altbier at slightly higher ferm temps

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

hilljack13

That's what she said!
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2023
Messages
844
Reaction score
1,099
Location
AL
I should have known better, but I never completely read through the recipe for my altbier kit. Thinking it uses an "ale" yeast (K-97) so I won't have to worry about cold fermentation. I as got all my water together, crushed grain, then went back through the recipe I see some cool ale temps going on. I found some references where some go as low as 50F to ferment. Well, since my chiller is still down due to a leak, I will need to bring the FV inside. I have a Flex+. I can keep the house temp near 68F if needed, but warmer outside temps and the fermentation warming up on it's own seems like a bad beer waiting to happen.
All I need (planned) to do was wake up tomorrow and turn on the G40 and go. I'm starting to have doubts. What would you do?
 
No basement? I'd try to keep the fermentation for an Altbier closer to 60-64F max. The specs on the yeast say good from 64-78F. Maybe just let it ride?
 
Interesting, I see this on the website, however the package shows 59-68.
You want to keep ester formation down for an Altbier. I wouldn't push it higher than 68F, but if the website says so...?

My best Altbiers with Kolsch yeast have been fermented cooler. Low 60s and ramp up to mid-60s to finish up.
 
I’ve always fermented K97 at 60 F. Warmer … normally, I’d say to not worry and just go for it. You’ll have a malty, bitter beer, and even if it has too much fermentation character to win medals at competition, it will be very good.

Here’s the “but”: K97 has been a bit of a puzzle for me. Sometimes it makes great beers, but sometimes it ends up weirdly tart. I don’t know what makes the difference, and I’d worry that maybe — just a guess — higher fermentation temperatures could bring out more tartness. I’ve dumped K97 beers before.

That said, it will probably be ok. If you want to brew today, and that’s what you’ve got, I’d still go for it. But if you have three kits in the shelf and it would be an option to pick another one and save the alt for when your chiller is working, then maybe.

If you have other dry yeast around (or a shop down the street) you could swap in 34/70 and call it steam beer.
 
I do have, at last count, 9 kits plus a crap ton of grain in bins. I am also working down a 500g batch of 34/70. The chiller will get the last part for repair put on today. If that works then maybe I will wait until the weekend.
 
I checked a few corners of the house. Spot in the closet was reading between 66.5-67F. I did the brew this morning and put it in the corner about an hour ago. I also set the thermostat to 69F. House won't get that cold, AL heat is already kicking in, so it will probably run me a few (lot) bucks to keep it going. The closet should be getting nice and cool.
 
First time so I try to follow recipe. If it turns out crappy I have a lot of 04/05 on hand. Other resources I find say 05 is pretty close. Why would you go 04 over 05?

My experience so far is that my 04 beers come out pretty good. I even use it for my Mott's Apple Juice. The 05 gave a strong funky flavor, while the 04 kept things nice and sweet.
 
swamp cooler
I'm in AL, too, and use this to keep temps lower with good results. Not exactly a swamp cooler but a tub deep enough to cover most of the beer in fv with water and enough space for a couple of 2 liter soda bottles. Fill and freeze 4 bottles, put 2 in the tub then rotate from freezer to tub as needed. A bit of a hassle but you can definitely keep your beer cooler this way. Could also wrap the fv in a towel or tee shirt to wick up the water and put a fan on but I haven't done that so I don't know how much difference it makes.
 
First time so I try to follow recipe. If it turns out crappy I have a lot of 04/05 on hand. Other resources I find say 05 is pretty close. Why would you go 04 over 05?

My experience so far is that my 04 beers come out pretty good. I even use it for my Mott's Apple Juice. The 05 gave a strong funky flavor, while the 04 kept things nice and sweet.
I find S-04 to be cleaner than US-05.

K-97 will give you a tart, yeasty, hazy mess. One of the worst yeasts out there in my experience.
 
I find S-04 to be cleaner than US-05.

K-97 will give you a tart, yeasty, hazy mess. One of the worst yeasts out there in my experience.
I agree that K-97 has some major drawbacks, however, it can make good beer. It does seem to produce a lot of bulk yeast solids, and they take a long time to settle out. I think it is the slowest flocculating yeast I have used so far, even cold crashed at 30F.

It is the yeast in suspension that imparts the sour taste, and once it it finally cleared, the beer tastes fine, and has some good flavor aspects. Cold or cool fermentation also helps, I think.

I am not recommending K-97, there are better yeasts for most applications. I'm just saying that if one has a batch made with it that is still cloudy, if you wait the time it takes to clear, preferably cold crashed at low temps, it will likely transform from a dumper to an enjoyable beer.
 
Circling back to say that if you want to make an altbier, you really do need an alt or a (this opinion will cause no controversy) Kolsch yeast.

If you're looking to make a good, bitter, malt-forward hybrid ale, using dry yeast, I would strongly recommend 34/70 at ale temperatures.
 
Looks like this thing is kicking pretty good. OG was a bit high, 1.057 and around the 22hr mark and the PRV is 12psi and SG is 1.046.
 
Only on day 2. SG from Tilt, after calibration to OG, is 1.042. Barely any movement from the PRV in last 12 hrs. Was 1.043. 12psi currently. Going to be a long haul if this is to reach expected FG.
 
Back
Top