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Old 08-12-2009, 12:32 AM   #1

I recently brewed an Oktoberfest, 7-26-09. I used Wyeast California Lager yeast. At the time I brewed it, I didn't have a lager setup, but when my A/C is running, my basement stays at a consistant 65 degrees. To me, this was pushing it, even though this yeast is good up to 68.

The first few days it was at around 72 until I turned the air on. Since then it's been constant. The airlock stopped bubbling about a week ago ( I know...don't trust it). I haven't opened it up because I'm almost positive it shouldn't be done yet.

Anyone have experience with this yeast strain? Is it a fast finisher because of the high temps?

Also, what should I do if it is finished? I'm assuming it needs a diacetyl rest at about 75 degrees, but does it need to be cold conditioned at 35 like normal lagers? I guess what's confusing me is the type of yeast I used. Do I use it like a lager yeast, or like an ale? This is my first lager attempt, so I'm just trying to sort out what I need to prepare for in the next few weeks as I let it sit (I won't be moving it for at least another two weeks).

Any comments are appreciated.

He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven.

Another HERMS rig...

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Old 08-12-2009, 01:42 AM   #2
SavageSteve's Avatar
Sep 2007
Posts: 987
Liked 9 Times on 6 Posts

The fermentation is most likely done or very nearly done. I don't have experience with that specific yeast, but it's very reasonable for a beer to be done fermenting in a week or less. In general, higher temperatures produce faster fermentations.

If it is finished, then it's too late for a diacetyl rest, but I don't think this yeast even needs one. Warmer temperatures help the yeast clear up the diacetyl they produce. It is a lager yeast even though it ferments at higher temperatures than other lager yeasts.

Your beer will definitely benefit from lagering at ~34 deg. F. for a few months. It will clarify and some of the harsher tasting elements (if any) will fade away and you'll be left with a brilliantly clear, smooth, malty Oktoberfest.

In fact, all beers benefit from cold conditioning (lagering), even ones made with ale yeast.

On Deck: Jamil's Vanilla Robust Porter
Fermenting: Orange Blossom Mead
Kegs: Element 56 Pale Ale, Ron's Belgian Blonde, Summer'n Saison, Furloughktoberfest '09, Grateful Pale Ale, Sam Adams Cream Stout Clone, EdWort's Apfelwein
Planning: n/a

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