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Ale yeast instead of lager

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brewboy

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Has anyone used ale yeast instead of lager yeast in a recipe? I do not have the temps required for lagering, and heard about using an ale yeast like german ale yeast instead of the recommended lager yeast. Does it work? How does it differ in taste?
 

JEM Australia

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I use ale yeast almost exclusively (DCL Saf Ale) because it's always warm over here. I tried a genuine lager yeast (DCL Saf Lager) once and fermented it in a fridge, but it was difficult to tell the difference (it was when I was first starting out so I probably didn't know the difference anyway).

You probably should only use lager yeast if you can get the temperature right otherwise you won't get the proper lager characteristics.

Ale yeast gives you more complex "fruity" flavours because it ferments faster and doesn't fully ferment out the complex sugars as well, where as lager yeast is supposed to be smoother and more sulphury and ferments right out, but takes longer.
 

Janx

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Lagers have a distinctively clean flavor. Try a good pilsner like Pilsner Urquell or Lost Coast Scrimshaw and you'll see what I mean.

As mentioned above, ale yeast produces more fruity flavors, esters, etc.

Most of what makes a lager taste like a lager is the yeast and cold fermentation. So, yes, you can add ale yeast to a lager recipe. But then you'll have an ale, by definition ;)

Janx
 

ESPY

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I've seen places that sell a carboy heater that is supposed to wrap around your carboy and keep it at around 75dF. You might want to consider one of these if you want to continue using ale yeast. I think I saw it for about 20 USD.

Has anyone used one of these? Do they work?

SP
 

Janx

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We have used those heating pads designed for gardeners to keep seedlings and germinating seeds warm. That works, so I imagine something wrapped around the carboy would be even better.

But unless you're way out of temperature range, I wouldn't sweat it. We have beer fermenting all over the place. Outside, inside, wherever we can find room. If it's cold it slows, if it's hot it goes faster. I'm not saying that there isn't an ideal, but it works just fine in a wide temp range. So unless you're really particular or have a very cold fermenting environment, it's probably not necessary to heat the fermentor.
 

rightwingnut

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Yeah, I had my secondary in the tub, at about 65 degrees, slow fermentation. I moved it next to a heater, now into the 70's...faster fermentation. Science....it works!!
 

uglygoat

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my basement stays an even 50 F since i plugged up some holes. i've only made ales atm, but at lager temps. i've left my brew in the primary for ten days then racked em over to a secondary for an additional two weeks. the batch i put into bottles last night tasted really good... i was short two caps and had to sacrifice two bottles to the beer gods.... :)
 

Uncle Fat

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brewboy said:
Has anyone used ale yeast instead of lager yeast in a recipe? I do not have the temps required for lagering, and heard about using an ale yeast like german ale yeast instead of the recommended lager yeast. Does it work? How does it differ in taste?

Dead Guy Ale from Rougue is a Maibock made with Ale yeast, and it's my favorite every-day drinker. Sweet and malty.... yummmmmmmm
 

Janx

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Uncle Fat said:
Dead Guy Ale from Rougue is a Maibock made with Ale yeast, and it's my favorite every-day drinker. Sweet and malty.... yummmmmmmm
Dead Guy is a DAMN good beer! Mmmm...I want one for breakfast ;)
 

DeRoux's Broux

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I use Ale yeast all the time for "lager" style recipes. I have a "Texas" Bock on tap right now that I used Whie Labs German Ale/Kolsch yeast in. Turned out pretty good. A little sweeter than I expected, but true to the ale yeast form. Just don't expect them to be like your favorite commercial beer that your cloning! :D

DeRoux's Broux
 
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