“Mock”tober tasting: Update – Cream Ale Yeast …a no no!

Hello all. Just tried a hydrometer sample of the Mocktoberclassic. VERY different with a different yeast. I am getting a completely different beer from this years recipe with cream ale yeast. I am missing that usual heavy grain-malt overtone that was typical when tasting this recipe.  I feel confident in saying that it is NOT the same beer as the usual lager and the yeast made all the difference. The beer is not a bad beer by any stretch but not what I was hoping for. What a great experiment!….Lots of good info!

  • “Mock”toberclassic 2012

Some things to remember: this is a hydro sample that was uncarbed but at a 46 degree temp F. It has not been lagering very long,just a few weeks. So this maybe an early judging…but it is October 23! See the recipe here: https://beaconhillsbrewhouse.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/oktoberclassic-upcoming-mocktober-brew-session-and-common-questions-on-brewing-lagers/

Aroma – Faint whiff of the sweet Vienna malt. Because of the malt bill, it definitively smells like an Oktoberfest.

Taste – I can see why the call this yeast a Cream Ale Blend; if you have ever had Genesee cream ale and can remember the dry bite of that beer, I am definitely getting that immediately….despite the 1.013 finishing gravity. It is a good malt background but is eclipsed by the noticeable ale flavors that seem “off” in a beer of this style. A dryness in this style is an obvious off-flavor in my opinion.

Appearance – Excellent oktoberfest orange color. Very clear. Not surprising given the history of this yeast for clearing out after fermentation is over. This is the 6th generation repitch and it still clears well!

Mouthfeel – Hard to judge without carbonation. It’s not a thin beer which would be completely off in an oktoberfest and it feels like it should be an oktoberfest. No complaints.


Overall notes: Not a bad beer by any stretch. But it is clearly obvious that this is the WRONG style to try to use this strain with. This style of brew is meant to be an elegant symphony of German brewing tradition. The best malts, long lagering, and careful brewing is the key to a great traditional German marzen. Even the decoction made little difference with this one. I doubt carbonation will make a ton of difference in getting it closer to what I was shooting for. But in the end, that is ok! It just shows that even though marzens are known for their malty profile, the right lager yeast makes all the difference! Again….stick to the tried and true WLP833 for a traditional Oktoberfest. It is fearsome for that very reason..making excellent German lagers! Now I know not to accept any other substitute.

The Cream ale yeast blend is awesome in its own right! I urge you to try using it in a hoppy style instead of the Chico yeast (WLP001 or Wyeats 1056). I assure you will not disappointing. But when brewing a oktoberfest use a German yeast strain or it will taste very un-German-like!




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