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Old 10-01-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
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Default Does lager yeast work at higher temps?

My girlfriend wants a Maibock, so I was looking at the Elementary penguin Maibock in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. It says to use lager yeast, but "if you can't ferment at low temps, around 70 is ok." Is this right? I thought that lager yeasts only really did their thing around 50 degrees (depending on the yeast).

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Old 10-01-2008, 06:38 AM   #2
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anchor steam beer uses lager yeast at ale temps.....might fine beer if i do say so myself.

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Old 10-01-2008, 07:15 AM   #3
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If you're going to do it around 70º, just use an ale yeast.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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Charlie Pap... damn, I'm not going to go look up how to spell his name, you know who I mean, he reportedly "lagered" at room temp under his sink for years with satisfactory results. White Labs San Francisco Lager Yeast reportedly lagers well at "higher" temps, though they don't quite claim to reach room temp range. I've been told that Kolsch Ale yeasts also do well at recreating lagers at warmer temps. I've got my first batch of SF Lager Yeast fermenting now, and the only Kolsch yeast I have is still in the White Labs tube in my fridge. So, I'm not speaking from real personal experience at all, just hearsay.

Worst case scenario for you is that you end up with beer. Maybe not lager, but beer, and an interesting experience/experiment while you're at it, so I say go for it.

I'm planning on boiling up a 10 gallon batch, separating it, and doing a head-to-head comparison of the SF Lager and Kolsch yeasts. Some day after I convince SWMBO to let me get a second fridge to lager in, I'll have to do a head to head between on of those yeasts, and a real lager, but that isn't going to happen any time soon.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:21 AM   #5
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If I were going to try to make a maibock without lager temperatures, I'd skip the lager yeast and go with a clean neutral ale yeast, and try to get as close to 60 degrees as possible. Maybe nottingham yeast at 60 degrees would give a fairly clean profile.

I think lager yeast at ale temperatures taste really bad. In the case of steam beer, I used the California Common strain, and fermented at 60 or so. That still was not exactly lager-like.

One of the reasons a maibock is so "clean" and malty is because of the lager yeast and the lagering time. If you can't do that, you can still make a nice beer but it definitely won't be a Maibock.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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Charlie used his own strain of yeast, "Cry Havoc." It has the ability to ferment at lager or ale temps maintaining good lager characteristics. Northern Brewer sells it. I think Wyeast makes it, or White Labs.
Use Nottingham or US-05. Both really clean but still not lager like.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:25 PM   #7
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Two packages of US-05 or a big starter of Kolsch or Alt yeast will give you a lager-like beer at ale temps. I'd go with the Kolsch or Alt for a Maibock to get the German character. Ferment as close to 60*F as you can. 5# of ice twice a day in a big bucket will do the job.

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