September 11, 2023

It's Never Too Late for Oktoberfest (or Mocktoberfest)

It's Never Too Late for Oktoberfest (or Mocktoberfest)

The traditional beer served at Oktoberfest is Marzen, named after the month it is brewed (Marzen; March) and is then lagered all summer to enjoy at the end of the harvest season. If you’re a homebrewer without the ability to lager or succumbed to a far-to-relatable level of procrastination - fear not, we have plenty of ways you can still brew a quick turning Oktoberfest. A Mocktoberfest, if you will. 

We gathered input from a few of the expert brewers on staff for their recommendations. Start by brewing an Oktoberfest such as our Oktoberfest recipe kit, either all-grain or extract, and follow the provided instructions as usual; mash and collect wort, or steep grains and add extract, boil, add hops when noted, and chill the wort. Then comes the hack magic via yeast strain - and you have plenty of options to choose from.

German Lager

To maintain the closest possible flavor profile, choose a German Lager yeast that ferments well at warmer ale temperatures. These strains ferment well at those higher temps (65-68 degrees Fahrenheit) with only slightly more esters:

California Common

Some ale yeasts can get the job done, including California Common strains that are known for creating a clean lager profile while fermented at ale temperatures:

Kolsch Yeast

These strains ferment on the cool side – around 60 to 65 degrees – for a clean fermentation with only mild esters. One downside is that the strain is a low flocculator, which will take a while to clear or require filtering or fining - though certainly not a deal-breaker.

German Ale

These strains will ferment dry and crisp, but are also a low flocculator - so again, filtering or fining is suggested for turning around a clear beer quickly:


Once You’ve Chosen Your Yeast

To turn a batch as quickly as possible, increase pitch rate by half and ferment on the warmer end of the recommended temperature range of whatever strain you select. Once fermented out, let the beer rest for a few days to allow the yeast to complete their duties cleaning up any off-flavors produced during active anaerobic fermentation. 

After that, if it’s an option for you, cold crash the beer to about 35 degrees to help drop out as much yeast and particulate as you can. To clear as quickly as possible use a fining agent such as Biofine or gelatin. Gelatin works like an absolute charm, but for those with dietary restrictions, Biofine also works well - it can just take a little longer.

Once it’s as clear as it’s going to get, bottle or keg as you normally would, carbonate, serve and enjoy! Prost!


Watch Now | How to Brew a Quick-Turn Mocktoberfest

Our video also covers how you can quickly and easily brew a fest-worthy beer in no time!