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Gotta replace the stout from my empty nitro-side keg, that gets started tonight. Next week I should be out of my red ale on the CO2 side and will replace it with an IPA. I'll be in sheer heaven with a nitro-stout on one side and an IPA on the other. I can't believe I didn't go to kegging sooner! ;D
My last batch--which incidentally was my first AG batch--was a California Common/steam beer. I know it wouldn't be totally to style, but what do you guys think about using the steam yeast (I used White Labs 810 San Fran Lager yeast) to brew an Oktoberfest-ish beer?
The San Fran lager might finish a bit dry in an Oktoberfest, but you could easily compensate by adding just a bit more munich malt. Other than that it is a great general purpose lager yeast that should work fine in this case.
Would it have to be lagered as long as a traditional Oktoberfest is? I ask, because with the steam I brewed, I'm going 1 week at 62 F, then 2 weeks at 42 F, and then bottle. Could I follow a similar pattern with this pseudo-Oktoberfest?
I'm no expert on lagers (I prefer a full bodied ale) but the schedule you suggest seems perfectly reasonable. I would follow by actually lagering (aging) the bottled beer at cold temperature for several weeks as well.
At this years' Oregon Brewers Festival Rogue had an Imperial Schwarzbier that was great.
I had a regular Schwarzbier planned for the end of the year anyway so I am going to boost the O.G. by 50% and the IBUs by 100%.
And now I'm done brewing for the year. I'll be heading off on vacation in another week or so, and I'm just trying to tie up some loose ends by then -- like transferring, bottling, etc -- so I have some nice beer waiting for me when I get back in January.
In January, I'm planning a couple of lagers -- Classic American Pilsner is the first -- then a steam and some kind of dark lager. Then it's back to IPAs, pale ales, porters, and whatever else I can think of.