What is "Alt" beer

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Brooothru

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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.

Thank you so much for the recipe. About 20 years ago I frequently traveled to Düsseldorf and consumed many liters of Schumacher Alt. Between Düsseldorf and Koln, I focused so much time and effort on perfecting my Kolsch that I totally neglected Alt. You've given me the reason to revisit my efforts. Danke!
 

wepeeler

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Thank you so much for the recipe. About 20 years ago I frequently traveled to Düsseldorf and consumed many liters of Schumacher Alt. Between Düsseldorf and Koln, I focused so much time and effort on perfecting my Kolsch that I totally neglected Alt. You've given me the reason to revisit my efforts. Danke!
Send over that Kolsch recipe, please :cool:
 

wepeeler

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So I came across this as I was researching Alt recipes, and he uses Caramunich and Carafa.


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.

Brewing up an Alt tomorrow and I've settled on:

Alt.png
 

Miraculix

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So I came across this as I was researching Alt recipes, and he uses Caramunich and Carafa.


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.

Brewing up an Alt tomorrow and I've settled on:

View attachment 783564
People on the internet talk all type of things ... This is one example.
 

wepeeler

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People on the internet talk all type of things ... This is one example.
I was just passing along information on the style. People brewed it and enjoyed it, including @Yooper

Kai also wrote:
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
I'm not claiming he's correct, but rather trying to keep the Alt conversation going. Who cares if it's not 100% to style if it tastes great ;)
 

balrog

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I see both points. My "Alaskan Amber" bears no resemblance to its namesake, but all the folks I share it with know it by that name so I'm not going to start calling it "Joseph's Rudely Inaccurately Named Psuedo Altbier But Not Really". It's just too many letters on a label. At this point it's kinda Altbier slash English Mild slash Irish Red slash Dry American Brown. Also too many letters. But I won't call it Shirley.
 

Miraculix

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I was just passing along information on the style. People brewed it and enjoyed it, including @Yooper

Kai also wrote:

I'm not claiming he's correct, but rather trying to keep the Alt conversation going. Who cares if it's not 100% to style if it tastes great ;)
Obviously people can brew what they want but please call it what it is, some own interpretation of something at best but certainly not the real thing. I wonder which type of German texts he's referring to though, I've never read something about crystal in classic German styles. Well, and I happen to be a bit German myself.
 

wepeeler

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Obviously people can brew what they want but please call it what it is, some own interpretation of something at best but certainly not the real thing. I wonder which type of German texts he's referring to though, I've never read something about crystal in classic German styles. Well, and I happen to be a bit German myself.
I have no problem calling my Kolsch "Kolsch-style". Same way I have no problem calling my Alt an "Alt-style". My beers often blur style lines. I really only brew to style for competitions, and I don't currently enter often since they are far and few between right now.

Too bad Kai wasn't still around, because it would be interesting to know where the info came from.
 

jtratcliff

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Miraculix

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Kai Troester is also German, I believe. He mentions Narziss as one of his sources...

He was pretty active a few years ago and was doing lot's of experiments on mash efficiency
and sparge types, etc.

His site http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Braukaiser.com. still has a lot of useful info
Then I would be even more interested!

I have no problem calling my Kolsch "Kolsch-style". Same way I have no problem calling my Alt an "Alt-style". My beers often blur style lines. I really only brew to style for competitions, and I don't currently enter often since they are far and few between right now.

Too bad Kai wasn't still around, because it would be interesting to know where the info came from.
I basically also never do something according "to style", these so called style guidelines are mainly just hindrances on the quest of brewing beer according to ones own personal taste if you ask me. I hunt the beer that tastes perfect to me and my tongue does not care about style guidelines. Not the artificial bjcp ones and also not the ones that are naturally in place in the country that the beer style originated from. The only thing I have a bit of a problem with, is when epople (not talking about you) on the internet claim to brew something something from another country or continent and then end up with something that has nothing to do with the original. Also this Kölsch-Style thing does not really change this. If it is not a Kölsch, it is also not Kölsch-Style. Does not hurt to say that it is an ale with noble hops or a lager with noble hops or whatever it actually is, because this is probably what it actually is.

Or define a new beer style. For example, I just brewed an american session wheat stout and it is one of my best beers ever, go figure. Nobody can say anything against the naming, because I made it up, but it actually also describes what it is. American hops, good amount of it, roasted wheat, wheat malt and barley malt plus 4% abv. Great foam, great taste, dark as the night....actually an english yeast, but a clean one (Notti). So should I say, English American Session Wheat Stout? Probably!:D
 
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This thread has apparently derailed into the abyss of the unknowing. How lame is ones knowledge of beer that a Kolsch and an Alt are indistinguishable. While they do have slight similarities IMO even a blind toungless mummy could tell a significant difference between the two.
There are a bunch of different alt beers, even in dusseldorf, and they do range from semi-sweet malty to ones that would be indistinguishable from a kolsch in a blind test. The sticke is more malty and nobody would confuse that with a light beer.
 
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I haven't brewed one of these in a while, but I certainly drank more than my share of all varieties while on numerous trips to dusseldorf.

I looked into my notes and found this.

Here's the recipe for Zum Uerige from the brewmaster, via Denny, if you are interested:
"Dr. Frank Hebmuller, who is the brew master and executive brewer at Zum Uerige:

Water can be relatively hard with a high carbonate level.

Malt is based on well modified pils, with a bit of caramel malt and a bit of "chocolate roasted wheat malt".

Mash schedule has rests at 125, 144, 158, and 169 (mashout).

Boil time is 60-70 min.

Mittelfruh, Perle, or Spalt are the preferred hops. Aroma hop addition is about 25% of the total hop amount. Add aroma hops no earlier than 20 min. before flameout.

OG is 1.044-1.052. FG should be 1.008-1.014. 4.3-5.5% ABV

Primary between 59-68F. Secondary at 50F. Then condition at 32F for 14 days. "

Here's the ingredients with the Pilsner Malt scaled for 80% efficiency: 8.5 lb Pilsner Malt2.5 oz German CaraMunich III1.34 oz Chocolate Wheat Malt0.7 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh (6.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min0.46 oz Perle (7.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min1.11 oz Spalt Spalter (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
 
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dmtaylor

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I see both points. My "Alaskan Amber" bears no resemblance to its namesake, but all the folks I share it with know it by that name so I'm not going to start calling it "Joseph's Rudely Inaccurately Named Psuedo Altbier But Not Really". It's just too many letters on a label. At this point it's kinda Altbier slash English Mild slash Irish Red slash Dry American Brown. Also too many letters. But I won't call it Shirley.

That's funny. My latest beer was named "Make IPA Belgian Again Sometimes".
 

Yooper

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Kai Troester is also German, I believe. He mentions Narziss as one of his sources...

He was pretty active a few years ago and was doing lot's of experiments on mash efficiency
and sparge types, etc.

His site http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Braukaiser.com. still has a lot of useful info

Kai is extremely German. :) We did an interview together for a podcast a number of years ago in about 2010 or so at HomebrewCon. Super nice guy, with a definite strong German accent. He translated a lot of German brewing texts a while back to get his information. We had met a few times in the past (haven’t seen or talked to him in about 8 or 10 years I think), and I got the chance to interview him for a podcast while we had been drinking at a HomebrewCon and for some reason decided the best place to do the interview was in the hotel elevator.

Now, I can tell you that choosing a busy elevator interview for a podcast is probably not the best setting for a serious discussion of the debranching of amylopectins in the mash, and my guess is that we were not terribly coherent. But wow- was it FUN! :)
 

balrog

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Kai is extremely German. :) We did an interview together for a podcast a number of years ago in about 2010 or so at HomebrewCon. Super nice guy, with a definite strong German accent. He translated a lot of German brewing texts a while back to get his information. We had met a few times in the past (haven’t seen or talked to him in about 8 or 10 years I think), and I got the chance to interview him for a podcast while we had been drinking at a HomebrewCon and for some reason decided the best place to do the interview was in the hotel elevator.

Now, I can tell you that choosing a busy elevator interview for a podcast is probably not the best setting for a serious discussion of the debranching of amylopectins in the mash, and my guess is that we were not terribly coherent. But wow- was it FUN! :)

You always have the BEST stories.
 

Yooper

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You always have the BEST stories.


Well, I don’t know about ‘best’ but they do seem to involved homebrew.

And over a beer, someday I’ll tell you about the wheelbarrow races in a construction site at 2 AM in Minneapolis during an earlier HomebrewCon, with some oldtimers from HBT in 2017.
 
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Well, I don’t know about ‘best’ but they do seem to involved homebrew.

And over a beer, someday I’ll tell you about the wheelbarrow races in a construction site at 2 AM in Minneapolis during an earlier HomebrewCon, with some oldtimers from HBT in 2017.

haha. I remember a group of members here that would definitely be a part of that. Many of them are gone now, sadly.
 

Yooper

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haha. I remember a group of members here that would definitely be a part of that. Many of them are gone now, sadly.

Yes, few of them are still here on the forum. I'm still in touch with a couple of them, but not like in the past. There were several years where they definitely helped with a great time, otherwise known as shenanigans.
 

wepeeler

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I added Biofine clear when kegging, and it's already pretty darn clear. Kegged last Thursday, so it's been in keg for 4 days. Darker than I intended, but it's spot on for the style. I'll have to take a pic in the sun at some point, but this beer is fantastic so far. Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast. Super clean, nice body. Slight roast from the Carafa, I'm assuming. Excellent malt character. I will 100% be brewing this again.

Might have to disconnect the liquid line otherwise is going to go QUICKLY...
 

wepeeler

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So I came across this as I was researching Alt recipes, and he uses Caramunich and Carafa.


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.

Brewing up an Alt tomorrow and I've settled on:

View attachment 783564
Update on Alt. Fantastic beer. Brought it to my beer club meeting last night, and it was a hit. Another guy brought his Alt, and he shared his first. Not tooting my own horn at all, but I think it helped mine shine even more. Great body, creamy head, super clear. I was thinking about backing off on the roast, but it's mellowed nicely. Highly recommend.
 

catalanotte

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According to @dmtaylor 's wicked awesome yeast chart, K97 is WY1007, and should be right in line for altbier.
The only differences I found reading comments were that K-97 can take longer to clear and some have reported a tartness from K-97. I opted for 1007 for my first Alt and have used K-97 for a summer ale that came out great. Both are good yeasts and great for that style.
 

catalanotte

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Finally have the fruits of my labor on my second attempt at an Altbier. Just German Pils, Munich, Carafa Sp. and k97 yeast. A little darker than I expected. Outstanding beer! Thanks to all on this thread!
Beautiful color and great clarity. How long did it cold condition? Very Nice.
 

grampamark

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Finally have the fruits of my labor on my second attempt at an Altbier. Just German Pils, Munich, Carafa Sp. and k97 yeast. A little darker than I expected. Outstanding beer! Thanks to all on this thread!
View attachment 791753
Great looking beer! The color looks fine, to me.
 

Group W

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Color looks great! Only time I used K-97 I got the tartness, but it was for a Kolsch. Probably would be fine in a maltier Alt.
Maybe your ph was a little low. This is a young beer and the yeast is still falling out. Tastes better every day. I’ve been purging the keg daily to remove the yeast aroma (not nice). Cheers!
 

wepeeler

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Maybe your ph was a little low. This is a young beer and the yeast is still falling out. Tastes better every day. I’ve been purging the keg daily to remove the yeast aroma (not nice). Cheers!
Not sure. The Kolsch was crystal clear in the keg after 2 weeks with Biofine Clear. Everyone I talked to has said K-97 gives a little tartness. A guy in my brew club shared a Kolsch with K-97 this past week, and I got the same flavor.
 

Group W

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Not sure. The Kolsch was crystal clear in the keg after 2 weeks with Biofine Clear. Everyone I talked to has said K-97 gives a little tartness. A guy in my brew club shared a Kolsch with K-97 this past week, and I got the same flavor.
Thanks, good to know. I’m using Lallemand Koln Kolsch Style Ale Yeast on my upcoming Kolsch beer. Switched back to dry yeast during Covid now that I get most ingredients from MoreBeer.
 

wepeeler

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Thanks, good to know. I’m using Lallemand Koln Kolsch Style Ale Yeast on my upcoming Kolsch beer. Switched back to dry yeast during Covid now that I get most ingredients from MoreBeer.
Koln was decent. Still prefer liquid with Wyeast 2565 or Omega Kolsch II.

Sorry to hijack the Alt thread, but I feel both these yeasts would actually make great Altbiers! Omega Kolsch II Alt is in my near future!
 

ba-brewer

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This my second attempt at brewing Grampamarks Alt recipe that was posted above. I brewed it using Best pilsner malt and Weyermann munich and caramunich malts, the chocolate malt was British fermented with WLP029. The chocolate malt was more present when it was first brewed but after lagering has mellowed and you get only hint from time to time. I had bad luck with the willamette hops both time in not being fresh so the hop flavor/aroma has been sort of lacking but they were still enjoyable beers.
 

wepeeler

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Brewing up an Altbier today for a competition for late Feb. The last batch I made was definitely in my top 3 homebrews ever. My brew club went nuts over it. Fingers crossed!

79% Pilsner
15% Munich
2% Carafa II
2% Caramunich I
2% Pale Chocolate
Wyeast 2565
Tettnang hops
 

balrog

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Brewing up an Altbier today for a competition for late Feb. The last batch I made was definitely in my top 3 homebrews ever. My brew club went nuts over it. Fingers crossed!

79% Pilsner
15% Munich
2% Carafa II
2% Caramunich I
2% Pale Chocolate
Wyeast 2565
Tettnang hops
Mash temp? Ferm temp? Hop schedule?
(inquiring minds want to know, if available)
 
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