Octoberfest tastes yeasty

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Hello all, I hope you can help me diagnose an issue with my Octoberfest. I’ve brewed this beer multie times but this time when racking to secondary I tasted the beer and it has a yeasty fruity flavor. The only difference was that I used a liquid lager yeast and not an ale yeast. I kept it in the primary for 8 days at 65-70 degrees. I’m thinking it was too hot and I should have used an ale yeast. Anyway will these flavors mild over time or should I dump this and start again? Thanks all for feedback.
 

Bassman2003

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More than likely you created fruity esters by fermenting too warm for that yeast. I would guess they are there for the duration but might mellow with age. While it is done a lot, I would stay warm=ale cold=lager for the best results!
 

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Which lager yeast strain did you use?

If you did get yeast esters they will fade somewhat with a few weeks but I don't think they will go away.

Your fermentation profile seems weird to me. First we have the warm lager temp but a lot of us have done that successfully. Second, As I am sure you are aware, transferring to secondary has gone out of style but some folks still do it. Transferring to secondary after 8 days is pretty quick especially when you have off flavors. What's the rush? It's possible you are tasting acetaldehyde. This is often described as green apple and usually means your yeast is not done yet. They will clean this up given a little time.

I wouldn't dump it unless you really need to turn around the beer quickly or reuse the equipment. It's hard to judge a beer at just 8 days.
 

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I agree, let it work out at 65F or so in secondary for at least a couple weeks, let the yeast finish working. Then lager cold for a long time(after carbonation), it is and Oktoberfest after all. After sufficient lagering, any flavors from yeast itself will have settled out.

If your "secondary" is kegs, one way to judge if there is still yeast activity is to monitor keg pressure w gauge. When pressure has stopped going up for a few days, yeast has likely done all it is going to do.
 
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Which lager yeast strain did you use?

If you did get yeast esters they will fade somewhat with a few weeks but I don't think they will go away.

Your fermentation profile seems weird to me. First we have the warm lager temp but a lot of us have done that successfully. Second, As I am sure you are aware, transferring to secondary has gone out of style but some folks still do it. Transferring to secondary after 8 days is pretty quick especially when you have off flavors. What's the rush? It's possible you are tasting acetaldehyde. This is often described as green apple and usually means your yeast is not done yet. They will clean this up given a little time.

I wouldn't dump it unless you really need to turn around the beer quickly or reuse the equipment. It's hard to judge a beer at just 8 days.
Your right, the yeast didn’t look complete, although there was no bubbling, it was still foaming which is a sign of not being done. I usually put in secondary after a week for flavoring in this case. I’ll give it a few more weeks and taste again. I think it was German lager yeast by Wyeast. The temps on the packet were well within line of what temps I had it at. Thanks
 

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Your right, the yeast didn’t look complete, although there was no bubbling, it was still foaming which is a sign of not being done. I usually put in secondary after a week for flavoring in this case. I’ll give it a few more weeks and taste again. I think it was German lager yeast by Wyeast. The temps on the packet were well within line of what temps I had it at. Thanks
Why don't you check your brewing notes and find out exactly which yeast you used? That could help with troubleshooting
 

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And if you don't have one, a $5.00 hydrometer will go a long way to letting you know when the beer is really finished. Bubbles tell you nothing.
 

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Fermenting lagers at ale temperatures produces something known as Steam Beers.

Lagers typically ferment at 48F-50’s. Ales 60F-70’s or thereabouts.

Steam beers were done with lager yeast at ale temperatures. You created a Steam Beer.

Some people do a lot of this because they lack refrigeration for lager fermentation, just like in the 1840’s -1880’s. Some yeasts can produce fruity esters when fermenting warmer than their preferred range. Keep in mind, your carboy can heat up higher than ambient room temps during fermentation.

After bottling or kegging, let it lager out cold for 3 months, it will improve somwhat.
 
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Based off of your fermentation temperature and what you stated about the higher temps for a lager yeast, I assume it is Wyeast 2112 California Lager. But then later on you say it is a German Lager. That would make me think it is 2633 Octoberfest Lager Blend(or WLP820 Ofest/Marzen Lager). If that is the case, then you definitely stressed the yeast as their correct fermentation temperature range is 48-58F. Did you take any notes for this brew day and notes after? Detailed notes help you reproduce a good beer in the future. All the questions we are asking should have been in your notes. Wait, the temps on the smack pack? Those temps are for when you are following the directions for starting the smack pack for brew day. Those aren't fermentation temperatures, the temps on the package are to rouse the yeast and ensure proper health.

Anyways, back to your OP, chances are pretty good that most of those off flavors will stick around, but will mellow out a bit with age. Don't secondary. Just save yourself the heartache of potential infection and oxidation. Let it ride in the fermenter it started in for a full two weeks. Like, move it to a dark, warm spot in your house and forget about it for another week or two. Check gravity with a hydrometer and see where it's at. Do you have an estimated final gravity? That helps you gauge progress. Its lager yeast, so let it ride longer than you normally would, once the gravity stops dropping, you need to package it. Then let it carbonate/condition for a couple weeks and then toss it into the fridge and forget about it for a month or two, let it actually lager. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Please report back with the information we're looking for so we can better give you more accurate input to help you. Help us help you.
 
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Based off of your fermentation temperature and what you stated about the higher temps for a lager yeast, I assume it is Wyeast 2112 California Lager. But then later on you say it is a German Lager. That would make me think it is 2633 Octoberfest Lager Blend(or WLP820 Ofest/Marzen Lager). If that is the case, then you definitely stressed the yeast as their correct fermentation temperature range is 48-58F. Did you take any notes for this brew day and notes after? Detailed notes help you reproduce a good beer in the future. All the questions we are asking should have been in your notes. Wait, the temps on the smack pack? Those temps are for when you are following the directions for starting the smack pack for brew day. Those aren't fermentation temperatures, the temps on the package are to rouse the yeast and ensure proper health.

Anyways, back to your OP, chances are pretty good that most of those off flavors will stick around, but will mellow out a bit with age. Don't secondary. Just save yourself the heartache of potential infection and oxidation. Let it ride in the fermenter it started in for a full two weeks. Like, move it to a dark, warm spot in your house and forget about it for another week or two. Check gravity with a hydrometer and see where it's at. Do you have an estimated final gravity? That helps you gauge progress. Its lager yeast, so let it ride longer than you normally would, once the gravity stops dropping, you need to package it. Then let it carbonate/condition for a couple weeks and then toss it into the fridge and forget about it for a month or two, let it actually lager. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Please report back with the information we're looking for so we can better give you more accurate input to help you. Help us help you.
It’s a Marzen Octoberfest but we substituted with lager yeast due to colder temps in the east, but by the time I got around to making the beer it was a little warmer. My basement always stays around 65-70, and the temp on the bucket said 68 for the best part. I think I rushed this beer as I’m not used to using lager yeast. I’m usually pretty good about taking notes, but with 3 little ones hovering over the apparatus I was nervous they were going to contaminate it 🫣. I’ll contact my brew place they recommended the yeast and I know them pretty well, they can probably tell me what it was. Right now it’s in the Carboy and bubbling like crazy so I’ll give it a few weeks and check the taste again. the OG was spot on before pitching. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
 
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I did my first lager this winter and that was one thing I had to remind myself was to just let it do its thing, just make sure the temps stayed where the yeast like it and it will finish eventually. I know how it is having little ones around. Have three of my own. Knowing the yeast you got will help a lot. As others have said, if you have a green apply flavor, that would be acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde can be reabsorbed by yeast, but that requires it to stay on the yeast cake and still have some fermentation left to complete. All is not lost, but will for sure be a learning experience!
 

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It’s a Marzen Octoberfest but we substituted with lager yeast due to colder temps in the east, but by the time I got around to making the beer it was a little warmer. My basement always stays around 65-70, and the temp on the bucket said 68 for the best part. I think I rushed this beer as I’m not used to using lager yeast. I’m usually pretty good about taking notes, but with 3 little ones hovering over the apparatus I was nervous they were going to contaminate it 🫣. I’ll contact my brew place they recommended the yeast and I know them pretty well, they can probably tell me what it was. Right now it’s in the Carboy and bubbling like crazy so I’ll give it a few weeks and check the taste again. the OG was spot on before pitching. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

A Marzen Octoberfest would use lager yeast anyway, so I'm not sure what your "substituted with lager yeast" means exactly.

Some lager yeast strains do better warm than others. It's really too soon to say too much about how it will end up tasting; conditioning time after packaging will probably help.
 

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Hello all, I hope you can help me diagnose an issue with my Octoberfest. I’ve brewed this beer multie times but this time when racking to secondary I tasted the beer and it has a yeasty fruity flavor. The only difference was that I used a liquid lager yeast and not an ale yeast. I kept it in the primary for 8 days at 65-70 degrees. I’m thinking it was too hot and I should have used an ale yeast. Anyway will these flavors mild over time or should I dump this and start again? Thanks all for feedback.
Unless it’s 34/70 most lager strains want a primary temp 50-55 degees. 34/70 can be primary fermented in the low 60s. All lager beers need to be cold aged at 35 degrees or so after primary fermentation is complete. 70 degrees is WAY too warm for a lager.
 

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