Saturday, August 15, 2009

Speaking of Oktoberfest...

...a quick update on our Hoar Frost Oktoberfest. While in the past I had pitched warm and then cooled, this time I cooled down to 50°F before even pitching, and this meant fermentation didn't start for about three days. I also, for the first time, left a probe thermometer in the carboy so I could measure internal temperatures versus ambient temperatures. To my surprise, the internal temperature never rose more than three degrees F above the ambient temp. The temp stayed between 50°F and 53°F until Wednesday (10 days), when I took a gravity reading and found it had dropped from 1055 to 1032. At that point I kicked it up to 55°F. Now, two weeks after brewing it, we've reached 1026 so I'm kicking it up to 60° today and 65°F tomorrow for a diacetyl rest.

This fermentation is definitely going slower than my last lager brewed with the South German Lager yeast (which was done in just over a week!), and it's tasting nice and clean. It's also a nice deep golden, almost orange, color--the balance between traditional German and exported Oktoberfests that I was shooting for. I'm hoping it'll be ready to keg in about a week so it'll have a good month to lager before our church's Oktoberfest on September 27th. Yay beer!


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