Altbier recipe thoughts

Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:48 pm

Hey folks. I wanted to get some thoughts from you all on an Altbier recipe I am working on. I wanted an oktoberfest, but don't have the ability to lager right now. So altbier it is. I'd love to hear tips, and things to consider if you've done one before. First, my recipe...

5.5 gallons
Mashing @ 153 degrees/60 minutes

5lbs Pilsner malt
3lbs Munich malt
2lbs dark munich
12oz Caramunich (I added Caramunich 2 in Beersmith, but I usually make that decision in the brew shop by taste and aroma)
4oz Carapils
1oz Tradition @ 60 min
1oz Hallertauer @ 45 min
Irish Moss @ 10 min
1oz Hallertauer @ 5 min
German Ale Wyeast 1007 (I always use White Labs, but saw that their two German ale yeasts give off sulfur. Is that something to really be worried over?)

I did a little research and this seemed traditionally to style, but then saw Jamil's Cowboy Alt recipe called for caramel malt, which wasn't traditional and wasn't exactly something I was looking for in this beer. But, it's Jamil, right?

Any notes you can give are appreciated.
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:24 pm

Welcome-

Overall, it mostly looks pretty good. I'd drop the caramunich, replacing it with more dark munich or even melanoidan malt. The 2015 guidelines for 7A altbier do not specify caramelly the way that 2008 N. German Altbier does. I seem to remember this getting batted around a lot in the BJCP, and the consensus was the caramel comments was a mistake. I trust that Gordon and the rest of those guys made the right decision on that.

IMO, 1 oz of Hallertau for aroma may be a bit much. I'd go with 1/2 oz instead.

153F mash is also a bit high. It should be clean and refreshing. from the 2015 guidelines : "Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Smooth. Medium to mediumhigh carbonation, although can be lower when served from the cask. Astringency low to none. Despite being very full of flavor, is light-bodied enough to be consumed as a gravity-fed session beer in its home brewpubs in Düsseldorf."

I'd go 151 on this, and carbonate to about 2.5 volumes.

1007 is a good yeast. Give it plenty of time to lager. That yeast will keep cleaning up as it takes its merry fucking time towards the bottom. It takes a LOT of time for it to drop. You can you hit it with finings, which will but be sure to let it really work on the beer while its lagering cold (32) in the fermenter for at least a month before doing that. You will be rewarded if you are patient. If you can't get it down that cold, then do it as cold as you can get it and give it more time.

It can throw sulphur, too, though in my experience it is not as bad as others and it decreases the more you let the yeast work. If you get farts in the keg, you can always run your co2 through backwards to degas it out (ie, swap the gray and black connectors and hook the gas up to the beer out post, then pull your relief valve to let co2 out, bubbling its way down through the dip tube and bubbling up through the whole column of beer. You can de-fart your keg that way in a short time.

HTH-
-B'Dawg
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:00 am

+1 to most of what Bdawg said. I would drop the carapils as that is not needed here. you will have enough body with your munich malts in there already. you could sub in some wheat malt instead if you are looking for better head retention though. I also agree with backing off on the 5 minute addition to 1/2 oz as this style should have a nice malt aroma coming through.

I have made great alts with cara malts and ones without. I do think that 12 oz is a bit too much though for this style. If you want to keep the caramunich in there, maybe back it off to 4-6 oz for a more subtle approach. As Bdawg said, a lower mash temp is crucial for this beer to get the dry german finish. A 150-151 mash sounds spot on for this.
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:27 am

Thanks for the advice. I'm making some tweaks to the recipe based on the advice here. I plan on brewing within the next week or so. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:30 am

brewinhard wrote: I would drop the carapils as that is not needed here. you will have enough body with your munich malts in there already.



Would you add 4oz more Munich malt instead?
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:16 pm

4 oz of munich isn't going to make much difference in this beer, but go ahead and add it if you want.
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:46 pm

i think with Altbier you could pretty much switch the weights on your 3 main malts and be ok. Want it a little darker and maltier, flip the Pils & D. Munich weights. Just a little darker, flip the pils and Munich. It's a great beer to play with the recipe. I like my Alt like I like my men, big n dark so I would flip the Pils and D. Munich. I also like some hops so I go a little heavy. Whatever you decide, definitely get rid of the caramunich. Good luck!
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Re: Altbier recipe thoughts

Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:03 pm

Steelers&Beer wrote: I like my Alt like I like my men, big n dark so I would flip the Pils and D. Munich.


Wow, you too? :unicornrainbow:
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