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Alt vs "mock"toberfest

Is there any difference between an alt beer and making an octoberfest with german ale yeast?

I dunno, but I done it. Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.

I thought I was the pioneer of what I call FeauxO (Fake Octoberfest). Lolz. This is the second week and I am preparing to rack to keg.

BTW, SAFALE seems to ferment vigorously, even at 60F.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.
[/quote]

So…you brewed an American Amber? :mrgreen:

Yes, there is quite a difference. Altbier is dry and bitter, no hop flavor or aroma. Oktoberfest is malty (not sweet), little hop aroma/flavor, not bitter. And they have pretty different grain bills. Alts can be 100% munich malt or pilsner malt with a little carafa for color and bittered with Spalt. Oktoberfests are some sort of mix between Vienna, Munich, and Pilsner malt, maybe with a little caramunich thrown in. Hallertau of some variety. Pretty different beers.
The Uerige Altstadt beer tastes a bit like a more bitter dunkel, in my opinion. I have an alt on tap that is nothing like that, but is bitter, bready, and dry.

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“beermebeavis”]Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.
[/quote]

So…you brewed an American Amber? :mrgreen: [/quote]
Haha, good one!

[quote=“Beersk”]Yes, there is quite a difference. Altbier is dry and bitter, no hop flavor or aroma. Oktoberfest is malty (not sweet), little hop aroma/flavor, not bitter. And they have pretty different grain bills. Alts can be 100% munich malt or pilsner malt with a little carafa for color and bittered with Spalt. Oktoberfests are some sort of mix between Vienna, Munich, and Pilsner malt, maybe with a little caramunich thrown in. Hallertau of some variety. Pretty different beers.
The Uerige Altstadt beer tastes a bit like a more bitter dunkel, in my opinion. I have an alt on tap that is nothing like that, but is bitter, bready, and dry.

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“beermebeavis”]Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.
[/quote]

So…you brewed an American Amber? :mrgreen: [/quote]
Haha, good one![/quote]

So an Oktoberfest grain bill with german ale yest should fit the bill for a Mocktoberfest. I did one last year but my pc crashed so I lost all of my beersmith stuff. Can’t remember what i did before. Thanks

I agree that alt is a little darker and quite a bit hoppier than an Ofest.

[quote=“christopherrburns”][quote=“Beersk”]Yes, there is quite a difference. Altbier is dry and bitter, no hop flavor or aroma. Oktoberfest is malty (not sweet), little hop aroma/flavor, not bitter. And they have pretty different grain bills. Alts can be 100% munich malt or pilsner malt with a little carafa for color and bittered with Spalt. Oktoberfests are some sort of mix between Vienna, Munich, and Pilsner malt, maybe with a little caramunich thrown in. Hallertau of some variety. Pretty different beers.
The Uerige Altstadt beer tastes a bit like a more bitter dunkel, in my opinion. I have an alt on tap that is nothing like that, but is bitter, bready, and dry.

[/quote]

So an Oktoberfest grain bill with german ale yest should fit the bill for a Mocktoberfest. I did one last year but my pc crashed so I lost all of my beersmith stuff. Can’t remember what i did before. Thanks[/quote]
Yeah, you can do that, I have in the past. Try Wy1007 German Ale fermented as cool as you can go 55-60F, pitch a lot of yeast, give it some time cold after primary. It gets you in the ballpark.

I somewhat disagree. Remember, there are a couple different types of Alts (BJCP says 2, some say 3). Most homebrewers tend to brew on the more bitter/richer/bigger/Dusseldorf end of the spectrum, so that’s what they think of when they think of an alt. But there are also North German Alts that are lighter/smoother/more malty/more lager-like. Those on that end of the spectrum, IMO, are (or can be) very similar to ofests with ale yeast.

Pietro wrote:
beermebeavis wrote:
Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.

So…you brewed an American Amber? :mrgreen:

no - a fake-Ofest. Can call it wutever I want. Free country!

I’ll make a plug for NB’s alt kit… I brewed the all-grain version in June. I cut the hops back a little as the calculated IBU’s for the included hops were a tad high. Tried it the other day and it’s very, very good. Reminds me of an O’fest with a little more character and a month or two less waiting time.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]Pietro wrote:
beermebeavis wrote:
Just last week I brewed a “big” Ofest (60 OG), and used american ale yeast, fermenting at 60F.

So…you brewed an American Amber? :mrgreen:

no - a fake-Ofest. Can call it wutever I want. Free country![/quote]

I guess you could call it an American Amber but I tend to look more for American style hops with those. I know the style doesn’t require it but it just seems to provide a little better divisiion of styles.

I seem to get pretty similar results with the alt and Chico yeasts. They both settle out slow and finish dry with not much ester character when you ferment cool. I don’t know that I could tell the difference between the two if I had otherwise identical beers.

Valid point, there are just few German examples of the North German style so I tend to think of alt as Dusseldorf. Even the North style shows 25-40IBU though and is generally darker than Ofest. Only the low end of bitterness would necessarily overlap.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I seem to get pretty similar results with the alt and Chico yeasts. They both settle out slow and finish dry with not much ester character when you ferment cool. I don’t know that I could tell the difference between the two if I had otherwise identical beers.[/quote]FWIW, I have done side-by-sides with these two yeasts, in an alt and in a pale ale. The differences were actualy more noticable than I had anticipated. Yes they are close, but 1007 had a distinctive minerally profile that Chico doesn’t. That being said, they are probably interchangable in many recipes.

That’s true too, but the commercial examples of a North German Alt, even the ones listed by BJCP, are lighter and don’t seem to drink that bitter. Some of the listed commercial examples are closer to 15-20 IBUs.

Why not use Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager and ferment it at 68 degrees?

I just did an oktoberfest grain bill and am using german ale yeast in a swamp cooker to keep it in the low 60’s upper 50’s. Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve also noticed that 1007 has a distinct flavor profile to it that really says “Alt” to me. That being said, I think any clean ale yeast fermented cool will get you passably close to a 'fest. I’ll also second the recommendation for using a lager yeast like 2124 that stays relatively clean at warmer temps. Even when brewed clean most yeast strains have a flavor impact, and I think a lager strain will get you closer in flavor.

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