D-lite Fest­bier

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Recipes In This Issue - Tay­lor Caron


Batch size: 5 gal­lons (19 liters) Brew­house ef­fi­ciency: 72% OG: 1.052 FG: 1.012 IBUS: 18 ABV: 5.3%


10 lb (4.5 kg) Wey­er­mann Ex­tra-pale Premium Pil­sner 0.4 lb (181 g) Wey­er­mann Carafoam Cal­cium car­bon­ate and cal­cium sul­fate 3:1 to 50 ppm cal­cium, ac­cord­ing to your water pro­file

HOPS SCHED­ULE YEAST 1.5 oz (42 g) Tet­tnanger [5% AA] at 20 min­utes

Lots of Saflager W-34/70 Lager Dry Yeast, White Labs WLP830 (Ger­man Lager), or Wyeast 2124 (Bo­hemian Lager).

A two-step starter of 2 quarts (1.9 l) to 1 gal­lon (3.8 l) should give you enough from a healthy pack­age of liq­uid yeast. Or sim­ply spring for four pack­ages to en­sure a quick and full fer­men­ta­tion.


Dough in with 13 quarts (12.3 l) water to hit 150°F (66°C) for 60 min­utes, then add 5.5 quarts (5.2 l) of boil­ing water to mash out. Vor­lauf and lauter as usual but keep in mind that your boil off will be about 25 per­cent of nor­mal. Ei­ther col­lect only 5.5 gal­lons (20.8 l) or plan to have some ex­tra beer. Then hold the wort in the boil ket­tle as close to 170°F (77°C) as you can (lid off!) for 100 min­utes. Bring to a boil and add the sin­gle hop ad­di­tion. (Feel free to sub­sti­tute an equiv­a­lent IBU of your fa­vorite low-al­pha Ger­man hop.) Shut it down af­ter 20 min­utes of rolling boil.

Chill the wort rapidly to slightly be­low fer­men­ta­tion tem­per­a­ture, about 50°F (10°C). Aer­ate the wort and pitch the yeast.

Hold the tem­per­a­ture as close to 50–52°F (10–11°C) as you can for 2 weeks be­fore slowly low­er­ing it to 36–38°F (2–3°C) and trans­fer­ring to sec­ondary for a 3-week lager. Pack­age as usual.


In my ex­per­i­ment, acidu­la­tion was done with lac­tic acid, but you can also re­place some of the Pil­sner malt with Wey­er­mann Acidu­lated malt. You should be able to move ph down about 0.1 with each per­cent of the grist.

To chill this wort quickly, you’ll want to pull out all the stops. Keep in mind the cur­rent tem­per­a­ture of your ground­wa­ter! If you have an im­mer­sion chiller, com­bine it with an ice bath and near con­tin­u­ous stir­ring to reach that 100°F (38°C) mark. I’ve seen this hap­pen in as lit­tle as 12 min­utes in the sum­mer. Run­ning an im­mer­sion chiller in an ice bath as a prechiller for a plate chiller will al­low your wort to run very fast and also give an ex­cel­lent cold break. leave be­hind a mea­sur­able amount of DMS to con­trib­ute any re­duc­tion to the length of time in the “DMS rest.”

The re­sult­ing beers were (un­der­stand­ably, given the short boil time) all im­pres­sively light in color, but would they be drink­able? Ta­ble 2 shows the re­sults, again run through New Bel­gium’s lab. As you can see, the longer the wort was al­lowed to stand pre-boil, the greater the re­duc­tion of DMS in the fin­ished beer. Although most tasters would de­tect DMS even in the sam­ple with the low­est DMS level, the vari­ance among them is won­der­fully telling.

The fi­nal test is, of course, to pro­duce an ac­tual beer us­ing both a con­ven­tional lauter and 90-minute boil and us­ing a 100-minute DMS stand and a 20-minute boil time (chilling them much faster!) and com­pare fla­vor and color de­vel­op­ment. Look for the fol­low-up re­port in “A Novel Ap­proach to DMS Re­duc­tion, Part 2.”

My the­ory (based on the ev­i­dence) is that given a di­rect-fired boil, let­ting the hot wort stand be­fore­hand will still al­low dra­matic DMS pro­duc­tion and volatiliza­tion with a very min­i­mal boil time and should pro­duce the light­est color pos­si­ble on a given sys­tem.

It would be in­ter­est­ing to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate the time needed to gen­er­ate 100 per­cent of the avail­able SMM-TO-DMS and then just how short a boil is nec­es­sary to be rid of it. It’s fea­si­ble that given enough time be­fore and dur­ing boil, the prob­lems of a slower chill method could be greatly mit­i­gated. Lucky for us, there is al­ways more re­search to be done!

Un­til then, if you like the idea of an im­pos­si­bly light col­ored beer—the D-lite Fest­bier recipe (left), for in­stance—con­sider a DMS stand on the light­est-kilned malt you can find and chill it as near in­stantly as you can. I’m cer­tain it will be “d-lite­ful.”

Ta­ble 1

Ta­ble 2

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