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Old 08-16-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Oktoberfest on the fly?

Good Morning HBT -

The idea:
A lot of our friends are not going to make it to our local Oktoberfest this year. My wife and I have decided to have an Oktoberfest party at our house the weekend after the festival, possibly the start to a new house tradition, appropriate beer and food present.

The Recipe:
Quote:
Originally Posted by All-Grain - Bee Cave Brewery Oktoberfest Ale
Edwort's Oktoberfest Ale:

5.5# Pils
5.5# Vienna
2# Munich
0.5# Caramunich
0.5# Caravienne

Single infusion mash (1.25 qts./lb.) at 154 degrees for 90 minutes.

1 oz. Tettnang 4.4% AA at 60 min.
0.5 oz Hallertau 4.2 % AA at 30 Min
0.5 oz. Hallertau 4.2% AA at 15 min

O.G. 1.062
F.G. 1.012
The problem:
Time. We can brew on 8/19 earliest, this beer would need to be ready by 10/1 giving us 6 weeks from pitching the yeast to drinking. I have constructed a lager box over the past couple of weeks, I can ferment this beer around 60 and take it down into 50 and 40 range for a couple of weeks. My thoughts, Edwort used a koelsch yeast, though it wouldn't be traditional could I get away with this using a steam beer yeast or would I be better off cold crashing a German Ale yeast, or do you think I could use the koelsch?

Our time line looks like the following:

1 week fermentation at 60
2 weeks starting in the upper 50's dropping down into the 40's
1 week at the coldest temperature I can possibly get out of my box
.5 weekbringing the beer back up to a mid range temp
1.5 weeks in the bottle
A couple days in the fridge at serving temp

Would this be a waste of time or do you think it's possible to pull off (note we do not have the ability to keg).

Honest thoughts are appreciated, I don't want to waste a batch of beer and if the time span is just too short, we'll buy a couple cases of craft Oktoberfest and start this earlier next year. This will bum me out, but in the end I don't want to offer up skunky green beer to our friends and family.


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Old 08-16-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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I'd probably go with a clean well attenuating ale yeast (pacman if you can get it), and ferment at the low end of that yeast strain's optimum range. Dry nottingham yeast can go to 57 degrees, with good lager-like results.

Then once it's finished, no need to hold at 50 or anything like that. Just ferment out at 60 degrees (about 10 days or so), then raise up the temperature to 68 for a day or two to ensure fermentation is done and any diacetyl that is produced is cleaned up. Then rack, and keep at 34 degrees (or whatever you can) for as long as you can.

Then bottle, and give it 3 weeks at room temperature to carb up. I don't think you'll be fully carbed up in 1.5 weeks.


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Old 08-16-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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I was thinking of doing the same thing but didn't think there was enough time to pull it off. I'm curious as to what the masses say.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I don't think you'll be fully carbed up in 1.5 weeks.
Me niether

That's not a bad idea though, your suggestion. I've also contemplated easing the grain bill down slightly, taking the OG down around 1.055 then pitching a monster starter to get fermentation to blast off quickly. The thought behind this would be a weaker but still malty Oktoberfest beer, but easier on the yeast to finish out their job, possibly saving a little bit of time.

10-ish days fermentation at 60
2 day diacetyl rest once fermentation is confirmed completed
rack off yeast to secondary
Cold crash for remaining amount of time up to bottling
2 weeks in the bottle at room temp

It's tempting. Really tempting.

Worst case scenario, the beer would not be ready and I would be forced to enjoy it towards my birthday on the 27th of Oct.

*Edit* -> I just went premium. Woohoo! Highfive!
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsmith82 View Post
Me niether

That's not a bad idea though, your suggestion. I've also contemplated easing the grain bill down slightly, taking the OG down around 1.055 then pitching a monster starter to get fermentation to blast off quickly. The thought behind this would be a weaker but still malty Oktoberfest beer, but easier on the yeast to finish out their job, possibly saving a little bit of time.

10-ish days fermentation at 60
2 day diacetyl rest once fermentation is confirmed completed
rack off yeast to secondary
Cold crash for remaining amount of time up to bottling
2 weeks in the bottle at room temp

It's tempting. Really tempting.

Worst case scenario, the beer would not be ready and I would be forced to enjoy it towards my birthday on the 27th of Oct.

*Edit* -> I just went premium. Woohoo! Highfive!
I'd totally skip the "secondary" and just go right to cold conditioning. You can cold condition from the moment you rack until you bottle. But I'd still plan on three weeks in the bottle before attempting to serve it!

I make beer all the time and serve it two-three weeks after brewday. I keg, so you'll need the three weeks for carbonation, though. A pseudo-lager can easily be reading in time if you do it right!
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #6
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Well that's it then, with no risk comes no reward.

Thanks Yooper!
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:58 AM   #7
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Oh yeah :-)

Put 6 weeks on the clock!
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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1.057 down to 1.010, tastes absolutely amazing (hydro sample). I usually dont take samples but first time temp control jitters I suppose. Tommorow I'm crashing it for 2 weeks then to bottles it goes!

This beer is going to rock!


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