Düsseldorf Altbier Recipe

Alt (‘old’ in German) survives in Dusseldorf, holding on to a lonely buoy within a sea of lagers that is modern-day Germany. Much like its cousin from Cologne Kolsch, this beer is fermented with an ale yeast at cooler than normal temperatures to induce a clean, malty, and firmly bitter beer. This beer features a deep amber color with crystal clarity and garnet highlights. Truly a great beer to both drink and behold.  My version is less-sweet than a lot of the homebrew examples that are out there, featuring only 6.5% crystal malt. Instead, this beer receives a toasty (think rich bread crust) melanoidin induced malt flavor from a large percentage of Munich malt as well as a dash of aromatic malt. This is a perfect sessionable beer with enough complexity and flavor to keep you interested, and a low enough ABV to keep your senses.


Volume: 6.22 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.050
Terminal Gravity: 1.013
Color: 15.04 SRM
Alcohol: 4.85%
Bitterness: 43.4
Efficiency: 79% (tweak recipe to match efficiency of your brew house)
Boil Length: 90 Minutes


7.5 lb (64.5%) Pilsner Malt; Weyermann
3 lb (25.8%) Munich TYPE II; Weyermann
.75 lb (6.5%) German CaraMunich III
.25 lb (2.2%) Aromatic Malt; Best Malz
2 oz (1.1%) German Carafa II
34 g (54.5%) Magnum (12.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
.5 oz (22.7%) Czech Saaz (3.1%) – added during boil, boiled 20 m
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
.5 oz (22.7%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.4%) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
.5 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 ea White Labs WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt


Carbon-filtered Seattle water which is very soft.  All salts added to grist before mashing in.
2 g Calcium Chloride (Calcium Chloride)
2.0 g Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate)
4.0 g Chalk (Calcium Carbonate)


60 Minute Saccharification Rest at 151° F
10 Minute Mashout Rest at 170° F (I pulled a decoction to hit mashout temp)
Sparge at 170° F and collect sufficient runnings to hit pre-boil volumes.


  1. Chill wort to 58° F and pitch yeast slurry.
  2. Set temp controller to 60° F and allow to rise to this temp.
  3. Ferment at 60-62° F until beer is 2-6 points from terminal gravity then raise temp to 68° F.  Hold at 68° F for 2 days.
  4. Chill fermenter to 34° F.  Rack beer off yeast and lager near freezing the 4-6 weeks.


The beer brewed from this recipe has won as a BJCP Category 7c. Dusseldorf Altbier:

  • 2012 NHC First Round – 1st Place

One thought on “Düsseldorf Altbier Recipe

  1. thanks for this great recipe! love the subtle touches in there. good to see an alt recipe not too heavy on the spalt or caramalts. I am brewing a batch of it today (only i am using wyeast 2633 – an alt lager). wort is smelling good.

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