Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association
Homebrew Recipes

Pisswasser Lite

This recipe appears in the July/August 2017 issue of Zymurgy magazine in the article From the Glass: Big Brew Results by Gary Glass.

Recipe courtesy Marie-Annick Scott, Edmonton Homebrewers Guild

ALES Open Homebrewer of the Year Marie-Annick Scott shares one of her six award-winning recipes from the 2017 ALES Open—Canada’s largest homebrew competition—which was held April 17 to 22 in Regina, SK.

“I made this because one of my brothers can’t drink craft beers,” says Marie-Annick. “It’s a lot more work than most homebrewers would be willing to put in for what you get.”

This recipe is brewed using a process similar to that used by large breweries. You’ll brew a strong lager of 8% ABV, which is diluted to 4% ABV at packaging. This dilution process “minimizes the yeast flavors that you would get from fermenting the full batch volume and will give you that sought-after ‘flavorlessness,’” Marie-Annick notes. A long, multi-step mash program produces the highly fermentable wort necessary to accurately brew this style.

Pisswasser Lite | Lite American lager


  • For 11 US gallons (41.6 L) after dilution
    • 8 lb. 6-row malted barley
    • 6.8 lb. rice flakes
    • 0.5 oz. (14 g) Willamette, 5.5% a.a. @ 60 min
    • 0.13 oz. (4 g) Cascade, 5.5% a.a. @ 60 min
    • Wyeast 2035 American Lager
    • Carbon filter water and perform a Munich decarbonation
    • 1 Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 min
    • 1/4 tsp. yeast nutrient @ 15 min
    • Bentonite and Polyclar for fining post-fermentation


    • Original Gravity: 1.070 (16.9° P) before dilution
    • Final Gravity: 1.011 (2.6° P) before dilution
    • ABV: 4%
    • IBU: 6
    • SRM: 2


    Note: This batch is brewed as 5.5 US gallons (20.8 L) and then diluted to 11 US gallons (41.6 L).

    Mash in at 100° F (38° C) and hold 20 minutes for an acid rest. Raise mash temperature to 122° F (50° C) and hold for a 30-minute protein rest.

    Separate mash into thick and thin parts. Raise the temperature of the thick mash to 156° F (69° C), hold for 15 minutes, and then add back to the thin mash. This gives the alpha amylase enzymes a chance to break down the starches without denaturing the beta amylase enzymes in the thin mash. Raise the temperature of the recombined mash to 146° F (63° C) and hold for 2 hours. Mash out and sparge with enough water to achieve a pre-boil gravity of 1.060.

    Boil for one hour, or until wort gravity reaches 1.070, adding hops, Whirlfloc, and yeast nutrient at the indicated times. Chill wort and transfer to a carboy. Wait 15 minutes for the trub to settle out and then transfer again. Oxygenate for 2 minutes and pitch yeast.

    Ferment at 50° F (10° C) until kräusen falls, then raise temperature for a diacetyl rest until terminal gravity is reached. Cool to 14° F (–10° C) and hold for 12 hours to allow yeast to flocculate and chill haze to appear before fining with bentonite. Rack and repeat with Polyclar.

    You now have approximately 5.5 gal. (20.8 L) of beer at 8% ABV. Boil another 5.5 gal. (20.8 L) of reverse osmosis water for at least 10 minutes to eliminate most of the dissolved oxygen in the water. Chill the water as quickly as possible to avoid oxygen pickup, and then rack your high-gravity beer on to the deoxygenated water. Force carbonate to 2.5 volumes (5 g/L) of CO2.