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Old 03-14-2006, 11:03 PM   #1
sjtravis
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Default Ale yeast for Lager Yeast

I want to make a lager, but i don't have the temperature required. What kind of taste differences can I expect if I use ale yeast instead of lager yeast.
Thanks,
Steve

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Old 03-14-2006, 11:08 PM   #2
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It depends on many factors, like the type of ale yeast, the temp. that it ferments at and the ingredients. All that being said, in general you will get a little more fruity character from an ale yeast. Think of a cream ale or a golden ale and that will get you in the ball park.

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Old 03-15-2006, 02:52 AM   #3
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I've been told that for lager recipies WLp001 California ale yeast works well.

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Old 03-15-2006, 02:59 AM   #4
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I also like 1007 Wyeast.

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Old 03-15-2006, 03:15 AM   #5
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You can make perfectly acceptable "yellow beer" with most ale yeasts, like Cooper's, Morgan's, Safale, etc. It won't have the characteristic light smooth (grainy? clear?) taste of a real lager, but it'll still be damn drinkable. If you can't control your fermentation to the coolness that lager yeasts require, just run an ale yeast and go for it.

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Old 03-15-2006, 01:13 PM   #6
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I guess this is a follow up question for this thread....

I've been considering trying this, trying to do a lager receipe with an ale yeast. My question is, for anyone who has done this method: how long of a time would be good in the secondary? I know the ale yeast work faster since they are at higher temps, so would it be the usual two weeks? Or is it better to the beer go longer similar to a lagering period, even though the yeast work faster?

I guess one more question: what kind of lagers have you tried this on and how were the results? (Eg: a lighter colored lager vs. an okotberfest vs. a black lager).

Input is much appreciated as there are people in my family that really like those beers, as do I, but I just don't have the environment or resources to make lager conditions possible.

Thanks!

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Old 03-15-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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Here's what my HBS guy told me about doing lagers with ale yeast...

Go mostly by temperature, picking whichever of these three best matches your temp. range:

1338 European Ale Yeast. From Wissenschaftliche in Munich. Full-bodied complex strain finishing very malty. Produces a dense, rocky head during fermentation. Apparent attenuation: 67-71%. Flocculation: high. Optimum temp: 62°-72° F

1007 German Ale Yeast. Ferments dry and crisp, leaving a complex but mild flavor. Produces an extremely rocky head and ferments well down to 55° F. Apparent attenuation: 73-77%. Flocculation: low. Optimum temp: 55°-66° F

2112 California Lager Yeast. Particularly suited for producing 19th century-style West Coast beers. Retains lager characteristics at temperatures up to 65° F, and produces malty, brilliantly-clear beers. Apparent attenuation: 67-71%. Flocculation: high. Optimum temp: 58°-68° F

I was specifically asking about Octoberfest, and he said the European Ale was probably the best choice because it makes a very malty brew.

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Old 03-15-2006, 06:49 PM   #8
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Just curious if you ended up making the Oktober Fest with that european ale yeast? How did it turn out? Do you remember how long/what temps you the beer in the secondary? If you kept it in a secondary for very long.....any problems with carbonation?

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Old 03-15-2006, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwmgdman
Just curious if you ended up making the Oktober Fest with that european ale yeast? How did it turn out? Do you remember how long/what temps you the beer in the secondary? If you kept it in a secondary for very long.....any problems with carbonation?
I didn't but I'm still considerring it. I figure since I can't truly lager, there's no particular rush to brew it in March as is traditional.
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:50 AM   #10
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If you use lager yeast but ferment at ale temps then you'll have a california common beer.. or a "steam beer" (anchor brewing own's the name). They can be quite tasty.

My suggestion is to just use the lager ingredients with a clean tasting ale yeast. Danstar nottingham dry yeast is, in my experience, a very clean tasting yeast and it is much cheaper than liquid strains though every bit as good. If you want to use a liquid variety for some reason then the east california ale yeast is also a very clean, low ester yeast.

The cream ale I made a while back was probably one of my favorite beers - a session brew like the mass market sud water but with a good beer taste.. it was a real "lawn mower" brew. You can make yellow fizz beer easily with an ale.

As for aging, generally the longer you age it the better as long as you haven't oxidized the beer. Lighter beers like the one you're planning won't benefit as much from aging as a stout or porter but I find a good month or three to affect the beer's taste in a very positive way.

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