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Decemberfest Lager

Brewed: 12/13/2020   Kegged: 12/27/2020


decemberfest.jpgAround September, I thought I should brew an Oktoberfest lager. I never got around to it.

In October, I thought maybe a Novemberfest lager would be a good idea. I never got around to it.

In November, I thought maybe a Decemberfest lager would work. I never really got around to it until mid-December.

It probably won't be ready to drink before January, but I thought I could still call it Decemberfest as I was brewing it in December. And ... I might drink some of it before the end of the year.

Rather than the Marzen style, I went with more of a "Festbier". My first attempt at this style.

Batch #1 of this beer was my 6th batch that I brewed on my Anvil Foundry. 

This is one of those beers that both the Brew Master and the Beer Model like.

It is a beautiful golden lager. Not too light. Not too heavy. 

Not too malty. Not too hoppy.

Not too sweet. Not too bitter.

Just an awesome easy drinking lager. At 5.5% ABV, it isn't sessionable, but at the same time, it isn't a beer that will mess you up if you drink one or two.

Pretty much a beer-drinker's beer.


For more information about this beer, see Sheppy's Blog: Decemberfest.

Decemberfest Lager --- Batch 1

Style Festbier Batch Size 6.00 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   7.09 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.055 SG Estimated FG 1.011 SG
Recipe Bitterness 25.7 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.8 %
BU : GU   0.464        
Recipe Color 6.5 SRM
Measured OG:   1.052    Measured FG:   1.010 
ADF:   81    Measured ABV:   5.5% 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
8.05 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
6.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
3.00 g Chalk (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
2.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
7 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 53.8 % 0.55 gal
5 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 6 38.5 % 0.39 gal
1 lbs Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 7 7.7 % 0.08 gal
1.000 oz Magnum [11.20 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 22.2 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 9 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 10 - -
1.000 oz Hallertau [5.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 3.4 IBUs -
1.0 pkg Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70) [50.28 ml] Yeast 12 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 32.18 qt of water at 157.0 F 150.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 156.0 F over 10 min 156.0 F 20 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Make 1.4 liter (6 cups) yeast starter a day before brew day.
Brewing salts in the mash water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Brew as directed from recipe.
Cool wort to as close to 50 degrees as possible.
Ferment in 50's for about 5 days, let rise to high 60's for another week.
Keg carbonate.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.049 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (7.09 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
12/12/2020 esheppy
Making yeast starter out of trub I collected from Schreck Gartenzwerg Pilsner. Brew day tomorrow. Looks like it will be a cold one.
12/14/2020 esheppy
Brew day went well yesterday. My OG was a little low, but that's ok. 1.052. This morning, the fermentation is going at 51 degrees. Set the Anvil temperature controller to 52.
12/15/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.042 at 52. Setting temp to 53.
12/16/2020 esheppy
Tile says 1.031 at 54. Moving the temp up to 54. Bubbling still pretty active.
12/17/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.022 at 55, which is the Anvil set point right now. I'll probably set to 56 before the end of the day. Tomorrow, I'll probably turn off temp control completely.
12/18/2020 esheppy
1.015 57. Still bubbling pretty good.
12/19/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.013 at 59. Turned up temp to 62.
12/20/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.011 at 62. Unplugged pump.
12/22/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.010 at 67. Not much bubbling. I think this is pretty much done fermenting. I don't have an empty keg, but I think I will soon. The plan is to keg the 26th.
12/23/2020 esheppy
Took a little sample. Cloudy but nice flavor. 1.010 at 67.
12/27/2020 esheppy
Kegged. FG 1.010. Nice golden color. Pretty simple lager profile. None of the heavy caramel or Munich flavors of a marzen Just a touch of Hallertau hops in the finish. I think we're really going to enjoy this beer.
12/29/2020 esheppy
Added gelatin to the keg. Hit with more CO2
12/31/2020 esheppy
Clarity getting pretty good. Color gorgeous gold. Delicious beer. Just needs more carbonation.
01/01/2021 esheppy
Officially ready to drink. The Beer Model declared it "yummers". Nice malty lager. Really like the Vienna malt flavor.
01/03/2021 esheppy
Beer drinking this a bunch. Beautiful golden lager. Nice clarity. Carbonation right there. Really delicious. Easily consumed by the liter.
01/15/2021 esheppy
Great beer. Both the Beer Model and I love it. Nice clear golden color. Carbonation about perfect. Great vienna malt flavor. Just enough bitterness to balance the malt. Nice floral Hallertau hop in the finish. Wonderful.
03/05/2021 esheppy
Keg blew tonight. It was a wonderful beer while it lasted.
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