Dusseldorfer Altbier

I just realized I hadn’t written about a major brew day.  I did an Altbier a while back.  A while as in it’s packaged and ready to go.

Okay first impressions, I got the beer too dark.  3.3 ounces of Black Malt yielded a dark coppery red beer.  I was looking for old penny.  It has a persistent off-white head, is clear and bright.  Aroma is hop-forward, noble hop with a light, fruity note of malt esters.  I’d go with tropical fruit.  Maybe if I knew what a lychee smelled like….  This is a bitter beer with good fruits, almost apple or pear with just enough dark undertones to let you know you aren’t drinking a German lager.  Mouthfeel is moderately light.  I like this beer!  About the only flaw I can find is the color.  And I love the hops.  This is a bitter, flavorful beer.  It’s also very clean – I controlled the fermentation temperature very closely and the result was very pleasant.  No off flavors.

I’m happy with it.  I’ll take it to another beer geek colleague and see how close it is to the genuine Altbiers he was drinking a few weeks ago.  Best drinking temp is in the high 40’s or low 50’s.

Two22 Brew/Brew Day

A busy couple of days.  Yesterday I was out running errands and they took me to the vicinity of Two22 Brew, actually the closest brew pub to me and very near my old house.  It’s a typical Colorado tasting room:  You go in and buy beer in what ever volume the publicans choose to serve.  My first choice was a flight of their beers:

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It’s an American Pale Ale (already done in this pic), a Saison, a Blonde and two IPAs, one a “Two Hop” and the other a Simcoe IPA.  All of the beers were sound and good, the winner to my taste was the Two Hop IPA, the one I later got a half-pint of.  The brewer was not there.  I’ve talked with her before, though, and hope to get over there one evening this week and compliment her on her brews.  You have to google “two22” to find them, a drawback to their clever name, but it’s worth it and damn, I’m bummed that they weren’t there when I lived within walking distance.

Today was brew day for Dusseldorfer Altbier, named “Hopfenkopf.”  Dusseldorfer Altbier is the original German hophead beer with a very high BU/GU ratio.  I brewed mine to 50 IBUs and an OG of 1.050, pretty much a BU/GU ratio of 1.  Here we go:

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Now that’s a fine looking grain bed!  I got 80% conversion, leading to an original OG of 1.055, higher than I wanted.  A couple quarts of water later the gravity was where I wanted it, it’s pitched and in the fridge.  Altbier calls for a carefully controlled fermentation below 65 degrees until finished, then a “lager” phase at about 40 degrees for a few weeks.  I’ve never tasted the style but a friend is leaving for Germany soon and Dusseldorf is on their list of places to go.  I’m expecting a full critique once they get back.  The particulars on the beer:  OG1.050, 50 IBUs, about 14 SRM in color (copper).  Primarily Pilsner malt with Munich, CaraMunich, Vienna and a touch of black malt for color.  Hops were Perle (bittering) and Spalt so there was a lot of hop material in there.  It should finish at about 4.6% ABV, sessionable.  Key is this is a flavorful beer and mine should be.

I’ll make the recipe available here on request or cross-link from Brewer’s Friend.