Oktoberfest Altbier

For the Gemini Crickets annual action, I donated a batch of home brew beer to be auctioned off. The winning bidder, Bill, was very excited since he’d been wanting to learn about brewing. He chose to do an Oktoberfest which is a lager and not within my capabilities since I don’t have a proper temperature controlled cold storage to do the lagering in. But, I found a recipe that uses a Kölsch ale yeast that leaves a very clean finish approaching that of a lager yeast when fermented on the cooler side of ale temperatures (60-65˙F).

Recipe used for 10G batch:

  • 10# German Vienna malt
  • 10# German Pilsner malt
  • 4# German Munich malt
  • 1# Caramunich malt
  • 1# Caravienne malt
  • White Labs WLP029 German Kölsch
  • Mash at 154˙F for 90 minutes
  • Boil for 90 minutes
  • 2 oz Tettang for 60 min
  • 1 oz Hallertau@3.8% for 30 min
  • 1 oz Hallertau@3.8% for 15 min

Batch #12 brewed on 10/9/2010:

  • 8.0G of water and 26# of grain is the absolute limit of my 10G mash tun.
  • Struggled to maintain 154˙F and probably averaged 152˙F
  • Pitched with 3 bottles of yeast since I didn’t get to the store in time to do a starter
  • Subbed Liberty@4.3% for the Tettang
  • Collected 11.0 G into primary at 1.065, for a real efficiency of 74% — Not shabby!
  • Pitched in the late afternoon on 10/9 and temp was about 72˚F .  Cooled it through the night down to ~63˙F.
  • Most of the fermentation was between 64-68˚F, with a brief excursion above 70˚. On 11/5, moved buckets into fridge to chill prior to kegging.
  • One bucket finished at 1.021, and the other at 1.017 — quite a bit higher than the original. Not doing a starter was probably a mistake. After blending, that’s about a 6.1% ABV.
  • ~23.7 IBU

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