An altbier is sometimes considered to be a hybrid beer. That’s because it uses an ale yeast, but has many characteristics of a lager.
This style is said to have originated in Düsseldorf before bottom fermenting yeasts were available.
Though top fermenting, the fermentation temperature is usually kept on the cooler than most ales, thus lending many characteristics found in lagers.
This style is described in the Beer Certified Judges Program guidelines as being “well-attenuated, bitter yet malty, clean, and smooth, amber-to copper-colored”.
The idea to brew this beer came to me during my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. On a couple occassionals while going into a town to resupply, I had the opportunity to purchase Long Trail Ale, which is brewed near the trail in Bridgewater Corners, Vt. by Long Trail Brewing Company.
Long Trail’s version is hoppy, but doesn’t the bright and malty character expected of this style.
The beer I brewed is named for Killington Peak, a mountain that is just a few miles down the road from Long Trail’s brewery. The Appalachian Trail does not summit this mountain, but there is a short side trail to the top. The photo above on the right was taken on the day I climbed to the summit with two of my best hiking friends, Mechanic and Pippi.
Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs 4.0 oz Total Hops: 2.00 oz oz. Amt Name Type # %/IBU 10 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 79.2 % 1 lbs Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.5 % 1 lbs Wheat - Red Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) Grain 3 7.5 % 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.8 % 4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.9 %
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Saccharification Add 41.94 qt of water at 158.3 F 152.1 F 75 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.041 SG Est OG: 1.055 SG Amt Name Type # %/IBU 0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 8.5 IBUs 0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 7 15.4 IBUs 0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 1.6 IBUs 0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 2.9 IBUs
Dusseldorf Alt Yeast White Labs WLP036 (with 1 liter starter) Ferment at 65° Final gravity of 1.16 reached in 6 days.
Brewed on January 13, 2018
Packaged on January 16, 2018
I got impatient and rushed this beer. As soon as it reached final gravity I kegged it. Though it ended up tasting very close to what I wan’t, I know that a little more patience would have made it better.
The next time I brew this beer, and I definitely will, I’ll give it more time to cold condition it.
I also want to work on the water chemistry. This batch was made using city water with no treatmetn, other than running it through a charcoal filter and letting sit overnight in the kettle to minimize the chloramines.