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Old 05-07-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default help with Dusseldorf altbier

I'm looking to brew a traditional Dusseldorf altbier. The problem is, I've never had one, so I don't know even where to start with a recipe. A collegue's wife is from Dusseldorf and the two of them are unable to find a traditional Dusseldorf altbier here. They've tried the American versions that call themselves altbiers, but have not been impressed.

So, I'd like to surprise them with something. I know the basics of what makes an altbier, just not sure about the specifics. Any help? (I'm set up for partial mashes, but I can convert AG)


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Old 05-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Dusseldorf Alt kicks arse!

I was there for a trade show a couple years ago and drank as much as I as possible!! For my tastes, Uerige was the best. A tad hoppier than the others.

Kaiser has a recipe posted as well as instructions on the decoction method. I highly recommend it. (I'm feeling too lazy to find the links but the search function will bear fruit) Myself and a buddy did a 25 gallon batch last year.

I would recommend the "Dusseldorf Alt" (White Labs WPL036) yeast.

Happy brewing, this is a great beer!

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Old 05-07-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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I'm going to be trying this style after I start brewing all grain. I had my first Alt a couple of months ago and what stood out to me was the sweet grain taste. Maybe it wasn't to style but I told the server that it tasted just like my (mini) mash. Very, very enjoyable. I think that the yeast probably keeps it clean and malty. I'd use mostly 2-row with a little munich and some black for color. The one that I had had very little hops. Use something noble at 60 and 20 minutes. YMMV

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Old 05-08-2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
I'm looking to brew a traditional Dusseldorf altbier. The problem is, I've never had one, so I don't know even where to start with a recipe. A collegue's wife is from Dusseldorf and the two of them are unable to find a traditional Dusseldorf altbier here. They've tried the American versions that call themselves altbiers, but have not been impressed.

So, I'd like to surprise them with something. I know the basics of what makes an altbier, just not sure about the specifics. Any help? (I'm set up for partial mashes, but I can convert AG)
This is a great beer style. You can think of an altbier as the rough German analog of a British ESB, at least as far as the color, gravity and IBUs go. This style should be 100% German ingredients IMO so if you are going with a PM I would max out the grains for your rig and use something like the dry, light Austrailian extract for that side of the recipe. I would shoot for an OG in the mid 50s, IBUs in the mid 40's and a color like Fuller's ESB.

Something like this:


3.5 lbs German pils malt
1 lb German Munich malt
.5 lb CaraMunich II
2 oz Carafa II
3 lbs extra light dry malt extract

2 oz Spalt @ 60 minutes
.5 oz Spalt @ 20 minutes
.5 oz Spalt @ 5 minutes

Wyeast 1007 or White Labs 036 yeast

You could adjust the malt and extract up or down to hit the right OG. I like Spalt hops for this beer but any German noble hop or American equivalent like Mt. Hood or Crystal can be used.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:41 AM   #5
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Down with Altbier, Kolsch rules!

in all seriousness though. I've never brewed an alt, but its always good to give Jamil a listen when trying to "brew a classic style...".

here is the Kolsch and Dusseldorf Altier show. Alt is the second hour.

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:13 AM   #6
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After a week in Dusseldorf I went to Cologne, home of Kolsch.

Tried it at several different breweries.

Didn't care for it. Don't understand it's popularity at all.

German version of BMC as far as I'm concerned.

(damn, I'm in a nasty mood tonight)

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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Down with Altbier, Kolsch rules!

in all seriousness though. I've never brewed an alt, but its always good to give Jamil a listen when trying to "brew a classic style...".

here is the Kolsch and Dusseldorf Altier show. Alt is the second hour.
Thanks. That was a HUGE help. I hadn't listened to Jamil before. A bit rambling, but with great info.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:43 PM   #8
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Kaiser Alt

Flyangler's thread on Dusseldorf Altbier
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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A collegue's wife is from Dusseldorf and the two of them are unable to find a traditional Dusseldorf altbier here. They've tried the American versions that call themselves altbiers, but have not been impressed.
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Originally Posted by cuinrearview View Post
I had my first Alt a couple of months ago and what stood out to me was the sweet grain taste. Maybe it wasn't to style but I told the server that it tasted just like my (mini) mash.
I'm almost sure this is what they didn't like. I've been to Uerige twice and a couple others as well, and then ones I've had in the States have been too sweet. Even the Uerige one can buy here is much sweeter than what one gets at the brewery. At least that is my recollection. I'm hopefully planning a trip back this summer so I can make sure I'm remembering the flavors right.

My Alt is ~80/20 Pilsner/Munich malt with a bit of debittered black malt for color. Generously hopped, but no aroma hops.
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