Low Life American Lager Beer Recipe | All Grain American Light Lager | Brewer's Friend
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Low Life American Lager

117 calories 10.7 g 12 oz
Beer Stats
Method: All Grain
Style: American Light Lager
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 1.25 gallons (fermentor volume)
Pre Boil Size: 2.5 gallons
Pre Boil Gravity: 1.018 (recipe based estimate)
Post Boil Gravity: 1.036 (recipe based estimate)
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)
Source: http://www.fermentationculture.com/low-life-american-lager/
Hop Utilization: 97%
Calories: 117 calories (Per 12oz)
Carbs: 10.7 g (Per 12oz)
URL: http://www.fermentationculture.com/low-life-american-lager/
Created: Wednesday February 23rd 2022
Amount Fermentable Cost PPG °L Bill %
1.25 lb US - Pale 2-Row1.25 lb Pale 2-Row 37 1.8 73.5%
0.34 lb Flaked Rice0.34 lb Flaked Rice 40 0.5 20%
0.11 lb Rice Hulls0.11 lb Rice Hulls 0 0 6.5%
1.70 lbs / 0.00
Amount Variety Cost Type AA Use Time IBU Bill %
0.16 oz Tettnanger0.16 oz Tettnanger Hops Pellet 4.5 Boil 60 min 14.16 100%
0.16 oz / 0.00
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Start Temp Target Temp Time
0.9 gal Infusion -- 150 °F 60 min
1.1 gal Sparge -- 120 °F 5 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.6 qt/lb
Other Ingredients
Amount Name Cost Type Use Time
0.23 tsp Gelatine Fining Kegging --
White Labs - American Lager Yeast WLP840
0.23 Each
Attenuation (custom):
Optimum Temp:
50 - 55 °F
Fermentation Temp:
66 °F
Pitch Rate:
1.5 (M cells / ml / ° P) 64 B cells required
0.00 Yeast Pitch Rate and Starter Calculator
Method: dextrose       Amount: 1.3 oz       Temp: 68 °F       CO2 Level: 2.6 Volumes
Target Water Profile
Pilsen (Light Lager)
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO3-
7 3 2 5 5 25
Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator

If you brew your own beer, it’s always good idea to have a refreshing & easy drinking lager on tap. Mostly because they are delicious, but also because appealing to the widest possible range of palettes is the smart play when hosting guests. You can’t have people NOT drinking your homebrew when they stop by!

This American Lager is really 2 recipes one 1, with a simple change making a marked difference between the beers. The core recipe presents as a crisp, lagered version of “lawnmower-style” Cream Ale. It’s perfect porch-drinker and a staple around here.

If you want a more traditional “banquet” style American Lager, try adding a vial of White Labs Ultra Ferm at the beginning of the mash. Let that grain sit for about 2-3 hours in the 148°F range before running off and brewing the beer as you normally would. It will lower the finishing gravity to 1.003 or lower and really crisp up the finish.

Simplicity is key to any pale lager. North American 2-Row is as predictable a choice as it is a reliable one. I’ve tried multiple adjuncts for this recipe, alone and in combination. In the end, I settled on Flaked Rice as having all the qualities I was seeking. Neutral, balanced, and above all…simple.

Hops? What hops? 10 IBUs at bittering is about what you need to delicately balance this beer. Choose a noble-style hop that you like. The only change I make between batched is adjusting the bittering hop quantity, based on the Alpha Acid %, to get the desired 10 IBUs.

WLP840 American Lager Yeast is perfect for this recipe. It presents clearly as a lager, but not in a sulfury way. As a bonus, the strain seems to ferment and lager at a much quicker pace than the most common European lager strains.

Be sure to use enough yeast. Make a low gravity (mid/high 1.030’s) starter 36 hours before brewing. If using a stir plate 2 liters will be plenty. If not, go up to 3 liters. Add 2 packs of the yeast and set it at room temperature (yes, room temperatures is fine for lager starters). The yeast is usually done fermenting after 24 hours. At that point, turn off the stir plate and allow it to settle. That way you can decant most of the starter liquid off before pitching the yeast.

Brewing Technique
Carefully calculate your water volumes. Mashing on the low end of the saccrification range is best for this recipe. It should be a lighter bodied beer. I target 148°-149°F. After the boil, chill all the way to fermentation temp (52°F) before pitching the yeast. For a more detailed look at how I brew, check out Indoor Homebrewing Brew Day Step By Step.

Ferment for about 4 days at 52°F. When the krausen drops by half, raise the temperature to 57°F for a diacetyl rest. After a few days, slowly drop it to fridge temperature and rack to keg. If bottling, don’t drop the temperature and bottle as usual.

Allow the beer to condition for 3-4 weeks before serving. Don’t serve it until it’s VERY clear. Time will provide, but finings are a good option if you’re in a rush. Make sure to get that carbonation up. My target is 2.6 volumes of CO2.

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  • Last Updated: 2022-02-23 14:04 UTC
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