Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
nathliea

Why does the Oktoberfest Lager recommend fermenting between 65-75F?

Recommended Posts

As the title states.

 

The directions for Oktoberfest Lager state to: Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 65° and 75° F (18.3°-23.8° C)

 

Do we know what kind of yeast is being used here? If it's lager yeast, that temperature is really high. Lager yeast ideal fermenting temp is 45-55F. Is this an "Oktoberfest lager" made with ale yeast (so not a lager), or is this an Oktoberfest Lager that's fermented way too warm? Especially if you consider the heat the yeast itself will generate. Anyone know what's going on? 

And side question, exactly what yeast should I expect to be under the lid of these kits? Some kits came with other yeast and that's properly labeled but I really have no idea what I'm working with for these standard recipe kits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, nathliea said:

As the title states.

 

The directions for Oktoberfest Lager state to: Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 65° and 75° F (18.3°-23.8° C)

 

Do we know what kind of yeast is being used here? If it's lager yeast, that temperature is really high. Lager yeast ideal fermenting temp is 45-55F. Is this an "Oktoberfest lager" made with ale yeast (so not a lager), or is this an Oktoberfest Lager that's fermented way too warm? Especially if you consider the heat the yeast itself will generate. Anyone know what's going on? 

And side question, exactly what yeast should I expect to be under the lid of these kits? Some kits came with other yeast and that's properly labeled but I really have no idea what I'm working with for these standard recipe kits.

It's not really a lager despite the title and so yes made with an ale yeast. For myself  I prefer US-05 as my go to yeast for many of the MB recipes but for some English and Belgian partial mashes I'll use Nottingham or BE-256 Abbaye yeast.

You do want to ferment the ales a bit on the cool side during krausen, say at a maintained 65F whether it be in a cooler with a frozen water bottle, mini fridge , or a cool room or basement that holds a 65.

 

Oh by the way, welcome to the forum. Lol, you'll find some better answers and advice on here than what's in the MB directions. It's how I found out why I screwed up my first two batches. So, if you've found us before making a batch you'll be a happier brewer by reading up and asking some questions first!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, nathliea said:

As the title states.

 

The directions for Oktoberfest Lager state to: Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 65° and 75° F (18.3°-23.8° C)

 

Do we know what kind of yeast is being used here? If it's lager yeast, that temperature is really high. Lager yeast ideal fermenting temp is 45-55F. Is this an "Oktoberfest lager" made with ale yeast (so not a lager), or is this an Oktoberfest Lager that's fermented way too warm? Especially if you consider the heat the yeast itself will generate. Anyone know what's going on? 

And side question, exactly what yeast should I expect to be under the lid of these kits? Some kits came with other yeast and that's properly labeled but I really have no idea what I'm working with for these standard recipe kits.

 

99% of the time, you are working with ALE yeast.  Mr. Beer's products use the word "Lager" in some of the names - American Lager, Oktoberfest Lager - that are really Ales.  

 

The wheat beers have a wheat yeast.

 

The specialty brews, i.e. Craft or Seasonal, sometimes have a unique yeast.


Some recipes will come with a unique yeast, and instructions to use that yeast and ignore the ones under the cap.  If it's a lager, it will tell you to ferment 57 - 62 or so.

 

For the ales, as Cato says, you want to maintain a 65 degree WORT temperature (not air temperature), at least during peak fermentation.  Fermenting at a 75 degree air temp, which means 80 or high wort temp at peak fermentation, will result in poor tasting beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

For the ales, as Cato says, you want to maintain a 65 degree WORT temperature (not air temperature), at least during peak fermentation.  Fermenting at a 75 degree air temp, which means 80 or high wort temp at peak fermentation, will result in poor tasting beer.

 

Yeah this is probably why my Oktoberfest has an odd aftertaste. It's not terrible, but it's not what I was hoping for. Thank you for the information. I'm fermenting a short mead right now (already a couple of weeks in) and it's with Ale yeast and has been in the same fermenting chamber so it's probably going to be jacked up too, as I've had it held around 70F. Lesson learned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cato said:

It's not really a lager despite the title and so yes made with an ale yeast. For myself  I prefer US-05 as my go to yeast for many of the MB recipes but for some English and Belgian partial mashes I'll use Nottingham or BE-256 Abbaye yeast.

You do want to ferment the ales a bit on the cool side during krausen, say at a maintained 65F whether it be in a cooler with a frozen water bottle, mini fridge , or a cool room or basement that holds a 65.

 

Oh by the way, welcome to the forum. Lol, you'll find some better answers and advice on here than what's in the MB directions. It's how I found out why I screwed up my first two batches. So, if you've found us before making a batch you'll be a happier brewer by reading up and asking some questions first!

 

Thank you for confirming what I thought was the case. This isn't my first brew, I did a couple Mr. Beer kits several years ago, but I'm just now getting into brewing again, in a much more serious manner. I appreciate the heads up. I'm about to start the dead & berried saison and so now I know to turn my fermenting chamber (minfridge w/ an Inkbird temp control) down to 65 to hopefully produce a better batch than the Oktoberfest I just made.

Edit: don't do what I just said, see Rickbeer's reply. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, nathliea said:

 

Thank you for confirming what I thought was the case. This isn't my first brew, I did a couple Mr. Beer kits several years ago, but I'm just now getting into brewing again, in a much more serious manner. I appreciate the heads up. I'm about to start the dead & berried saison and so now I know to turn my fermenting chamber (minfridge w/ an Inkbird temp control) down to 65 to hopefully produce a better batch than the Oktoberfest I just made.

 

Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson!

 

Go back and read what I wrote.  Specifically - Some recipes will come with a unique yeast.  This comes with a unique yeast, Belle Saison, and should be brewed WARMER to get the esters you want in a Saison.  I think it's Lallemand's Saison yeast, and I'd link to its info but their site is not responsive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson!

 

Go back and read what I wrote.  Specifically - Some recipes will come with a unique yeast.  This comes with a unique yeast, Belle Saison, and should be brewed WARMER to get the esters you want in a Saison.  I think it's Lallemand's Saison yeast, and I'd link to it's info but their site is not responsive.


Ahh you're right, I'd even Googled optimal temperature for belle saison earlier. Sorry, I have a lot on my mind. I won't be brewing until later this afternoon but I'll be sure to take care with my temperatures. And actually, now that I know my mead should be at a lower temperature, I may brew something else entirely. I have the angry bovine milk stout on hand as well as the salty dawg gose, so I've got options. I'm also ramping up for a 5-gallon IPA (with a kit from another supplier, just to try it out). Just waiting for my second fermenting mini-fridge to arrive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I ended up making the Bovine Milk Stout today, which is actually the one I wanted to make since I consider it better suited to the winter season than a saison or a gose. Don't worry, I dropped the temp on my fermentation chamber accordingly :D 

 

Thanks for all the information, everyone. Alongside the cacao nibs that were boiled in the water (prior to adding the LME), I crushed up some of my favorite coffee beans and put them in a separate muslin sack and boiled them as well. They are both in primary right now. The cacao nibs are staying in until bottling, per the directions, but anyone have any advice for the coffee? I probably shouldn't have modified this recipe as I've not made it before, but I love this coffee and I think it would make a powerhouse addition to the stout. 

 

4 hours ago, Shrike said:

I fermented my Dead and Berried at ambient room temperature, which at the time was about 73F.  It's a saison, so you want warmer temps.


How did your Dead and Berried come out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back to brewing! I just started with Mr Beer in February of this year, and I'm really enjoying the creativity of this hobby.  Well, and the science behind it too! Mr Beer has made it so simple to feel confident with being a beginning brewer. After a while, I spread my wings & tried partial mash recipes, & so far I've done about 3 all grain, BIAB, batches,  all of them in an LBK. Love my LBKs❤️

 

I brewed an Oktoberfest last winter at room temp & it actually turned out fine. I think it was beginner's luck;) Also, I brewed the Dead & Berried in Sept at room temp (ambient temp fluctuated 60s, low 70s) but at night when temps dropped, I filled a few bottles with hot water & propped them against LBK. At bottling the sample actually tasted pretty good, and I didn't have a can of blueberries, so instead I used boysenberries and substituted Safale BE134 for Belle Saison. Just bottled mid-October so I have not  tried a bottle conditioned one - not quite ready yet. I'm going to give 'em a few more weeks.

 

Cheers - happy brewing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Gutterbunnie said:

Welcome back to brewing! I just started with Mr Beer in February of this year, and I'm really enjoying the creativity of this hobby.  Well, and the science behind it too! Mr Beer has made it so simple to feel confident with being a beginning brewer. After a while, I spread my wings & tried partial mash recipes, & so far I've done about 3 all grain, BIAB, batches,  all of them in an LBK. Love my LBKs❤️

 

I brewed an Oktoberfest last winter at room temp & it actually turned out fine. I think it was beginner's luck;) Also, I brewed the Dead & Berried in Sept at room temp (ambient temp fluctuated 60s, low 70s) but at night when temps dropped, I filled a few bottles with hot water & propped them against LBK. At bottling the sample actually tasted pretty good, and I didn't have a can of blueberries, so instead I used boysenberries and substituted Safale BE134 for Belle Saison. Just bottled mid-October so I have not  tried a bottle conditioned one - not quite ready yet. I'm going to give 'em a few more weeks.

 

Cheers - happy brewing!

 

Thanks for the warm welcome and for adding your experience. Please circle back and let me know how the dead and berried came out. I think it'll make a great spring/summer brew, alongside the salty dawg gose. My long-term goal (and I mean long term, I have a lot to learn still) is to make sours utilizing wild yeast that I capture and separate out as individual colonies. I want to make "my own" house sours. But again, this is a long ways out. In the meantime, I'm quite satisfied using kits and fiddling with them a bit here and there. 

As for the saison, I think the original recipe actually recommended boysenberries and not blueberries. I am a bit worried that by using canned blueberries in my lager (I added 1 can at fermentation and 1 can 3 days before bottling) that I may have created bottle bombs, because canned blueberries is basically pie filling which has extra sugar. I wouldn't be as worried but I bottled in glass, not the standard Mr. Beer plastic ones (there's just something so satisfying about glass). Those babies are now resting comfortably in the bottom of an ice chest in case there are any explosions. Regardless, I think going forward I will use 15 oz frozen fruit in lieu of 15 oz canned pie filling. 


But enough rambling from me!


I hope your saison - and all future brews - come out fantastic -- Salud!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is so much to learn, that's another great thing about this hobby. The forums have great tips from others who've been there, done that. I've spent many nights reading up on stuff.

 

Pretty cool idea with the sours, and pretty ambitious! I've been curious about harvesting/washing yeast, haven't stepped up my game yet. Let me know how your fruit lager turns out. Time will tell about the bottle bombs, I haven't quite figured out the right formula for fruit beers yet. And, I've had a gusher batch  before I bought my hydrometer, well after that, I make sure I'm getting the attentuation I expect before bottling. Like with the Saison, the yeast chewed through all the sugars even after adding the fruit at 1 week -  FG was about 1.002, right where I wanted it.  (Will try to remember to report back about the end result of the Saison). And then with the Chocolate Milk Stout, FG was much higher, around 1.016, I read that's because the lactose is a non-fermentable sugar.

Yup, that's about where I'm at, experimentation, trying different recipes, using the kits. Just ordered more Mr Beer supplies during sale, can't wait to make the Amberosia Tripel. I do like Belgian ales, so I'm curious how it will turn out. Next up, maybe another Wheat, or perhaps another winter/holiday beer like Yule Like this Ale.

 

I see that you're conditioning a blueberry mead. Are meads something you've made before - how have those turned out? How long do they take to condition? Are they harder to make than beer?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, nathliea said:


How did your Dead and Berried come out?

 

It's quite tasty.  Next time I make it, though, I'll plan ahead so I can cold crash it.  Because of the added fruit there was a LOT of sediment that kept clogging the wand during bottling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shrike said:

 

It's quite tasty.  Next time I make it, though, I'll plan ahead so I can cold crash it.  Because of the added fruit there was a LOT of sediment that kept clogging the wand during bottling.

 

I'm wishing I'd cold crashed my blueberry lager. I didn't have any issues with clogging but the coloration is strange and it's cloudy. It may clear up a bit during bottle carbonation but I doubt it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Gutterbunnie said:

There is so much to learn, that's another great thing about this hobby. The forums have great tips from others who've been there, done that. I've spent many nights reading up on stuff.

 

Pretty cool idea with the sours, and pretty ambitious! I've been curious about harvesting/washing yeast, haven't stepped up my game yet. Let me know how your fruit lager turns out. Time will tell about the bottle bombs, I haven't quite figured out the right formula for fruit beers yet. And, I've had a gusher batch  before I bought my hydrometer, well after that, I make sure I'm getting the attentuation I expect before bottling. Like with the Saison, the yeast chewed through all the sugars even after adding the fruit at 1 week -  FG was about 1.002, right where I wanted it.  (Will try to remember to report back about the end result of the Saison). And then with the Chocolate Milk Stout, FG was much higher, around 1.016, I read that's because the lactose is a non-fermentable sugar.

Yup, that's about where I'm at, experimentation, trying different recipes, using the kits. Just ordered more Mr Beer supplies during sale, can't wait to make the Amberosia Tripel. I do like Belgian ales, so I'm curious how it will turn out. Next up, maybe another Wheat, or perhaps another winter/holiday beer like Yule Like this Ale.

 

I see that you're conditioning a blueberry mead. Are meads something you've made before - how have those turned out? How long do they take to condition? Are they harder to make than beer?

 

 

I learned a lot about harvesting yeast from this guy's 3-part series on it

 

I'll circle back when the fruit lager is done. I was on Mr. Beer support chat asking about an order (the cacao nibs didn't come with my Angry Bovine Milk Stout as they should have) and while I was talking to them I asked about a way to make the lager more interesting; it was the chat guy who recommended adding canned blueberries at those specific times. The taste isn't quite what I was expecting but if after bottle carbonation they're not in the right spot I'll just let them bottle condition for longer. I didn't have a hydrometer when I started that batch, although in hindsight I did have one when I bottled so I could have measured over a few days to see where things were at. Next time!

 

The milk stout I just created has an OG of 1.055, so for this one I'll at least know the ABV once it's done. And I didn't know Mr. Beer was having a sale so I missed out on that. Though I do still have 2 kits in queue and also plan to make ginger beer at some point. I have a lot I want to do!

 

As for the mead, I used a very basic recipe after which I learned from r/mead that just about everything in the recipe was wrong. That being said, I'm not going to stress so much because mead is more flexible than beer, plus I always have in the back of my mind that beer/mead has been being made for thousands of years, before all of this knowledge about yeast was known and before all this technology existed. This mead is my very first batch, and as I said it's flexible and more forgiving. I am making a "short" mead which ferments only in primary and only for 6 weeks. As of now, it tastes very strong (3 weeks in), but if the flavor isn't where I want it, I do still have the option to rack to secondary and then do a longer-term bottle condition than planned.

 

This is why I just want to keep making stuff because I feel like it's going to be a long ways out before I have a supply of beer/mead/etc that I made myself and like. I'm a bit disappointed in how my Oktoberfest came out, but it could be that I'm just not a big fan of the style. My dad said it was very good but he's a dad and always supportive, so he could be just being nice :P


Edit: not sure why the video link showed up 4x.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Blueberries are a weak fruit.  Peaches are too.  Many "peach" beers have apricot and peach in them.  Raspberry is a strong flavor for beer, as is apricot (Apricot Wheat is very good).  Cherries are tough, you need to use tart cherries, not sweet.

 

I believe it. I've heard mangoes are very hard to get the flavor to come through, too. I've heard cherry comes through well but it often tastes medicinal to me, so I tend to avoid it. I'll keep experimenting, though. I know there are extracts but I wonder if the flavor is any good. So much to learn and try :D What a great hobby!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2018 at 7:53 AM, nathliea said:

 

I learned a lot about harvesting yeast from this guy's 3-part series on it

 

I'll circle back when the fruit lager is done.

 

As for the mead, I used a very basic recipe after which I learned from r/mead that just about everything in the recipe was wrong. That being said, I'm not going to stress so much because mead is more flexible than beer, plus I always have in the back of my mind that beer/mead has been being made for thousands of years, before all of this knowledge about yeast was known and before all this technology existed. This mead is my very first batch, and as I said it's flexible and more forgiving. I am making a "short" mead which ferments only in primary and only for 6 weeks. As of now, it tastes very strong (3 weeks in), but if the flavor isn't where I want it, I do still have the option to rack to secondary and then do a longer-term bottle condition than planned.

 

This is why I just want to keep making stuff because I feel like it's going to be a long ways out before I have a supply of beer/mead/etc that I made myself and like. I'm a bit disappointed in how my Oktoberfest came out, but it could be that I'm just not a big fan of the style. My dad said it was very good but he's a dad and always supportive, so he could be just being nice :P

 

I'll have to check out the yeast harvesting. As for mead, it's something I've been curious about. Heard it can be harder  than beer to get right so you'll have to let me know how your first batch turns out, was it worth the wait?  My LHBS has all the  mead stuff, but right now I'm focusing on beer. I tried making a beer with blueberries, none of the blueberry came through (like Rickbeer said, blueberries are a weak fruit). So I caved in & tried a Dead & Berried Saison tonight & was not disappointed. In fact was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it so much. Hint of boysenberry, hint of sour. I can't help but tweak the recipes a bit, and I added 2.7 oz Carapils for body, I used 12 oz of wheat DME that I had on hand, and 1 Mr Beer booster, at flame out 0.3 oz of Tettnanger hops (I have a surplus of these for some reason) & used Safale BE 134 yeast as I'm not sure I'm a big fan of Belle Saison. So the end result was very very tasty, dry and tangy, somewhat reminds me of a lambic of course not anywhere near the mouth-puckering sour that a lambic is.

Ha, that is funny about Okotoberfest! Same here, my dad really enjoyed that one, so I gave a lot of them to him. Go figure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×