Sunday, March 23, 2014

2014 Altbier

It has been one cold and snowy winter here. And busy. I haven't been able to find the time to brew like I had planned to. In fact, I missed the opportunity to use the spectacularly frigid weather to brew the German Pils I had planned. I'm bummed, but I'll just have wait until next winter to try again. For now, I will turn my eyes towards Spring and Summer brewing. Hopefully I can find some time over the next few months to knock out at least a few more batches. Luckily, I had time today to start with this year's Altbier.

Last year's altbier attempt went south before I could bottle it...poor planning on my part resulted in the altbier being fermented in a bucket I had previously used with Brett and I must not have sanitized as well as I thought I did. For this year's batch I used last year's recipe as a starting point, but I decided to up the grain bill a tad to get the OG up over 1.050 and, since I already had the hops I was going to use in the German Pils that never got brewed, I decided to just use those instead of going with the traditional Spalter hops.

Brew day went well, except I ended up a tad short on my volumes - nothing major..just a 1/4 gallon or so. I want to ferment this in the upper 50s/low 60s, but I am having a tough time finding a spot in the cellar that is just the right temperature. Most places are too cold - a testament to the winter we've had. I think I've got the right spot, but I'm going to keep my eye on it and will move it to a warmer-than-I-want spot if I have to. Spring weather is slowly, but surely, on its way.

brewed on 3/23/14

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 3.5 gal
Estimated Color: 14.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 47 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
OG: 1.055
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.6%

5.5 lbs Pilsner malt - 76.2 %
1 lbs Munich Malt - 13.9 %
8.0 oz Caramunich I - 6.9 %
2.0 oz Chocolate Wheat - 1.7 %
1.5 oz Acid Malt - 1.3 % (for mash pH)

16 g Northern Brewer [10.1%] - 60 min
14 g Hallertauer [3.9%] - 20 min
14 g Hallertauer [3.9%] - 5 min

Dusseldorf Alt Yeast (White Labs #WLP036)

Mash Schedule
Protein Rest - 133.0 F (10 min)
Sacch. Rest - 150.0 F (40 min)
Mash out (via 10 min decoction) - 168.0 F

Water - (estimated)
Ca: 129 ppm
Mg: 1 ppm
Na: 3 ppm
Cl: 148 ppm
SO4: 104 ppm

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