Oktoberfest at room temp?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

PittATL

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
Atlana
Hello all,


I'd love to do an Oktoberfest for my next batch (just 4th overall) but I understand those need to be lagered and fermented at colder temps.

I have no equipment to ferment at such and don't really want to mess with an ice bath for over 2 weeks potentially....

My LHBS guy told me "you could still do an Oktober at room temp, it won't have as clean a finish, but you should be fine".


Is it worth doing at room temp?? Or mostly a waste?


Also...what would be a good recommendation as a replacement for an Oktoberfest party coming up in the Fall? Something else German that I can do at room temp?

Thanks for your help.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,909
Reaction score
12,768
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I wouldn't use a lager yeast at room temperatures but you could use a clean well attenuating ale yeast for a fest-style beer and get pretty good results. It won't be an oktoberfest without the cold fermenting and lagering, but it will still be a very good beer.

If your room temperatures are above 70 degrees, you'll still want to do a water bath or a swamp cooler to keep the fermentation temperature down. I like to ferment "clean" ales in the low 60s to keep them more like a lager.

I don't like hefeweizens, but many people do and they are fermented at ale temperatures with ale (hefeweizen) yeast. I'm a fan of alt biers, http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2009/12/16/brewing-german-altbier-recipes/, and kolsch, http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/K%F6lsch.html, for German ales. Most of my favorite German styles are lagers.
 
OP
P

PittATL

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
Atlana
Sorry all, I should've searched. I'm normally good at that but did not realize how popular a question it's been....


So...I've seen that it's good to just ferment at room temp; with the lager yeast so that you get the closest flavor to a true Oktoberfest as possible but have also read it's good to just ferment with an ale yeast....


Which is best???


Any further insight would be appreicated...
 

ksbrain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
1,008
Reaction score
13
Location
Mystic, CT
I am about to make mine this weekend with 1338. Last year I used US-05, which was fine, but I expect the 1338 to give it a little something special, and at least 1338 is German.
 

g-star

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
869
Reaction score
163
Location
PA
I just pondered this myself, and brewed this past weekend using WLP029, pilsner DME + vienna, munich, and some specialty malts along with some noble hops.

I'm using the swamp cooler method which seems to be working well -- temps holding around 62F (according to the stick-on LCD therm) with only changing frozen water bottles once per day (in my basement). The airlock is bubbling away nicely now. Hoping for something that approaches a true Oktoberfest, even though it will really be an ale.

Hope this helps.
 
OP
P

PittATL

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
Atlana
Awesome, great feedback guys.


I'm gonna go with the dry Safale-04 from the recipe mentioned and do a swamp cooler with frozen ice packs to get it between 60-65 degrees.


Thanks!
 

jsullivan02130

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
205
Reaction score
4
Bad choice. If you must use dry yeast, use 05, not 04. You want something neutral.
 

jsullivan02130

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
205
Reaction score
4
I've found 04 to be a pretty crappy yeast over all and wouldn't ever use it again. And I never found it having a low degree of attenuation.

Once you start using liquid yeasts you find a lot more variety. There really isn't any going back in my opinion.:rockin:


05 attenuates too much. S-04 will provide a lot of maltiness
 

akpingel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
94
Reaction score
7
Location
Huntersville NC
I made a batch last year with Kolsch and it tasted OK. I could find the recipe if you want. It was a partial mash.

Check out Widmer's Oktoberfest. Its an Ale, and its probably what yours is going to taste like. My beer turned out very similar to Widmer's though my batch was too dark. Both beers dont taste nearly as good as the real thing imo.
 

jonbomb

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
624
Reaction score
2
Location
philadelphia
you could maybe use the white labs WLP 060 american ale blend. I heard that gives you a nice clean finish. I think because its got a strand of lager yeast mixed with ale yeast.
 
Top