I don’t have the facilities to keep lager yeast cool enough for proper fermentation, but do like the Ocktoberfest style.
If I make it during the summer, I’ll be fermenting it at about 72 F.
Other than using one of the standard recipes and substituting ale yeast for lager yeast does anyone have any suggestions?
I know it won’t be as good as the lager recipe and fermentation, but I’m not much of a purist: if it tastes good to me, that’s what counts.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Personally, I think 72 is too high to get the clean characteristics you want from an ale yeast in an mocktoberfest.
I hate to break the news to you, but if you ferment at 72F you won’t get anything remotely like an Octoberfest. That style is clean and malty, and no yeast is going to yield “clean” at 72F.
Your best bet would be to use a standard Octoberfest recipe, plus a clean ale yeast like US-05, and whatever means you can to bring the fermentation temperature down to the low 60s for at least the first three days. Swamp cooler, fermenter in a tub of water with ice bottles floating in it, whatever. But ferment as cool as you can.
I’ve had really good luck brewing mock oktoberfests using California Common (lager) yeast at 62 deg F. This yeast seems pretty forgiving and lets the malt shine through. Following some suggestions on previous mocktoberfest discussions I tried one last year with Safale US-05 fermented at 60 deg F. Huge disappointment for me with product lacking much of the malt character and having a very fruity character. I’ve been happy with Anchor clones brewed at 68 F with this yeast. You will get many opinions on brewing mocktoberfests. Personally, this yeast worked for me.
For my “festbock” that I do I throw the wort in the fermenter and chill the whole thing in a fridge down to 50 degrees. Pitch my yeast and put it in the coolest spot in my house to gradually warm up. Seems to do fairly well. Next time I may try this but add a swamp cooler as well.
If you use the Wyeast 2112 and use a swamp cooler to keep the temp down around 65 or so, it should turn out pretty good. It won’t exactly be an Oktoberfest, but it will have a good bit of the characteristics.
One of the first brews I did was a Boston Lager clone (I think it was the John Q. Adams kit) with 2112, and it wasn’t bad at all. It wouldn’t have won any competitions, but it didn’t last very long, either.
I brewed my festbier recipe and fermented with wy1007 at 60. Turned out great.
This is what I would recommend, because it’s what I currently have to do also. I chill the wort down as much as possible before I pitch, then let it sit in a cold water bath for a week or so.
My first batch of beer was from an Oktoberfest kit, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t control fermentation temps or anything, and it turned out drinkable(but nothing like an Oktoberfest).
I’ve done the same with WY1056, with the same excellent results. Not so sure it would have been as good at higher temps though.
I made the Lederhosen last year from NB and it used Kolsch 2565.