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Octoberfest Questions

Hello Everyone,

I’m gearing up to brew NB’s Octoberfest AG kit this weekend, and have a question about water additions. I’ve been having really good luck adhering to the following water treatment schedule when using RO water:

[i]Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist.

Deviate from the baseline as follows:

For soft water beers (i.e Pils, Helles). Use half the baseline amount of calcium chloride and increase the sauermalz to 3%

For beers that use roast malt (Stout, porter): Skip the sauermalz.

For British beers: Add 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride

For very minerally beers (Export, Burton ale): Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.[/i]

My questions are:

  1. Would an Octoberfest be considered a soft water beer? I’m unsure whether to use the baseline additions or the soft water additions.

  2. Also, I’m planning on using Wyeast 2633 and making a 2 liter starter, decanting and then adding another 2 liters of starter wort. Does this sound reasonable?

  3. Lastly, I’m planning on approx. 3 weeks for primary, 14 weeks to lager (including a gel solution addition), and 4 weeks to bottle carb/condition. Would I need to add additional yeast at bottling time?

[Edit] 4. And one final question: if I plan on doing a 90 minute boil, can I just add the additional water needed to the kettle at the start of the boil, or should I figure the extra water into the mash calculations?

  1. Think you should add CaCl but pass on acid malt. (best to plug data into Bru’n water for sure)
  2. Think a single 2 liter starter is enough
  3. Nope, should be enough yeast to carb
  4. I would use extra water in mash

Be sure to pitch cold yeast into cold wort. I let my wort and starter cool overnight in fridge before pitching.

  1. No idea. I haven’t gotten into water yet.
  2. The size of the starter depends on the OG of your Oktoberfest and the age of the yeast. I’d say a 2L starter would be a minimum. When I made mine last year, I made a 2L starter with 2 packs of yeast.
  3. Although you may have enough yeast left in suspension to carb your beer, after 14 weeks lagering, I’d still add some dry yeast at bottling. No need to waste all the time and money just to save a few dollars on a little dry yeast.
  4. I too would just add the extra water to the mash.

Get a larger container, large wine jug/2 gallon pail, and make a 3-4l starter. ... 08&t=59851

Thanks to all who replied!

Today was brewday - I added the extra water to the mash/sparge and hit all the numbers. I’ll also plan to add a few grams of dry yeast at bottling in September.

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