Mike was in the mood for an Altbier. For where we are in the world, it’s the right season for this German ale style. The colder room temperatures we get in the winter are great for the fermentation. In this edition of the Brew Dudes blog, we review a version of this classic style that was brewed with a new-to-homebrewers dry yeast strain: SafAle K-97 German Ale Dry Yeast from Fermentis. Let’s learn about this one together, shall we?
Mike’s Altbier Recipe
First off, here’s what Mike brewed. His recipes are now in a 3 US Gallon format because he is using his BrewZilla and has a couple of kegs that suit this batch size. They allow him to do easy closed transfers too.
Boil size: 3.75 US gallons
Batch size: 3 US gallons
4.5 pounds (2.04 kg) of Pilsner Malt – 80% of the grain bill
0.5 pounds (227 g) of Aromatic Malt – 9% of the grain bill
0.5 pounds (227 g) of CARAMUNICH I at 35° L – 9% of the grain bill
2 ounces (57 g) of CARAFA SPECIAL Type 3 at 470° L – 2% of the grain bill
2 ounces of Hersbrucker Hops at 2.2% AA – boiled for 60 minutes
Spring water with gypsum added to bring sulfate level to 120 PPM
The star of the show: 1 packet of SafAle K-97 German Ale Dry Yeast
Mashed at 145° F (63° C) for 40 minutes, ramping up to 155° F (68° C) for 10 minutes, and mashing out at 168° F (76 ° C) for another 10 minutes. Fermented at basement temperatures for 2 weeks. Kegged and force carbonated.
Original Gravity: 1.042
Final Gravity: 1.009
% ABV: 4.33%
Our Tremendous Tasting Notes
This beer hasn’t settled totally in the keg so it is a bit murky. Although the clarity needs work, the color is light brown with faint reddish highlights.
The malt aromas are strong. We’re not sure if we picked up any hop notes.
The flavor is dominated with a toasty, a slightly roasty character from the malts. Mike thinks the Aromatic malt is singing nicely in this beer. The malt notes are backed up by the spicy hop character from the Hersbrucker. Since this style calls for a IBU target of 50, the bitterness note should be strong in this beer. A stronger alpha acid percentage would have helped here.
Overall, high marks for how this dry yeast performed. With more time to condition in the keg, the flavor of this beer will be cleaner and more pillowy like that of a Kölsch.
Use this yeast the next time you brew an Alt!