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Formulating Altbier Recipe . . .

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Halowords

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I'm planning a Sticke Alt for my next brew and had a few questions.

From what I've read, Dusseldorf Alts are Pilsner Malt based with moderate-to-no Munich Malt, usually no Crystal (however, Zum Uerige evidently has Crystal Malt but no Munich, as per their bottle ingredients list) and a little (I've usually been told 1% or just three to four oz.) of some kind of Roasted Malt. It is my understanding that authentic German Alts have very little Munich Malt, yet everywhere else it's used A LOT more heavy-handed so as to make the Alts good, but not necessarily authentic.

However, I've also heard a lot of people have success with Munich Malt anywhere from 30% to 100% of their malt grains. Not authentic, perhaps, but rich and malty.

So, has anybody tried making Alts with both a primarily Pilsener based grain bill AND one with a Munich based grain bill? I'd be interested to hear opinions on the contrast and preferences, and why? I think the Pilsner Malt-based versions would be a little more refreshing while the Munich Malt-based variety might be a bit too much like an Oktoberfest/Marzen.

I'm thinking of two recipes. The first is more of a Zum Uerige-style Sticke and goes a little something like this:

Pilsner Malt ______ 79%
CaraRed Malt ____ 20%
Carafa I ________ 1%
58 IBU's
OG 1.056
Wyeast 1010 or 1007


The other would be a non-traditional Alt, but focusing more on the malt characteristics.

Munich Malt __ 99%
Carafa I _____ 1%
50 IBU's
OG 1.056
Wyeast 1007

I'm fairly certain I'll make both, but thought I'd throw them out there and let you other brewers toss in your two cents.

-Cheers
 

JasonY

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I have only had one attempt to date on an Alt and am reasonably happy with the result. I went down the munich path using 70/30 munich/pils with some carafaII to get the color right. Only one hop addition for bittering. I got the yeast too cold and it stuck half way so I ended up repitching and the brew initially tasted a little sweet to me but now as teh keg dwindles it is tasting great.

I don't know I would add that much crystal but then I am generally wary of too much crystal in anything as I find it too sweet.

Couple of good threads here and here.
 

Gough

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G'day Halowords,

Just further to your query about Munich malt in Altbier, Horst Dornbusch (sp??) who has published in the area and seems to be regarded by the Yanks as a bit of an expert, had an article in BYO magazine around 3 or 4 issues ago (it is at home and I can't find a link to it through their site, sorry, although there are other different alt recipes and articles on the site), where he discussed the parameters of the style and then put together a 100% Weyermann Munich I recipe with a decoction mash. From that and other research I've done it would seem that Munich is a pretty important malt in Alts. I think TDA and Grumpy Thomas (tdh on here I think) should hopefully have something more to say given their alt making experience. It'll be really interesting to see which version you prefer. The alts I've made (only 2 so far) have been very Munich heavy (I'm brewing another on Sunday with 60% Type I and 40% type II, 1007 wyeast), but my memory of those I drank in Germany was of a lighter style - albeit the tasting was some time ago... Let us know how they turn out.

Shawn.
 

tdh

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I drank the 4 Altbier in Duesseldorf and I wouldn't say that crystal malt had any distinguishable presence.
I would suggest at least 50% Dark German Munich, 40% German Pils, 10% German Melanoidin and enough Carafa to get the colour right.
Mash at 65-66*C and get an IBU level aroung 3/4 of the OG points. e.g. 1.048 = 36IBU

tdh
 

Halowords

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tdh said:
I drank the 4 Altbier in Duesseldorf and I wouldn't say that crystal malt had any distinguishable presence.
I would suggest at least 50% Dark German Munich, 40% German Pils, 10% German Melanoidin and enough Carafa to get the colour right.
Mash at 65-66*C and get an IBU level aroung 3/4 of the OG points. e.g. 1.048 = 36IBU

tdh
[post="70145"][/post]​
The only one I've heard of that has Crystal Malt in it is Zum Uerige. From what I've read in a few different places, their grain bill is

97% Pilsner Malt
1% Crystal malt
2% Roasted Malt (Probably Carafa)

Also, according to Daniels' "Designing Great Beers", Diebels Alt has an even simpler grain bill:

90% Base Malt (Probably Pilsner Malt)
10% Munich Malt

That's why the large % of Munich Malt that homebrewers surprises me. It just seems like everybody loves Zum Uerige, then makes what from the grain bill resembles a Marzen. I'm not questioning their merits as either Altbiers or good beer in general, just noting that they seem to be lighter-bodies and crisper when you look at the typical German Alts on paper.

Do the Munich Malt based Alts still closely resemble the flavor and body characteristics of the Dusseldorf varieties? I'm just wondering if the hops and yeast have more to do with that than the choice of Munich or Pilsner malts.

-Cheers
 

Barry

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Good Day
Was reading yesterday that at least one Duesseldorf brewer uses 100% munich (can't recall name but began with Sum I think). I had one of my Dus Alts last night because of this thread and even though it is only a fortnight old I really like it. I usually don't like using self praise as a basis of evaluation for others to rely on("don't totally trust anyone's advice unless you have tasted their beers" is a fair motto but on a forum you get to know brewers). So without any independent evaluation of my alt take the following with a grain of salt.

OG 1.054, FG 1.016, ADA 70%, Yeast WLP Dus Alt (65 -72% ADA), IBU 43, BUGU 0.8, 22 litres

2.8 kg JW Munich
1 kg JW Vienna
1 kg JW Pilsner
0.3 kg Melanoidan
50 gms Cara Aroma
50 gms JW Chocolate

14 gms Hersbrucker plug 2.9% FWH
60 gms Tettnanger pellets 4.7% Boil
10 gms Northern Brewer pellets 10% Boil

Mash at 66oC, Fermented at 10-12oC (this is in the range for this yeast so it could be used for other ales in winter).
This beer has a lot of malt character and hop bitterness battling it out in the mouth IMHO. I would be wary of using too much crystal type malt for this style as you might end up with an Irish Red Ale or English bitter instead (nothing wrong with that but not what you want).
Just my thoughts.
 

big d

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what a great time for an altbier question to arise.im back from holidays and am throwing around the idea of another alt to use up some of my stored wyeast 1007.as im under a reasonable stored amount of munich(i used 3 kg last alt) this thread has me very interested in using less or none at all of munich.reckon i may try halowords pilsner/crystal/carafa mix as a trial.maybe even utilise the last kg of munich.
hopping will remain tett/hers unless there are other variations worth consideration.

cheers
big d
 

Darren

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big d said:
what a great time for an altbier question to arise.im back from holidays and am throwing around the idea of another alt to use up some of my stored wyeast 1007.as im under a reasonable stored amount of munich(i used 3 kg last alt) this thread has me very interested in using less or none at all of munich.reckon i may try halowords pilsner/crystal/carafa mix as a trial.maybe even utilise the last kg of munich.
hopping will remain tett/hers unless there are other variations worth consideration.

cheers
big d
[post="70365"][/post]​

Where you been Big D? Was going to ask where you were. Thought maybe a crocodile or something .
Cheers
Darren :eek:
 

Darren

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Back to the topic,
Most of the homebrewed alts I have tried seem to have fermentation problems. I would suggest that anyone attempting a strong lager should ensure that they have HEAPS of healthy yeast. Because the OG is high I suspect that the yeast (presumably fermented at low temps) gets a bit stressed towards the ens of ferment. In the ones I have tried I detect "fruity" flavours that I suspect shouldnot be there.
Appropriate cooling and Pitching BIGGGG is the way to go.
cheers
Darren
 

big d

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hi darren
was in perth for 5 weeks. :)

cheers
big d
 

johnno

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big d said:
hi darren
was in perth for 5 weeks. :)

cheers
big d
[post="70401"][/post]​
Hi Big D

Welcome back.

johnno
 

big d

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hi johnno

well after a bit of looking around other sights ive settled on this recipe for tomorrow

5 kg pils
340g melanoidin
.250g caramunich
28g carafa 1
28g roast barley

ive no spalt so will use hallertauer

56g @ 60 min

wyeast 1007 naturally.
this is very different from my first alt which used munich and pilsner malts.
cheers
big d
 

Doc

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I recently brewed my first Alt. It was based on a recipe from an old book that has always helped me produce fantastic beers.

Disclaimer: I have never been to Dusseldorf and drunk Alt their. I have never sort out an Alt in Australia.

The Alt that was produced from the following recipe is a great beer. Full, malty, easy drinking, and not too sweet. I'm really enjoying it. So until I taste an authentic Alt to compare it too, I've got my version already.

Beers,
Doc

Doc's Altbier

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------
08-C Koelsch & Altbier, Northern German Altbier

Min OG: 1.040 Max OG: 1.055
Min IBU: 25 Max IBU: 40
Min Clr: 22 Max Clr: 37 Color in EBC

Recipe Specifics
----------------
Batch Size (L): 40.00 Wort Size (L): 40.00
Total Grain (kg): 8.63
Anticipated OG: 1.055 Plato: 13.54
Anticipated EBC: 21.4
Anticipated IBU: 30.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts
----------------
Evaporation Rate: 10.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 47.06 L
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.047 SG 11.59 Plato

Formulas Used
-------------
Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.
Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.
Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg
Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 %

Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Potential EBC
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
78.8 6.80 kg. JWM Traditional Ale Malt Australia 1.038 7
13.9 1.20 kg. JWM Wheat Malt Australia 1.040 4
6.5 0.56 kg. JWM Caramalt Australia 1.036 56
0.8 0.07 kg. TF Black Malt UK 1.033 1270

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
52.00 g. Hallertauer Aroma Pellet 7.00 26.2 45 min.
34.00 g. Hallertauer Aroma Pellet 5.20 3.8 15 min.


Extras
Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.51 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----
White Labs WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt


Water Profile
-------------
Profile:
Profile known for:

Calcium(Ca): 0.0 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 0.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 0.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 0.0 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 0.0 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): 0.0 ppm

pH: 0.00

Mash Schedule
-------------

Mash Type: Single Step

Grain kg: 8.63
Water Qts: 29.59 - Before Additional Infusions
Water L: 28.00 - Before Additional Infusions

L Water Per kg Grain: 3.24 - Before Additional Infusions

Saccharification Rest Temp : 66 Time: 90
Mash-out Rest Temp : 72 Time: 10
Sparge Temp : 80 Time: 60


Total Mash Volume L: 33.76 - Dough-In Infusion Only

All temperature measurements are degrees Celsius.

Notes
-----

10 AAU hallertau 2/3 45 mins 1/3 15 mins
aaus = aa X weight (oz) 10/3.9 = 2.56 oz
 

big d

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looks good doc.
it never ceases to amaze me of how many recipe variations of a style of beer are available to try and no doubt all very good.just a matter of finding a personal favourite i guess.

cheers
big d
 

Halowords

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big d said:
this is very different from my first alt which used munich and pilsner malts.
cheers
big d
[post="70410"][/post]​
I'd be interested to hear your opinion on differences (and possibly preference) between the Munich & Pilsner Malt based and the entirely Pilsner Malt based Alt. From other people I've talked to, the taste isn't all that different, but the Munich's are maltier and richer while the Pils' based ones are crisper and more refreshing.

But in reality, it's probably only a matter of time before I try both, with a preference for the Pils-based if I'm brewing it for a refreshing summer beer, and a preference for Munich-based if I'm brewing for the cooler months.

-Cheers
 

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