Oktoberfest yeast....without lagering

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by BigJoeC, Jul 16, 2016.

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  1. BigJoeC

    BigJoeC Zealot (551) Jan 22, 2011 New Jersey

    curious what ale yeast any of you would use to substitute if I'm not into lagering.

    I'm looking to make a MOktoberfest. Next I'll be looking for some recipes to blend together as well.
  2. wspscott

    wspscott Pooh-Bah (1,934) May 25, 2006 Kentucky
    Pooh-Bah Society

    something like 1056 or US05 is pretty "neutral", if you controlled your fermentation temps, you could kind of get a lager like beer.
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I would recommend that you watch the below video.


  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Grand Pooh-Bah (3,274) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I have seen a few mocktoberfests done well with alt yeasts. That being said, maybe the old wet tshirt / ice bath with a fan would allow you to use a true lager yeast.
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  5. scottakelly

    scottakelly Initiate (0) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    If you want to use a dry yeast, I would recommend Nottingham. Fermented in the low 60s it will finish neutral and dry. The bad thing is it will be almost too dry.

    For liquid yeast I would go with WY1007 German Ale fermented in the mid to upper 50s. The bad thing with this strain, however, is that it's a low floccer. It will require cold crashing or lagering to finish clear.

    For either strain, I would still recommend extended cold storage (lagering) time.
  6. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Savant (1,125) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Wyeast 1007 or WLP029 are probably the best choices. 1007 tastes just like a lager but might need gelatin to clear it. WLP029 is clear and clean but not as awesomely tasty as the other.
  7. inchrisin

    inchrisin Pooh-Bah (2,013) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'm at work and can't wait to see this when I get home and have some sound. Thanks Jack!
  8. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I would definitely use a Kolsch (German Ale) strain. It is the only ale strain that gives you characteristics I associate with German lager strains.

    Using 2124 From Wyeast tho has been reported to do a very nice job at making clean lager like beers when fermented warm.
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  9. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Pooh-Bah (1,829) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont
    Pooh-Bah Society

    WY2007 is pretty forgiving of warm temps, as is 2112. If you can get your ferment below about 68F I'd just use a lager yeast. It's not as clean and smooth as a cold fermentation but still pretty good, especially if you lager in the fridge after it's complete (that just means letting the keg sit for a couple of weeks before tapping). On the plus side you are unlikely to have diacetyl issues with lager yeast at warm temps. If you can't get your chosen yeast, whatever it is, below 70F consider postponing the moktoberfest until cooler weather.

    As mentioned, beers brewed with lager yeasts don't always have to be lagered. Some of the blander commercial 'ales' are warm fermentations with lager yeast. WY used to market 2124 for 'pseudo-ale production'.
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  10. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Initiate (0) Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota

    Gonna throw in another vote for alt yeast (I've used wlp036). I never found kolsch yeast to be particularly lager-y since it has a fairly distinct flavor contribution vs. lager yeasts in my opinion. If you lined up 6 identical beers, 4 with various lager yeasts, 1 with alt yeast, and 1 with kolsch yeast, I'm confident I could pick the kolsch, but would likely be guessing finding the alt.
  11. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I guess I need to give an Alt yeast a try! @CurtFromHershey brew with alt yeast quite a bit.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I have only brewed lagers using lager yeast fermented cool (and lagered)

    I homebrew a Kolsch every yeast using Wyeast 2565 (Kolsch ale yeast strain) and I ferment cool (around 60 degrees F). Even though I ferment cool that yeast does produce an ester(s) that tastes like white wine for my palate. The ester flavor is low but it is indeed noticeable.

    I agree with you that a Kolsch yeast is not an optimum choice for brewing a lager-like beer.

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  13. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Savant (1,125) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Just a quick FYI -- WLP029 is clean as a whistle compared to Wyeast 2565. These are both Kolsch style yeasts but are NOT from same source, unlike the other usual "equivalents" between White Labs and Wyeast. Just sayin'.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Just to double check, have you brewed Kolsch beers using WLP029 at the recommended temperatures (65-69°F)? Those Kolsch beers that you brewed had no perceptible esters?

  15. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Savant (1,125) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I have, and some folks known as the Brulosophers have as well. No esters I can recall. If anything, you might say the beers are a bit bland. Even cleaner than 1056/001/US-05.

    EDIT: I'm procrastinating at work so much today that I'll even provide some useful links:



    #15 dmtaylor, Jul 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Dave, thank you for your quick response. I read the Brulosophy link of WLP029 vs. Wyeast 2565 as well.

    Your report of "Even cleaner than 1056/001/US-05" was very poignant for me. For the past few years I have thought to myself: "Why not try WLP029 for this year's batch of Kolsch". I have never done this since I am always so pleased with how my Wyeast 2565 Kolsch beers turned out. I will not longer be having those thoughts about WLP029 since a "bland" Kolsch is not something I am interested in achieving. With that stated maybe WLP029 might be a good choice to produce a lager-like beer.

    dmtaylor likes this.
  17. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (1,048) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I have been doing this for years. I will say when I did a side by side on an Alt I preferred the Alt yeast. ( Go figure )
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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Jim, When I first started brewing Alt (something like 17+ years ago) the yeast I used was Wyeast 1338 (European Ale Yeast). This was the preferred Alt yeast of Al Korzonas and I was quite pleased with those beers overall. My only complaint was that I wish those 1338 Alts were a bit more dry.

    I then had a chance to drink an Alt that was brewed at a local brewpub (General Lafayette Inn). That beer was labeled "Alt, who goes there?" and the beer was like a revelation to me. It had a nice dry quality to it. That beer won a Silver Medal for the Altbier category of the 2000 GABF. I had a 15 minute conversation with the head brewer (Chris Leonard) and he strongly suggested Wyeast 1007 for brewing an Alt. He had me convinced!! My next Alt (2001 I believe) I used Wyeast 1007 and I have been using that strain every year since then. I brew an Alt every year.

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  19. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Savant (1,125) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Wyeast 1007 is an absolutely FANTASTIC yeast. I just love it to death. WLP029... meh...
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Well, you have me intrigued again.

    Why the strong preference in 1007 vs. WLP029?

    I have used 1007 a lot but only for brewing my Alts. The yeast performs well but I personally do not notice much from a flavor perspective. I should caveat that I ferment cool (e.g., around 60 degrees F).

    From the Wyeast 1007 website:

    “A true top cropping yeast with low ester formation and a broad temperature range. Fermentation at higher temperatures may produce mild fruitiness. This powdery strain results in yeast that remains in suspension post fermentation. Beers mature rapidly, even when cold fermentation is used. Low or no detectable diacetyl.”

    So, what exactly do you love about 1007? What are its distinguishing features?

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