Dry Festbier Tasting Results
Tastings: Tried it the 3rd and 4th week which were about the same. Wife sampled this batch to gave her opinion. She noted it was watered down and weak. She said it had a good after taste though, but disliked it overall. I noted it was lackluster, one dimensional and definitely missing something. There was an apparent dryness, but due to failure of adding too much water back in during the sparging/lautering phase I couldn't determine if the test of making a more alcoholic batch worked. I didn't measure original and final gravities as I am going strictly by taste like trying out a kitchen recipe.
Other Room for Error: My brew water was too alkaline - I brought the pH down quickly by adding vinegar.
New Ideas & Improvements: Will stick with German lager yeasts. Try more tolerant yeasts during the summer as the basement closet stays closer to 63 F. It can hit a good 57 F in the winter time. The warmest the mini fridge can hit 46 F, so I could do a not so ideal ferment with smaller beer containers (1/2 the size of the growlers offered by my local brewery.) At that temperature it will just take longer if I can get the temp inside the low range of the yeast. I do have 16 oz. Mr. Beer bottles that would fit the minifridge and have a pressure releasing cap - makes a mess in there, but could leave a couple of rags to catch the mess. I need to find out what malts my local brew shop carries as it may make a difference to use. There are some European malts that may have a honey sweet taste versus the grainy American malts. (Reference recent issue of Craft Beer & Brewing)