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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: TXFlyGuy on September 15, 2020, 10:40:32 PM

Title: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 15, 2020, 10:40:32 PM
Well...here it is. And Bel Air Brewing is on their 50th gallon of this fine seasonal bier! Having just brewed 30 gallons, and yesterday another 20 gallons, we thought this was good enough to share.

A local brewer, and former brewery employee told us this was the best Oktoberfest he has ever had.

Super easy recipe:

For 10 gallons -

8 lbs pale or Pils malt
8 lbs Vienna Malt
8 lbs Munich Malt

2.5 oz Mt. Hood Hops 6.5 AA (FWH)

18 gallons filtered city tap water...no other chemical additions, please!

90 minute boil / ferment at 48 F.

Wyeast 2633

OG 1.058
ABV 4.8%

(https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/005342726106/media/1677939685228882/medium/1600208117/enhance)

(https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/005342726106/media/1677939738411641/medium/1600209316/enhance)



Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Saccharomyces on September 15, 2020, 11:28:30 PM
Mt. Hood is one of my favorite hops.  It was one of the five hops with which I brewed in the 90s.  Mt. Hood is only second to its sister Liberty.  Both of these hop cultivars are triploids (three sets of chromosomes); therefore, they are sterile and seedless.  Mt. Hood was created by taking Hallertau Mittlefruh and doubling its chromosomes via colchicine treatment to produce a tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes), which was bred back with a male diploid (two sets of chromosomes) to produce a triploid.  The same thing happened with Liberty.  However, to me, Liberty is the closest to Hallertau Mittlefruh. It is like a cross between Mt. Hood and Hallertau Mittlefruh aroma and taste-wise. I am certain that your beer is good.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: pete b on September 16, 2020, 12:10:56 AM
I find the malt bill very appealing as well.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Sanatorium on September 16, 2020, 11:50:37 AM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 16, 2020, 02:40:55 PM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o

No, not at all. Very well balanced between the malt, the hops, and overall body.

None of us detected much if any residual sweetness. It is not dry in finish either. The actual FG was lower than 1.02X, 1.01X is what the calculator showed.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 16, 2020, 02:43:29 PM
I find the malt bill very appealing as well.

This malt bill creates the classic color for an American Fest Bier. This might be our best effort so far. The recipe was suggested by TX Brewing Inc., the store where we obtain most of our ingredients.

We use Ireks Malt exclusively now.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: denny on September 16, 2020, 02:45:17 PM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o

High FG  does not necessarily imply sweetness
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 16, 2020, 04:52:26 PM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o

High FG  does not necessarily imply sweetness

Keep in mind that the ABV could easily be 5.0, 5.4, or more. My numbers are a WAG, using a refractometer with alcohol present, and then using an online calculator. It’s probably closer to 5.5% based on our drinking tests.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Cliffs on September 16, 2020, 04:54:29 PM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o

High FG  does not necessarily imply sweetness

around 1.020 is when I start perceiving beers to have an unfermented like sweetness to them.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Cliffs on September 16, 2020, 04:58:34 PM
Mt. Hood is one of my favorite hops.  It was one of the five hops with which I brewed in the 90s.  Mt. Hood is only second to its sister Liberty.  Both of these hop cultivars are triploids (three sets of chromosomes); therefore, they are sterile and seedless.  Mt. Hood was created by taking Hallertau Mittlefruh and doubling its chromosomes via colchicine treatment to produce a tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes), which was bred back with a male diploid (two sets of chromosomes) to produce a triploid.  The same thing happened with Liberty.  However, to me, Liberty is the closest to Hallertau Mittlefruh. It is like a cross between Mt. Hood and Hallertau Mittlefruh aroma and taste-wise. I am certain that your beer is good.

YES!!!
I worked at  homebrew shop in the early 2000's, and I recall the smell of fresh Mt. Hood. It really is an underappreciated hop.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Village Taphouse on September 16, 2020, 05:12:59 PM
I have made many Festbier recipes over the years and I keep simplifying it.  Some very good German brewers mentioned that it could be as simple as 50/50 pilsner/Munich 2 and one hop addition at the start of the boil for about 25 IBUs.  I did a few that way and eventually went with 65/35 Pils/Munich 2 and then either Spalt or Hallertau and my yeast of choice is Omega Bayern.  The result is a beer that is simple and more pale than you might think.  I have a batch of this that has been lagering now for about 8 weeks and it will be brought out shortly.  Here's a shot of the one from 2019.

(https://i.postimg.cc/R0pbc9xD/Oktoberfestlager2018c2.jpg)

Here's one that was 50/50...

(https://i.postimg.cc/jqMCPFDJ/festbier2017a.jpg)
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: denny on September 16, 2020, 05:17:05 PM
You don't find this overly sweet finishing at 1.021?  :o

High FG  does not necessarily imply sweetness

around 1.020 is when I start perceiving beers to have an unfermented like sweetness to them.

But it it's balanced by bitterness I have no issues with an FG like that.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 16, 2020, 05:38:55 PM
I have made many Festbier recipes over the years and I keep simplifying it.  Some very good German brewers mentioned that it could be as simple as 50/50 pilsner/Munich 2 and one hop addition at the start of the boil for about 25 IBUs.  I did a few that way and eventually went with 65/35 Pils/Munich 2 and then either Spalt or Hallertau and my yeast of choice is Omega Bayern.  The result is a beer that is simple and more pale than you might think.  I have a batch of this that has been lagering now for about 8 weeks and it will be brought out shortly.  Here's a shot of the one from 2019.

(https://i.postimg.cc/R0pbc9xD/Oktoberfestlager2018c2.jpg)

Here's one that was 50/50...

(https://i.postimg.cc/jqMCPFDJ/festbier2017a.jpg)

While at the Paulaner Restuarant in Frankfurt, and drinking their Fest Bier, it looked exactly like your sample from 2019. Oktoberfest biers over there are much more pale in color.

Might try that 65/35 grain bill. I like that color!
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Village Taphouse on September 16, 2020, 06:11:21 PM
There is always a bit of muddy water around the style too... Oktoberfest, Export Helles, Tent Beer.  I think there is room for all of these styles but it seems like most of the beer being consumed in the tents is a stronger version of a helles which I think is the most popular beer style in Bavaria during the rest of the year.  I used to add CaraMunich, Aromatic, etc. but at some point I realized it wasn't necessary.  German recipes are often SIMPLE even if their processes are not.  I'm looking forward to this upcoming batch and will snap a pic and post it.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on September 16, 2020, 06:32:41 PM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 16, 2020, 10:55:33 PM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

We did use W-34/70 for 10 gallons, with the above recipe. It turned out to be an exact clone brew of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. All of us preferred the version with the Wyeast 2366.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on September 16, 2020, 11:27:48 PM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

We did use W-34/70 for 10 gallons, with the above recipe. It turned out to be an exact clone brew of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. All of us preferred the version with the Wyeast 2366.

I can only assume that yeast is great. I’ve been experimenting with blending dry yeasts to make my lagers more interesting. I prefer dry yeast at this point due to convenience. I think I only use liquid in kolsch because I haven’t found a good dry alternative.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 17, 2020, 12:13:17 AM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

We did use W-34/70 for 10 gallons, with the above recipe. It turned out to be an exact clone brew of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. All of us preferred the version with the Wyeast 2366.

I can only assume that yeast is great. I’ve been experimenting with blending dry yeasts to make my lagers more interesting. I prefer dry yeast at this point due to convenience. I think I only use liquid in kolsch because I haven’t found a good dry alternative.

First time for us to use it. And, it makes an awesome Fest Bier. We were a little skeptical at the outset, but now have come to really like the 2366.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 17, 2020, 12:30:30 AM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

The current festbiers are between an export and Heller Bock. There are some differences between breweries.

On another forum a guy said the Weihenstefaner's is all Pils malt with a decoction.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on September 17, 2020, 12:34:49 AM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

The current festbiers are between an export and Heller Bock. There are some differences between breweries.

On another forum a guy said the Weihenstefaner's is all Pils malt with a decoction.

Yeah with a estimated srm of 5.4 mine is going to get me where I want to be for what I would like. I wasn’t try to clone it my any means but I really like Sierra Nevadas example this year.

I don’t know if mine will be good at all but it seems there is still a lot of confusion between festbier and marzen for Americans.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: tommymorris on September 17, 2020, 12:56:09 AM
I have one currently in the fermenter:
74% pilsner
14% munich II
12% munich I

S-189/w3470 blend

Basically took my helles bock and brought the gravity down...

The current festbiers are between an export and Heller Bock. There are some differences between breweries.

On another forum a guy said the Weihenstefaner's is all Pils malt with a decoction.

Yeah with a estimated srm of 5.4 mine is going to get me where I want to be for what I would like. I wasn’t try to clone it my any means but I really like Sierra Nevadas example this year.

I don’t know if mine will be good at all but it seems there is still a lot of confusion between festbier and marzen for Americans.
This year’s Sierra Nevada Festbier is great.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: fredthecat on September 21, 2020, 02:11:54 PM
I have made many Festbier recipes over the years and I keep simplifying it.  Some very good German brewers mentioned that it could be as simple as 50/50 pilsner/Munich 2 and one hop addition at the start of the boil for about 25 IBUs.  I did a few that way and eventually went with 65/35 Pils/Munich 2 and then either Spalt or Hallertau and my yeast of choice is Omega Bayern.  The result is a beer that is simple and more pale than you might think.  I have a batch of this that has been lagering now for about 8 weeks and it will be brought out shortly.  Here's a shot of the one from 2019.


yup, just in general i've simplified my grists so much from years past. i feel embarassed now looking at kitchen sink recipes i did with 4oz this, 4oz that and 10 different malts.
Title: Re: Fest Bier
Post by: TXFlyGuy on September 21, 2020, 11:19:50 PM
I have made many Festbier recipes over the years and I keep simplifying it.  Some very good German brewers mentioned that it could be as simple as 50/50 pilsner/Munich 2 and one hop addition at the start of the boil for about 25 IBUs.  I did a few that way and eventually went with 65/35 Pils/Munich 2 and then either Spalt or Hallertau and my yeast of choice is Omega Bayern.  The result is a beer that is simple and more pale than you might think.  I have a batch of this that has been lagering now for about 8 weeks and it will be brought out shortly.  Here's a shot of the one from 2019.


yup, just in general i've simplified my grists so much from years past. i feel embarassed now looking at kitchen sink recipes i did with 4oz this, 4oz that and 10 different malts.

We have brewed several beers, all very good, that had a single malt in the grain bill. Sometimes less really is more.