The colder months of winter and their lower temperatures lend themselves to lagering, the long cellaring process in which bottom-fermenting beer yeast work slowly but surely to create smooth and crisp traditional beer styles. Before the days of refrigeration, lagers were placed in cool caves for their fermentation, aging, and maturation. If you have a room or garage that stays a consistent 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, you can lager your beer without any expensive refrigeration equipment.
Here are three clone beer recipes of popular lagers that are fun to brew, but beware…you may find that you prefer your clone over the original!
Steam Freak Buddy Light
(Bud Light Clone Beer Recipe Kit)
There’s a time and a place for every beer. If you’re planning for a long day of drinking, be it during tailgating, at a cookout, or post-yardwork refreshment, this American light lager is a great mid-afternoon relaxer.
Our Steam Freak Buddy Light Beer Recipe Kit contains:
Directions: Heat three gallons of clean water in your brew kettle. Put the Carapils in the grain bag and steep at 150°F. for 30 minutes. Discard grain bag. Remove the kettle from heat and stir in the malt extracts. Bring to a boil. Boil the Hallertau hops for 60 minutes. Ferment for one week at 60F. Transfer to secondary for a two-week fermentation at 50F.
On bottling day, mix priming sugar with two cups of pre-boiled water and mix into the beer. Fill bottles and cap, then age beer for two weeks.
Sam Adams Winter Lager Clone
(5 Gallon Recipe)
This partial mash recipe comes from Brew Your Own Magazine. A grain bill comprised of crystal malt, malted wheat, and Munich malt brings some body, color, and caramel flavor to the beer, while the orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon contribute some intriguing holiday flavors.
6.6 lbs. Briess wheat malt extract syrup
1.5 lbs. crystal malt (60° Lovibond)
1 lb. wheat malt
1.5 lbs. Munich malt
1 teaspoon Irish moss
1 oz. Curacáo orange peel (bitter orange peel)
0.5 oz. ginger root (freshly grated)
0.5 tsp. cinnamon (powdered)
9.5 AAU East Kent Goldings hops (2 oz. of 4.75% alpha acid)
4.5 AAU Tettnanger hops (1 oz. of 4.5% alpha acid)
4.7 AAU Hallertau hops (1 oz. of 4.7% alpha acid)
3/4 cup corn sugar to prime
Bavarian Lager yeast (Wyeast 2206)
Directions: Perform a “mini-mash” with the crushed grains. Strain and sparge into your brewpot, then mix in malt extract. Bring to a boil. Add the East Kent Golding hops and Irish moss and start the 60-minute boil. In the last 15 minutes, add the spices. With two minutes remaining, add the Tettnager and Hallertau hops.
Remove kettle from heat, cool, transfer wort to a fermenter. Use clean water to bring volume up to 5.5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 50-55F for 3 to 4 weeks. Prime, then bottle or keg. Lager for about 4 weeks prior to serving.
(Pilsner Urquel Clone Beer Recipe Kit)
This Steam Freak beer recipe kit recreates the classic Bohemian lager. A touch of caramel and Munich malts contribute color and grainy flavor, while a solid dose of Czech Saaz hops provide the distinctive, noble hop bitterness of Pilsner Urquel.
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.