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German Alt temps

Hi everyone, my beer stock is at an all time low due to low productivity and high consumption over the holidays, so I’m looking to get started early this year and brew the NB German Alt.

I just recently got an AG setup, but every now and then, I brew extract just out of laziness - especially if the price is basically the same and cos I haven’t managed to have an AG brewday that doesn’t go belly up at some stage.

Anyhow, I was looking at the extract and AG versions of the German Alt, and I see that the extract has 2 weeks primary & 2-4 weeks secondary whereas the AG version has 2 week primary and 2 weeks cool secondary.
This has me confused - if they are using the same yeast (Wyeast 1007), why would fermentation be different? - and also if the optimal temp is 55-66, if I did go AG, would I still stay in this range or are they talking about going down lower.

I’ll get the hang of this one day if it kills me!

In my opinion there should be not difference in fermentation between extract and all grain. It has taken 6-8 weeks in the keg for my alts to clear when using 1007, and I usually ferment 62F for mine. In short I wouldn’t worry about their brewing directions being slightly different.

I agree that extract vs. all-grain should really not make a difference at all.

Timing is always a swag. Ignore the instructions as far as weeks for this and that. Most homebrewers don’t do secondary anymore, just leave it in primary. When the yeast is done fermenting, it will let you know by the krausen falling back in and the beer beginning to clear. Even then you need to check the specific gravity several times over the course of 3-7 days to ensure the gravity isn’t falling anymore, as sometimes fermentation will continue even while the yeast is falling out.

I am making an altbier on my next batch for the first time with the 1007. If you could wait a month or so I’ll let you know how it turns out! But anyway, my plan is to ferment at around 58-60 F for about a full month. But like I said above, I’ll leave it there in primary until it looks like it’s done before I think about doing anything to it. Maybe that’s a week, maybe 8 weeks, who knows. My guess is ~3 weeks, but that’s just a guess based on my experience doing a similar style, Kolsch. The alt yeast might be totally different, I don’t know yet.

Patience. And don’t bother racking. Let the yeast talk to you.

Thanks for replies - only reason I dabble in secondary is that I usually want to free up my primary. But at this time of the year, I don’t have an issue so I guess I’ll just go with the primary

I’m going to kind of disagree. Altbiers are one place where I do still use a secondary. I figure that, especially using the 1007 alt yeast, it’s as close to a lager as you can get without using a lager yeast. So, after my 2-3 week fermentation, I do lager it for another 3 weeks. I truly believe it turns out much better than the one time I didn’t lager it.
By the way, the NB kit(I’ve done the extract version once and the AG twice) is really great. Reminds me very much of Longtrail Ale. And the Superalt recipe is even better- very close to LT’s Doublebag.

I have to agree with Jim. Alt is a hybrid beer and will benefit from lagering for several weeks. So I would do a secondary. Which brings up another point. If the OP’s stock is running low an Altbier is probably not the best choice of what to make at this time.

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