Sahti Altbier

The end of last April 2009 I brewed a Juniper Rye Ale that I wasn't thrilled with. Some changes to today's recipe will be moving the crushed juniper berry addition back to later in the boil. I experimented with adding juniper berries to the mash and middle of boil. Not much juniper berry flavor remained. What little was left was tannins and the oily bitter flavors of the berry on the tongue after each sip. The first time I brewed a beer based on this traditional beer style called Sahti was in January 2007. For that brew I added some juniper berries at end of boil, and at bottling I made a juniper berry tea which I added to bottling bucket with the priming sugar. The flavors from the tea and late boil additions were much more enjoyable. Aroma was floral,spicy gin with a finishing pine character. An addition to the grist bill will be a traditional Rauch(smoked) malt. Only 3% smoked malt in the grist will add authenticity to this traditional style without overpowering the palette.

Grist Bill: Baird Pale malt, Briess two row, Rye malt, Crystal Rye malt, Smoked malt, and a couple ounces Roasted Barley for color. First wort hopped with Hallertau Hersbrucker. Crushed Juniper Berries added at End of Boil. Fermented with Wyeast 1007 German Ale yeast.

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