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May 7, 2018

Pre Prohibition Home Brew Beer Recipe

pre prohibition

My first ever all-grain beer was a pre-prohibition pilsner. Due to nostalgia, i've always been interested in brewing another one. What's a pre-prohibition beer, you might ask? Well, it's a lot like a normal, no-frills beer, but made exclusively with 6 row malt, a bit of corn, and cluster hops. We used lager yeast and fermented it cool, because we brewed it mid-winter and figured that it would have been fermented cool, "back in they day." And we went the extra mile by collecting spring water from the top of a mountain (literally) because we figured that'd make the recipe even more "old timey." This beer was really fun to brew and it tastes great too.

Brew Day Video

FYI: Full recipe details are below

Pre-Prohibition Lager Recipe

Water Volume

  • Beginning water volume: 7.86 gallons

Water Chemistry

Chemistry adjusted with lactic acid to reduce pH to 5.3. Note, we don't generally adjust the pH of our tap water but we brewed this with spring water and needed a bit of help.


  • Pale Malt (6 row) - 8lbs. 4oz. (83.8%)
  • Flaked Corn - 1lb. 1.5oz (11.1%)
  • Cara-Pils - 8oz. (5.1%)

Note: The cara-pils is definitely not old timey, but we added it to create a bit of foam and head retention. You know, to make the beer look a bit prettier.


  • 122F for 20 minutes - proten rest (to reduce haze in final beer)
  • 150 for 60 minutes - saccharification (convert starch to sugar)

Boil & Boil Additions, Etc.

After the mash, we heated to boil temp and boiled for 60 minutes. Here are the additions

  • 60 minutes (start of boil) - 1.3oz. Cluster Hops
  • 10 minutes - 0.5oz. cluster hops

Cooling & Hopstand / Whirlpool Additions, Etc.

None for this beer.


At the end of the boil we cooled the beer down and added 1 package of Pilsen Lager Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2007). We fermented at 53F for two weeks. We then bumped the temperature up to 70F for about 10 days to complete a diacetyl rest. The D-Rest should have only taken two days, but for some reason ours took much longer. We smelled and visually inspected the beer, letting it rest until all traces of diacetyl were gone and yeast activity (bubbling) had ceased.

Dry Hops

None to speak of for this beer.


  • Starting gravity - 1.042
  • Volume into the fermenter - 5.4 gallons
  • Final Gravity - 1.010
  • ABV - 4.20%

Tasting Notes / Rating

This one is a winner for sure. We think that the modern take on lagers is better (they're more crisp an less "grainy.") But this beer is great for what it is. It's actually been pretty popular with the friends who stop by our office to help drain the taps!

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