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Old 10-07-2013, 05:58 PM   #21
strayer24
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well the first all grain experience went very poorly and hopefully wont discourage us. The OG was a little low to begin with only around 1.036 but i am going to attribute that to how we sparged and the quickness of it. we wanted to fly sparge and it ended up being more like a batch sparge while we were draining it too quickly leading to less sugars/enzymes than we wanted. It is a little low on the alcohol level but i will turn out to be okay in the long run.

We let it sit for a little longer in the primary and will switch it to the secondary this week. or after the fermentation is done. I plan on trying it again so hopefully it will be better next time

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by strayer24
well the first all grain experience went very poorly and hopefully wont discourage us. The OG was a little low to begin with only around 1.036 but i am going to attribute that to how we sparged and the quickness of it. we wanted to fly sparge and it ended up being more like a batch sparge while we were draining it too quickly leading to less sugars/enzymes than we wanted. It is a little low on the alcohol level but i will turn out to be okay in the long run.

We let it sit for a little longer in the primary and will switch it to the secondary this week. or after the fermentation is done. I plan on trying it again so hopefully it will be better next time
Hopefully it will all work out in the end. You definitely want to slow down if you're fly sparging. However, if you are batch sparging you should be able to get away with a faster lautering rate. I batch sparge and happily get 70-75% efficiency.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:32 AM   #23
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Since my next beer is going to be my first beer with a fermentation fridge, I was thinking of making a derivation of this (extract based). I love the simplicity and the fact that I can get in the ballpark with extracts that my LHBS carries:

3.3lbs Briess Munich LME (50% Munich, 50% "Base Malt")
3lbs Briess Pilsen DME (Pilsen+Carapils (probably something like 95% Pilsen/5% Carapils).

I was also thinking about trying this as my first partial mash, with maybe 4 or 5 pounds of Munich LME and doing a partial mash with Pilsner/etc.

I'm sure that's close enough, but it got me thinking:

1) With the reduced Munich, I was thinking of adjusting the hops a bit and making this a "Northern German" style alt.

My adjustments would be to shoot for ~30IBU, and maybe go with just a single hop addition at 60 minutes (Magnum or Warrior) and drop the late hop addition.

2) I'm assuming you avoided adding any crystal/caramel malts to keep the beer as crisp and malty as possible. The reason I'm asking is that with the reduced Munich, I'm struggling to get the color up without going over ~2oz of Chocolate Wheat.

Rather than adding more Chocolate Wheat, I was thinking of adding a small amount of a darker caramel malt, maybe something like 4-6oz of Caraaroma (130L) to get the color up a bit while staying pretty malty.

I know I'm bordering on "this isn't even the same recipe" territory here, but I'd love to hear your thoughts here. Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:25 PM   #24
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Since my next beer is going to be my first beer with a fermentation fridge, I was thinking of making a derivation of this (extract based). I love the simplicity and the fact that I can get in the ballpark with extracts that my LHBS carries:

3.3lbs Briess Munich LME (50% Munich, 50% "Base Malt")
3lbs Briess Pilsen DME (Pilsen+Carapils (probably something like 95% Pilsen/5% Carapils).

I was also thinking about trying this as my first partial mash, with maybe 4 or 5 pounds of Munich LME and doing a partial mash with Pilsner/etc.

I'm sure that's close enough, but it got me thinking:

1) With the reduced Munich, I was thinking of adjusting the hops a bit and making this a "Northern German" style alt.

My adjustments would be to shoot for ~30IBU, and maybe go with just a single hop addition at 60 minutes (Magnum or Warrior) and drop the late hop addition.

2) I'm assuming you avoided adding any crystal/caramel malts to keep the beer as crisp and malty as possible. The reason I'm asking is that with the reduced Munich, I'm struggling to get the color up without going over ~2oz of Chocolate Wheat.

Rather than adding more Chocolate Wheat, I was thinking of adding a small amount of a darker caramel malt, maybe something like 4-6oz of Caraaroma (130L) to get the color up a bit while staying pretty malty.

I know I'm bordering on "this isn't even the same recipe" territory here, but I'd love to hear your thoughts here. Thanks in advance!
Sorry for the delayed response...

I think your ideas sound fine. No worries about it not "being the same recipe" - I have often started with someone else's recipe and then tweaked it to make it "my own". I think 99% of homebrewers do that.

I have no experience with the Northern German style, but from what I've read of the style, you have a good plan. As you deduced, I kept caramel malts out of the original recipe to avoid the heaviness that they can bring. I wanted to keep this crisp. That said, Kai Troester, someone I would trust implicitly with anything to do with German brewing, has a recipe on his website for an altbier that includes 10% Caramunich. I will probably try his recipe this Spring.

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Kaiser_Alt

I think you are correct to limit the amount of chocolate wheat (or other roasted malt)...it can come out too roasty...which will still taste good, but just not quite to style.

Good luck with the brew. Let me know what you decide(d) to do and how it turns out!
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:41 AM   #25
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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I've since gotten the equipment for a partial mash so I'll likely be doing that. I still have a week or two before I brew, so I'm still throwing around recipe ideas. I'll probably either start with 3lbs Pilsen DME or 3.3lbs Munich LME (50/50 Munich)+ 1lb of Pilsen or Amber DME and go from there.

I have considered doing a version of Kai's recipe for sure; I like the idea of keeping it simple the first time. It's not really possible to do a 100% munich base with a partial mash, but I could get in the ballpark for sure.

I hear you on trying to keep it crisp. I had a brown ale recently that had a pretty strong Caramunich component and I can't say I was much of a fan of the taste it brought. It was one tasting and I don't know much about the rest of the recipe, but since then I've been leaning towards keeping the Caramunich low or excluding it altogether.

But, I have little experience with Alts so any tweaks I make are mostly based on things people have said on the Internet and my own gut instinct . That's part of the fun of brewing for sure, but I'd like to try and stick relatively close to a proven recipe the first time around.

Thanks again for the reply.

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Old 01-24-2014, 01:57 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by JPrather View Post
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I've since gotten the equipment for a partial mash so I'll likely be doing that. I still have a week or two before I brew, so I'm still throwing around recipe ideas. I'll probably either start with 3lbs Pilsen DME or 3.3lbs Munich LME (50/50 Munich)+ 1lb of Pilsen or Amber DME and go from there.

I have considered doing a version of Kai's recipe for sure; I like the idea of keeping it simple the first time. It's not really possible to do a 100% munich base with a partial mash, but I could get in the ballpark for sure.

I hear you on trying to keep it crisp. I had a brown ale recently that had a pretty strong Caramunich component and I can't say I was much of a fan of the taste it brought. It was one tasting and I don't know much about the rest of the recipe, but since then I've been leaning towards keeping the Caramunich low or excluding it altogether.

But, I have little experience with Alts so any tweaks I make are mostly based on things people have said on the Internet and my own gut instinct . That's part of the fun of brewing for sure, but I'd like to try and stick relatively close to a proven recipe the first time around.

Thanks again for the reply.
Good luck with the brew. Sounds like you have thought things out. Whatever you decide to go with I'm sure it will turn out great.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #27
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At the risk of derailing the original recipe thread, here's an update:

Here's what I ended up brewing. I ended up kind of going middle of the road on it:

partial mash, 4.8 gallon batch into the fermenter:

3lbs Briess Pilsen DME (Late addition)

Mash (@153):

3lbs Best Malz Munich (~6.5L)
8oz Dingemans Caramunich (~45L)
6oz Weyermann Melanoidin (~23.5L)
2oz Briess Midnight Wheat (550L)

.5oz Warrior hops @ 60 min (16%AA)

IBU: ~32
SRM: ~14.6
OG 1.047

US-05 Slurry pitched and fermented @~60 degrees for 14 days. I cold conditioned for about 2.5 weeks in my new fridge, ~40deg F

FG: 1.012

Bottled it 10 days ago and popped one open today:



Really happy with how this turned out, it was pretty much exactly what I expected given that I've never had a true alt. It's definitely balanced bitter but with a lot of maltiness. I definitely see how people can go either way on these beers (all munich/lots of caramunich, vs lots of pilsner, little or no caramel malts).

It'll be interesting to see if the flavor changes in the next few weeks, but my first impressions are that next time I brew it i'll lean in the "thinner" direction. Getting it up to a full 5.5gal batch with a little more DME would probably strike a nice balance, maybe mash it lower and try to get the FG a little lower, etc.

Anyway, thanks again for the help earlier, figured you'd like to know how this turned out

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