WLP820 Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast

This yeast produces a very malty, bock like style. It does not finish as dry as WLP830. This yeast is much slower in the first generation than WLP830, so we encourage a larger starter to be used the first generation or schedule a longer lagering time.

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Style Performance Listing

A listing of how this style ranks amongst different brew styles, on a scale from 0 to 4.

German Style Pilsner2 Bohemian Style Pilsner4
Munchen Style Helles4 European Style Pilsner2
American Style Light Lager2 American Style Lager2
American Style Premium Lager2 American Style Specialty Lager2
Vienna Style Lager2 Americn Style Amber Lager2
German Style Marzen & Oktoberfest4 European Style Dark & Munchner4
American Style Dark Lager2 German Style Schwarzbier2
German Style Dopplebock4 Bock2


Feedback and experiences from previous customers. Want to leave a review of your own?

“WLP820 Oktoberfest Lager Yeast”

By: Dave Dr | Date: Jan., 4th 2015 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest, porter

I have made dozens of batches of German beers (porters, ales, stouts) with the WLP029 and I’ve said all along it makes the best German beers. I always brew three 7 gallon batches at once and use the same yeast in all three and was planning on the WLP029 but they were out. I looked through the rack and found this one. However, it was 15 months after the use by date. Joe at the homebrew store gave it to me to see if I could wake it up. I used a starter of 1 quart water, 1/3 cup malt (LME). Two days later, another 1 cup water and ½ cup malt. Three days after that, I added 1/3 cup LME boiled in one quart of water. Started slowly krausening two days later and pitched in two Oktoberfests and one porter (21 gallons). I was reluctant to try this one as I have no way to lager this volume, and living in Georgia, my temperatures are higher. My 6 week fermentation temperatures were between 68-78 degrees (pitched at 78) and my starting gravities were 1.081-1.084. They started fermenting later in the evening and I dry hopped them and moved to a secondary after two weeks. Bottled after another four. These beers, even though the whole fermentation cycle was no less than 68 degrees, made the best Oktoberfest style beers I’ve ever had. Comparing to the WLP 029, the porters and stouts are better with the 029 and the Oktoberfests are better with the 820. I will definitely use this one again the same way.

“Very malty”

By: Peter Matthews | Date: Sep., 9th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest

This yeast can be a little inconsistent but the end results are worth it. All my brews with this have tasted great - a lovely smooth malty flavour. My first Oktoberfest took 8 days to go from 1.038 to 1.010 and the yeast stopped there - this was temp controlled to around 11oC. I ran a second batch at the same time at room temp (18oC) 1.038 to 1.006 in 4 days. The flavour isn't dramatically different but definitely smoother in the temp controlled batch.

My second attempt was a 5 gallon batch at 1.062 - I used two vials and a 2L starter. Activity started within 12 hours and finished after 13 days at 1.013 which gave more than max suggested attenuation (6.3%ABV). I am going to larger this batch for two months before tasting.

I would recommend temp controlling this yeast to around 11oC as I did the first time. You may not hit max attenuation but the taste will most likely be better. I also noticed a white skin forming on all of my Oktoberfest beers around three days after fermentation stopped in the primary- possibly infection but taste would suggest otherwise. I would recommend going into a secondary as soon as primary fermentation stops to avoid this.

I'll be using this yeast again mainly due to the taste it imparts - a nice malty larger/beer.

“Slow & Steady”

By: Sean | Date: Jun., 7th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Munich Dunkel

I was reluctant to give WLP820 a shot because I read reviews from other brewers having issues with stuck ferments. I pitched the yeast while the yeast and wort were about 47 degrees and slowly let it rise on its own to 53 where it sat for the duration of the three-week fermentation process. Like others have stated in previous comments, it's slow to start (I first noticed active fermentation about 48 hours after pitching) and the pace doesn't really pick up from there. I prepared a 2 liter starter on a stir plate a few days prior to brew-day hoping to get the yeast in action earlier, but it will still relatively slower than other yeast strains I've worked with in the past. Fortunately, there were no issues with infection.

End result is, as the description suggests, very clean and malty finish. I will definitely use this yeast again in the future for this recipe. While it's slower than other strains, the end result cannot be overlooked.

“... keeps plenty of malt flavour ...”

By: Shawn Burgy | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Dortmunder and Munich Lager

WLP830 is by far my favorite Lager yeast. I've made Dorts with it, I've made Munich's with it. I've even made Pilsners with it. No other Lager yeast I know of can do that. It keeps plenty of malt flavour and a nice Pilsner like crispness. I have 10 Gallons of Munich Lager in the fermentors right now. Even if you can't lager it straight off at 50F. It still does great when you keg and Lager it. Just remember make a big 1 gallon starter and give it at least 2 weeks of lagering. My Dortmunder's are better than commercial examples. I could give Great Lakes a run for there money :)

“... this will take some time ...”

By: Mick Harrison | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest

Don't panic, like so many have said, this will take some time to chew its way through the sugars and get to final gravity. First two weeks at 12deg c, then dropped to 5 deg c for another 3 weeks and it finished at 1.008 from 1.048. This is the longest I have ever left a beer on the yeast cake but there is no yeast flavours in the beer. Just a very clean taste and loads of German malt come shining through.

“... just add it to the brew”

By: Matt | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest Lager

I added the yeast at 76F and was fermenting in 1 hour. It is bubbling right along, I start my fermentations at room temp, then after it is established, I cool it to cellar temps to finish. usually 40hrs, then to the cellar. My recipe: 6lbs light malt extract, 1lb 20L chrystal malt, 2 oz Black patent, 2 oz chocolate, 2 oz tettnanger, 1 at start 1 at finish. The grains are steeped not mashed. Ferment, then rack for a week, then to the keg for 5 weeks. Before pouring, this yeast is not as aggressive as some but sure tastes good. I gladly use it, haven't had a single problem, I don't use starters, aeration, nutrient, nothing just add it to the brew.

“... smooth, balanced, and very malty ...”

By: Ron B. | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest lager

I really like this yeast. It was extremely slow to start - it actually was four days before active fermentation. I fermented in primary and secondary at winter cellar temperature (around 52-55 degrees F). After 2 months in the bottle it is wonderful - smooth, balanced, and very malty, everything you would expect from this style.

“... it does oh so well”

By: Jim Givens | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Marzen, Dopplebock, Spiced Holiday Lager, German Chocolate Celebrator

WARNING! This yeast is not built for speed – it’s built for comfort. But there’s a wonderful lager to behold and savor after the long wait – and that’s the beauty of it. This yeast produces an elegant and sumptuous heavy malt flavor brew that’s sure to please if you’re looking to sip a richer style. In the first generation, even when a very active starter is used, this yeast shows only lackluster signs of fermentation 12 hours later. In successive generations the ferment does get faster but not dramatically. In a second run of brews the starter was also quite active but it was doubled in cell count and this helped a great deal early on. Once it gets underway it’s also helpful to keep a number of batches going at once to cut down on the time needed for successive beers to be done. It also speeds things up to siphon the wort off the moderately fermenting dregs and then the brewer can immediately inoculate another batch of beer with less recovery time. Of course the number of fermentation tanks available will dictate this method. It ferments OK up to 70 degrees F without too much off-flavor and this seems to speed up the intrinsic slow ferment. It’s fairly clean tasting and leaves residual sugars -- the malt flavors dominate. This yeast also makes a luscious holiday type spiced beer if a brewer isn’t too much of a Reinheitsgebot purist. Sure, it takes time for this yeast to do its thing, but the thing it does it does oh so well.

“... not for the faint of heart”

By: Mark Meadows | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Double Marzen (Briess)

This 5 gal batch was my first ever and this yeast is not for the faint of heart. Because I wasn't set up to aerate, nor did I pitch a starter, I about worried myself to death. But whalla, after 52 hours a krausen finally appeared. Now 11 more weeks of patience....

“... my favorite beery yeast ...”

By: Steve Mangum | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Octoberfest02

Sulfury and slow at first. I use a warmer initial temperature to help this along. Since 2002, hands down, my favorite beer yeast even if it takes longer to produce a beer with that award winning malt profile and clean flavor finish. It can be DMS-like if a rest is not used 3/4 through fermentation.

“... really let the malt shine.”

By: Andrew Davis | Date: Nov., 30th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Crimson Oktoberfest

As stated, this strain starts very slowly. My first impression is was, "did I kill the yeast?" I usually achieve active fermentation within an hour. This strain, using a 1.5 liter starter and well oxygenated wort, took at least 24 hours to get going. Slight sulfur smell during fermentation, faded as time passed. The finished product was maltier than WLP 830, as stated. Clean flavors, really let the malt shine. Perfect for an Oktoberfest. My impression of this strain, my initial nervousness aside, is very positive.

“I didn't make a starter...”

By: James | Date: Nov., 23rd 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest

I didn't make a starter, I pitched 2 tubes into 10 gallons of wort at 56 degrees, this thing took 5 whole days to show signs of fermentation. But now that it has started it is going well. I am going to let this one ferment low and slow and lager for at least 2 months.

“My vial of yeast recommended a fermentation temperature of 70F”

By: GM | Date: Jun., 16th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Vienna

My vial of yeast recommended a fermentation temperature of 70F while the website recommended 52-58 for optimum fermentation. The website is more in line with what I would have expected for a lager yeast, but the vial made me second guess this lower temp. Would someone at White Labs please double check the label to ensure that it matches the guidance on the website?

“I didn't make a starter, I pitched 2 tubes into 10 gallons”

By: James | Date: May., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Oktoberfest

I didn't make a starter, I pitched 2 tubes into 10 gallons of wort at 56 degrees, this thing took 5 whole days to show signs of fermentation. But now that it has started it is going well. I am going to let this one ferment low and slow and lager for at least 2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions




Optimum Ferment Temp.52-58°F (11-14°C)

Alcohol ToleranceMedim-High

MiniFerment Data ?

As-is Diacetyl299.88ppb

Total Diacetyl95.06ppb

As-is 2,3-Pentanedione71.47ppb

Total 2,3-Pentanedione52.96ppb



Ethyl Acetate13.55ppm

Isoamyl AcetateNA


Isoamyl Alcohol88.08ppm


Fermentation temperature: 55° F Attenuation: NA Hours to get to 50 percent attenuation: NA

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