Solstice Festbier and AGU Tribute 2015

21 and 28 June, 2014 AD

OK, I am running a little late this year, brewing my Marzens in June. This will be the last oktoberfest at Solis Thoor, so might as well make it a good one.  

I brewed two styles. One is pretty much a repeat of last year’s Hunger Game marzen. The second is my homage to the AGU. I made my own interpretation of your 2014 fest recipe.

Solstice Festbier:

Grain Bill

  • 6 pounds German Pilsner
  • 2 pounds red wheat malt
  • 1 pound Vienna malt
  • 0.5 pound light crystal 10L
  • 1 pound cara Munich

Hop Bill

  • 2 ounce German Hallertau pellets (2.7% alpha) 1.5 hrs (won’t be overhopped!)
  • unknown small quantity of unknown variety of hops from my vines

Yeast

  • White labs Octoberfest Lager yeast

I made a starter the night before.

Mash Schedule-

I hit my temps like clockwork with the decoctions.

    • 3 gallons well water.
    • Mash in: Strike temp = 100 F
    • Glucanase rest: Temp = 100 F hold for 20’ (not sure where I got this idea)
    • Protein rest: Raise to 125 F (122-127); hold 30‘
    • Decoction 1: Remove 40% of thickest part of mash into second kettle
      • Raise second kettle to 158 F (158-162); hold saccharification for 20’
      • Keep rest mash 122 F (122-127)
      • Bring second kettle to boil; boil 10 min
    • Beta amylase rest: Recombine with rest mash to bring to 150 F (145- 153F) & hold for 30’
    • Decoction 2: Remove 1/3 mash into second kettle, slowly raise to boil for 10’
    • Alpha amylase Rest: Recombine with rest mash. Was dead on at 160 (158-162)F; hold for 1.5 hour. Temp had dropped to about 145, so I brought back to 160 and rested another half hour.
    • Mash out: Raise to 170 F

Sparge

  • 4.5 gallons well water. I did not treat the sparge water for this one, but did for the next one.

I came frighteningly close to a stuck mash, probably due to the wheat in the mix. But, I slowed the outflow to a trickle and it never did actually come to a full stop. The gravity at the start of the boil, just after sparge, was 1.050

Boil

  • Total boil about 2 hrs
  • 2.7 AAUs (pellets) added at start of boil
  • 2.7 AAUs (leaf) added 60 minutes in
  • handful of hedgerow mystery hops to add complexity and make sure I can never actually repeat a recipe.

O.G.: 1.070

Came up short on volume. Probably about 4 gals. This was my inspiration to brew a second festbier.

 

AGU Tribute Fest:

An interpretation of the 2014 AGU fest. I wanted to stick with the idea of splitting the base grain bill in half, half pils malt and half a blend of Munich and Vienna. The AGU hop level is listed at 35 AAU for a 20 gallon batch, which is 1.75 AAU per gallon. This means just shy of 9 AAU for a 5 gallon batch, which worked out well for the American Hallertau I used.

Grain Bill

  • 5 pounds German Pilsner
  • 3 pounds Vienna malt
  • 2 pounds Munich malt
  • 0.5 pound crystal 60L
  • 0.5 pound cara Munich 3

Hop Bill

  • 2 ounce American Hallertau pellets (4.5% alpha) 1.5 hrs

Yeast

  • White labs Octoberfest Lager yeast cultured from first batch.

I racked the previous week’s batch and made a starter from it. It was not really ready to be racked, but as Shakespeare said, some beers have racking thrust upon them.

Mash Schedule-

I again hit my temps like clockwork with the decoctions.

  • 3 gallons well water.
  • Mash in: Strike temp = 100 F
  • Glucanase rest: Temp = 100 F hold for 20’ (not sure where I got this idea)
  • Protein rest: Raise to 125 F (122-127); hold 30‘
  • Decoction 1: Remove 40% of thickest part of mash into second kettle
    • Raise second kettle to 158 F (158-162); hold saccharification for 20’
    • Keep rest mash 122 F (122-127)
    • Bring second kettle to boil; boil 10 min
  • Beta amylase rest: Recombine with rest mash to bring to 150 F (145- 153F) & hold for 30’
  • Decoction 2: Remove 1/3 mash into second kettle, slowly raise to boil for 10’
  • Alpha amylase Rest: Recombine with rest mash. Was dead on at 160 (158-162)F; hold for 1 hour. Temp had dropped to about 150, so I brought back to 160 and rested another half hour.
  • Mash out: Raise to 170 F

Sparge

  • 4.5 gallons well water treated with 1 tsp Calcium Chloride.

No issues with mash or sparge this time. Very smooth. Gravity to start boil 1.050

Boil

  • Total boil about 1.5 hrs
  • 4.5 AAUs (pellets) added at start of boil
  • 4.5 AAUs (leaf) added 30 minutes in

O.G.: 1.060

Good volume. Solid five gallons. This will be the quaffing beer on fest day and other will be the heavy stuff.

 

Plan for storage:

After fermentation, I will keg these with no priming and take them to my father’s restaurant to await the fall.

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2 thoughts on “Solstice Festbier and AGU Tribute 2015

  1. 6/30/15 Update

    No action at all in the fermenter for the AGU Tribute. The starter was going well, but maybe trying to reuse the yeast from the first batch was a bad move. Hopefully it will kick into gear here or there may be a problem.

    Temp is just under 60F in the fermentation room, so that should not be a problem for a lager yeast.

  2. Evening update:

    I had some of the starter left over that I held onto in case of emergency. I pitched that into the AGU this morning. Fermentation commenced by the time I finished lunch. Should be OK.

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