Tonight I joined forces with Darren Reed to try our hand at re-creating his great grandmother's prohibition era "back door lager". "Back door" as in that's where it was sold from at her farm. Her recipe is here:
We made some selective changes. First despite its name, this was clearly an ale, not a lager. We upped the malt and reduced the sugar, on the assumption she was using so much sugar because it was cheap and malt expensive. We couldn't figure out how much "35 cents" of hops was, so we used a hop bill that would fit a light German ale. We steeped some grains and also used a proper brewing yeast as opposed to "Fleischmans". I hope it tastes good, and will do Darren's grandmother proud.
Steeped at 150 degrees for 30 minutes:
3oz 40 L crystal malt
5 oz pale malt
Brought to a boil and added:
1 oz bittering hops (likely Cascade - grown at Michelle's parents)
2.5 kg light malt extract (dry)
250g brown sugar
After 45 minutes added 1 tsp. Irish Moss
After 55 minutes added 1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (2.6% AA)
Filled to 21 litres. Pitch Wyeast 1007 German Ale.
After about 5 days I will rack to a carboy, and bottle after about two weeks. Prosit!
Here is Darren stirring the fine brew: