w/ ice bottles to keep temps down to around 60 or so for primary fermentation (ale pail). Then rack to secondary glass at 66 F for a couple weeks. Typically do a 5.5 gallon boil, then top off with minimal water to get to desired SG.

What yeast though? Usually only do dry yeasts and have never done a starter. Would like to maintain this for simplicity at this time.

US-05

S-04 (called for in this this oktoberfast)

Nottingham

Something else?

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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this is very close to my personal octoberfest recipe you are using a pound more pilsner which I want to try this winter myself also I add another oz of hallertau at 20 min. if your willing to use a smack-pack of yeast wyeast 1007 german ale yeast is the best for making fake lagers works 55-65 degrees so your plan should be fine smack-pacs are easy to use when your getting ready to brew get it out of the fridge give it a smack to break the little packet of yeast inside the big bag of starter by the time your done brewing the whole thing will have swollen tear the bag open and pour it in the primary

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 AM   #3
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I did not realize that the smack packs replace starters. Thanks, I'll have to dig in some more on this option.

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Old 08-26-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Update if anyone is interested. I ordered the malt, hops, and yeast. Got a smack pack of 1007. Also added a 1/2 lb of carapils to steep with. My latest batches have had poor head retention (even with clean glasses that were rinsed in cold water immediately before pouring the beer in). Adding the carapils to see if it helps.

Planning on brewing this week and will try to hold temps at 55-60 for the first week. After that it'll sit at 68 (room temp in basement) for a number of weeks before bottling.

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Old 08-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WI_Wino View Post
I did not realize that the smack packs replace starters. Thanks, I'll have to dig in some more on this option.
I know you posted this a while ago, but I just now saw it.

Smack packs do NOT replace starters! They may have enough yeast to ferment a beer that is around 1.040, but for a higher OG than that a starter should be made, especially if the fermentation will be a cool fermentation.

Consult yeastcalc.com or mrmalty.com for the proper amount of yeast- it may be two or three packages without a starter!
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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I could be mistaken, but I don't think smack packs necessarily eliminate the need for a starter. Probably best to find a yeast calculator online and use the date on your smack pack to see how much viable yeast you have and then see what kind of a starter you need. Just my $0.02

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Old 08-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Ok, so the current plan is to brew on Sunday evening/Monday. I'm going to make the starter on Friday evening, ferment starter at 68 F ambient, chill it while brewing to about 55 or so.

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Old 08-31-2013, 03:21 AM   #8
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Got the starter rocking after kiddo went to bed. Plan is to brew Sunday or Monday depending when this heatwave breaks!

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:07 AM   #9
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So I brewed this back on 9/2. OG after boil was 1.062. Just racked to secondary tonight. SG at 1.020 and still super cloudy, grrr. I had it in a water bath, temp in low 60s. Let it come up to room temp, about 68, over the last couple days. Here's hoping it walks down those last couple of points.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:15 AM   #10
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This sounds like a stuck fermentation. If it stays at 1.020 for a few days then you'll have to look at some options to address that.
I think the most common one suggested on this site is to pitch another packet of yeast. I'd go with a neutral yeast like saf-05 or Notty.

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