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Old 03-29-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
madbird1977
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Default octoberfest to lager or ale???

So bought the Octoberfest kit and it one where I can lager or ale....I guess its all about what temp I ferment at.
Question is whats best? I've only done ales at room temp so far. I can put it in the garage for now as its still in the 40s here in wi.
Tbd for your assistance.

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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I don't know about what's "best", but Oktoberfests are traditionally lagers, and if you brew it as an ale it won't taste the same. Since you have the capability right now, I'd use the lager yeast.

Make sure you pitch a big ol' starter (probably a gallon) too. That's where most people get in trouble on their first lager.

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Well, the yeast generally determines if it is a lager or ale. So, what kind of yeast is in the kit? Saflager S-23? S-05?

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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I believe it was a lager yeast, it was liquid and an Activator kind...see still a newbie.

Anyways, I will likely go with the lager method.

So here's my plan, pls shoot holes where needed or advise.

1. Move to garage at roughly a temp of ~50f for 3 weeks
2. Don't move to 2ndary carboy, and let it sit in the primary for another month in a fridge for a month at about ~40f
3. Keg after those 7 weeks, then move to keg and set the PSI to 10-12 and let it sit for another week.
4. Week 8-9, pour a few and celebrate a delicious brew
5. Make plans for rolling another batch out later this fall with tweaks if needed.

thanks in advance for any more help/advice.

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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If you can, lager...

- Make a starter according to http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html be sure to set the parameters correctly you'd need 3.6 vials of lager yeast for a 5 gal, 1050 beer. Or, you'd need 2 vials in a 3L starter. Since you're new, consider buying the 3 vials (you could get by with 3 but may want to go for 4...up to you).

- brew it...
- chill it to as close to 50 degrees as you can get it without taking too long. If it's 40 degrees outside, then your groundwater is ~ 32 degrees? Have a chiller? Snowbanks? Try to cover the wort while chilling if you don't have a chiller (many cover while usign a chiller too). I have a 3/8", 25' copper coil as a chiller. My groundwater is ~45 degrees. I can chill 5 gal from 212 to 70 degrees in 15 minutes (or so). I (very gently) get a whirlpool going using my spoon. Be careful not to agitate/aerate the wort, but moving the wort past the chiller will chill it down faster.
- drain to your sanitized (I like StarSan) fermenter, cover with a sanitized cover and chill further to ~50 degrees.
- pitch your yeast and cover with a sanitized bung with blow-off (preferred due to aggressive fermentation)

- I rarely ever 2ndary... I'd let it ferment in the primary for a month, rack to the keg, put it in the fridge at 32 degrees and let it sit for another month. Force carbonate at your required PSI and enjoy after the requisite amount of time has passed to carbonate.

Now, you mentioned the garage being ~50 degrees... is it stable? Guessing not...temperature fluctuations are bad. Couple options, do you have a large tub of water to put the fermenter into? The larger water mass will reduce temp fluctuations from day to night.

If you can't get stable, 50 degree storage, consider doing it as a yeast and ferment inside in a stable environment.

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FensterBos View Post
Well, the yeast generally determines if it is a lager or ale. So, what kind of yeast is in the kit? Saflager S-23? S-05?
I bought an oktoberfest kit that came with lager yeast , but wiith instructions on how to brew it either way. It just won't be ideal if you do it like an ale.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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Okay, I actually emptied out my fridge in the bar and the 6.5 carboy with Octfest is a perfect fit. I have it set for a constant ~44f. I just brewed it up on Saturday, 3/26.

My question is it that too warm/cold ...what temp should I have it at?

Also, how long should I leave it at that temp and do I need to move it to a lower temp later?

Its bubbling about every couple of seconds so its still rocking.

I figured this would be better than leaving it in the garage where it was about 58f and had swings in temp at night/day.

Thanks again for you advice.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:45 PM   #8
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I'd aim for ~50 degrees if able

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by madbird1977 View Post
Okay, I actually emptied out my fridge in the bar and the 6.5 carboy with Octfest is a perfect fit. I have it set for a constant ~44f. I just brewed it up on Saturday, 3/26.

My question is it that too warm/cold ...what temp should I have it at?

I'm assuming you confirmed it was a lager yeast that came with the kit. 44F is fine. I use 50F for primary fermentation of lagers, but I believe most lager yeasts, if not all of them, will ferment at that temp

Also, how long should I leave it at that temp and do I need to move it to a lower temp later?

For a octoberfest, you need to do a diacetyl rest. When airlock activity slow down to a bubbling per minute or so, move your carboy to room temp (less than 70F ideally) and let it rest for 48 hours

Its bubbling about every couple of seconds so its still rocking.

I figured this would be better than leaving it in the garage where it was about 58f and had swings in temp at night/day.

Thanks again for you advice.
After the diacetyl rest, you have to lager it at temps 10F lower than primary. Have you got another carboy?
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input, I'm going to move it to 50f as the lower I go I could kill the yeast I have learned.

I asked a brewing buddy and he said about the same exact thing as indyking and let me know about the diacetyl rest. Man, the instructions that came with the kit are way off, really disappointed in that.

Anyways, I do have a few other carboys, so I can use 1 after the diacetyl rest so move it to a 2ndary fermenter and let it rest a couple of months in there.

Anything else I may be missing?

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