Recipe: Draught Beer 1912 Pre-War Lager

This homebrew-scale recipe, based on brewer Paul Kaiser’s own notes, is for an authentic pre-war American lager with a high proportion of adjuncts.

Paul Kaiser , Michael Stein Sep 19, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Draught Beer 1912 Pre-War Lager Primary Image

This homebrew-scale recipe is based on Paul Kaiser’s notes for “Draught Beer 1912,” an authentic pre-war American lager recipe with a high proportion of adjuncts. For simplicity, this version goes with flaked maize and a single-infusion mash, but feel free to go with corn grits and a cereal mash for a more traditional process.

For more on American lager-brewing in this era, see America’s Founding Lagers: The Pre-Prohibition Landscape.

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.011
IBUs: 20
ABV: 5%

4.3 lb (2 kg) six-row pale
4 lb (1.8 kg) flaked maize
1.1 lb (499 g) flaked wheat
1 lb (454 g) rice hulls

0.33 oz (9 g) Cluster at 90 minutes [9 IBUs]
0.33 oz (9 g) Cluster at 60 minutes [8 IBUs]
0.18 oz (5 g) Cluster at 30 minutes [3 IBUs]

Fermentis SafLager W-34/70 or other favored lager yeast

Mill the grains and mash at 150°F (66°C) for 1 hour. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and lauter as necessary to obtain 6.5 gallons (25 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule. Chill to about 48°F (9°C), aerate well, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast. Ferment at about 50°F (10°C) for about 2 weeks, or until terminal gravity is reached. When it nearly reaches terminal gravity, raise the temperature to 57°F (14°C) for 1 day for a diacetyl rest. Then cool by about 2°F (1°C) per day until you reach lagering temperature, about 32°F (0°C). Lager for 4–6 weeks, then package and carbonate.