Bitburger Premium clone

Bitburger Premium Pils
(Bitburger Brewery, Germany)

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.045 FG = 1.011
IBU = 38 SRM = 3 ABV = 4.5%

A classic, bright, golden German Pilsner.

8.75 lbs. (4 kg) German Pilsner malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) Carafoam® malt
8.75 AAU Perle hops (60 min.) (1.1 oz./31 g at 8% alpha acid)
3 AAU Hallertau hops (60 min.) (0.75 oz./21 g at 4% alpha acid)
Wyeast 2007 (Pilsen Lager) or White Labs WLP830 (German Lager) yeast (3 qt./~3 L yeast starter)
7/8 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mash the grains in 4.5 gallons (17 L) at 140 °F (60 °C). (This is a somewhat thin mash, compared to most homebrew mashes.) Hold for 15 minutes, then heat to 150 °F (66 °C). Hold 45 minutes, then heat to 170 °F (77 °C) and transfer mash to lauter tun. Collect around 5 gallons (19 L) of wort, add 1.5 gallons (5.7 L) of water and boil for 90 minutes. Add hops at times indicated in ingredient list. Cool wort to 55 °F (13 °C), aerate well and pitch yeast. Ferment at 55 °F (13 °C), then lager at near freezing temperatures. Perform a diacetyl rest (let temperature rise to 60 °F/16 °C for 2–3 days) in between primary fermentation and lagering. With the mash described above, you should achieve a lower FG than that given in the extract recipe. Your all-grain brew should finish around 1.008, yielding a 4.8% ABV beer — the level of alcohol quoted for Bitburger. Bottle condition warm for two days, then lager in bottles at 38–40 °F (3–4 ºC) for four to six weeks.

Extract with Grains Option:
Scale the Pilsner malt down to 1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg). Add 1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) light dried malt extract and 3.3 lbs. 1.49 kg) light liquid malt extract (late addition). Place the crushed grains in a grain bag and steep in 3 qts. (2.8 L) of water at 148 °F (64 °C) for 45 minutes. Pull the grain bag out and drain over the pot in a colander. Rinse the grain bag with 1.5 quarts (~1.5 L) of water at 170 °F (77 °C). Remove grains, add water to “grain tea” to make 3 gallons (11 L), add dried malt extract and stir well. Bring to a boil. Boil 60 minutes, adding hops at times indicated in the ingredients list. Add liquid malt extract with 15 minutes remaining in the boil. Cool wort to 55 °F (13 °C), transfer to fermenter, and top up to 5 gallons (19 L) with cool water. Aerate wort well and pitch yeast. Follow the remainder of the all-grain recipe.


Issue: November 2000

Ahh, Bitburger. It’s a long-time favorite of U.S. servicemen stationed in Germany. This beer is made in the town of Bitburg in the Eifel Lake region of Germany’s Rhineland. Bright gold in color, with a flashy carbonation and lasting pearly-white head, “Bit” is a classic northern German and Scandinavian style pilsner. All-malt Bitburger uses a proprietary yeast strain that gives the beer a super-clean finish.