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Octoberfest fermented as ale

Hi all. I bought an Octoberfest kit but don’t have equipment to lager. I was told that I could ferment it as an ale. The yeast in the kit is labeled saflager s-23.

Anyway, I would appreciate any tips anyone has on brewing as an ale vs lager.

Also, there’s the age old question on if I should transfer to a secondary or just bottle from the primary. Not sure if the bottom fermenting yeast makes a difference in this regard.

Thanks and happy brewing.

I am researching and considering making a (m)Octoberfest too. What I’m finding in my online research is that you want to use an ale yeast that can be fermented as cold as possible. Safale S-04 seems to be a popular choice. Lagering is basically just a cold storage period to help the beer clear out giving the beer a very clear look and clean flavor allowing for the full flavor of the malt to come through. So if that’s not a big deal for you, then you can probably skip it. Unless I find other information, I want to try fermenting this beer at 55 to 60 in an ice bath and then let it warm up at the end of fermentation to increase attenuation. I guess my biggest question now is trying to figure out what malts to use. It seems like the online recipes are all over the place. I’d like a very malty version of this beer. I think I’ll go with a fair amount of Munich and Vienna and a bit of Caramel 60L for sweetness. Pilsener seems to be used as well. What’s in your kit?

Vienna malt is usually in a Oktoberfest. I would use us 05 it’s much cleaner fermenter than sa04 IMO. Keep the temps in the low 60 for the first week. You can lager in the bottle

If your not against using liquid yeast I would suggest wyeast 1007. It’s super clean at lower temps.

As @brew_cat said. If your bottling, bottle condition for a month and then Lager the bottles since you’ll have that capability.

A friend and I just did a side by side comparison this last O-fest season. We split a 10 gallon wort. I don’t have the grist bill, but it was something like 13 pounds pilsner, 12 pounds dark munich, we used German magnum for bittering, 1.5 oz. then challenger at 15 minutes, 3 oz. I fermented used 838 Bavarian bock and he did S-05. ABV ended up at 6.8%, a little less than was expected. We had a group of 15 peeps over to evaluate which was the one they preferred, not scientific of course, The ale was the one most preferred. My opinion, you can use any yeast you want, do take care of temps whilst you ferment, and secondary age, or lager. You can be true to style or DV8 should you like! Sneezles61

Why do you think. What did you taste different?

Lager was less,…… ah, character, ifn you will. I couldn’t say the ale was a whole bunch more, but it did have an extra taste on me tongue. I will do next years O-fest with ale yeast. Sneezles61

I have never used S-23 yeast but would be willing to give it a try. Otherwise, personally if not able to keep cool then I would consider seeking out K-97, WLP029 or Wyeast 1007, those are all the cleanest yeasts that I know of. US-05 is alright but not as authentic for a German style beer as these other three.

Also, to keep fermentation as cool as possible, you can place your fermenter into a cooler and then fill with a few refreezable ice bricks and water as high as possible, then swap out the ice bricks every 8-12 hours. This will reduce the fermentation temperature by 5-10 degrees, for most of the time anyway.

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