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CaptChet 12-10-2010 11:21 AM

First Brew but have a few questions
Ok I made my first home brew. I chose an extract/specialty grain recipe(kit) from my local HBS. This is where I am a little confused/concerned. My wife really likes Oktoberfest styles of beer. The co-owner of the HBS assured me that the recipe they box, in store, uses Lager yeast but ferments at Ale temps. The yeast was Saflager-33. The included instructions say to chill wort to 68 deg F and pitch yeast and ferment @ same for 7-10 and then rack to secondary.

1. Does this seem OK? On the back of the yeast packet it said to ferment between 51-59 deg F. So now I am a little worried. Maybe I should just stuck to an all extract brew for the first time. But I have done an extensive amount of reading and research on HB'ing and felt I had a basic grasp.

2. Also the instructions called for an est OG of 1.055, my reading, adjusted for temp was 1.033. Is their something wrong or will this be OK?

Thanks for any help, I would hate to close the Lost Meadow Home Brewery before it opens. lol


CaptChet 12-10-2010 11:24 AM

PS - As of now (10 hrs after pitching yeast) It looks to have a nice trub and about 1/4" Krausen with a bubble or two moving through the lock every now and again.

Calder 12-10-2010 12:29 PM

Keep it as cool as you can to get as clean a ferment as possible.

CaptChet 12-10-2010 01:26 PM

Ok. I understand that lagers ferment at cooler temps. but is the info I got at the HBS correct in saying that this Oktoberfest ferments at ale temps when the yeast(lager) packet says 51-59 deg F?

Do I stay with the 68 or go cooler?

ATM 12hrs after pitching, its approx. 68 deg with a bubble every 3-5 secs and some churning action going on. Krausen still around 1/4 "

Patirck 12-10-2010 01:43 PM

A few things:

It looks like you have beer. You mixed the ingredients, you have some fermentation going on so everything worked.

How much extract to how many gallons of wort? It could be that you didn't read the hydrometer corrrectly. If the recipe says it will be 1.055 and your using extract, unless you used the wrong amount of extract your probably at 1.055ish. There are calculators online (I use beercaculator.hopville.com) that will tell you how much gravity you get from what kind of fermenable.

I have never used that yeast before so I'll let someone else chime in on the ferm temp question.

Bottom line is that you have beer fermenting now. If the temp is wrong, the flavor will be different from what is expected - and maybe not that different - it will still be beer.

Relax and have a home brew! Oh - that's right, your still a few weeks away;)

CaptChet 12-10-2010 01:54 PM

The recipe called for an initial wort of 2.5 gal h20 with 3.3 lbs. Munich LME, 3.3 lbs Pilsen LME and 1lb. Pilsen Light dry DME. Then topped off to 5 gal after transfer to fermenter. All ingredients came in a kit boxed up by the HBS.

Calder 12-10-2010 04:01 PM

I calculate 1.057

ISLAGI 12-10-2010 04:14 PM

Odds are, unless you beat the stuffing out of the wort after topping off, you just got a sample from the weak part of the solution. It is basically impossible to be off on the efficiency using extract, as long as you have your volumes right.

I second the suggestion to ferment as cool as possible. You will still have beer, but it will likely not have the flavor profile you are looking for in an Oktoberfest.

Do you have a fridge or somewhere cool (around 35F) to place a secondary fermenter? If so, after a couple of weeks at 68, rack it into a secondary fermenter and store at 35F for 8 to 12 weeks. That might help mellow out some of the esters that are likely forming from the ferment temps.

Last thing...Are you at 68F room temperature? If so, see if you can move the bucket to somewhere a little cooler. Fermentation generates heat, so if the room temp is 68, your yeasties are probably swimming in a 72 degree bath. Most ale yeasts have a top end temp around 68, which means an ambient temp around 62-65F.


yodalegomaster 12-10-2010 05:38 PM

It's going to have lot's of "overly fruity" esters at those temps. That yeast is overly fruity anyway, It's meant to work 50 Degrees, and then it's still fruity. It's going to taste more like a Ale than a lager.

mixedbrewer 12-10-2010 05:52 PM

Is it safe-lager 33 or Safe-brew S33?

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