Altbier is a beer that I have drunk on several occasions while visiting Germany, and I have enjoyed all of the variants I have tried. I have not been to Düsseldorf yet, but it sure is on my short list of beer cities to visit. Commerical examples seem to range from malty sweet to intensely bitter.
This recipe is for an Altbier that is on the upper end of the OG and bitterness ranges. I have tried to make it a bit sweet and with some complexity, and balanced by 35 IBUs. That should make it a nice spring beer I hope. It will have to be lagered in the fridge for a few weeks before drinking though.
The brew day lasted 5 hours and 50 minutes, of which 40 minutes was spent trying to get the wort into the fermenter. I will never ever again use whole hop cones with my current brew setup. The easy-siphon clogged and it was almost impossible to get a siphon from the brew kettle. I have used whole hops before, and do remember that I have had similar problems, but never this serious. The Spalt hops were quite small, so that might have something to do with it. I literally had to pump the wort, and that didn't always work either until I had cleared the opening. Anyway, lesson learned.
The batch was brewed 2007-03-26.
All grain, batch sparge
34 EBC (Light brown)
2500g Pilsener malt
1500g Vienna malt
1300g Münchener malt
700g Cara-münich malt
50g Debittered chocolate malt
50g Debittered black malt
67C, 60 min
76C, 10 min (mashout)
60g Spalter Select whole, 5.2%, 60 min
40g Spalter Select whole, 5.2%, 10 min
Wyeast 1007 German Ale Yeast, production date 2006-11-17, 1 liter starter
OG: 1.054 FG: 1.013 (estimated)