Sticke Alt

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Horst D. Dornbusch presents this alt recipe in the book Altbier: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes as an example of a speciality Altbier that Düsseldorf brewpubs make available seasonally.

Sticke, or secret, Alts are usually a bit darker, stronger, and hoppier than traditional Alts, but no less delicious. Here is your chance to play Düsseldorf Alt brewmaster and get creative with the style! This well balanced beer has a light hoppy nose, good middle maltiness, and finishes surprisingly dry!

Sticke Alt | Amber Hybrid Beer


  • For 5 gallons (19 L)
    • Grains
    5.25 lb (2.38 kg) Two-row (46%)
    2.50 lb (1.13 kg) Munich (23%)
    0.75 lb (0.34 kg) Caramel (7.5%)
    2.50 lb (1.13 kg) Crystal 60 °L (21%)
    0.25 lb (0.113 kg) Black 500 °L (2.25%)
    • Hops
    Bittering Hallertau Mittelfruh, Mt. Hood, Perle, or Spalt (0.112 ÷ %AA) oz *
    Flavor Hallertau Mittelfruh, Mt. Hood, Perle, or Spalt 0.6 oz (17 g)
    Aroma Spalt or Tettnanger 1.2 oz (34 g)
    •  *The amount of bittering hops will depend on the alpha acid levels of the chosen hops. ie Mt. Hood hops with a 5.0% AA would use 2.24 ounces (0.112 ÷ .05 = 2.24)
    • Yeast
    • Wyeast 1007 or equivelant. Avoid British or American Ale yeasts or German Lager yeasts as they don't produce an authentic Alt flavor profile.


    • Original Gravity: 13.5 °P (1.056)*
    • Final Gravity: 3.5 °P (1.014)*
    • ABV: 5.3%*
    • IBU: 50*
    • SRM: 22*
    • Boil Time: 90-120 minutes
    • Efficiency: n/a
    • Pre-boil Volume: n/a
    • Pre-boil Gravity: n/a


    • These directions are presented by Dornbusch as general/standard Alt directions.
    • Dough-in at 122°F (50°C) for a 30 minute protein rest.
    • Increase the mash temperature by adding hot water and/or direct heat to 148°F (64°C) for a 15 minute beta saccharification rest.
    • Raise temperature again to 156°F (69°C) for a 15 minute alpha saccharification rest.
    • Mash out by raising the temperature to 170°F (77°C).
    • Altbier boils are generally 90-120 min. The longer boil time assists in darkening the wort. Subsequently, hop additions will vary depending on length of boil.
    • Ferment the wort at 60°F (16°C) until it is about 90% attenuated.
    • At the end of primary fermentation, reduce the fermenter temperature by about 2°F (1°C) per day until the temperature gets down to 32-40°F (0-4°C).
    • Let it sit for two weeks to two months (the longer the better).
    • It is recommended to rack the beer off the sediment once or twice with in the first week and purge debris out of the bottom of the fermenter.
    • It is recommended to filter at about three microns, if possible.
    • Package at a low temperature around 28°F (-2°C). Carbonate to 2.5-3.0 volumes.
    • Store at about 41°F (5°C) and serve at 45°F (7°C).
    • *Actual values may differ depending on ingredients and brewing processes.

    Extract Option

    • Substitute 6.6 lbs (2.5 kg) of Pils malt extract for the 5.25 lb (2.38 kg) of two-row. Decrease the boil time to 60 minutes, and adjust hop additions as necessary. If the gravity turns out too high, thin wort with pre-boiled water.