2023 Festbier Recipe | Let me know your thoughts

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Wrendelar

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Im gearing up to brew a test batch for a later competition entry for a Festbier. Let me know your thoughts.

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Festbier
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.056
Efficiency: 68% (brew house)

STATS:

Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 6.17%
IBU: 22.4
SRM: 5.3

FERMENTABLES:
9.0 lb - Barke® German Pilsner Malt - Weyermann®
1.5 lb - Barke® German Munich Malt - Weyermann®
1.0 lb - Barke® German Vienna Malt - Weyermann®

HOPS:
40g - Wakatu (Hallertau), Type: Pellet, AA: 5.30%, Use: Boil 40 Min, IBU 22.4

MASH GUIDELINES:
Hochkurz Step Mash 148 for 30 min, 160 for 45 min, 170 for 15 min

YEAST:
Fermentis SafLager S-189
Fermentation Temp: 50 Degrees for 1 week.
Raising temp 3 degrees a day for 7 days finish off at 170 for Diacytal rest.

Lager at 32 for 3-4 Weeks

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 
Your recipe looks great and should make an excellent Festbier. But since you asked for opinions...I'd switch the Munich/Vienna to lean more on the Vienna. I would add a 10 or 5 min addition of H. Mitt or a similar German Noble hop for a bit more flavor and a few more ibu's.

And I'd decrease the OG to land around 5.5ish abv for a more sessionable beer. For this stye, I prefer a single decoction to the simple step mash. And I'd boil for 90 minutes. I also use hotside LODO practices for these light German lagers. That's all I got...Cheers!
 
I only have exposure to the paulaner festbier in a can but the color was quite pale. I recent made a festbier with 85% best malz pilsner and 15% munich II and the color of my beer was darker, next round I will reduce the munich or maybe use 10% vienna .

I agree with Rcope that some late hops would be a good thing. The paulaner had some hop flavor and bitterness was light but noticeable.

I tend to get esters from S-189 even when I ferment cold but I think the higher attenuation would be a good thing.
 
I have used those 3 malts exclusively together in fest and maibock beers. I seem to get an artificial "cherry" flavor with them early in their life that always goes away as it ages. When it hits its stride, its amazing.

Lately, I have been blending some maris otter into the pils malt percentage and it has been wonderful and the crowd loves it. Weyermann pale ale malt would likely have similar results.
 
Your recipe looks great and should make an excellent Festbier. But since you asked for opinions...I'd switch the Munich/Vienna to lean more on the Vienna. I would add a 10 or 5 min addition of H. Mitt or a similar German Noble hop for a bit more flavor and a few more ibu's.

And I'd decrease the OG to land around 5.5ish abv for a more sessionable beer. For this stye, I prefer a single decoction to the simple step mash. And I'd boil for 90 minutes. I also use hotside LODO practices for these light German lagers. That's all I got...Cheers!
Thanks for the reply RCope, lots of great info there. This particular grain bill is already set as I clicked ORDER from NB about 20 min prior to your post. The addition of the late hop is a good call I had it earlier but read that it's more "traditional" to do a single hop addition.

I've adjusted the recipe by upping the boil time to 90 min and reducing the Wakatu to just 28g at 40 Min and then 28g of Hallertau Mittelfrueh (2.7 AA) at 20 min.

The LODO concept of brewing is interesting, but I'm not really set up for that as I have an Aluminum chiller. But I will do my best to adhere to the best practices during the brew.

I tend to get esters from S-189 even when I ferment cold but I think the higher attenuation would be a good thing.
I have never used this specific yeast. I usually go with SafLager 34/70 but I'm looking to pump up the maltiness of this particular batch. If you have other suggestions I am all ears.

I have used those 3 malts exclusively together in fest and maibock beers. I seem to get an artificial "cherry" flavor with them early in their life that always goes away as it ages. When it hits its stride, its amazing.

Lately, I have been blending some maris otter into the pils malt percentage and it has been wonderful and the crowd loves it. Weyermann pale ale malt would likely have similar results.
That's interesting about the "Cherry" flavor is that a product of the Barke? or just the combinations of the Malts. I had thought about adding some Marris Otter, but was trying to be "traditional" even though I'm using the Wakatu which was my "differentiator"

I appreciate you all and thanks for the replies.
 
Adjusted Recipe:

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Festbier
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.056
Efficiency: 68% (brew house)

STATS:

Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 6.17%
IBU: 22.4
SRM: 5.3

FERMENTABLES:
9.0 lb - Barke® German Pilsner Malt - Weyermann®
1.5 lb - Barke® German Munich Malt - Weyermann®
1.0 lb - Barke® German Vienna Malt - Weyermann®

HOPS:
28g - Wakatu (Hallertau), Type: Pellet, AA: 5.30%, Use: Boil 40 Min, IBU 15.9
28g - Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Type: Pellet, AA: 2.70%, Use: Boil 20 Min, IBU 5.6


MASH GUIDELINES:
Hochkurz Step Mash 148 for 30 min, 160 for 45 min, 170 for 15 min

YEAST:
Fermentis SafLager W34/70

Fermentation Temp: 50 Degrees for 1 week.
Raising temp 3 degrees a day for 7 days finish off at 170 for Diacytal rest.

Lager at 32 for 3-4 Weeks

Changes are in Italics
 
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If you can get good attenuation with 34/70 I would stick with that, both S-189 and S-23 have noticeable esters to me compared to 34/70 or german lager yeasts from whitelabs. S-23 would give a more malt beer but I think you want good/higher attenuation.

Using the Paulaner festbier as a guide they are getting 6.0%ABV from a 13.7P wort which seems like a pretty high attenuation to me. The beer did not seem to have a lot of body to me.
Oktoberfest Bier | Paulaner Brauerei München
 
If you can get good attenuation with 34/70 I would stick with that, both S-189 and S-23 have noticeable esters to me compared to 34/70 or german lager yeasts from whitelabs. S-23 would give a more malt beer but I think you want good/higher attenuation.https://www.paulaner.com/our-products/oktoberfest-bier/
Hmmm good call maybe I’ll stick with the 34/70 that’s what I have on hand.

Paulaner is a great bar to try and hit with this.

Thanks for all your input I’ll keep you posted on how it comes out.
 
Looks spot on with what I would do/have done for a festbier. The only change I would do is 34/70, just because I know it better. With 34/70 you can skip the diacetyl rest and rack directly to kegs at 5 gravity points above FG. Spund while lagering for delicious natural carbonation. For reference, Weihenstephan pitches at 45F, ferments up to 50F, moves to lagering at 5 points above FG, lagers 5-8 weeks.

Good luck!
 
Looks spot on with what I would do/have done for a festbier. The only change I would do is 34/70, just because I know it better. With 34/70 you can skip the diacetyl rest and rack directly to kegs at 5 gravity points above FG. Spund while lagering for delicious natural carbonation. For reference, Weihenstephan pitches at 45F, ferments up to 50F, moves to lagering at 5 points above FG, lagers 5-8 weeks.

Good luck!
Thanks for the input. I think I am going to swap the yeast for the 34/70 that seems to be the general consensus and I feel more confident that it will not give me any esters that I am not looking for.

Maybe the next batch I'll try you method of kegging at 5pts from FG.

This time around I'm just going to roll with the above method.
 
"YEAST:
Fermentis SafLager W34/70

Fermentation Temp: 50 Degrees for 1 week
Raising temp 3 degrees a day for 7 days finish off at 170 for Diacytal rest."

I usually go a bit lower than that for my diacetyl rest. 🤪
I gotta get a marzen going soon!
 
"YEAST:
Fermentis SafLager W34/70

Fermentation Temp: 50 Degrees for 1 week
Raising temp 3 degrees a day for 7 days finish off at 170 for Diacytal rest."

I usually go a bit lower than that for my diacetyl rest. 🤪
I gotta get a marzen going soon!
Ha good catch 70 degrees is the cap
 
Looks good. My tweak would be to lower the OG and aim for a low to mid 5% abv finish. When I brew Festbier, its in large quantities and intended for consumption 1L at a time when I hold an annual party in the Fall. Also for the fermentation schedule, I'll pitch a huge quantity of 34/70 (100g + starter for 15 gallon batch) anywhere between 50-55 and let it ride for 3 days then bring it up 1 degree per day for 10 days. Once I hit that 10 degree differential, let it ride for another 3 days, then crash for a week (or two) then keg for carbonation and storage. My schedule works for me, but microwave test for diacetyl and SG along the way.
 
Got it!. I'm only doing a 5-gallon batch this year. I'll brew as it is and keep an eye on the tilt for watching the fermentation. I plan on lagering in the keg for a minimum of 2 months before serving at an Octoberfest party. in early October.

Thanks for the input I appreciate you!
 
and that's high enough for it to clean up the diacetyl?

so 10 days at 50 then increase 3 degrees over 4 days and then hold at 63 for 3 days. 👍🏻
3 days with a 4 day rise should be plenty of time.

You can taste the beer (or do a diacetyl test) and see if it has diacetyl. Just because it's a larger at lager temps doesn't mean it has not already taken care of the diacetyl. Also after you keg the beer, if you have diacetyl, you can warm it up a couple of days to continue to clean it up. With bottle conditioning the two weeks or so of carbonation will clean it up.
 
I make a lot of pilsners with w34/70 and I typically ferment at 54F,, keg about 5 pts above FG (about 1.5 - 2 weeks) spunding at 15 psi and raise to 68F. After 3 days I begin to drop 3F/day to 35F. I don't see much of a point of to ramping slow to raise to diacetyl rest, I just don't want to shock the yeast when I'm lowering the temperature.to lagering temperature.
 
My typical fermentation schedule with 34/70: Pitch and ferment @ 60F and when attenuation hits about 50% let it free rise to 68. Primary is usually done and passes VDK in 6-7 days. Then crash and lager.
34/70 is not a typical or even a true lager strain, it is crazy clean even at primary 70f +

I wouldn't be scared to go lower than 1.010 FG - most commercial festbiers I've measured have been 2 plato (1.008) or less at terminal. The beauty of this style is sweet maltiness upfront with a drying finish; not necessarily depending on higher IBUs to balance the maltiness.
 

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