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Decemberfest Lager

Brewed: 12/12/2021   Kegged: 01/01/2022


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.


I brewed it again in 2021 using local maltster Root Shoot's Vienna malt, which has a significantly higher Lovibond.

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

Decemberfest Lager --- Batch 2

Style Festbier Batch Size 5.75 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.83 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.056 SG Estimated FG 1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness 25.3 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.9 %
BU : GU   0.451        
Recipe Color 7.5 SRM
Measured OG:   1.055    Measured FG:   1.011 
ADF:   79    Measured ABV:   5.8 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.79 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
6.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
4.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
1.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
7 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 53.8 % 0.55 gal
5 lbs Vienna Malt (6.0 SRM) Grain 6 38.5 % 0.39 gal
1 lbs Caravienne Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 7 7.7 % 0.08 gal
0.500 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 13.6 IBUs -
0.500 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 9 9.0 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 10 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 11 - -
1.000 oz Tettnang (Tettnang Tettnager) [3.90 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 2.6 IBUs -
1.0 pkg Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70) [50.28 ml] Yeast 13 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 1.0 days) Fining 14 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 31.14 qt of water at 157.2 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
Acid addition to bring calculated pH around 5.4
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.
After the keg is chilled, add geletin to keg.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.050 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.83 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
12/12/2021 esheppy
Brew day today. Strike water heated up overnight. Up at 5:30ish. Mash timer started at around 4:45ish.
12/13/2021 esheppy
Brew day went well. Ended up with 5.5 gallons in the fermentor at 1.055. Close enough. Next morning ... still waiting for the yeast to kick off. Tilt at 1.048 53 degrees. Controller says we're at 50 degrees.
12/14/2021 esheppy
Tilt says 1.042 at 52 degrees. I raised the controller temp to 51 last night. Will probably bump of to 52 today.
12/15/2021 esheppy
Tilt says 1.036 at 52 degrees. Still bubbling strong. Raised the controller to 53.
12/16/2021 esheppy
Still going pretty strong. Tilt says 1.022 at 54 degrees. Raised controller to 54.
12/18/2021 esheppy
Afternoon. Tilt says 1.007 at 57. Set to 57. Took a tiny sample. Tastes fantastic. Honestly perfect. Beautiful color too. Needs clarity. Can't wait for this beer, but I guess I'll have to.
12/20/2021 esheppy
Tilt says 1.004 at 60 degrees. Still using the cooling system, but will probably turn it off before the end of the day. Pretty much no bubbling at the moment. I don't have a keg available right now, so I'll have to drink up.
12/21/2021 esheppy
Tilt at 1.003 at 61 degrees. Unplugged the pump so that the fermentation will finish up at ambient temperature.
01/01/2022 esheppy
Kegged today. FG at 1.011. Sample very nice. Perfectly balanced. Love the cracker malt flavor. Beautiful gold color. Chilling on the patio.
01/02/2022 esheppy
Added gelatin and put into kegerator. Beer was very slushie from being outside overnight.
01/09/2022 esheppy
I love the golden color of this beer. A shade or two darker than the last batch, and oh so beautiful. Clarity is pretty good now too. Fantastic flavor. Pretty good carbonation. This is a great beer. I really like this dark Vienna malt from Root Shoot.
02/18/2022 esheppy
Actually been awhile since I've had this. Still great. Not sure how much longer this will last.
02/25/2022 esheppy
Here it is almost March and I'm still drinking the Decemberfest. Still a gorgeous and delicious beer. Great head. Not real high on carbonation. About perfect.
03/06/2022 esheppy
The Beer Model killed this keg today. Actually sort of surprised it lasted this long. Need to brew beers to get my inventory back up.
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