Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

Schwarzbier and Sticke Alt

So, I’m finally making a post on my blog. I thought I’d just reminisce on my latest brews.

Currently in the fermentor I have a German Schwarzbier (black beer). It’s probably in my top 3 favorite beer styles and the one I made last winter turned out great. It’s fermenting in the shed we have out back where it’s staying a cool 55°F. Last week it was down to 50°F in there. Next week it’ll be time to keg it and stick it in the fridge to lager for a month. I haven’t brewed since we moved and my keg fridge has been unplugged the whole time. Needless to say it’s very, very stinky (to put it mildly) in there. I think I’ll have to make use of some old clothes and bleach before putting any precious beer in there!

I was reading my book on German Alt beers today and read a section on a special type of Alt, called a Sticke Alt, meaning “secret” Alt in the local Düsseldorf dialect. Apparently the Alt breweries in Düsseldorf (the home of Altbier) brew a special Alt beer once a year and call it Sticke Alt. It’s a chance for the brewers to play around, so the recipes differ from year to year, but there is almost some stylistic guideline that can be taken from these beers. Basically, they are an Alt beer made stronger, darker and hoppier. It’s almost a German stout, if you like. So, I formulated a recipe for one of these and I think this may be my next beer….or….one of my next anway. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Greg’s Sticke Alt

This is closely based on a recipe for a Sticke in my Alt book, though not exactly the same.

1.057 OG and 50.2 IBU
90 minute boil

5.3 lbs Pilsner malt
2.6 lbs Munich malt
2.5 lbs CaraAmber (or Crystal 60L)
13 oz CaraHell
0.25 lbs Black Malt

(I know, that’s a lot of Caramel/Crystal, but the guidelines say so. 😉 )

2.7 oz Spalt (4.8%) at 60 min
0.6 oz Spalt @ 5 min
1.2 oz Spalt steeped for 5 minutes after boil or dry hop in secondary

Then use a nice Alt yeast. A must! A protein rest is recommended.

Once brewed, I’ll let you know how it is….