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Choosing Lager Yeast

So I am thinking about my first lager session.  I was going to shoot for a Marzen/Oktoberfest style amber lager.  Who knows maybe ready for October!?!?

But I was wavering between using the White Labs Marzen lager yeast or using the White Labs German Lager yeast.  (WLP820 and WLP830, respectively)

I’d like to pick a lager yeast that I can move forward with on subsequent lager beers.  I have heard and read that its best to pick one lager yeast and get comfortable with how it performs, then use it as your standard lager strain.  As opposed to chasing down a different lager yeast for every different lager you do. (Like we do with Ale yeasts).

Anyhow, I am swayed by the marketing of an Oktoberfest yeast called ‘Oktoberfest’ yeast.  However, I am wondering if I might be better served with using a “utility” lager yeast like WLP830, German Lager that I would definitely try out in the future on beers like Dortmunder and Helles.

Any experience in our readership with WLP820 vs. WLP830?
Or what do you use instead.



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  1. chris

    if you’re looking for a utility yeast, you can’t go wrong with the white labs german lager or german bock yeasts. i’ve used and repitched both and have been happy with the results.

  2. dan

    Personally, tend to stick with WLP833 or Wyeast 2206. I didn’t care as much for the 820 the two times I tried it. The 833 and 2206 are both very clean and malty. I just brewed a Doppelbock last night and was forced to try the Wyeast 2124 for the first time because the local shops were all sold out of 2206. It will be interesting to see how that compares.

  3. Adam

    I love the Bavarian lagers. I agree with the advice you were given. I went with WLP833 and don’t regret it. Well except for the fact that I couldn’t get it this last year and went with 2206 for this past lager season. Both are prone to diacetyl, so either do a rest, or do it the lazy man’s way and just primary and secondary at around 54F the entire time. Prost!

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