From my tower…

Today I broke in my new false bottom and sparging arm, upgrading not only the look of my mashing set-up (stainless steel trumps plastic anytime!) but also my efficiency. The new gear seemed easier to assemble and I definitely lautered and sparged more quickly than I can remember in a long time.

I won’t repeat the description and details of just what a Dortmund Export lager is (see last year’s brew…). I will only say that I was trying to do basically the same beer from a similar recipe (based on Greg Noonan’s recipe in our Seven Barrel Brewery Brewer’s Handbook). The yeast and hops are slightly different from last year’s and I used some toasted cara-foam malt this time instead of the usual cara-pils, to get a little more of a “fresh-bread” aroma.

The Dort

5 gallons, all-grain


  • 8.5 lbs. Bohemian Pilsner malt
  • .5 lbs. toasted (15 minutes at 300°F) cara-foam malt
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 oz. Perle hop pellets (@8% aa)
  • 3/4 oz. Northern Brewer hop pellets (@12.3% aa)
  • White Labs Southern German Lager Yeast (WLP838)
  • 2/3 cup corn sugar (for priming)


Crush grains. Heat 14 quarts water to 161°F, add salt. Dough in and hold at 150°F for 75 minutes. Heat 14 quarts more water to 168°F. Begin runoff and sparge, collect 26 quarts sweet wort. Bring to boil, add 1/4 oz. Perle hops. Boil 15 minutes, add Northern Brewer hops. Boil 15 more minutes, add 1/2 oz. Perle hops. Boil another 15 minutes, add remaining 1/4 oz. Perle hops. Remove from heat after another 15 minutes (60 total), chill to 70°F. Take a hydrometer reading, pitch yeast, seal and ferment at 55 – 60°F for seven to ten days. Rack to secondary, age cold (40°F) for three to five weeks. Prime with corn sugar, bottle and store cold (40°F) for eight weeks.

OG: 1053

IBU’s: 57.5

2 Replies to “From my tower…”

  1. Hey,
    stop pushing corn sugar! It’s GMO you know. Seriously, it’s time the brewing community drops that adjunct, and reverts to all malt beers anyway (DME works fine as a priming sugar; so it costs a bit more. It’s worth it). So far they’re not growing any GMO barley, that I know of.

    1. I don’t personally like the way my beers taste, generally, when I prime with DME. Dextrose adds no flavor, and the small amount used for priming doesn’t bother me in terms of “all malt”. And while most corn grown in North America is indeed probably genetically modified, organic non-GMO dextrose (and malto-dextrin) is available. I get mine from Seven Bridges Cooperative in California (great selection in general of organic grains and hops…) and will soon be carrying the dextrose in the SoRo Market.
      Thanks for checking in, Bro!
      (For other readers’ benefit, this post came from my brother who is an organic farmer in Kansas. He bought me my first brewing kit over 20 years ago… I take his opinions seriously.)

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