I could write this post in German, but that would be both difficult and probably terrible for any readers out there. Yes, I know most of you are just stumbling on this blog because Google told you it had a recipe for a beer of some sort. But for the faithful -- and I'm convinced there's at least one faithful reader out there, because otherwise I wouldn't bother at all -- I'll assume that while you're willing to read English dreck, your desire for German Dreck is less certain.
To this week's brew! Inspired by a local homebrewing club event, I decided to do an altbier, a German style associated with the Rheinland -- basically east-central where Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium meet. Altbiers are unusual for the traditional continental brews in that they're ales, meaning they're "high-temperature" fermented; in this case, the fermentation temperature is 60-65F, somewhat above the mid-50s lagers that are predominant in much of Germany.
The aim here was to produce an extremely simple altbier while also clearing out some stores of grain that had begun building up in the basement. As a result, I modified the recipe given to me by another homebrewer to come up with a slightly more complicated version. The "simple" version, of course, does away with the base malt variety and goes straight to pils. I probably would have also picked a saaz hop to go on top, but since I had 10.5 oz of Tettnang from October, I decided that would have to do.
Today's helper was my youngest daughter, who is approximately 1/3 the size of the 20-gallon pot. She and a couple of her friends could easily turn that thing into a fort. Alas, in this case that potential fort was flooded with 18 gallons of beer, so instead she took up the paddle and stirred away happily, which is a heck of a lot more than most 4-year olds would do.