Friday, January 23, 2009

Sachsen Alt

If you’ve ever had an Alaskan Amber from Alaskan Brewing Co., then you’ve had a variation of a North German Alt. It’s a clean, dry and malty beer with yeast-bread overtones and a firm hop bitterness. This one is a “sticke” (secret) version, which is served unannounced by pubs a few times year. It’s a bit darker, bigger, and has a larger hop aroma than the regular Alt. With good yeast control, I’ve avoided the sweet, heavy character which is a common flaw in homebrew versions of this style.

  • .5 lbs. Weyermann CaraAmber
  • .125 lbs. Weyermann Carafa I
  • 6.3 lbs. Gold Amber Malt Syrup
  • 1 lb. Briess Amber DME
  • 1 lb. Briess Wheat DME
  • 2 ozs. German Tradition pellet hops 5.7% AAU (bittering)
  • 1 oz. Spalt pellet hops 4.0% AAU (aroma)
  • 1 oz. Hallertau Select (dry hopping)
  • WLP036 White Labs Platinum Series Dusseldorf Alt Yeast

I was looking for iconography for this label when I came upon this symbol, the Niedersachsenross, (a white horse on a red field).  I thought it an appropriate image for my interpretation of a Düsseldorf Alt.


Brian said...

that is an awesome label, also a great sounding beer! I've not made many Alt's and was thinking I'd work off of your base recipe. Is this the first time you've brewed one, or have you been perfecting this recipe for a while?


Hunington Sachs said...

This is the first Alt I've made, but I'm very confident in the reliability of the recipe, as it's a tried-and-true Northern Brewer recipe ( Like you, I'm very skeptical of internet recipes, as I've been burned a couple of times by hobbyists. However, I've brewed many of the NB recipes, including almost all of their German styles, and have been completely impressed by their formulations -- and it's no wonder, as BJCP Chief Kristen England is the one who puts them together. This one is NB's "Super Alt" formulation -- go to the website for exact inventory. I've had very good luck following Jamil Z's lagering procedures, which for an Alt would be ferment at 60, diacetyl rise to 65, racking off the yeast, then lagering for 30 days at 36 degrees. Of course, you still need to prime and bottle condition at 68 to condition the beer for several weeks, then you can go back to the fridge. Great results.

Brian said...

Good deal-I'm actually a northern brewer regular. Living in Chicago I get 2 day delivery (@ the $7.99 brewsaver) but I've never done any of the kits or recipes that they have put out. Matter of fact my southern english brown ingredients should be arriving tomorrow from them.

Let me know how this turns out. By the way I checked out your linked in-I was in Europe w/the Army for a few years as well-enlisted E-5 during Bosnia/Kosovo in 98-99. Did you ever make it down into the area?

Hunington Sachs said...

No, I was strictly a Cold Warrior. We were doing fun things like deploying the Pershing II truck-launched nuclear missile in peace-loving Deutschland. I was activated for Gulf War I, but it didn't last long enough for me to arrive!

I keep looking for English Browns and Milds at my local bottle shop, but there's not much call for them. I'll have to brew a batch myself just to try 'em.