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I'm looking at a few Märzen recipes, particularly an Avery Kaiser clone. However, I'm not set up to lager—I'm aware of a number of the work arounds to lagering without a refrigerator, e.g., a fan, a bucket, and a towel meet in the swamp... wha? or let's build a swamp cooler. I'm not building a swamp cooler and running it for a month, much less four.

If I sub'd an Ale yeast, any recommendations to get near the target flavors?

Or is there a malty style in the Germanic tradition that could be as good?

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I would use a Cream Ale yeast, it's actually a blend of lager and ale yeast but ferments well at 65°-70°.

Historically cream ales were made to compete with crisp American lagers.

Many use California yeast (White Labs WL001) or similar for October style beers as it's about the cleanest of ale yeasts and has minimal esters when you use a larger than normal pitch.

If you rack your Marzen on top the trub from a beer that used California Ale yeast. You will have almost no growth phase and almost zero esters, giving a very clean fermentation.

  • The last element of racking is interesting, but I won't have a beer at that stage to do so. Looking over the California Yeast notes at White Labs really piques my interest. Now I have a different problem, my wife (and brewing partner) is thinking Rye Pumpkin Stout. Tough decisions ahead. Thanks @evil-zymurgist – javafueled Aug 25 '16 at 19:29

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