What is "Alt" beer

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cmac62

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I wish I could get to the LHBS between now and brewday, but with gas prices I don't think that's going to happen. :mad:

Just a thought, I could use some gluco to get it dry.
 

rmr9

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I think with that grist, those hops and the yeast choices you have you’ll be able to brew up a solid beer one way or the other. Will it be to the altbier style? Probably not, but it’ll still be a good easy drinker.
 

Spartan1979

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Okay, here is what I have on hand, Pils, White Wheat malt, aromatic, C 60, cara munich, honey malt, victory, and midnight wheat.

I'm thinking
8.5 lb Pils
.5 lb aromatic
.5 lb Cara Munich
.5 midnight wheat.
Yeast SO4 or US05.
Hops: 1 oz Citra at 30 and 1 oz Strisslspat at 5

Brewer's friend has me at 1048 - 1009 with an abv of 5.06, IBU of 31, and SRM of 24 (which seems a little high), but its all green. I'll likely go with a balanced water profile. Starting with RO and a Tsp of both gypsum and CACL and maybe a 1/2 of salt and Epsom salt.

I was thinking to mash 149/150 area for a balance.

If I don't have enough Pils I'll use the white wheat as a sub.

Comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Is that .5 lb of Midnight Wheat? If so, that is too much for an Altbier.
 

rmr9

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So I got my score sheets back from the competition I entered my alt into. It scored a 34 which isn’t terrible, but the comments were along the lines of what I expected: it could use a little more hops and less caramel.

I used 0.5lbs of caramunich iii, so I think I’ll drop that to 0.25lbs or eliminate it in favor of perhaps some dark Munich malt. On the hop front I may shift to add a 30 small 30 minute addition but maybe after I try cutting the caramunich. Should’ve heeded the words of warning about Cara malts!
 

Miraculix

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So I got my score sheets back from the competition I entered my alt into. It scored a 34 which isn’t terrible, but the comments were along the lines of what I expected: it could use a little more hops and less caramel.

I used 0.5lbs of caramunich iii, so I think I’ll drop that to 0.25lbs or eliminate it in favor of perhaps some dark Munich malt. On the hop front I may shift to add a 30 small 30 minute addition but maybe after I try cutting the caramunich. Should’ve heeded the words of warning about Cara malts!
I don't know about any traditional German style that uses a caramel/Cara/crystal malt.
 

Northern_Brewer

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So I got my score sheets back from the competition I entered my alt into. It scored a 34 which isn’t terrible, but the comments were along the lines of what I expected: it could use a little more hops and less caramel.

I used 0.5lbs of caramunich iii, so I think I’ll drop that to 0.25lbs

I'll merely requote Narziss from my post #55 :
"Some will argue that crystal malt has a place here as well but I have found no evidence that such malts are used in the production of this style in Germany."
 

rmr9

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I’ll be taking another crack at an alt in the next couple months. Going to drop the caramunich from my previous attempt and go with 68% barke Pils, 30% barke munich and 2% blackprinz for color. Debating on whether to use imperial Kaiser again or wy1007. I know they’re the “same” strain but I like to keep things consistent!
 

Dgallo

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I’m also doing an altbeir at some point this week; targets;

Grainbill
Maris otter
Munich
Spelt
Caramunich
Carafa Special II

SRM: 16.2
OG: 1.056 target
FG: 1.012 target

IBU: 38
Bitting: Magnum
Late: Spalt
 

wepeeler

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I’m also doing an altbeir at some point this week; targets;

Grainbill
Maris otter
Munich
Spelt
Caramunich
Carafa Special II

SRM: 16.2
OG: 1.056 target
FG: 1.012 target

IBU: 38
Bitting: Magnum
Late: Spalt
I'm doing the same except Pils for base and adding 4oz pale chocolate, no spelt. Trying Tettnang this go around. Fighting on what yeast to use. Thinking of trying Omega Kolsch II as I had great success with it for my Kolsch. I also have Wyeast 2565.
 

Dgallo

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I'm doing the same except Pils for base and adding 4oz pale chocolate, no spelt. Trying Tettnang this go around. Fighting on what yeast to use. Thinking of trying Omega Kolsch II as I had great success with it for my Kolsch. I also have Wyeast 2565.
Nice. I’ve enjoyed omegas Kaiser German ale yeast.
 

Dgallo

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Any comparison notes you might have & wish to share (taste, attenuation, mouthfeel, processing quirks) comparing Omega Kaiser with WY1007?
I actually mistyped should be Imperial Kaiser;
I feel it showcases the malts better and Gives a little more mouthfeel with still good attenuation. Very similar and I may also just be bias as I love imperial yeast
 

rmr9

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I actually mistyped should be Imperial Kaiser;
I feel it showcases the malts better and Gives a little more mouthfeel with still good attenuation. Very similar and I may also just be bias as I love imperial yeast
It’s hard to beat twice the yeast per package that’s for sure. The only challenge for me is finding the barke malts and Kaiser from the same vendor - besides Northern Brewer which seems to be more expensive all around.
 

rmr9

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I'm only using 4oz. Seems there are a lot of award recipes containing caramunich.
I had 8oz of caramunich III in mine and while I enjoyed it, it was definitely a touch too much. Got dinged in competition for it. I think 4oz would be much better, and if I were to use caramunich III in an alt again I would probably use 4oz.
 

Dgallo

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It’s hard to beat twice the yeast per package that’s for sure. The only challenge for me is finding the barke malts and Kaiser from the same vendor - besides Northern Brewer which seems to be more expensive all around.
Great fermentations has both I believed
 

wepeeler

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I had 8oz of caramunich III in mine and while I enjoyed it, it was definitely a touch too much. Got dinged in competition for it. I think 4oz would be much better, and if I were to use caramunich III in an alt again I would probably use 4oz.
It's caramunich I. Trying for a touch of roasted caramel. We'll see!

@Miraculix - The recipe I got from a well known New England brewery didn't use caramunich at all. I think it was red wheat and chocolate malt.
 

Miraculix

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It's caramunich I. Trying for a touch of roasted caramel. We'll see!

@Miraculix - The recipe I got from a well known New England brewery didn't use caramunich at all. I think it was red wheat and chocolate malt.
I think there shouldn't be wheat in an Altbier as well.... German beer is very simple. Everybody wants to put everything into beer. We Germans don't.
 

wepeeler

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I think there shouldn't be wheat in an Altbier as well.... German beer is very simple. Everybody wants to put everything into beer. We Germans don't.
I hear you. The brewery I was talking about is Long Trail Brewing. They claim they love German beer, although in the past 10 years or so they have gotten away from what I consider to be their roots. They were my go to in my early 20s!
 

ba-brewer

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The stripped down simple Alt recipes of base malts and little carafa for color correction seems like a Wheeler no adjunct English best bitter with German noble hops and cleaner yeast.
 

rmr9

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The stripped down simple Alt recipes of base malts and little carafa for color correction seems like a Wheeler no adjunct English best bitter with German noble hops and cleaner yeast.
It kinda does now that you mention it. I remember the altbier episode of brewing with style where JZ mentions that one could think of an alt as a German best bitter or something along those lines.
 

rmr9

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Great fermentations has both I believed
Oh good call, thanks! I’ve never ordered with them before so maybe I’ll give them a go with this next round. Might be nice to stick with Kaiser if only for the larger pitch.
 

Northern_Brewer

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It's caramunich I. Trying for a touch of roasted caramel. We'll see!

@Miraculix - The recipe I got from a well known New England brewery didn't use caramunich at all. I think it was red wheat and chocolate malt.
This is a bit like asking an Englishman for advice on baseball and him recommending that you play with a cricket bat. It'll do a great job of hitting a ball - but it's not baseball.

I refer you back to my post 55 of this thread - Narziss found a bit of wheat malt was "rare" in alts, and caramel malts not used at all in German alts.

KISS - start with just 10% Munich in a pilsner base, then start tweaking.
 

Group W

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Ok, get your darts ready and feel free to critique. I have been working on an Alt recipe for some time. It was beginning to look like an American Amber, which is how I would classify Alaskan Amber. I have a fantastic American Amber recipe that is very close to Full Sail Amber. So I want this Alt to be more traditional but using ingredients I have in stock. If I were entering a comp I would adjust to traditional style.

I don’t use Pils or Vienna often so the base malt will be GWM High Color Pale 3L. To get a more Vienna flavor, adding a little Victory. German Munich 6L and a little Carafa Special I.

Pale malt 3L 65%
German Munich 6L 28%
Victory 25L 4%
Carafa Special I 337L 3.4%
Magnum 27 IBU @ 60
Crystal 6 IBU @ 5
Crystal 6 IBU @ FO

US 05 (K97 if possible)

BS3 numbers:
OG 1.048
FG 1.010
IBU 39
Color SRM 14
ABV 5%

Feel free to comment. Will be brewing in a couple weeks. Thanks!
 

Blackdirt_cowboy

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This is a bit like asking an Englishman for advice on baseball and him recommending that you play with a cricket bat. It'll do a great job of hitting a ball - but it's not baseball.

I refer you back to my post 55 of this thread - Narziss found a bit of wheat malt was "rare" in alts, and caramel malts not used at all in German alts.

KISS - start with just 10% Munich in a pilsner base, then start tweaking.
Just curious what you would use to get the correct color with this combination with no caramel malts. I brew an altbier that everyone that has tried it thinks it’s wonderful. My malt bill is 81.3% pilsner, 17.2% Light Munich, and 1.5% Carafa III. The color of this beer is 12.0 SRM, so just barely dark enough to meet the style requirements. Without the Carafa, I don’t know how I would get it dark enough. I chose the Carafa over black malt because I wanted to use all German malts and I was worried about too much roastiness with the black malt. Thoughts or suggestion?
 

grampamark

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The most recent Alt I brewed was 57% Bonlander Munich (10 SRM), 40% Breiss Pilsner (1 SRM), and 3% Breiss Chocolate (350 SRM). Calculated SRM was 14.8. All the numbers are in the middle of the range in the style guidelines, FWIW.
1665171594670.jpeg
 

Miraculix

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Just curious what you would use to get the correct color with this combination with no caramel malts. I brew an altbier that everyone that has tried it thinks it’s wonderful. My malt bill is 81.3% pilsner, 17.2% Light Munich, and 1.5% Carafa III. The color of this beer is 12.0 SRM, so just barely dark enough to meet the style requirements. Without the Carafa, I don’t know how I would get it dark enough. I chose the Carafa over black malt because I wanted to use all German malts and I was worried about too much roastiness with the black malt. Thoughts or suggestion?
Carafa is no crystal malt, all good!
 

Group W

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Ok, get your darts ready and feel free to critique. I have been working on an Alt recipe for some time. It was beginning to look like an American Amber, which is how I would classify Alaskan Amber. I have a fantastic American Amber recipe that is very close to Full Sail Amber. So I want this Alt to be more traditional but using ingredients I have in stock. If I were entering a comp I would adjust to traditional style.

I don’t use Pils or Vienna often so the base malt will be GWM High Color Pale 3L. To get a more Vienna flavor, adding a little Victory. German Munich 6L and a little Carafa Special I.

Pale malt 3L 65%
German Munich 6L 28%
Victory 25L 4%
Carafa Special I 337L 3.4%
Magnum 27 IBU @ 60
Crystal 6 IBU @ 5
Crystal 6 IBU @ FO

US 05 (K97 if possible)

BS3 numbers:
OG 1.048
FG 1.010
IBU 39
Color SRM 14
ABV 5%

Feel free to comment. Will be brewing in a couple weeks. Thanks!
Ok, silence says it all. Ordered German Pilsner to replace the pale and Victory malts, and ordered K97 yeast.
 

rmr9

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Ok, silence says it all. Ordered German Pilsner to replace the pale and Victory malts, and ordered K97 yeast.
I think you really need an alt yeast or at the very least a kölsch strain to pull one off well. It’s not to say you can’t make a good beer with 05 but to get a nice crisp alt yeast is important. You can’t go wrong using German malts for German beer!
 

rmr9

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View attachment 783158


That's the most popular homebrew Altbier recipe I know among the community in Germany.
Still have to try it but it's supposed to be a great Schumacher clone.
Schumacher was my favorite when I was in Düsseldorf! That seems like a lot of caramunich, I used less than that and was told I was in British brown ale territory. Still looks like a good recipe! Interesting that it uses Munich and Vienna and no Pils malt.
 

Group W

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I think you really need an alt yeast or at the very least a kölsch strain to pull one off well. It’s not to say you can’t make a good beer with 05 but to get a nice crisp alt yeast is important. You can’t go wrong using German malts for German beer!
I ordered SafAle K-97 German Ale yeast for this beer. Any problem with that dry yeast?
 

wepeeler

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The most recent Alt I brewed was 57% Bonlander Munich (10 SRM), 40% Breiss Pilsner (1 SRM), and 3% Breiss Chocolate (350 SRM). Calculated SRM was 14.8. All the numbers are in the middle of the range in the style guidelines, FWIW.
View attachment 783155
Looks great. Simple grain bill, fantastic color.
 
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