Recipe: pFriem Lemon Zest Farmhouse Ale

A traditional-style farmhouse ale is infused with lemon zest, giving the beer a bright, fresh lemon flavor to balance the earthy, fruity base. A refreshing crusher for any season.

Josh Pfriem Nov 30, 2019 - 3 min read

Recipe: pFriem Lemon Zest Farmhouse Ale Primary Image

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 78%
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.005
IBUs: 29
ABV: 6.2%

6 lb (2.7 kg) Gambrinus Pilsner
5 lb (2.3 kg) Weyermann Pilsner
1 lb (454 g) Rahr Raw White Wheat
1 lb (454 g) Weyermann Malted Spelt

0.5 oz (14 g) Tettnanger [3.8% AA] at 60 minutes
0.4 oz (11 g) Huell Melon [6.1% AA] at 5 minutes
1.3 oz (37 g) El Dorado [17.4% AA] at 5 minutes
One large lemon (see below)
1.2 oz (34 g) Huell Melon [6.1% AA], dry hop 1.2 oz (34 g) El Dorado [17.4% AA], dry hop

Imperial Organic Yeast B56 Rustic
EC-1118 champagne yeast for bottle conditioning


Mash the grains at 147°F (64°C) for 90 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 70 minutes following the hops schedule.

After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 75°F (24°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 80°F (27°C). After the beer reaches terminal gravity and passes VDK (vicinal diketone) analysis, cool to 60°F (15°C) and dry hop. Wait 2 days, remove from dry hops, and cool to 29°F (-2°C). Wait 3–7 days, removing yeast and hops material every other day. Zest one large lemon and add the zest, being careful to introduce as little oxygen as possible. Let your palate be your guide for how long to leave the beer on the lemon zest. Bottle condition with EC-1118 and dextrose.

Feel free to experiment with the zest, try other citrus, etc. (tangelos are a crew favorite), but in our experience Meyer lemon zest is very bitter. Stick to the big yellow ones.

Be sure to have a strategy to remove all of the zest afterward because if particulate makes it into bottles, it’s likely to cause gushing. We use a centrifuge, but I can see a teabag setup working great on the homebrew scale. Cheers!