Last Chance Lager

The Dortmunder Export (German Helles Exportbier) is a surprisingly neglected style, but one that I have enjoyed brewing over the years. It’s a great pale lager for hard waters, and a nice and malty style at that.

I made “Last Chance Lager” to use up some of my grains on-hand, while also highlighting the Dortmunder Export style. There’s not much to say about the recipe, other than that it paralleled previous versions in overall design philosophy. I like pilsner as the dominant malt, with a measure of Vienna and Munich to up the maltiness and add some character. I used Munich II instead of Munich I as part of the grist, which presumably will increase the maltiness relative to previous iterations.

Last Chance Lager

  • 7 lb. 15 oz. Barke Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 lb. 8 oz. Vienna malt
  • 1 lb. Viking Pilsner Zero malt
  • 12 oz. Munich II malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hop pellets (5.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hop pellets (5.2% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. BruTanB, 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hop pellets (5.2% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 2 pkg. Diamond Lager yeast (Lallemand)

Target Parameters

  • 1.051 s.g., 1.013 f.g., 5.0% abv, 29 IBU, 5 SRM
  • Full volume mash, 152° for 60 minutes, 168° mash-out for 10 minutes
  • Claremont tap water adjusted with lactic acid and mineral additions, to achieve calculated water profile of 64 Ca, 8 Mg, 26 Na, 97 SO4, 91 Cl, 24 HCO3. RA=-31 ppm, alkalinity=20 ppm, effective hardness 51 ppm.


  • I started with 7 gallons of tap water, adding 5.85 mL of 88% lactic acid to neutralize the carbonates, followed by a half Campden tablet, 2 g gypsum, 2 g epsom salt, and 0.8 g calcium chloride in order to hit my water target parameters. I raised the temperature to 158°, mashed in with the grains, and added 3 mL of 88% lactic acid in order to adjust pH.
  • I held the mash at 152° with recirculation for 60 minutes, before raising it to 168° for 10 minutes. Following this, I removed the grains.
  • In total, I collected 6.4 gallons with a gravity of 1.042, for 64% mash efficiency. That’s lower than I hoped, but not awful.
  • I boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops and finings per the recipe. Then, I turned off the heat and chilled down to 72°, before transferring to the fermenter and letting it chill the rest of the way (~50°) before pitching yeast.
  • I brewed the beer on 7 January 2023, and fermented at around 50° to 52°. Starting gravity was 1.050, just a bit shy of my target.
  • I kegged the beer on 12 March 2023, transferring to a CO2-purged keg. Final gravity was 1.012, for 5.0% abv. Exactly on target!
  • The beer took a long time to clarify — even after 2 weeks at near-freezing temperatures, it was still pretty hazy. Another month dropped out most, but not all, of the haze.


  • Appearance
    • A gold beer that pours with a creamy and persistent white head. This is very clear, but not perfectly so.
  • Aroma
    • Doughy malt aroma, with a slight spicy hop character. Clean yeast profile; i.e., not noticeable.
  • Flavor
    • Moderately low bitterness. There is a nice malty quality to this beer, with a rich and bready quality. Malt-forward.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth finish.
  • Would I Brew This Again?
    • I really like this style, and this recipe is a good incarnation. I love the smooth maltiness that you get in a Dort. My only minor fault is that the beer could be a touch clearer, but that’s a very minor ding on an otherwise excellent beer. I can safely say that I have mastered this style!
  • Overall
    • 9/10

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