Altbiers are one of my favorite styles, so I have made a few versions over the years. I had great success with a recipe from the Altbier book by Horst Dornbusch. I first brewed it back in 2020, and it turned out really well. The 2021 edition was similarly great, so I made only minor tweaks for the 2022 brew. Instead of a mix of Briess Caramel Munich 60L and Caramunich I, I went with straight Caramunich I. Additionally, I switched the yeast from K97 to Lallemand’s Kolsch-style ale yeast. Everything else is pretty much the same.
Alstadt Alt 2.0
- 6.5 lb. Viking Pilsner malt
- 1.5 lb. Munich I malt (Weyermann)
- 1.5 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
- 1 lb. Caramunich I malt (Weyermann)
- 2 oz. Carafa Special I malt (Weyermann)
- 1.2 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1.0 oz. Spalt Spalter hop pellets (5.6% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. Köln Kölsch Style Ale Yeast (Lallemand)
- 1.050 s.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.1% abv, 36 IBU, 12 SRM
- 90 minute infusion mash, full volume, 152°
- Claremont tap water treated with Campden tablet
- I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 158°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I added 3mL of 88% lactic acid and held the mash here (with recirculation) for 90 minutes, before raising to 168° for the 10 minute mash-out. I extended the mash a touch so as to aim for a slightly higher attenuation.
- After removing the grain basket, I had 6.5 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.044, for an efficiency of 72%.
- I brought the runnings to a boil, adding malt and finings per the recipe. After the 60 minute boil, I chilled to 68° and transferred to the fermenter. I let it chill a bit more in the fermentation chamber, before pitching the yeast and setting the fermentation temperature to 64°.
- I brewed the beer on 22 January 2022, and it had a starting gravity of 1.049. I kegged the beer on 14 February 2022, and it had a final gravity of 1.014. This works out to 4.6% abv.
- Brilliantly clear beer, of medium-dark amber color, with a fine and persistent ivory colored head.
- Rich and malty, with a bread crust character; a low level of spicy hop character is also present.
- Malty and bready, with a firm and assertive but not over the top bitterness. There is a very, very slight fruity yeast character.
- Medium body, moderate carbonation, with a dry finish. Very pleasant.
- Would I brew this again?
- This one of my favorite recipes! The hop presence isn’t quite as nice this time around, but otherwise it’s a really great beer. It’s very drinkable and very flavorful.