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Kevin Caffrey

2nd Batch This Weekend - Oktoberfest

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I'm just about two weeks away from being able to crack open a bottle of my first batch (Classic American Light), and this weekend I'll be brewing the Oktoberfest standard refill as my 2nd batch. The first two weeks of conditioning the CAL I had it at the lower end of the suggested temperature range (68-70); seems from more reading that keeping it at 76-78 is fine and will make sure it carbonates by the end of 4 weeks. I'm going to try to keep it at 76-78 these next two weeks, while having the Oktoberfest ferment at 65-68. Planning to stick to the 3/4 method again for the Oktoberfest -- any other suggestions for this particular brew?

Kevin

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Kevin,

All carbonation can be done in the low 70's. Like Rick said: no harm done but no real benefit. A good rule of thumb is: if the temp is comfortable for you it's comfortable for your beer (for carbonation and conditioning). If you are using a lager yeast, after carbonation you return the beer to the yeasts desired temp range. All Mr Beer yeasts are ale yeast so room temp is fine for conditioning.

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All Mr Beer yeasts are ale yeast so room temp is fine for conditioning.

 

Just to clarify, nearly all Mr. Beer refills are ales using ale yeast.  The Dopplebock - 2014 Spring Season uses lager yeast.  Some recipes may use lager yeast.  In short, unless it says otherwise, it's an ale.

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Kevin,

All carbonation can be done in the low 70's. Like Rick said: no harm done but no real benefit. A good rule of thumb is: if the temp is comfortable for you it's comfortable for your beer (for carbonation and conditioning). If you are using a lager yeast, after carbonation you return the beer to the yeasts desired temp range. All Mr Beer yeasts are ale yeast so room temp is fine for conditioning.

 

Thanks for the feedback/advice.  Yes, the CAL is carbonating/conditioning between 70-74 right now.  It's at the two week mark, and although the PET bottles are very hard, they don't feel *rock* hard just yet.  

 

Brewed the Oktoberfest last night and have that in my cooler with two frozen 16 oz. water bottles.  I have the Mr. Beer thermometer strip they sent me and it's resting comfortably right now.  :)  Thinking Bewitched Amber Ale next to brew at the end of July to be ready by mid-September.

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Just to clarify, nearly all Mr. Beer refills are ales using ale yeast.  The Dopplebock - 2014 Spring Season uses lager yeast.  Some recipes may use lager yeast.  In short, unless it says otherwise, it's an ale.

 

And to further clarify, even if the name of the beer says 'lager', it's not necessarily a lager yeast.  American Lager kit?  Not a lager (i.e, they ship ale yeast with it).  Oktoberfest Lager kit?  Same thing.   In reality, a pilsner is a lager as well, but ships with an ale yeast, but I digress.   A very few recipes are the same...  Punkin Lager recipe?  Not a lager as it ships.  I'll say it's much better than in the old days, when half of the product said 'lager' and Mr. B didn't even sell a lager yeast, and it seems like most of the recipes now do not have lager in the name (Punkin Lager may be the only exception), but this is a pet peeve I've had since I started here, as I think it leads to confusion with new brewers.

 

So...  to back up what's been said by others.  Regardless of the name of the extract or recipe, unless it specifically states it has a lager yeast (which I think is only the case on the occasional seasonal and handful of recipes (Lincoln Liberty Logger, Mad Ludwig's Marzen, etc.)), it's an ale.  You just have to read the details on recipe and specifications to be sure.  Conversely, any Mr. B kit or recipe can be made as a lager by simply buying a lager yeast to replace the yeast that comes with the extract, so don't feel restricted if the recipe you find doesn't come with a lager yeast.

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