Altbier Kaiser Alt

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Kaiser

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
Wyeast 1007
Yeast Starter
Yes
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.5
Original Gravity
1.046
Final Gravity
1.008
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
30
Color
Amber
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
7
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14

Kaiser Alt







I designed this recipe based on Guidelines for brewing Altbier from a German brewing text book. This is an Alt that is very much in line with the average German commercial Alt. Though a large amount of Munich malt is used, it is a very well attenuated easy drinking dry beer dominated by hop bitterness without being being very bitter (compared to Pale Ales or even IPAs). The Carafa gives it just a hint of roast in the aroma and taste and most of the time you won't even know it's there. Though the used yeast doesn't flocculate well, the resulting beer is clear after finning with gelatin and bottle conditioning with a flocculant lager yeast.

Feel free to simplify the procedure if you don't want to bother with the single decoction or the priming with Kraeusen, otherwise give these advanced techniques a try.

I did not give specific weight amounts for the grains and hops. You can get them by using a brewing calculator and entering 89lb, 10lb and 1lb for the grain amounts, adjusting the final gravity to 11.5 *P (1.046 SG) by changing the efficiency or batch size and then scaling the recipe to the actual batch size and efficiency.




Water (If you build your own water)
30L (assuming 25L (6.25 gal) pre-boil volume) reverse osmosis water +
0.4g NaCl
0.3g MgSO4
0.9g NaHCO3
2.0g CaCO3

(58mg/L Ca; 3mg/L Mg; 32mg/L Na; 10mg/L SO4; 21mg/L Cl; 150mg/L HCO3)



Grist:
89% Weyermann Munich I (light Munich)
10% Weyermann CaraMunich I
1% Wyermann Carafa II special

Aim for a post boil gravity of 11.5 *P (1.046 SG)



Hops:
German Spalter Hops to get to 27 IBU (Tinseth) at a 60 min boil time. Substitution with German Magnum possible, though the bitterness will not be as smooth.



Yeast:
Wyeast 1007, propagated to yield about 80 ml (~2.5 oz) for a 19 L (5 gal) batch.



Mash:

2 step infusion with decoction mash-out:
protein rest : 54 *C (131 *F) for 20 min
saccrification rest : 65.5 *C (150 *F) for 45 min
mash-out : 76 *C (169 *F)



Boil:

Add hops after 10 min boil and boil for another 60 min. Chill to pitching temperature of 17 *C (64 *F). Keep about 2L of the wort (freeze in soda bottle)



Primary fermentation:

Ferment at 17 - 19 *C (63 - 67 *F) until fermentation is complete. Perform fast ferment test to determine limit of attenuation or use other means to ensure complete fermentation.



Aging/Fining:

Once fermentation is complete cool the beer below 10 *C (50 *F) and add gelatin once beer is at that temperature. To fine with gelatin, dissolve 1/2 pk (3.5 g) of unflavored Knox gelatin in 100 ml (3 oz) of warm water. Add to fermenter when completely dissolved and swirl to distribute. This can be done in the primary fermenter or a secondary. Use secondary vessel if you plan to age the beer in it for more than 2 weeks.



Bottling:

One day before bottling, defrost the wort you kept, boil it, chill it and pitch a highly flocculant yeast. If you don't have a lager going at this time (like I usually have) use Wyeast 1056 or Nottingham Ale yeast. Let this start fermenting and gently add the fermenting starter w/o its sediment or Kraeusen to the bottling bucket. Add the beer and bottle.

(for 17L (4.5 gal) beer, you should need about 1.5 L (1.5 qt) Kraeusen for bottling. This assumes that the gravity of the Krauesen has not dropped below 9*P (1.040 SG) yet)

Keep the bottles at fermentation temp for about a week and the beer should be ready for drinking. Some age (2-4 weeks) will benefit it though.




Kai
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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Glibbidy said:
Is this the same stuff you stashed under my van in New Hampshire last April?
That was really tasty by the way.
Yes, that's the one. It was the first really good batch of beer that I made at the new house. Later I figured out that a bad 1 lb bag of Hallertau hops was to blame for bad previous batches.

kai
 

Iordz

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That looks really good! The recipe reminds me of a bock, I can just taste the maltiness! I have one question, when I use German ale I ferment around 60F for a clean beer, does fermenting around 65-67 make the beer quite fruity?
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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Iordz said:
That looks really good! The recipe reminds me of a bock, I can just taste the maltiness! I have one question, when I use German ale I ferment around 60F for a clean beer, does fermenting around 65-67 make the beer quite fruity?
I just checked the fermentation temps of the last batch again and they were between 66 and 68 *F for the beginning and middle part of the fermentation. The resulting beer does not have any significant fruitiness to it. At least none that I can detect.

Also keep in mind that pitching about 2.5 oz (80 ml) of yeast slurry is amost the pitching rate you would use for a lager. As a result of that there was less yeast growth which may have resulted in less esters even though the temperatures were more on the upper range for this yeast.

Kai
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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Yooper, I just noticed that it's on your "drinking" list. How did it turn out?

Kai
 

Yooper

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Great flavor- but I must have messed up on the mash temp/decoction. It's a bit thin on the body for an alt.

I didn't have to use any finings- it is crystal clear in the keg. It's a great beer! Thanks for the recipe.
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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YooperBrew said:
Great flavor- but I must have messed up on the mash temp/decoction. It's a bit thin on the body for an alt.
What's the FG?. Alts are pretty thin beers, that's why they are so drinkable.

I didn't have to use any finings- it is crystal clear in the keg. It's a great beer! Thanks for the recipe.
Did you use the WY1007 yeast? This one is a notorious non-flocculator.

Kai
 

Yooper

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Yes, I did use the 1007 yeast. I do have a cold house, though, and the fermentation went very well at approx 62 degrees. Then I moved it to my laundry room in the low 50s, and it was clear as a bell. It looks very much like the picture you posted. It's a bit early for a beer now (even for me) so if I remember after work tonight, I'll post a picture. I guess with all that munich malt, I was surpised at the relatively thin body. It is very drinkable, though, and well liked by everyone who has tried it. I think I would like it a bit more towards "medium body" and when I make it again might mash a wee bit higher.

The OG was 1.049, FG 1.012. IBUs calculated at 25 in Beersmith.
 

uwmgdman

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I'm heading to the LHBS this afternoon and brewing this on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it! Thanks for the recipe.
 

maltMonkey

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Kaiser--

I've read/heard conflicting thoughts about the use of Caramunich in alts. I know Jamil uses it, but in "Designing Great Beers" Ray Daniels talks about how he found no commercial breweries that used any type of crystal in this style. It seems like a good idea though since high attenuation is a goal for this style it would be good to have some unfermentables in there to help balance it out.

I know you have a lot of knowledge about German beers--what is your understanding about crystal in "authentic" alts?
 

Ryan_PA

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Brewed this one yesterday. The only change was to add 0.3 oz of magnum to bump up the IBUs. It was my first decoction, I pulled a little more from the mash than I calculated since I always seem to be low after infusions... and it worked. I hit the mashout to the degree. All said, it was fun, but I came in way high on the SG 1.060. I am afraid it will not be as sessionable as I had hoped.
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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but in "Designing Great Beers" Ray Daniels talks about how he found no commercial breweries that used any type of crystal in this style.
I don't know where he is getting this from. Narziss, German commercial brewing author, mentions that some Alts are brewed from 90% light malt (Pilsner) and 10% Carmel malt (120 EBC). A while ago a very knowledgeable member of a German home brewing forum (at the time he was an apprentice in an Alt brewery) mentioned that the famous Altbier brewery Zum Uerige is brewing their Alt with pilsner, crystal and roasted malts.

How many Alts are using crystal malts, I don't know. But it is definitely not out of style.

Designing Great Beers is a great book to get started. But it's only that in my opinion. The fact that he bases his recipe suggestions on home brewer's interpretations of the style is a major flaw in my eyes. A style should not be defined by the way home brewers interpret it but by the way it is brewed in the country of origin. At least for the traditional styles.

Kai
 

maltMonkey

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Thanks for the clarification on the crystal. The book is a bit old and seems to have some "holes" in the knowledge in places.

Designing Great Beers is a great book to get started. But it's only that in my opinion. The fact that he bases his recipe suggestions on home brewer's interpretations of the style is a major flaw in my eyes. A style should not be defined by the way home brewers interpret it but by the way it is brewed in the country of origin. At least for the traditional styles.

Kai
I agree with you--when I bought the book I was hoping it would have more information on the history of what ingredients etc. were used in the styles.....I also don't like that it barely covers any styles. I still use it to get another perspective on common styles I want to try.
 

jezter6

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I brewed this yesterday with only a change of hops because I got the tet win from Bobby.

It was clear as a bell going into the fermenter with no irish moss or anything. I'm using notty to ferment, I can't wait.
 

uwmgdman

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Kai....

Thanks again for sharing! I let these age a month or so in the bottles and they're money, I can't wait to share this with my buddies. I'll be brewing it again!

Justin
:mug:
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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Thanks again for sharing! I let these age a month or so in the bottles and they're money, I can't wait to share this with my buddies. I'll be brewing it again!
glad you like it. I'll be brewing it again once it gets colder out. It's pretty much a house beer for me during the winter.

Kai
 

Pappers_

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Hi Kai. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks very interesting.

Two questions:

1. If one was to do a single infusion mash (no decoction), would you mash at 150, 152?

2. My lhbs carries white labs rather than wyeast; it seems that WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch would be equivalent - similar attenuation, floculation and temperature characteristics. Another option would be the WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt, but it has a significantly lower attenuation range than Wyeast 1007. Any thoughts?

Again, thanks for sharing this recipe, I'm putting it in the queue.

Cheers :mug:
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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I'd mash at 148-150f

As for the yeast. I only have experiences with 1007. But don't get hung up on attenuation numbers. Make sure the wort has an attenuation limit of about 80-83% and that your fermentation gets within 0-2% of that. That will give the beer the desired dryness.

Kai
 

jtlawlor

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I made a huge mistake when ordering this... I accidentally ordered Weyermann Pilsner instead of the Light Munich I.

Other than a little on the color side (12 SRM) - do you know of much this will effect flavor? Note, I bought this on BMW and they ship crushed and mixed... do you think I should add a bit more Carafa II (3 oz) to get the color right (16 SRM) or a 1lb of Light Munich? OR maybe a longer decoction boil?

NOTE: I have the order on hold with BMW...
 

jtlawlor

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Kai and others:

Just got finished brewing this today! Brew day went well.

This was my decoction method (5gal with 10.6lb of grain): I doughed in with 3.3gal for 20mins at 132 [Protein] .. then I added another 1.7 gal of boiling water, held temp of 153 for 45 more mins. [Sac. Rest] Then I removed 1.5 gal of mash and brought that to a boil for 20mins. Returned this to the mash - and then mashed out. I batch sparged with another 3.5 gal of 175 water to get my desired boil amount.

Sooooo... this is my first decoction does the above procedure seem correct?

One other note: 2 hop additions (1oz. Spalt at 60 and again at 15)
Doughed in at 2pm - pitched at 6pm... now the waiting! I am REALLY looking forward to this one! Thank you very much for the recipe.
 

wildwest450

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For competitions sake would you call this a 7a or 7c? I followed your recipe, except I did a 20min spalt addition (38ibu total).

And what is the preferred carbonation level, i've read moderately high. Maybe 2.6 to 2.8 or so?
 
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Kaiser

Kaiser

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For competitions sake would you call this a 7a or 7c? I followed your recipe, except I did a 20min spalt addition (38ibu total).

And what is the preferred carbonation level, i've read moderately high. Maybe 2.6 to 2.8 or so?
Like many other German beers 2.5 vol CO2 should work fine for carbonation. I never really played with that. But a bit higher may bring out the crispness in the beer.

Kai
 

jtlawlor

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So I am trying the bottling with the krauesened beer (the gravity dropped to 1.020 so I also added 1.5oz of sugar boiled in 1c of water.) - my question is, does bottling with the krauesened (cloudy) beer make a difference in the overall clarity of the beer?
 

petergriffen

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If I was kind of lazy and about to attempt my first stove top all grain what exactly do I need to order for this?? As in amounts to make a 5G batch.

Thanks and I'll learn soon.
 

jtlawlor

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Sooooo, a week later I decided to try one of the bottles... big butterscotch flavor. GRRRR. I fermented this at around 60 for 1week and then lagered for 2wks at 50 and below. My guess is that I should have had a Diacetyl rest (68 degrees) for a couple day after primary fermentation.

I am hoping that a couple weeks in bottle will help... as it did with another brew I made a couple months ago.

Other than that - crystal clear amber beer with great flavor.
 

fredthecat

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used this recipe mostly, especially the single decoction part (my first), though i change the grainbill to half munich, half pils and i dont have access to carafa so used chocolate instead. just tasted one after 6 days (i always have to have one per week after.. ) i can tell already it will likely be the best beer ive made so far. thanks!
 

JBrady

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well this is so far the best damn beer I have ever made. I can't wait to brew this with the water profile that you specified. thanks for the great recipe.
 

NYCBrewGuy

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I brewed this with only a few changes: didn't adjust water (NYC tap always seems to work OK for me), primed with sugar instead of krausening.

This was my first brew with my new wine fridge fermentation chamber and I was able to keep it nice and cool even during a HOT New York summer. The results were incredible. A clean, balanced, easy drinking Alt. I've only had one commercial sample to compare to, Southampton Dusseldorf Alt. And while I'm not surprised that my version isn't quite up to snuff, this is without a doubt the best homebrew I've produced.
Thanks Kaiser!

I should also say that since taking up homebrewing I have developed a newfound appreciation for German styles. Its easy to cover-up flaws with massive amounts of hops, spices, etc. But it's deceptively hard to make clean, crisp, delicious beers. Definitely gonna try a bock this winter (my first lager!).

Cheers
 

petergriffen

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So for my first non single infustion. I followed this below but have one question.

This was my decoction method (5gal with 10.6lb of grain): I doughed in with 3.3gal for 20mins at 132 [Protein] .. then I added another 1.7 gal of boiling water, held temp of 153 for 45 more mins. [Sac. Rest] (While the decoction boils does this, the sac rest just sit there? Because that 1.5g I took out took about 20 to boil and then boiled for 20 so it was more like a 1hr20min sac rest, right?)Then I removed 1.5 gal of mash and brought that to a boil for 20mins. Returned this to the mash - and then mashed out. I batch sparged with another 3.5 gal of 175 water to get my desired boil amount.
 

oldman2251

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Thanks for the recipe, this is one great beer. I have never had an Alt so I have nothing to compare it to, this is one darn good beer. I fermented at 64*F, fined with gelatin, and lagered for 10 days at 38*F. This is one tasty beer and plan on doing this again, just a great clean flavor. One question, do you have any more recipes to share! Once again thanks for sharing a great beer with us.:rockin:
 
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