Layger Brewhaus Super Simple Infinite Cider Theorem Recipe

Original hypothesis formed August, 2018

The Layger Brewhaus Super Simple Infinite Cider Theorem Recipe takes longer to read than it does to make!

Our simple cider recipe requires just three ingredients, no sanitizer, and no special gear.

Best of all, our recipe makes an infinite amount of still (uncarbonated) hard cider at a rate of about 3 quarts per week.

Juice/Cider: Buy two, 3 qt jugs of Santa Cruz organic apple juice or similar big jug of any apple cider or apple juice that is cloudy and not clear. Make sure it was pasteurized but has no preservatives (like benzoates, sulfates, etc.) Ascorbic acid is okay. You want 100% juice.

Yeast: Buy a brewing or winemaking yeast from your local homebrew store. For drier, winelike flavors (and higher alcohol content), use champagne yeasts. For more fruity, sweeter, or appley flavors, try White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, Wyeast 4766 Cider, or Nottingham Ale Yeast.


  1. Pour about 2 cups cider from the jug into a pot, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add half a yeast packet to the jug, cap, and shake vigorously.
  3. Once the cider has reached a boil, remove from heat and add about 1 cup brown sugar. Mix.
  4. Flavor time! Add any flavoring agents to your cider now. Consider oak chips, hops, maple syrup, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, berrie, etc.. After adding them, ensure the cider stays over 160 for about 5 minutes to ensure pasteurization. If you want to make a hopped cider, add ½ oz hops now and simmer for 20 minutes. For aroma hops, add ¼ oz with 2 min left in the boil. After the boil time is reached, remove all hops.
  5. Let the hot cider cool for a few minutes then pour as much as you can back into your cider jug. (Leave about an inch of headspace in the jug.) Recap and shake for 1-2 minutes to mix and aerate the cider.
  6. Uncap the jug and place it into a boil kettle or 5 gal bucket and add the lid to cover. (Or, if you’re a scaredy cat, cap with a sanitized homebrewing airlock.)
  7. Ferment around room temp. For sweeter cider, ferment 4-5 days. For drier cider, ferment up to 10 days. Mess with the fermentation temp and timing to see what happens!
  8. Whenever you decide to stop fermenting, cover your jug’s mouth with foil and transfer it to your fridge. This will put the yeast to sleep and settle them to the bottom of the jug.
  9. Wait 2 days for the yeast to settle at to the bottom of the jug then pour your cider into a clean serving vessel, taking care to keep the yeast cake inside the jug.
  10. Keep the hard cider refrigerated and away from kids. Enjoy!
  11. If your ciders tend to turn out too dry, save some of the original juice or cider in the fridge to mix later with the fermented cider to add back some sweetness, apple flavor, and cider spices.

The Infinite Cider Part

  • If you like the cider’s flavor, reuse your settled yeast! Just get a new jug of cider and repeat steps 1-4 above, then pour your fresh cider into your original jug that contains the yeast layer. Use the new jug’s cap as needed.
  • If fermentation seems slow or slow to start on second and later batches, consider adding half a gram (a little less than 1/8th teaspoon) of yeast nutrient at the beginning of step 3.
  • If you don’t like the cider’s flavor, consider adding flavoring ingredients at step 5 or starting with new or different yeast.

Proofs of the Infinite Cider Theorem

The Nottingham ale yeast strain begun August 12, 2018:

  1. The First Batch started Aug 12, 2018. 5 day ferm. Too sweet, good apple flavor.
  2. The Cinnamon Batch started 8/19/18. Crushed cinnamon sticks, pasteurized. 7 day ferm. Convincing cinnamon aroma. Bitterly dry (started this batch with way more active yeast!) Warms the throat.
  3. Hops Batch started 8/28/18. Boiled ½ oz UK Fuggles 20 min. 6 day ferm. Sweet, a little toothpasty? Not good!

New Nottingham ale yeast half packet begun Sep 5, 2018:

  1. Bob’s Big B Farm Apple Cider started 9/5/18. No sugar or adjuncts added. One of the best batches so far. Unfortunately, this cider is hard to find!
  2. Santa Cruz started Sep 16. No adjuncts. Took it to Brandon’s for dinner Sep 22!
  3. Martinelli’s Apple Juice started Sep 23. Pretty dry, not much apple flavor.
  4. Tree House 100% Pure Pressed Honeycrisp 100% Apple Juice with 1/2 Cup brown sugar begun Oct 3 and fermented 5-6 days. This was my favorite cider so far! This juice retained much more of its apple flavor and sweetness and the unfiltered juice had a creamy mouthfeel. The yeast added a slight and pleasant bready flavor.
  5. Tree House 100% Pure Pressed Honeycrisp 100% Apple Juice with 1/2 Cup brown sugar begun Oct 23. I started this batch with the same yeast (the Sep 5 batch) from the prior batch that had been hanging out in the fridge in a foil-topped glass jar for nearly 2 weeks. Let’s see how this goes… (After just 12 hours, the yeast were actively fermenting.) I stopped ferm on Oct 29 (6 days), chilled 24 hours, and decanted. This cider is a little too dry and not quite as tasty. I think a 5 day ferm might be ideal.
  6. The Steph B. Batch: Big B’s Fabulous Organic Spiced Apple Cider with 1/2 Cup brown sugar started Tues, Nov 6. Ferment it 4 ½ days til morning of Sunday Nov 11, then chill to serve to Steph B. Sunday afternoon. This is the best batch so far! The sweetness was just right and the spices from the cider rang out loud and clear.
  7. “The Nick”: Started Nov 11, chilled Nov 16. This was was Trader Joe’s Apple Cider with no brown sugar added.


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Brew Night: Feb 2017

New England IPA and Chocolate Storter Ale

Just as Dave challenged Jon with a mystery recipe last year (refresher: Dave provided Jon with the ingredients, but not their quantities or timing), Jon returned the favor to Dave this night. The result? A Chocolate Storter Ale!

Other new additions include MASSIVE amounts of hops for the New England IPA, plus 2x hops for the dry hopping during secondary. And Jon got a new toy: a wort aerator.

Elvis Special Bitter

Layger Brewhaus Elvis Special Bitter 800x667

FEST QUOTES: “Love me tender, love me true. Sweet and tasty, this beer’s for you!”

“Sort of like there is a special place in hell for people who talk in theaters, this has a special place on the bitter palate. Kind of like how bitter you would feel if you died on a toilet. Then again it would balance well with some peanut butter and bananas.”


Elvis Special Bitter
Based on ESB 1.1, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale) from BeerSmith

Brewed by Layger Brewhaus March 15, 2016

All Grain
5.5 gallon batch
Boil size: 8 gals
Boil time: 70 min
End of boil volume: 6.5 gals
Final bottling: 5 gals
Est. alcohol by volume: 5-7%


8 gals water
3 grams gypsum
2.5 grams calcium chloride
1.5 grams chalk
1.2 grams salt
.5 grams epsom salt

11 lbs pale malt base grains
1 lbs 9 oz crystal 150

.5 oz Challenger hops (bittering, 60 min boil)
.5 oz Target hops (bittering, 60 min boil)
.35 oz East Kent Goldings hops (flavoring, 15 min boil)
.2 oz Challenger hops (flavoring, 15 min boil)

White Labs #WLP013 London Ale yeast

Heat 8 gals water to 170 deg F.
Maintain step temp of 152 deg F for 60 min.
Fly sparge water: 2 gals at 168 deg F
Keg at 12.5 psi, 2.3 volumes of CO2, 45 deg F

Samantha’s Abduction IPA

Layger Brewhaus Samanthas Abduction IPA 800x667PROPERTIES AND CHARACTERISTICS: Hoppy haze topped with a thick, creamy head of fine bubbles and emanating a citrusy, flowery aroma. Apricot nose. Sweet, chewy, satisfying body. Boldly reverberating, mouth-watering finish. Blunts human senses. 40 percent sweet, 60 percent bitter.

FEST QUOTES: “Piney smell. Really good. No malt, nice thin body. Good bitterness. Grapefruit finish lingering. Liking this beer better and better.”

“I’m a sucker for the Citra Pucker!”


Samantha’s Abduction brewed by Layger Brewhaus September, 2017
Based on Citra Double IPA (Imperial IPA) from Can You Brew It Podcast

All Grain
Batch size 5.75 gals
Boil size 6.5 gals
Boil time 60 min
End of boil volume 6 gals
Final bottling 6 gals

Goal flavor: Double IPA with very complex malt flavors that are well matched by very tropical and fruity aromas and flavors from the large additions of Citra hops. Great head retention and clarity. Liked by many that don’t like IPA’s, loved by those that do.

Actual flavor: 

Prepare a yeast starter

8.5 gals water

13 lbs 2-row pale malt base grains
12 oz carapils/dextrine
12 oz caramel/crystal malt
12 oz munich malt
6 oz honey malt
6 oz white wheat malt

Heat 5 gals water to 159 deg F.
Mash grains in 5 gals water at 148 deg F for 60 min.
Batch sparge with 3 gals at 168 deg F.
Add water to reach 6.5 gals for boil.

1 oz Nugget bittering, boil 60 min
.75 oz Citra bittering, boil 30 min
1 whirlfloc tablet, boil 15 min
.75 oz Citra flavor, boil 15 min
.75 oz Citra flavor, boil 10 min
.75 oz Citra aroma, boil 5 min

White Labs #WLP001 California Ale yeast

Primary for about a week. Secondary for three weeks.

1.25 oz Citra, 12 days
.5 Amarillo Gold, 12 days
.75 oz Citra, 9 days
1 oz Amarillo Gold, 6 days
1.25 oz Citra, 3 days

Keg at 9 PSI

Soursquatch Uncommon Grapefruit Steam Lager

Layger Brewhaus Soursquatch Uncommon Grapefruit Steam Lager label 800x667A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Brewed March, 2016

OBJECTIVE: Moderately malty with toasty and caramel malt flavor. Earthy, spicy, with citrusy hop bite. Dry, crisp, and grainy finish. Aroma of grapefruit. No added acid, sourness, or tartness from fruit.

ACTUAL OUTCOME: Amazing grapefruit aroma before sipping, great nose. Sourness of the grapefruit peel clobbers you from behind. 3 months in captivity mellowed the beast somewhat. Too sour. If you attempt to brew this recipe, zest the grapefruit but do not add the peel!

FEST QUOTES: “Drinking this beer reminds me of this time I was walking through the forest and it was sort of dark. I tripped on a branch and fell face first into a grapefruit someone glued animal fur to. My teeth scraped off the peel and then I accidentally chewed on it for awhile. The fur tickled my tongue just like the bubbles in this beer. If you like grapefruit, and especially the rind, this beer is for you. If you are more of an orange juice kinda guy or gal… a squeeze of that to balance this flavor would bring it to a really good place for me.”

“Nice, light body. Citric pith a bit bitter. We see you now, Soursquatch.”


AKA: Soursquatch California Uncommon, French Mouse Pamplemousse, Steamy Pamplemousse, BitterBomb

½ cup DME (for yeast starter)
6 lbs Pale liquid malt extract
1 lbs Victory (aka Biscuit)
8 oz Crystal 40
8 oz Crystal 20
8 oz Caramunich

yeast nutrient (for yeast starter)
Wyeast 2112 California Lager (Temperature Range: 58-68° F)
Start the yeast starter on Thursday evening before brewing on Saturday evening.

Bittering hops: 1 oz Northern Brewer (aka Hallertau NB) (1 hour) – woody flavor
Finishing hops: ½ oz Cascade or Centennial (15 min) – citrusy, floral, spicy flavor
Aroma hops: ½ oz Goldings (Kent/UK/US) (5 min) – spicy/earthy aroma
Dry hops: 1 oz Goldings (Kent/UK/US) (7 days) – spicy/earthy aroma

Adjuncts: Five grapefruit to add at dry hop

Mash: (total boil time 80 min)
1. Heat 3 gals water to 165 degrees.
2. Add grains and steep 30 min at 152-156 degrees. Sparge with hot water (up to 170 degrees).
3. Stir in liquid malt extract and bring to a boil.
4. Add bittering hops and boil 60 min.
5. Add finishing hops and boil 15 min.
6. Add aroma hops and boil 5 min.
7. Cool wort to yeast pitch temp on the yeast package.

Primary fermentation: 18 days at 62 degrees, 2-3 days at 67 (diacetyl rest)
Secondary fermentation: Drop temp 5 degrees per day to 42-45 degrees. Lager for 5 1/2 weeks before dry hopping.

Dry hop:
Begin dry hopping at the beginning of the last lagering week.
Zest five grapefruit. Then slice remaining grapefruit rind into 1” x 2” strips.
Add 1 oz dry hops and grapefruit zest and peel to a nylon bag and soak in carboy for 7 days. Stir once daily. Remove after 7 days. Lager 3 more weeks then keg.

Kennedy’s Coppertop Ale

Coppertop-Kennedy-Label_800x667A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Always soused by light cream head. Sweet nose followed by a light, watery mouthfeel. Toasty notes. Very #. Pleasantly bitter, leathery finish with light, iced-tea tannins.

The Other Presidential Vice

Coppertop Kennedy was Dave’s first all-grain recipe.

FEST QUOTES: “Ask not what your beer can do for you, ask what you can do for this beer! If the missiles come falling this day, I’d be happy to have this find beer in my hand.”

“A presidentially authoritative beer. Conspiratorially seductive.”


Brew night: Sep 17, 2017
All-grain recipe: 5-6 gallons batch size
9 lbs domestic 2-row pale malt
1 lbs Munich malt
4 oz Victory malt
4 oz aromatic malt
2 oz chocolate malt
1 oz black malt
1 oz roasted barley

1 tsp Irish moss
¼ tsp calcium chloride

½ oz Northern Brewer at 60 min
¼ oz Fuggles at 10 min
¼ oz Fuggles at 5 min

Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Heat 4 gals water to 163 F.
Add calcium chloride.
Mash grains at 152 F for 60 min. // 120 min
Sparge at 168 F.
Collect 6 gals of wort and bring to boil. // 6 ½ gals
Add ½ Northern Brewer hops and boil 60 min.
15 min left: add Irish moss
10 min left: ¼ oz Fuggles
5 min left: ¼ oz Fuggles

Cool wort to 70 F, aerate, and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 F.
Let fermentation stop. Let beer settle for 2-3 days. Rack to secondary.
Kegged: Oct 17
Carbonate to 2.6 volumes of CO2.

// 1.042 OG
// 1.017 Rack = 3.41 alc so far
// 1.019 finishing gravity
= 3.02% alcohol by volume

Apple Pieder: Apple Pie Cider

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

The goal taste profile for this cider was to bulk up the E+D’s Dry Apple Cider No. 41, which turned out too dry and had almost not body due partly to being watered down to hit the goal batch size. Dave also wanted to add some apple pie seasonings and spice in order to enjoy this cider during the late fall. To add some malty heft to this recipe, the solution was simple: add some malted grains!

The actual taste profile was good and fairly close to Dave’s intentions. The cider was a little too tart, so consider reducing the lemon ingredients. The cider had good body and a nice contribution of malt flavors. The cinnamon was present, but not strongly after almost a year in the keg. The nutmeg flavor faded fairly quickly over time in the keg.


Apple Pieder Apple Pie Cider
5 gal batch size (need a 6 ½ gal, wide mouth carboy), 6 weeks start to finish.


For brew night:
White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, $9
1 ¼ tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
6 quarts Santa Cruz Organic 100% Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, ascorbic acid) = $14
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice Honeycrisp Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice 3 Apple Blend (clear, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
2 lbs dark brown sugar
1 lbs Crystal 60
8 oz Crystal 90
8 oz Munich Light
1 cinnamon stick
24 fl oz (2 cans) Tree Top frozen apple juice concentrate (12 fl oz is about 1 lb.)
1 gal distilled water = $1

For secondary:
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 oranges
1 small lemon
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)


1-2 nights before brew night, make a yeast starter. Substitute apple juice for half of the water. Use light dry malt extract powder and yeast nutrient.

Make wort: Heat 1 gal tap water to 158 deg and steep grains for 60 min. Boil yeast nutrient 15 min. Heat 1 gallon sparge water to 180 deg, sparge grain tea.

On brew night, add to a 3 gallon or larger boil kettle and begin heating:
All the apple juice except the frozen concentrate.
2 lbs dark brown sugar (one pound sugar in a 5 gal batch = 1% more alcohol)

While the juice is heating, add 1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient to 2-3 cups water and boil 10 min then add to the kettle. (1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient for a 5 gal batch is more than the usual amount of yeast nutrient one would use for beer. Northern Brewer says this compensates for the lack of yeast nutrients in apple juice that are normally present in malt-based wort.)

Bring to 140 F and hold at 140 F for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat then add 2 lbs frozen apple juice concentrate (About 24 fluid ounces. This just adds sugar and helps cool the “wort”.)

Cool the wort to 80 degrees. Sanitize a carboy. Transfer the juice to the carboy. Top with enough distilled water to reach 6 gallons. Pitch the yeast starter.

Primary fermentation (1-2 weeks): Maintain your yeast’s preferred fermentation temperature until fermentation is under way, then drop temp to the low end of your yeast’s preferred temp range. WLP 775 English Cider Ale yeast’s preferred range is 68-75 degrees. Ferment to dry flavor, 1-2 weeks. If fermentation is slow or smells sulfurish, boil then add ½ tsp yeast nutrient every 24 hours until fermentation seems finished. Make sure to boil the yeast nutrient for 10 min before adding to the wort.

Secondary (4 weeks)

Boil some tap water for 15 minutes to sterilize, then remove from heat. Add these to the pot and cover for 15 minutes:
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice berries or ground allspice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla

Needed for dry hop during secondary:
2 oranges
1 small lemon
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)

Pasteurize (by steaming for 20 minutes):
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
Grain or hop bag
2 cinnamon sticks

4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious).
2 oranges
1 lemon
Paring knife and cutting board.

Dice the apples, discarding the stems and bottoms. Zest the oranges and lemon. Add the apples, zest, raisins, plums, and cinnamon sticks to the grain or hop bag. Add all to carboy. The addition of the sugars in the apples, raisins, and plums will cause another small fermentation. Every few nights, stir the grain bag with a sanitized metal spoon to make sure all the “dry hop” ingredients are coming into contact with the cider.

With 1 week left in secondary, you can add 1 oz oak chips if you like. Just boil the chips for 15 minutes to sanitize and pour the oak chip water and chips directly into the carboy.


Removing the apples, raisins, and plums will drop the batch size back down to around 5 gallons. Do not top with water at this time! That will noticeably dilute your cider, making it watery. Keg as usual. Carbonate at around 12psi at 45 degrees for one week. Serve at 45-50 degrees.

Common cider adjuncts: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Less common cider adjuncts: all-spice, clove, cardamom, vanilla, orange, honey, molasses, raisins, dried plums, oak chips
Resources:,, Northern Brewer cider pdf,

The Meaning of Sparge

The Layger Brewhaus brewing philosophy can be summed up in one word… Sparge!

  • “‘Tis very important to sparge.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “One must sparge oneself thoroughly from time to time.”—Plato
  • “Yarrrrrr, prepare to be sparged!”—Barbarosa
  • “Let’s get sparged!”—Van Wilder

None of those people said those things. However, they are all correct: sparging is critical, refreshing, scary, and fun.

Here’s how sparging fits into the brewing process:

  1. Boil a bunch of water.
  2. Crush up some tasty grains.
  3. Stick ’em in a big sock.
  4. Drop the sock in the boiling water for awhile.
  5. Sparge.

As you can see, sparging is fifth on the list – it must be pretty important! Unfortunately, none of the homebrew recipes will tell you what “sparging” is. Instead, the recipes assume some prior knowledge (probably “reading” the entire book that preceded the recipe section – like any brewer is sober enough to read!). The recipes literally say “Sparge.” If you’re lucky, you’ll get a “Sparge the grains.”

Layger Brewhaus will now tell you what “sparging” is: Sparging is a metaphor for life.

As we here at Layger Brewhaus have sparged, we have come to know the many facets of sparge and its many true meanings. A few of those:

  • To sparge is to make major, brew-altering decisions without full prior knowledge of the possible consequences.
  • To sparge is to rely on intuition rather than the explicit, written knowledge of the vastly more experienced.
  • To sparge is to use one’s discretion, exercising restraint with repugnant, traditional beer ingredients like “beer finings”.
  • To sparge is to dare, to dream…to pretend that 100°F is “cool enough” to add the yeast after 2 hours of waiting.
Layger self sparge March 2016

Jon enjoys a self-sparge. No, really. That’s a thing.

In short, to sparge is to be foolhardy, relying on sheer dumb luck, millions of years of evolution, the bombproof recipes of America’s homebrew industry, and the gumption of our forefathers.

More technically, to sparge is to rinse the spent grains with hot water then discard them. Much like we at Layger Brewhaus discard our worries, cleansing our souls with beer and our bodies in the hot tub!

Join us, then, in taking up the call of “Sparge!” as more than just a brewing technique, but as a metaphor for life.

The Layger Brewhaus Sparge Charge:

I, [your name here], hereby pledge to be foolhardy, to rinse my worries away with beer, and to remember always that the first guy who brewed beer had no idea what he was doing… and look how that turned out. Doo doo doo doo doo doooooo—SPARGE!

Brew Night: Sep 2017

Citra Double IPA and Copper Ale

This was our first-ever double batch, both all-grain brewing night. We started on a Sunday afternoon and finished 9 hours later, which beat our previous best average per brew time by about 3 hours. We’re getting more efficient!



Jon at work! Sep 2017


Primary Fermentation at the Layger Brewcellar, Sep 2017


Layger Brewhaus Secondary Oct 2017

Citra Double IPA (left) and a Copper Ale in secondary ferm.

Molasses Cookie Porter

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

In 2015 and 2016, Dave felt that Jon was stuck in a Pale Ale brewing rut, so he issued Jon a challenge: Dave would write a mystery recipe giving Jon only the ingredients, Jon would stamp his mark on it by figuring out how to brew it.

Dave started this recipe with a distinct goal taste profile in mind: His favorite Christmas cookie recipe, the molasses cookies that his mom used to make. By following the contours of his mother’s cookie recipe, Dave modified a standard porter ale recipe to turn it into a holiday seasonal brew.

This first challenge brew and collaborative brew (collabrew!) was a success. It was thick, sweet, and rang of molasses.


6 gal batch size
7 ¼ gal boil size

London profile

8 lbs two-row pale malt
1 ½ lbs molasses (add near end of boil)
¾ lbs dark crystal 120L
¾ lbs Victory 25L
½ lbs chocolate malt
½ lbs brown malt
½ lbs flaked barley
¼ lbs smoked malt (if not available, substitute with additional ½ lbs molasses)
¼ lbs black patent malt

London Ale, English Ale, Irish Ale

HOPS AND ADJUNCTS (When to add, when to add?)
1 ½ oz East Kent Goldings (or Fuggles)
2 sticks cinnamon (or 5 grams powder)
1 tsp ginger
2-3 pieces of clove

Layger Brewhaus Molasses Cookie Porter

Dave sips a Molasses Cookie Porter.

E+D’s Dry Apple Cider No. 41

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe


A Leafblower Cider brewed by Erin and Dave.
5 gal batch size, 6 weeks start to finish, serve between 45-50 degrees.

Goal taste profile: Dry apple cider with some apple flavor.

Actual taste profile after kegging: Definitely has alcohol over 5%. Dry, no sweetness. Some apple flavor left. Some tang from citrus. Body is very thin, almost watery. I shouldn’t have topped it off with water to 6 gallons. Great apple cider aroma, but not a lot of flavor to back it up.


For brew night:
White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, $9
1 ¼ tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
3 quarts Santa Cruz Organic 100% Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, ascorbic acid) = $8
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice Honeycrisp Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice 3 Apple Blend (clear, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
2 lbs dark brown sugar
24 fl oz (2 cans) Tree Top frozen apple juice concentrate (12 fl oz is about 1 lbs.)
2 gals distilled water = $2

For dry hopping during secondary:
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
0.8 oz oak chips
small lemon
an orange


1-2 nights before brew night, make a yeast starter. Substitute apple juice for half of the water. Use light dry malt extract powder and yeast nutrient.

On brew night, add to a 3 gallon or larger boil kettle and begin heating:
All the apple juice except the frozen concentrate.
2 lbs dark brown sugar (one pound sugar in a 5 gal batch = 1% more alcohol)

While the juice is heating, add 1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient to 2-3 cups water and boil 10 min then add to the kettle. (1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient for a 5 gal batch is more than the usual amount of yeast nutrient one would use for beer. Northern Brewer says this compensates for the lack of yeast nutrients in apple juice that are normally present in malt-based wort.)

Bring the juice to 165 F and hold for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 lbs frozen apple juice concentrate (About 24 fluid ounces. This just adds sugar and helps cool the “wort”.)

Cool the wort to 80 degrees. Sanitize a carboy then add 1 gallon distilled water to it. Transfer the juice to the carboy. Rinse the kettle with 1 gal distilled water and add it to the carboy. Top with enough distilled water to reach 5 gal batch size. Pitch the yeast starter.

Primary fermentation (1-2 weeks): Maintain 70 degree temp until fermentation is under way, then drop temp to the low end of your yeast’s preferred temp range. Preferred ferm temp for WLP775 English Cider Ale yeast is 68-75 degrees. Ferment to dry flavor, about two weeks. If fermentation is slow or smells sulfurish, boil then add ½ tsp yeast nutrient every 24 hours until fermentation seems finished (up to a total of about 2 ½ tsp for the batch. More than that can add yeast nutrient flavors.). Make sure to boil the yeast nutrient for 10 min before adding to the wort.

Rack to secondary (4+ weeks) at cellar temp (50-70 degrees, whatever ya’ got!).

Dry hop: With 2 weeks left in secondary, add to a hop bag:
Pasteurize 8 oz raisins and 8 oz dried plums by steaming for 15-20 minutes.
Boil 0.8 oz oak chips for 15-2- minutes, then add chips and boiled water to wort.
Sanitize 4 lbs variety of tart apples. Discard stems and bottoms and dice.
Sanitize a small lemon and an orange, then zest. Do not add pith or peel. Just zest.

Keg. Remove the fruit. Top with distilled water to 6 gallons. I ended up adding 1 gallon distilled water to replace the volume removed when I removed the fruit and zest. This was a mistake!

Dave’s brew timeline for this recipe:
Sep 5: brew night, primary around 62 degrees (which was my basement temp)
Sep 8: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient
Sep 10: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient. I added a heater to the room to raise temp to 69 because I realized that the yeast’s preferred ferm temp range is 68-72.
Sep 12: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient. I raised the heater temp to 72.
Sep 18: racked to secondary. Cellar temp ranged from 68-70 during secondary.
Oct 9: Added the dry hop ingredients.
Oct 23: Kegged. Dropped temp to 40 degrees and force carbonated. Later raised temp to 45-50.

Donkey Dunkel

Layger Brewhaus Donkey Dunkel label

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

DAVE: What about dat one?
JON: Which one?
DAVE: THAT one, the dark one way over dere.
JON: Welllll, I dunno about dat one.
DAVE: Whaddya mean? What’s wrong wit it?
JON: Get dis — it’s called “Donkey Dunkel”.
DAVE: Ya’ kiddin’ me?
JON: Would I do that?
DAVE: Psh! C’mon now. Let’s give it the old heave ho. We’ll try it together.
<pour, dramatic sip, look>
BOTH: Dis lager kicks ass!

Grab an ass.

Comments: “This reflects the golden age of beers – unbelievable flavor and intensity…just like the dames in this joint.”


6 lbs Briess Munich liquid malt extract
1/2 lbs Caramunich malt
1/2 lbs Victory malt
1/2 lbs Crystal 60 malt

1 oz Tettnanger (60 minutes), Alpha 6%
1 oz Saaz (15 minutes), Alpha 3.4%
1/2 oz German Hallertau (5 minutes), Alpha 4.5%

4 tsp nutmeg (1 minute boil)

Munich Lager Wyeast 2308

You could also use: Bavarian Lager Wyeast 2206, Southern German Lager WLP 838, Bohemian Lager Wyeast 2124

1. Boil 2 1/2 gals for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 gals tap water and let cool to 165 degrees.
2. Add cracked grains. Soak at 154-159 degrees for 45 minutes.
3. Sparge grains with boiling water.
4. Stir in liquid malt extract and bring all to boil.
5. Add 1 oz Tettnanger and boil 45 minutes.
6. While boiling, clean and sanitize carboy and funnel.
7. Add 1 oz Saaz and boil 10 minutes.
8. Add 1/2 oz Hallertau and boil 4 minutes.
9. Add 4 tsp nutmeg and boil 1 minute.
10. Remove all from heat. Remove all hop socks. Cover kettle with lid.
11. Prepare ice bath. Cool wort to yeast pitch temperature 65-70 degrees.
12. Pour wort into carboy.
13. Pitch yeast.
14. Top off to 5 gals.
15. Cap and transfer to 48-56 degree keezer (depending on yeast strain preference).
16. Ferment 1-2 weeks.
17. Consider diacetyl rest depending on yeast strain.
18. Transfer to secondary.
19. Decrease temp 5 degrees per day down to lagering temp of 35 degrees for 4-6 weeks.
20. Keg.


Layger Brewhaus McFly.P.A.

DAVE: Say, Jonny, have you tried dis new McFlyPA?
JON: McWhaddyasay?
DAVE: McFlyPA! Named aftuh dat Irish guy from over in Hill Valley, I think it is. <pour> Bottoms up!
<dramatic sip>
JON: Wow! Now that’s somethin’ to write home about! Sweet up front, easy malts, a little hop bite on the back end……………if ya know what I mean! <sly wink>

Recipe lost to time!

Comments: “Intense, in your face bitterness. Just like Biff. Almost tastes like it has tannins. Can’t be a chicken if you are gonna drink this ’til you are zazzled. But that bitterness slides off the tongue as if it’s going 88 mph. Then it’s back…to the future bitterness that sits on the back of the palate. Better call doc ‘cuz I’m drinking more.”

“An IPA for people who don’t like IPAs. A little too clean on the palate. We like it a little more skunky.”

Tossed Salad Cucumbers & Celery Pilsner

Layger Brewhaus Tossed Salad label

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

JON: What about this Tossed Salad pilsner? Some whackjob from near Philly brewed it — wit cucumbers and celery!
DAVE: Quit yappin’ about it and pour me a glass, already!
<dramatic sip> 
DAVE: Mm, mm! A man could develop quite a thirst drinkin’ this beer.

Rehydrate the Amish Way

Comments: “It’s like I am at one of those fancy schmancy hotels. You know, the one’s that have that water jug at the desk? They have these cucumbers and things in ’em. It’s like that. Or maybe I could drink it with some caeser or ranch. But seriously, I could drink this one all night. Maybe the whole session, or at least as long as stuff is left on the relish tray.”

“I’ve never been a fan of pilsners, but after this — I’ve never been a fan of pilsners! I’m just kidding. You guys are awesome!”


Addictively refreshing, easy drinking, session pilsner
Pale color and light body
Slightly spicy hop aroma, mild to moderate bitterness ~ 30 IBUs (mostly Saaz)
watery mouthfeel
light cucumber and celery flavor
served very cold
lively carbonation
low alcohol < 4%

48 hours before brew
1. buy all ingredients including 3 gals distilled water
2. boil 2 gals water 20 min, cover, cool overnight
3. make yeast starter

24 hours before brew
4. make 5 gals sanitizer
5. Sanitize a 16 quart or larger kettle and lid. Boil 2 gals tap water, cool to room temp in boil kettle
6. Sanitize knife, cutting board, veggie peeler, nylon bag
7. Remove celery leaves and base of stalks. Carefully wash celery. Make sure the celery is fresh and crisp, not flexible. If flexible, soak it in distilled water for 1 hour before proceeding.
8. Remove rings/jewelry and sanitize hands.
9. Sanitize cukes and celery for 2 minutes in StarSan solution.
10. Peel strips off cukes. Slice partially peeled cukes into discs. Slice discs in half.
11. Add all to nylon bag and carefully place in the boiled and cooled water. Soak overnight for a total soak time of 24 hours.

Brew Day: buy 20 lbs ice, store in cooler


2 lbs English cucumbers per 1 gallon water
½ lbs celery per 1 gallon water

For a 5 gallon batch, that’s:
10 lbs English cucumbers
2 ½ lbs celery

(This might have been too much veg for this recipe. It barely fit in my brew kettle for the overnight soak.)

First choices: White Labs WLP800 Pilsner Lager Yeast or Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils Yeast
Alternate choices: White Labs WLP802 Czech Budejovice Lager Yeast or Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast

Step by step
1 lbs German Pilsner or CaraPils grain
½ lbs grain: very light Crystal malt grain
Add 1 tsp Burton salts before beginning mash.
Steep grains at 153 deg for 1 hour, sparge.
Add 6 lbs liquid malt extract: Briess Pilsen Light (two 3 lbs containers = $17.50) and bring to a boil. Total boil time will be 1 hour.
At beginning of boil, add 2 ½ oz Saaz hops (~4% alpha acid)
After 30 minutes, add 1 oz Hallertau hops (~4% alpha acid)
After 45 minutes, add 1 tsp Irish Moss.
After 50 minutes, add ½ oz Saaz hops (~4% alpha acid).
After 1 hour, remove the hops. Remove brew kettle from heat.
Cool wort in ice bath to 60 degrees.
Transfer wort to primary fermentation carboy.
Pitch half of the yeast starter.
Remove the veggies from the bucket. Add the room temp cucumber/celery water to the cooled wort.
Pitch the rest of the yeast.
Top off to 5 gals with distilled water.
Move carboy to keezer set at 58 degrees.
Ferment between 50-58 degrees F for about two weeks ending with a 3-day diacetyl rest. Do a diacetyl rest: raise keezer temp to 62 degrees and hold for 2-3 days.

Transfer to secondary.
Drop keezer temp to 55 degrees, then drop 5 degrees per day until you reach 35 degrees F.
Lager the beer for at least 6 weeks.
Keg and force carbonate.
Serve cold.


Slightly sweet, watery, some cucumber airiness, celery has faded, lightly hopped and light hop bitterness. Thick and creamy head, some lacing on the empty pint glass. Totally crushable. Serve in chilled glass.

I think it’s a bit underhopped. There’s some hop bitterness but pretty light hop aroma. Not spicy as intended.

Warmer temp: Slightly fruity flavor, less sweet

lime or lemon
chili peppers
feta, yogurt, vinegar
tzatziki sauce
rosemary, dill, mustard, pepper, basil, chives

Saged Vice White IPA

Layger Brewhaus Saged ViceJON: So have you tried dis here Saged Vice? It’s one uh dem “white beers” all da way from Miami.
DAVE: Pour me a glass, wouldja, Jonny?
<dramatic sip>
DAVE: Dat’s great! Lemony nose, herbal body!
JON: Mm hm!

Recipe: Flown to Havana!

Comments: “This tastes woody and sagey – I can’t decide if it’s beer brilliance or the perfect gravy for my turkey.”

“The aroma here is best suited for your local powder room hand soap.”

Earned Wisdom: Layger’s Top 11 Tips for Better Brewing

Taking up a new hobby usually involves spending too much money on things that might or might not make a difference in enjoying your new hobby–or in how good you are at it.

If you could start all over again, how would you start brewing differently? (Thanks, Uri, for the inspiration to write these down!)

Here are a few of the things that have made a difference for Layger Brewhaus.

  1. Write your own recipes. Start with a goal flavor profile in mind. Look up some recipes online and see what they have in common. Then start writing down a recipe that will achieve your flavor profile. I’ve been doing this for about half the time I’ve been brewing, and it’s made brewing much more interesting. Anyone can follow a recipe. But if you write one with a goal in mind, you are actually trying to control your own destiny, which will make you a better, more creative brewer.
  2. Always make a yeast starter. IMG_20150820_145303193~3Since I started making a yeast starter, I have not yet brewed a batch that’s tasted a little off, a little funky, etc. Basically what you do is double the amount of yeast that you pitch. You can do this easily by just buying two of the same yeast packs/tubes, but you can also make it yourself with one yeast pack, a growler, some dry malt extract, and a little advance notice. Here’s how to make a homebrew yeast starter.
  3. Star-San sanitizer. It’s so much better than bleach! It’s much easier to use. It costs more than bleach, but you can re-use it a few times. It won’t destroy your clothes or your ability to smell. Also, it won’t eat off your fingerprints the way bleach seems to.
  4. Use glass carboys. After a few brews, the plastic buckets that make up beginner brewing kits start to make every brew taste kinda the same. Glass can be harder to get squeaky clean, but it doesn’t scratch like plastic meaning a glass carboy will stay cleaner than a plastic one.
  5. Use some grains. Extract brewing (using that syrup-like stuff) is easy, but you’ll start to notice that extract brews start to taste the same. Partial mash (using mostly syrup but also some actual crushed grains) is almost as easy as all-extract brewing but it makes much better beer.
  6. Leaf Hops, every time. Pellet hops will sort of dissolve in your wort and contribute to the big sloppy mess that is home brewing. Don’t cut corners: spend a couple bucks more and get real leaf hops and a little nylon sock to keep them together during the boil. You’ll get better hops flavor with much less mess.
  7. Those big gas burner things: Don’t bother with them. Sure, they might keep your wife happy not brewing up the house, but they mean you have to lug stuff around a lot and worry about if you’ll run out of propane, etc. Just clean the stove and the kitchen really well when you’re done and you’re all set!
  8. The ice bath. Don’t try to ice down your wort in the sink. It takes forever. Get a Coleman-style cooler or big plastic tub (like a keg icing tub) that your brew kettle will fit in. We used to wait hours for wort to cool, and now I can just swish the brew kettle back and forth in an ice/water cooler and cool the wort in about 10-15 minutes. Those “chiller plates” are amazing, too, but they cost a lot, you have to run your hose into/out of them, and they can clog. A simple moving ice-water bath is easy and cheap.
  9. Always secondary ferment. We used to ferment our beer and then put it straight into the bottles, which is why we ended up drinking cloudy, yeasty beer. While it’s extra trouble to drain your carboy into another carboy to let it basically keep it doing the same thing, you essentially filter out most of the yeast, hop sediment, and any adjunct sediment. The result is a much clearer and cleaner tasting beer.Layger Brewhaus
  10. Kegging really is better than bottling. Yes, it requires buying kegs, CO2 hoses/regulators, a CO2 tank, and the CO2. And, yes, it also requires a fridge to keep it cold, but it’s so much easier to clean/sanitize a keg than a million bottles. And you can force carbonate your beer, which is much easier and more controllable than adding bottling sugar. (About once a year, we’d overcarbonate part of a batch and dump a bunch of foam down the sink.) At the very least, bottle in 22 oz bombers or big 1-liter swing-tops!
  11. A chest freezer will open up half the beer world. Ales are just half the beer family and they’re aged at temps in the 60s. Lagers are the other half of the beer family and they’re aged at colder temps that require consistently weather, a cave or cellar, or a fridge. If you’ve got about $250, you can buy yourself a cheap GE chest freezer from Home Depot, a thermostat from Northern Brewer, and you’ll have yourself an awesome temperature controlled place for ales AND… (wait for it) for lagers! Home brewed lagers are awesome and you really can’t make them unless you have a way to get your carboy down to 34 degrees and keep there for 4-8 weeks. A chest freezer with a thermostat is a really good way to go. And when the beer is done fermenting, you can keg it and have a kegerator/keezer.

How to Make a Homebrew Yeast Starter

Totally stolen from Wyeast Laboratories

1/2 Cup Dry Malt Extract (100g, 3.5oz)
1/2 tsp Wyeast Nutrient
1 quart (1L) tap water

Mix DME, nutrient, and water.
Boil 20 minutes to sterilize.
Pour into a sanitized flask or jar with loose lid or foil.
Allow to cool to 70°F.
Add yeast and shake well.

The yeast will multiply for 24-36 hours. If you’re brewing on Saturday evening, start your starter on Thursday evening.

Periodically stir, shake, or otherwise agitate your yeast starter. This helps in several ways.

After 36 hours at room temp, move your yeast starter to a fridge to prevent spoilage before you brew.


Layger Lager Bavarian Helles

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

The goal for this lager was a light and refreshing Bavarian-style Helles. It did not go very well!


Munich Helles
July 2014

6 lbs Pilsen liquid malt extract (Briess) (boil 60 min)
2 lbs German pilsner grain (Weyermann) (Steep 30-60 min at 150-170 degF)
1 cup light dry malt extract or liquid malt extract for the yeast starter

2 oz Hallertau leaf hops (HopUnion) (1.5 oz for 60 min boil, .5 oz for 5 min boil)

2124 Bohemian Lager (Wyeast smackpack) You will need to buy two packages or make a yeast starter to make a lager.

1 teaspoon Irish moss (helps clarify proteins out of the wort)


24-36 hours before beginning, make a yeast starter:
1. Activate the yeast you will use. Let sit for 3-4 hours.
2. Sanitize a growler bottle, rubber stopper, bubbler, scissors, and the sauce pan lid.
3. Combine 1 cup dry malt extract or liquid malt extract and 6 cups water in a clean sauce pan. Boil 15 min.
4. Cover the sauce pan with the lid and cool it in a bath.
5. Let cool to room temp then pour into sanitized jar and cover the opening with foil.
6. Sanitize the yeast smack pack, open it with scissors. Pour into the jar.
7. Seal with rubber stopper and bubbler.
8. Leave at room temp for 24-36 hours, occasionally swirling the jar to oxygenate the wort and help yeast to reproduce.
9. During yeast reproduction, the liquid will look milky. When the yeast have finished reproducing, they will fall to the bottom of the jar and the liquid will clarify.


1. While beginning the wort, cool the yeast starter to 50 degF.
2. Add 3 gals water to a pot and bring to a boil for 15 minutes to boil off chlorine, etc.
3. Remove from heat and let cool to 170 degF.
4. Add the German pilsner grain. Soak the grains for 30 -60 min between 150-170 degF.
5. Rinse and remove the grains, discard.
6. Bring the water back to boiling.
7. Add the Pilsen liquid malt extract and bring the water back to boiling.
8. Once boiling, add 1.5 oz Hallertau hops.
9. Boil for 45 minutes. During the boil, do these things:
i. sanitize the primary carboy, funnel, and steel spoon
ii. prepare the ice bath
iii. cool the yeast starter to 50 degF
10. After the 45 min boil, add 1 tsp of Irish Moss (in a sock). Boil for 10 minutes.
11. Then add 1/2 oz Hallertau hops (in a sock). Boil for 5 minutes.
12. Immediately remove the Irish Moss and hops, discard.
13. Chill the wort as quickly as possible in a cold bathtub with lots of ice. Chill down to 50 degF.
14. While the wort is chilling, add 2 gallons of 50 degree tap water to the sanitized carboy.
15. Pour out excess liquid from the yeast starter jar, keeping the yeast slurry and enough liquid to help pour it out. Pitch the yeast slurry into the wort. Stir well.
16. Then pour the yeasted wort into the primary carboy (which should contain 2 gals of cool tap water). Slosh it around a bit.
17. Ferment for 1-2 weeks at 50 degF until the bubbling slows and the bubble cap sinks to the bottom of the carboy.
18. Raise the temp to 55 -60 degF for 2 days to let the yeast eat the diacetyls.
19. Transfer to a secondary carboy.
20. Reduce the temp by 2 degrees per day to 35 degF. Lager at 35 degF for 4 weeks.
21. Keg.

Layger Brewhaus Upgrades: Our New All Grain Brew Tower

Jon is ready to brew it up a notch! He brought a huge upgrade to Layger Brewhaus on June 17, 2014 after spending all day with his father assembling his first all grain brew tower from Blichmann.

There was a lot to assemble: the tower structure itself, the pipe fittings that carry propane from the external tank to two burners, all the control valve assemblies, the hoses that cascade the hot water down to the mash tun, the valve and bobber in the mash tun, the false bottom that prevents spent grains from draining down from the mash tun to the boil kettle.

The first brew on Jon's all grain brew tower, June 17, 2014.

The first brew on Jon’s all grain brew tower, June 17, 2014.

On this maiden voyage of the brew rack, we brewed outside for two reasons: the weather was nice and we figured you have to run those two giant burners outside for ventilation! This first brew batch took over 9 hours–not including assembly time–as we learned the new workflow on the new gear.

Jon anticipated a problem with future brews: spending 9 hours outside in the dark on Colorado winter evening was going to make brewing a lot less fun. Engineer that he is, he invented a ventilation system so we could brew in the Layger Brewcellar: two window fans bungee corded in place. You can see them behind the brew tower in the basement photos below.

Layger Brewhaus Jon Hughes brewing tower Aug 2015

Jon, during mash. Note the two fans behind the tower exhausting outside.

Fire and Fumes

The move to the cellar was not without problems, aside from the disassembly and reassembly. Dave smelled gas–a lot of it. The many pipe fittings and hose connections involved with the rack were leaking propane — and not a small volume! After very temporarily setting small fires outside the pipe fittings (super dangerous!), Dave and Jon spent about 2 hours wrenching connections tighter until the tower leaked no more. The first brew night in the basement thus took at least another 9 hours.

Which Water?

The next problem was water. All grain brewing requires 8-9 gallons of very hot water. Our choices to get water into Jon’s tapless basement were hose from outside routed through the window or carrying buckets or store-bought gallons down. Hoses are  notoriously contaminated with mold and mildew. so manual labor it is.

But as intermediate homebrewers know, most beer snobs ask that you boil your municipal tap water for 15 minutes to gas off chlorine and other added chemicals that can cause off flavors. Yet the temp ranges for mashing grains are much lower than boiling and cooling off boiled water takes a lot of time.

Grocery stores offer two main types of bottled water: spring and distilled. Spring is unregulated, contains minerals not necessarily called for in a given recipe, and can contain contaminating organisms. Distilled water has no minerals, making it ideal for building a mineral water profile from scratch, but if you just want a basic tap water mineral profile, you really can’t use distilled water.

We’ve tried three options: spring, distilled, and unboiled tap (sparge!). All seem to work fine and even Longmont’s more highly chlorinated water seems to taste fine unboiled.

New Process, New Problems

Using dry malt extract powder or syrups in partial mash brewing really does take away a lot of the work of all-grain brewing. Partial mash brewing involves 1-3 pounds of specialty grains that you must steep, but not at a specific temperature. All-grain brewing means you have to make your own malt extract, in a way, by starting with 8-12 pounds of grains. Using a malt extract means you don’t have to do these steps that are required in all-grain brewing:

  1. Heat water to mash-in temp.
  2. Transfer hot water to mash tun.
  3. Soak grains in mash tun with hot water.
  4. Maintain the grains at a specific temp in the mash tun for 30-60 minutes.

Jon’s brew tower has a burner to heat the water (step 1 above) and a burner for the boil kettle, but there is no middle burner to maintain mash temperature. We have struggled to maintain the correct mash temps (step 4 above). The insulation in the photo below shows one attempt that has helped–but not solved–the problem. The way most all-grain brewers solve the mash temp problem is by using a large, insulated Gatorade-style water cooler with a false bottom and a spigot. We just don’t feel great about routinely putting hot water into a plastic container.

The Layger Brewhaus brewing tower

Jon’s all-grain tower

Putting Hose in Different Area Codes

Homebrewers want to cool their boiled wort as quickly as possible. Aiding us in this endeavor is a new wort chiller plate that robs coolness from a garden hose in exchange for hot wort heat. It’s on the floor just behind the stepladder. Does it work? When it works, it chills 5-7 gallons of 200 degree wort in about 20 minutes. But when it gets clogged with hops flowers or hops dust that’s escaped our hop bags, rectifying the problem can easily at 45 minutes to brew night. We think the solution is very fine mesh hop bags and more care in handling them.

When It All Goes Well…

Our best time so far, start to finish, is 6 hours to brew two batches. Our execution was flawless and the equipment cooperated. Most brews, we’re looking at 7-9 hours. On brews with complicated grain schedules, long boils, or wort chiller plate clogs, we’ve approached 12 hours.

The Analogy

Can a Polaroid camera take a great photo? Sure, if the raw ingredients are right and you get lucky. The new Layger brew tower gives us total control over the brewing process, just as using a DSLR or film camera on manual gives you full control over your photo. And, yes, it requires more knowledge and skill to brew a better beer.

In the end, this new tower has already pushed us in new directions and to higher heights. Our beers are better. We’re more creative. We write our own recipes. We’re in control, for better beer or for worse!

Bron Yr Aur Nut Brown Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Bron Yr Aur NutBrown Ale
A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Hello, there. I caught you smilin’ at me. I’m Bron Yr Aur, a Nut Brown Ale brewed the way I should be, with the wettest hard water, caramelized grains, a touch of barley and chocolate malts. Mingling with the acrid autumnal Golding hops, this is an ale that will always treat you right, no matter the occasion, dish, or time of day.

When you smile upon the Bron, the road you choose is always right.



6 lbs Pale Liquid Extract
1.5 lbs Biscuit or Victory malt (grain)
1 lbs light brown sugar (Dave will get from grocery store)
.5 lbs Crystal 60 (grain)
.5 lbs Caramunich (grain)
.5 lbs Caravienne (grain)
One-tenth lbs Chocolate malt (grain)
One-tenth lbs roasted barley
One-tenth lbs Greg Mault


1 oz Goldings (if they’re out of Goldings, then Fuggles) (75% for boil, 25% for finishing)


European Ale


1 palm-sized bag of calcium chloride
1 palm-sized bag of calcium sulfate (aka gypsum)
1/2 teaspoon Irish moss

Thirst Ranger Kolsch

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Thirst Ranger KolschThe Thirst Ranger brings all the subtlety of a swift kick in the pants. From the first sweet sip, you’ll find the tastes of leather mingling with peaches. And why not? Nothing can hold back a kolsch brewed and rested in the heat of summer. Drink the sweet kolsch of justice, and you might find yourself enjoying the flavors of a summertime sunset.

Drink the Sweet Kolsch…of Justice.


Recipe by DJ Spiess of The Fermentarium

Like any German beer, the ingredients for this beer follow Reinheitsgebot. Kölsch typically uses German pilsner malt and/or pale malt. Some recipes use wheat malt or Vienna malt, but it is less common. Wheat malt is not common in the commercial versions of the beer, but shows up in many homebrew recipes. Most Kölsch recipes use Spalt hops, but other German noble hops (Hallertau, Saaz, Tettnanger) can be used. The beer uses very soft water and is often lagered for a month after fermentation. Here’s the recipe I use.

10 lbs German Pilsner Malt (or 8 lbs Pilsner liquid malt extract)
0.5 lbs German Munich Malt (or .25 lbs Munich light malt extract)
1.5 oz Spalt hops (or Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnanger) (4% AA bittering for 60 minutes)
White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch or Wyeast 2565 Kölsch

Layger Brewhaus additions: 1/2 tsp Irish moss to clarify the wort, a few ounces each of calcium chloride and calcium sulfate to “wet” the mouthfeel

This is a 90-minute boil for the grain/malt extract.

Boil the hops for 60 minutes. The hops are bittering only; Kölsch should have little to no hop flavor and no hop aroma.

Ferment the wort at 60°F (15°C) until fermentation is complete. Then lager for 2-3 weeks at 33 deg F.

If you are bottling, you can use dry malt extract as your bottling primer. Boil 1 ¼ cups of light dry malt extract in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Add to the keg, agitate, then bottle.

If you are kegging, carbonate the beer to 2.5 volumes.

This beer is great for those hot summer days. I’ve even heard it referred to as the “lawnmower ale”. The traditional serving glass for Kölsch is a cylindrical 200 ml glass called a stange (pole). The serving temperature should be cellar temperatures (50°F/10°C).


Liquid Schwarz

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Liquid Schwartz SchwarzbierYou must never underestimate the power of the Schwarz! The schwarz is a powerful ally. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Once you start down the dark path of the “black beer”, forever will it dominate your destiny. The Liquid Schwarz combines the dark malts of a stout with the lightness of a lager. This joining makes the Schwarz delicious, refreshing, and remarkably smooth.

May the Schwarzbier with you.


Based on the Belgian Black Ale recipe from

Overview: black beer, makes 5 gals

7 lbs pale malt extract
1 lbs black malt grain
.5 lbs 10L crystal malt grain
2 oz german hallertauer hops
belgian ale yeast

1. prepare yeast
2. heat 2.5 gals water to 160 deg F
3. place cracked grains in grain bag, steep for 20 mins.
4. Remove grains, sparge, discard
5. add malt extract
6. bring to a boil then add 1 oz hops
7. boil 45 minutes
8. add .5 oz hops
9. boil 15 more mins.
10. add .5 oz hops
11. ice bath for 30 mins
12. transfer to FERMENTOR bucket, add cold water from sink sprayhose to top off to 5 gals
13. when wort has cooled to 70 deg F, add yeast, stir well
14. ferment between 68-72 deg F
15. when bubbling has stopped (usually within a week to 10 days), begin secondary fermentation.

Secondary Fermentation:
1. sanitize bottling bucket
2. carefully transfer beer from FERMENTOR bucket to bottling bucket, trying not to stir up sediment at the bottom of the FERMENTOR bucket.
3. Clean the lid of your fermentor bucket and clean the airlock. Affix these to the top of the bottling bucket to make it airtight.
4. Let fermentation continue for 7-10 days, then bottle.

London Underground Cream Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - London Underground Cream AleWillamette and Fuggle Hops

Fast Malty Flavor!

Mind the Gap


Based on a London Cream Ale recipe from


9 lbs pale liquid extract

2 oz Willamette
1 oz Fuggles

8 oz maltodextrine
1 tsp Irish moss

London Ale Wyeast Labs #1028

1. Activate yeast.
2. Bring 2-3 gallons water to 165 degF.
3. Add malt extract. Bring water to boil.
4. Add 1 oz Willamette and 1oz Fuggles. Boil 45 min.
5. Add .5 oz Willamette and Irish moss. Boil 10 min.
6. Add .5 oz Willamette and maltodextrine. Boil 5 min.
7. Remove from heat. Cool in ice bath to 70-80 degF.
8. Transfer to primary fermentor. Add yeast, mixing well.
9. Ferment until bubbling stops (1-3 weeks).
10. Transfer to secondary fermentor for 1 week until sediment settles.
11. Bottle! Wait 4-8 weeks to enjoy!

Imperial Guard Oatmeal Stout

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Imperial Guard Oatmeal StoutOats, Barley, dark roasty malts

Chinook hops

The Force is strong with this one.


Based on the Terrapin Imperial Oatmeal Stout Clone from Hopville website.


6 lbs dark dry malt extract
3 lbs dark dry malt extract
1 lbs 2 oz caramel or crystal malt at 80L
14 oz flaked barley
14 oz flaked oats
7 oz roasted barley
7 oz black malt
7 oz chocolate malt

1.5 oz Chinook (60 min boil)
1 oz Nugget (30 min boil)

White Labs California Ale V (WLP051)

1 tsp Irish moss (15 min boil)


1. Bring 3-4 gallons water to 165 degF.
2. Crack the grains. Steep them for 30 minutes or so.
3. Sparge!
4. Add the malt extract. Bring water to boil.
5. Add Chinook hops and boil for 30 min.
6. Add Nugget hops and boil for 15 min.
7. Add Irish moss and boil for 15 min.
8. Remove from heat. Cool in ice bath to 70-80 degF.
9. Transfer to primary fermentation bucket. Add yeast, stirring well.
10. Ferment until bubbling has stopped (1-3 weeks).
11. Transfer to secondary fermentation bucket. Wait a week for sediment to settle.
12. Bottle! Then wait 4-8 weeks to enjoy!

Ski Wax American Pale Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Ski Wax American Pale AleFloral hops with bite

Clean, crisp, fast flowing

12 oz Liquid Speed



6.5 lbs extra pale liquit malt extract
1.5 lbs munich liquied malt extract
.5 lbs crystal malt 10L

2 oz Cascade

Nottingham ale yeast


1. Heat 3 gallons water to 152 degF.
2. Steep grains for 60 min.
3. Sparge!
4. Add 1 oz Cascade and boil 30 min.
5. Add .5 oz Cascade and boil 15 min.
6. Add .25 oz Cascade and boil 10 min.
7. Add .25 oz Cascade and boil 5 min.
8. Remove from heat. Cool in ice bath to 70-80 degF.
9. Transfer to primary fermentor. Add yeast, mixing well.
10. Ferment until bubbling stops (1-3 weeks).
11. Transfer to secondary fermentor for 1 week until sediment settles.
12. Bottle! Wait 4-8 weeks to enjoy!

Whistlestop Chili Steam

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Whistlestop Chili SteamA Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Longtime Layger Brewfriends may recognize this mashup between Steampunk Lager and Flamin’ Mamie Chili Honey Pilsner from Oktobertheseventhfest Part Drei in 2008. Whistlestop drinks smooth and spicy like Steampunk yet ratchets up the heat in the back of the mouth. Get steamed!

Recipe has hopped on the last train to Mexico…

Muckraker Brown Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Muckraker Brown AleFrom plying the depths of man’s machinations, the Muckraker Brown Ale has become embued with a dark and mysterious hue. No gaze can penetrate this ale’s blackstrapped innards for few browns hold the gravitas of the Muckraker. Bodied like a brown, Muckraker’s heavily roasted aftertaste wishes you a good night, and good luck.


Based on the Sweet Brown Ale from Homebrew Favorites by Karl F. Lutzen and Mark Stevens


4 lbs pale malt extract or golden light extract
4 lbs amber extract
12 oz crystal malt
4 oz chocolate malt

1 oz Willamette
1 oz Fuggles
1 oz Saaz hops

1 tsp gypsum

Wyeast 1338 European


1. Heat 2 gals water, add gypsum, add cracked grains in a bag, boil.
2. Remove grain bag, sparge, discard
3. Return to boil then remove from heat.
4. Add malt extracts and 1 oz Willamette hops, return to boil
5. Boil 15 mins
6. Add 1 oz Fuggles
7. Boil 43 mins
8. Add 1 oz Saaz hops
9. Boil 2 mins
10. Ice bath for 30 mins
11. Transfer to fermenter, top with cold water to 5 gals
12. When wort has cooled to 70 degF, add yeast and stir well
13. Ferment between 58-62 degF

Witch Hazelnut Amber

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Witch Hazelnut Amber AleA Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Beer Beta:

Style: Amber Ale
Malts: Pale malt extract, Karo dark syrup, clover honey, brown rice syrup, Crystal, Victory
Hops: Willamette, Fuggles
Yeast: European Ale
Other: 12 oz Odell’s 90 Shilling, roasted hazelnuts

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments: Missing!


Based very loosely on the “Stunreeb Lezah Rebma” (“amber hazel beernuts” backwards) recipe submitted to Layger Brewhaus by Ben Wolpoff of Harvey and Wolpoff Breweries. (Oct, 2007)

Overview (courtesy B. Wolpoff):
With such a sophisticated sounding title, this beer stands strong with it’s complex, sophisticated, and downright superior flavor and nutrition. While most beer can claim to be high in carbohydrates and carbon dioxide, a leading cause of deaths by suffocation, Stunreeb Lezah Rebma, or SLR for short, can tout a completely unscientifically founded and logically derived rich protein content low in saturated fat. Moreover, SLR could be said to contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, with a lesser strenght in other B vitamins. While not proven, this is a resolute fact of superior nutrition through beer. SLR stands with tradition being a fantastic amber ale for the late fall season. It’s hazelnut heart is harvested in mid fall as the leaves begin to change and the weather cools. Even without any support SLR stands tall and steadfast in its amazing claim to boost the immune system and help mankind resist the diseases that wreak utter havoc during the changing of seasons. SLR is liquid nutrition.

How to store hazelnuts: The best place to store shelled hazelnuts is in the freezer at 27F or less. They will last up to two years if stored in plastic bags or containers. The next best place to store shelled hazelnuts is in the refrigerator at 32-35F. They last up to one year if packaged in airtight plastic bags or containers so they do not pick up odors. Before using, let nuts warm to room temperature in unopened bag.

2 lbs hazelnuts
4 lbs John Bull Premium Canadian Ale (Layger: 12 oz Odell’s 90 Shilling, 16 fl oz Karo dark syrup, 16 oz clover honey, 1 lb brown rice syrup)
2 lbs pale malt extract
.5 lbs Crystal 60 malt grain
.5 lbs Victory malt grain
2 oz Willamette hops (boiling)
1 oz Fuggles or any Goldings hops (aroma)
1 package European Ale yeast
1/2 cup corn sugar

Get 2 gallons water on the way to 165degF.
Crack the grains.
Preheat oven to 275F.
Toast/roast the hazelnuts. Spread the hard nuts in a shallow baking pan and roast in the preheated oven 20-30 minutes, until the skin cracks and the nut meat turns light golden. To remove the skins, pour hot nuts in the center of a rough kitchen terry towel. Pull the towel up around the nuts and twist tightly. Let stand to steam for about 5 minutes then rub the warm nuts in the towel until most of the skins are removed.
When water has reached 165 degF, add the cracked grains in a sock.
Steep 30 minutes at 165 degF. Sparge.
Bring the water to a boil and then stir in the malt extracts.
Add all the Willamette hops.
Boil 15 minutes.
Add about a ½ lb. of toasted nuts and ½ oz. of the aroma hops.
Boil 10 minutes.
Add remaining hazelnuts and hops to hot wort. (If you plan to do a secondary fermentation, add just half of the remaining nuts and hops now and the rest during the transfer to the secondary.)
Cool the kettle in an ice bath for 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to primary FERMENTOR and top off with cold water to 5 gallons.
When wort has cool to 70 deg F, add the yeast.
Bottle after primary fermentation has slowed (about 1 week, maybe longer for European Ale yeast).

Bosom Buddy Blonde

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Bosom Buddy BlondeBeer Beta:

Style: Blonde Ale
Malts: Pale malt extract, belgian aromatic, honey
Hops: Chinook, Hallertau
Yeast: American Ale
Other: Irish moss

Serves You Right!

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments: Missing!


Overview: This recipe is the Fill in the Hop Blonde Ale recipe (extract with specialty grains).

6.5 lbs pale liquid malt extract
.5 lbs belgian aromatic malt
.5 lbs honey malt
.88 oz Chinook hops (1 hour bittering)
.5 oz Hallertau hops (10 minutes flavor)
.5 oz aroma hops (dry hop)
¾ tsp Irish moss
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast or White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast

1. Read your yeast packet’s instructions.
2. Bring 2 quarts of water to 150 degF.
3. Add grains and steep for 30 minutes.
4. Raise temp to 170 degF then strain and sparge with 2 quarts hot water.
5. Add 1.5 gallons water and stir in malt extracts.
6. Bring to a boil, then add Chinook bittering hops. Boil 50 minutes.
7. Add Hallertau flavor hops. Boil 10 minutes.
8. Remove from heat. Add to ice bath.
9. Cool the wort to 70 degF. Transfer to fermenter. Bring up to 5 gallons. Add the yeast.
10. Ferment for 1 week. Rack to a secondary fermenter and add .5 oz aroma hops.
11. Ferment 2 more weeks. If possible, drop temp to 55 degF.
12. Bottle with ¾ cup corn sugar.

Noggin Knocker Roggenbier Amber Rye Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Noggin Knocker Roggenbier Amber Rye Ale

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe 

Beer Beta:

Style: Amber Rye Ale
Malts: Amber Malt Extract, Light Dry, Crystal, Rye Flakes, Cara Pils
Hops: Centennial, Mount Hood
Yeast: American Ale
Other: Irish moss

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments: Missing!


5 lb Amber Malt Extract Syrup
1 lb Light Dry Malt Extract
1 lb Crystal 60L
1 lb rye flakes
8 oz Cara Pils
bittering hops: 1 oz Centennial pellet (10.5% alpha acid)
aroma hops: 0.25 oz Mount Hood pellet (5.0% alpha acid)
Wyeast #1056 American Ale, 1.0
1 ounce Irish Moss

1. Bring 1 ½ gallons water to 180 deg or so. Water should be steaming but not boiling.
2. Crush the grains, add to grain sock, add to water.
3. Steep the grains 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from heat. Sparge the grains.
5. Pour the amber malt extract and the light dry malt into the pot while stirring. Once thoroughly mixed, bring the pot to a boil.
6. Add the bittering hops: 1 oz. Centennial (10.5% alpha acid).
7. Boil 45 minutes.
8. Add 1 oz Irish moss.
9. Boil 10 minutes.
10. Add the aroma hops: .25 oz Mount Hood (5% alpha acid).
11. Boil 5 minutes.
12. Remove pot from heat. Discard hops.
13. Cool water to 85degF.
14. Add 3 gallons cold water to bring the total volume up to 5 gallons.
15. Hydrate the yeast.
16. Add the yeast when the water temp is between 65ºF-75ºF.

Empire Special Bitter

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Empire Special BitterBeer Beta:

Style: Extra Special Bitter
Malts: light malt extract, Crystal
Hops: Gallena, Challenger
Yeast: London ESB
Other: Irish moss

Impressive. Most impressive.

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments: Missing!


This recipe is the English Extra Special Bitter (ESB) recipe from Stomp Them Grapes / Hop to It Homebrew store in Boulder, CO.

6.6 lbs light malt extract syrup
1 lb light Crystal grain malt
1 oz. Galena hops (bittering)
3 oz. Challenger hops (aroma)
1 tsp Irish moss
Wyeast 1968 London ESB

1. Heat 1.5 gallons water to 160 degF.
2. Crush the grains, add to sock, add to water.
3. Steep for 30 min at 155 degF.
4. Add 1 gallon water and bring to a boil.
5. Once boiling, add 6.6 lbs light malt extract syrup and 1 oz Galena hops.
6. Boil 30 minutes then add 1 oz Challenger hops.
7. Boil 20 minutes then add 1 oz Challenger hops.
8. Boil 5 minutes then add 1oz Challenger hops and 1 tsp Irish moss.
9. Boil 5 minutes then remove from heat and cool in ice bath to 80 degF.
10. Transfer to primary fermenter and add water to bring total volume up to 5 gallons.
11. Add yeast.
12. Ferment 62-72 degF for 7 days.
13. Transfer to secondary fermenter for 14 days.
14. Bottle with ¾ cup corn sugar.
15. Bottle for at least 2 weeks.

Steampunk Lager

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Steampunk LagerBeer Beta:

Style: California Common (aka “steam lager”)
Malts: pale malt extract, 80L English crystal malt
Hops: Northern Brewer
Yeast: California lager
Other: Irish moss

Anachronic Tonic

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Smooth lager with mild hopness overtones. Like the name invokes, this brew has a wonderful brass coloring that compliments its almost pale ale finish. Certainly an excellent creation.”—Greg

“An ode to the future, but equally the past. Refreshing and light but the complexity is vast. I’d enjoy this everyday making love with my mouth. But after this poem I think I’ll run south.”—Ben W.


This rendition based on the Big Brew ’03 Steam California Common Lager available at What’s Brewin’ in Boulder, CO

this is a California steam lager, refreshing and clean, some ale-like fruitiness
light body, medium hoppiness, pale color
makes 5 gals

7 lbs pale extract
1 lbs 80L English Crystal malt
9.3 HBU Northern Brewer hops (bittering) (HBU = ounces x alpha acid %)
.5 oz Northern Brewer hops (flavor)
1 tsp Irish Moss
.5 oz Northern Brewer hops (aroma)
Wyeast 2112 California lager or White Labs California lager

1. heat 2 gals water to 165 deg F, remove from heat
2. put cracked grains in grain bag and steep 20 mins
3. remove grain bag, sparge, discard
4. return to boil then remove from heat
5. add 9.3 HBU Northern Brewer hops, return to boil
6. boil for 30 mins
7. add .5 oz Northern Brewer hops and Irish Moss
8. boil for 15 more mins
9. at end of boil, add .5 oz Northern Brewer hops
10. ice bath for 30 mins
11. transfer to FERMENTOR bucket and top off with cold water from sink sprayhose to 5 gals
12. when wort has cooled to 70 deg F, add yeast and stir well
13. ferment between 58 and 62 deg F

Sudsy Joe’s Motor Oil Coffee Cream Imperial Stout

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Sudsy Joe's Motor Oil Coffee Cream Imperial StoutA Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Beer Beta:

Style: Imperial Stout
Malts: dark malt, roasted barley, crystal 120, chocolate, crystal 40, Victory, black patent
Hops: Chinook, Saaz, Tettnanger
Yeast: Irish Ale
Other: gypsum, lactose, cold-pressed coffee concentrate

Perfect lubrication for common social situations

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Malted barley and light coffee subtleties are the first aromas that reach your senses. The second is the full bodied depth of this beer’s flavor. This brew will lubricate any social event.”—Greg

“Like an irish wench gone black, she refuses to go back, lingering haunting long after the last swallow.”—JK

“Do they sell this at Starbucks?? This would be the perfect start to every morning!!”—Matt & Jess


This recipe is a substantially modified version of the Layger Brewhaus Imperial March Stout recipe which was based on the “88 Draught Stout” recipe from a recipe book.


6 lbs dark malt extract syrup
.5 lbs roasted barley (flavors: rich, roasty, sweet, grainy)
.5 lbs crystal 120 malt (flavors: toffee)
.5 lbs chocolate malt (flavors: chocolate)
.5 lbs crystal 40 malt (flavors: moderate caramel)
.25 lbs Victory malt (flavors: warm, toasty, nutty)
.25 lbs black patent malt (flavors: toasty, smokey)

52 ounces cold-pressed coffee concentrate, filtered (decaf): This must be made at least 12 hours before brewing. Add .75 lbs of coarsely ground, decaf coffee into a clean stock pot. Add 52 ounces cold water. Stir until all coffee grounds are soaking wet and no dry pockets remain. Soak for 12 hours (do not heat). Filter using coffee filter into a separate container. Discard the spent coffee grounds without sparging. Consider filtering the coffee concentrate a second time to remove coffee silt. This 52 ounces of coffee concentrate would normally be mixed 3:1 before being drunk, yielding 156 ounces of drinkable cold-pressed coffee. 156 ounces is ~25% of the total, 5 gallon (640 oz.) wort volume.

.5 oz. Chinook hops 12.5% alpha (boil 80 min) (flavors: acidic, bittering)
.5 oz. Saaz hops, 6.8% alpha (boil 5 min) (flavors: spicy, herbal)
.5 oz. Tettnanger, 4.2% alpha (boil 3 min) (flavors: general hoppiness)

1084 Irish Ale yeast
.75 cup corn sugar, for priming

stay at 2 teaspoons gypsum (flavors: hardens water)
increase to 8 oz. lactose (flavors: creaminess, mouth-watering)

1. Add gypsum to 2 gallons water, stir well. Let sit.
2. Crack the grains. In a separate pot, combine 1 gallon of water with the roasted barley, the crystal malts, the chocolate malt, the Victory malt, and the black patent malt and heat to 175 deg F. Steep at 175 deg F for one hour.
3. 30 minutes into the steeping, begin heating the 2 gallons of gypsum water.
4. After the grains have steeped for an hour, sparge the grains and add this fluid to the 2 gallons gypsum water.
5. Add the malt extract to the gypsum water.
6. Bring to a boil, add .5 oz Chinook hops.
7. Boil for 75 minutes.
8. We are unsure when to add the lactose. During the April ’08 brewing, Dave added the lactose directly to the room temperature coffee concentrate and it all settled to the bottom. Even vigorous stirring didn’t dissolve the lactose into the liquid. When the wort had cooled to 100 degF, Dave added the coffee/lactose mixture and stirred, but the lactose still didn’t seem to dissolve fully. 8 oz is a lot of lactose, so maybe it’s just a quantity issue, however, we recommend adding the lactose at the end of the boil to help it dissolve. If this doesn’t work, consider adding the lactose when adding the malt extracts next time. Still, make sure not to add the cold-pressed coffee concentrate to hot water or it will become bitter/acidic. Add the coffee as directed below.
9. Add .5 oz Saaz hops.
10. Boil 2 minutes, then add .5 oz Tettnanger hops.
11. Boil 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
12. Cool the kettle in an ice bath for 30 minutes, then add cold-pressed coffee concentrate.
13. When wort has cooled to 70 degrees F, add the yeast, stirring and aerating well.
14. Transfer to primary FERMENTOR and top off with cold water to 5 gallons.
15. Ferment 21 days at 68 deg F, then bottle.

Flamin’ Mamie Chili Honey Pilsner

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Flamin' Mamie Chili Honey PilsnerA Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

Beer Beta:

Style: Pilsner
Malts: light malt extract, honey
Hops: Czech Saaz
Yeast: Czech Pils
Other: roasted ancho chili peppers, Irish moss


Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Mamie would make Roger Rabit say ‘Jessica Who?’ VERY subtle hints of spice in a smooth, slightly hoppy brew.”—Kris & Lori

“This beer is exciting. It makes your tongue tingle on a journey from sweet to spicy bite. I enjoy the fact that the same mouthfull changes over time. It never gets too spicy. It hurts, but it stays with you. Every sip reminds me of eating taquitos, chimichanga, and fried ice cream. When I drink this…. I am South of the Border.”—Ben W.


This recipe is based on the Mickviray Papazian Pilsener from Charlie Papazian’s book, Microbrewed Adventures. Papazian’s recipe does not include honey or peppers.

6 lbs light malt extract
1-3 ancho chili peppers (or pablanos)
.75 lbs honey
4.25 oz. Czech Saaz hops 4% alpha
.25 tsp. powdered Irish moss
Wyeast Czech Pils yeast #2278 or White Labs Pilsner Lager yeast WLP800
.75 cup corn sugar

1. Add malt extract, honey, and .75 oz. hops to 2.5 gallons hot water. Stir well. Bring to boil.
2. Boil 15 min. and then add 1 oz. hops.
3. Boil 40 min. and then add 1.5 oz. hops.
4. Boil 18 min. and then add 1 oz. hops.
5. Boil 2 min. and turn off heat (total boiling time will have been 75 minutes).
6. Cool the wort in an ice bath for a half hour or so.
7. Strain/sparge hops. Pour wort into Fermentor and top off with cold water to 5 gallons.
8. Aerate the wort (stir vigorously or use spray nozzle when filling to 5 gallons).
9. Wash, then roast the chili peppers until slightly browned (toaster oven works fine). Cut into strips. Remove and discard seeds. Add pepper strips to fermenting bucket.
10. When wort reaches 70 degrees F, add the yeast.
11. Seal the Fermentor and ferment for a week or so.
12. Transfer to bottling bucket, add priming sugar, bottle for at least 4 weeks.

Dark Ages IPA

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Dark Ages IPA

Beer Beta:

Style: Olde/IPA Hybrid
Malts: crystal 120
Hops: Chinook
Yeast: American Ale
Other: Irish moss


Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“This IPA has a fruity aroma that impales the nose and continues its assault with a robust and full flavor. The smooth finish will certainly pursuade you to fight for another crusade ale.”—Greg

“It will know the rust of the old battle armor! Slightly hoppy with hints of pine and a mellow floral bouquet”—Kris & Lori


Based on the Arrogant Bastard Clone recipe from What’s Brewin’ homebrew store, formerly of Boulder

Not for the wimpy or lovers of the mass produced.
7.6% alcohol, full body, high hop bitterness, high hop flavor, high hop aroma, ruby/brown color

2 tsp gypsum
1.5 lbs crystal 120L malt
9.5 lbs pale malt extract syrup
18 HBU Chinook hops (bittering)
1 oz Chinook hops (flavor)
1 tsp Irish moss
1 oz Chinook hops (aroma)

Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast or White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast

Add gypsum to 2 gallons water, heat to 165 deg F.
While heating:
Check the yeast for any special preparations
Crack the grains if not already cracked.
Once at 165 deg F, remove water from heat. Put cracked grains in sock, steep 20 minutes. Sparge!
Heat water to boiling then remove from heat. Add pale malt extract syrup, stirring well.
Return to a boil, add the bittering hops, boil 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add flavor hops and irish moss and boil 15 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add aroma hops.
Cool the kettle in an ice bath for 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to primary FERMENTOR and top off with cold water to 5 gallons.
When wort has cool to 70 deg F, add the yeast.
Ferment between 68-73 deg F.

Grunge Up German Altbier

grungeup-finalGrunge Up was surprisingly establishmentarian. A deceptively mellow ale made from dark malts, hallertau and spalt hops, and munich and caramunich grains, Grunge Up resembles the body and feel of both oktoberfest and amber beers without tasting quite like either. Grunge Up is dark and leathery, a little bit creamy and a little bit smooth, with a little kick at the end. Break out the flannel and get Grunged Up.

Come as you are.

Beer Beta:

Style: German Altbier
Malts: Light malt extract, German caramunich malt grain, German black caraffe malt grain
Hops: Hallertau, Spalt
Yeast: German ale yeast

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Tastes like a nice Seattle day. Musty and with a hint of flannel.”—JK

“For the grunge beer, I wish I had a sarcastic yet witty comment. Sadly that would betray this beer’s simplicity. As with the others, the carbonation is light and the flavor mellow. For being an “Altbier” it tastes young and fresh. I’m not sure this is the goal. The hops are apparent in a very pleasant blend. Not too bitter with a mellow sweetness. Another refreshing beer.”—Ben W.


Based on the Crazy Old Man Altbier recipe from Charlie Papazian’s book Microbrewed Adventures.

Dark in color, medium hoppiness. Deceptively mellow. Resembles body and mouthfeel of oktoberfest and amber beers. Dark and leathery. A little creamy and smooth. A little kick at the end.

Boiling time 2 hours.

6.5 lbs light malt extract syrup
8 oz. German caramunich malt grain
2 oz. German black caraffe malt grain
2.25 oz. hallertau hops 4.5% alpha
1.25 oz. spalt hops 5% alpha
.25 tsp powdered Irish moss
german ale yeast
.75 cup priming sugar

1. Crack the grains.
2. Heat 2 gallons water to 150 deg F and add grains. Let steep for 30 min.
3. Sparge grains, discard.
4. Add malt extract syrup. Using a nylon bag, also add the 1.5 oz. hallertau hops, and 1.25 oz. spalt hops. Bring to a boil.
5. Boil for 100 minutes and add .75 oz hallertau hops to the nylon bag.
6. Boil for 10 minutes and add Irish moss.
7. Boil for 10 more minutes and remove from heat.
8. Place the brewkettle in an ice bath for 30 minutes.
9. Sparge the hops, discard.
10. Transfer the wort to the fermentor and top off to 5 gallons with cold water from the sink spray hose.
11. When the wort has cooled to 70 deg F, add the yeast, stirring well.
12. Ferment 1-2 weeks at 70 deg F.
13. Bottle.


Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - IRA Red AleIRA Red might have sparked a revolt, especially amongst lovers of amber ales. Pale syrup, English crystal malt, Victory malt, UK Golding hops, gypsum, and Irish moss give this red a citrusy delicious flavor. IRA Red is an orangey brown color, closer to an amber, but with an intense attack that explodes in the mouth. Sweet and warm in the throat, IRA Red is a red ale in a class of its own.

Kiss yer blarney goodbye!

Beer Beta:

Style: Irish Red
Malts: pale malt extract, English 40L crystal malt, Victory malt, roast barley
Hops: UK Golding
Yeast: Irish Ale

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Only thing yer IRA red bottles are good for is target practice. #@$% Englishmen”—JK
“The first thing that hits me is a nuttyness. Not hoppy, not intrusive, sort of under the sensors. Not exactly like an insurgent, but more… conducive to talks. I guess that would make it more like the IRA. I like this beer. I could start drinking from the top-o’-the-morn. Not a lot of head, an easy drinker. Could easily get you into an irish bar brawl, a little sweet, a little sarcastic, but with a good punch.”—Ben W .


This rendition based on the McCarthy’s Bane Irish Red Ale recipe available at What’s Brewin’ in Boulder, CO.

red/orange color, sweet, touch of toasted malt aroma, clean finish
slight fruitiness
medium body, very mild hop flavor
makes 5 gals

6.5 lbs pale syrup
.5 lb English 40L crystal malt
.25 lb Victory malt
4 oz roast barley
6 HBU UK Golding hops (HBU = ounces x alpha acid %)
1 tsp gypsum
.5 tsp Irish Moss
White Labs Irish Ale yeast or Wyeast 084 Irish ale yeast

1. add gypsum to 2 gallons water, heat to 165 deg F.
2. remove from heat, put cracked grains in a grain sock, steep 20 min
3. remove grains, sparge, discard
4. return to a boil then remove from heat
5. add syrup and malt
6. return to a boil, add the hops
7. boil for 30 mins
8. add the Irish moss
9. boil for 15 more mins.
10. 30 min ice bath
11. transfer to FERMENTOR bucket, top off with cold water from sink sprayhose to 5 gallons
12. when wort has cooled to 70 deg F, add yeast and stir well
13. ferment between 66 and 72 deg F

Cowbell Porter

cowbellporter-finalI’m tellin’ ya, fellas. You’re gonna’ want more Cowbell Porter. Dark and deep like the Black Forests of Germany, Cowbell Porter taps into the earthy roots of this traditional brew style. The ‘Bell was brewed with six kinds of malt. This porter is the cock of the walk, baby!

You’re Gonna Want More…

Beer Beta:

Style: Porter
Malts: crystal malt, chocolate malt, carapils malt, black patent, pale malt extract, munich extract
Hops: Centennial
Yeast: Irish Ale
Other: Irish Moss

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Jon

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“Fever abated, prescription filled. This is a steamy atypical porter. Not average, way above average. Must be the cowbell. Almost spicy, almost.”—Kris & Lori
“The cowbell does not ring like cowbell. It is mellow and a bit creamy. It is smooth with a light hops and overtone of maybe nutella of nutty chocolate? My favorite color by far. A little bite, but I don’t know if it is alkaline or acidic, but something. This is the first one I would drink with food. Maybe a burger with ketchup, lettuce, tomato, a little red onion, and definitely avocado! With extra crispy fries. Yes. This beer makes me hungry.”—Ben W.


This rendition based on the “Bell’s Porter” recipe available at What’s Brewin in Boulder, CO. Bell’s Porter is from the Kalamazoo Brewing company in Michigan.

Lots coffee and chocolate flavors
medium hoppiness
Makes 5 gallons

8 oz 75L Crystal malt
8 oz chocolate malt
8 oz carapils malt
4 oz black patent malt
6 ½ lbs Alexander’s pale malt syrup
1 lbs Alexander’s Munich syrup
10 HBU Centennial hops (HBU = ounces x alpha acid %)
1 tsp Irish Moss
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeast or White Labs Irish Ale yeast

1. Heat 2 gallons to 165 deg F then remove from heat
2. steep grains in the hot water for 20 mins
3. sparge grains
4. put water back on the heat and bring to a boil
5. once boiling, remove from heat and add malt extracts
6. bring back to a boil and add Centennial hops
7. boil for 30 minutes and then add the Irish moss
8. boil for 15 more minutes
9. remove from heat and put in an ice bath for 30 min.
10. transfer to FERMENTOR
11. top off with cold water to 5 gallons (use spray hose to stir and aerate the wort)
12. when the wort has cooled to 70 deg F, add the yeast
13. ferment between 65 and 70 deg F

Tan Line Pale Ale

Layger Brewhaus Beer Label - Tanline Pale AleTan Line brought back happy memories of summer without leaving a mark. This ale is clean, crisp, and easy to drink, without being overbitter or too hoppy like many commercial pale ales. A good pour will leave this ale clear and medium bodied. Go ahead, take a peek at Tan Line Pale Ale.

Beer Beta:

Style: Pale Ale
Malts: pale malt extract, Munich malt extract, Belgian Caravienne, Victory malt, flaked barley
Hops: UK Golding, Amarillo
Yeast: American Ale

Questions? Ask the Brewer: Dave

Octobertheseventhfest comments:

“This is a great brew to quench my thirst while catching some rays. Lighter pale taste – not bitter. Floral aroma that evokes summer. Who needs SPF? I want tan lines.”—Greg M.
“Oh my god this has hops. It is the bunny. Do bunnies eat hops? A citrus overtone. A decently strong flavor, and decent head. Still, a lighter “drinking” beer. I’d choose something else with my food.”—Ben W..


This rendition based on Oliver’s Pale Ale, created by What’s Brewin’ in Boulder, CO.

4 lbs. Pale Syrup
1 lb. Munich Syrup
0.5 lbs. Belgian Caravienne
0.25 lbs. Victory Malt
0.25 lbs. Flaked Barley
5-6 HBU’s UK Golding Hops (bittering) (HBU = alpha acid % x oz.)
0.5 oz. Amarillo Hops (flavor)
0.5 oz. Amarillo Hops (Aroma)
1 oz. Amarillo Hops (dry hopping)
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast or White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast

1. Heat 6 to 8 quarts of water to 155º-160º F.
2. Remove brewpot from heat.
3. Put grains into a grain bag, then into the brewpot, cover and steep for 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove the bag of grains and discard, put the brewpot back on the burner and bring to a boil.
5. Once boiling, remove from heat and dissolve the malt extract into the brewpot.
6. Bring back to a boil, once boiling add bittering hops and set your timer for a 60 minute boil.
7. 15 minutes before the end of the boil add flavor hops.
8. At end of boil add aroma hops, then remove brewpot from heat and cool the wort.
9. Put the wort in your fermenter and top off to 5 gallons.
10. Aerate well, and pitch yeast.
11. Add dry hops to secondary fermenter about a week before bottling.