Caveman Kellerbier

Kellerbier, also Zwickelbier, or Zoigl, is a type of German beer which is not clarified or pasteurised. The term Kellerbier literally translates as “cellar beer”, referring to its cool lagering temperatures, and its recipe likely dates to the Middle Ages. In comparison with most of today’s filtered lagers, Kellerbier contains more of its original brewing yeast, as well as vitamins, held in suspension. As a result, it is distinctly cloudy, and is described by German producers as naturtrub (naturally cloudy).

My first and only experience with Kellerbier is Creemore’s seasonal summer brew aptly titled “Kellerbier”, (obvious, I know).

Right off the bat, it’s a beautiful amber/copper colour that I just love, but it is very cloudy because it’s not been filtered. The Hop flavour definitely dominates and is very floral.

I searched out where and how I could recreate this fantastic beer and here is the recipe I found at “Brew Your Own – Kellerbier – Style Profile):

See the results here:  “Battle of the cellars”

Caveman Kellerbier

Download Recipe Here: Caveman Kellerbier

Brew Type: Partial Mash Date: 1/21/2011
Style: Wood Aged Beer Brewers: Hoptomology
Batch Size: 5.00 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 6.42 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Estimated Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Equipment: 7.5 Gallon Stainless Steel Brewpot
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 31 %

Hoptomological Rating: (out of 5)

Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.60 lb Briess Pilsen Light LME (2.0 SRM) Extract 68.75 %
3.00 lb Munich Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 31.25 %
2.00 oz Hallertauer [3.80 %] (60 min) Hops 26.2 IBU
1.50 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.00 %] (0 min) Hops
0.50 oz Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
4.00 oz Oak Chips (Primary 21.0 days) Misc
1 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL Yeast #S-23) Yeast-Lager
Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.061 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Color: 9.4 SRM Bitterness Ratio: 0.429
Bitterness: 26.2 IBU (5.0-70.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 7.6 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.95 % Actual Alcohol by Volume: 4.95 %
Actual Calories: 232 cal/pint
Mash Profile
Name: Steep Munich Malt Mash Tun Weight:
Mash Grain Weight: 3.00 lb Mash PH:
Grain Temperature: Sparge Temperature:
Sparge Water: 3.00 Adjust Temp for Equipment:
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 2.00 gal of water at heat slowly to 180°F 180.0 F 30 min

Mash Notes

Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Carbonation Volumes: 1.8 (1.8-3.0 vols)
Estimated Pressure: 10.4 PSI Kegging Temperature: 54.0 F
Pressure Used: Age for: 8.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 54.0 F


On the day before brew day, make an oak chip tea as follows: Mix about two cups of oak chips in hot but not boiling water (180°F or 80°C), in a tightly sealable jar.

Seal the hot jar, let it cool off, and then keep it in the refrigerator overnight. Before steeping, toast the oak chips on a cookie sheet in a 250°F (121ºC) oven for about an hour. Use the tea at pitching time.

Then mill the specialty malt coarsely and divide it equally into two muslin bags. Place these in at least two gallons of cold water and raise the temperature slowly, for about half an hour, until it reaches 170-190°F. At this point bubbles should start to pearl up in the liquid, but the pot must not boil.

Lift the bags out of the steeping liquid and rinse them with several cups of cold water. Do not squeeze them. Discard the spent grain. Turn off the heat and stir in the malt extract. Fill the kettle and bring the wort to a boil.

Add the bittering hops, as usual, about 15 minutes into the boil. At the end of the boil, check the kettle gravity. Make adjustments, if needed, by adding water or lengthening the boil time.

Once the kettle is at the correct original gravity, add the flavor/aroma hops. Stir the wort gently with a spatula to create a whirlpool effect. Wait about half an hour to allow the trub to settle.

Then heat-exchange the wort off the trub. Reduce the wort temperature as close to a fermentation temperature of 48°F (9°C) as your setup allows.

Strain the oak chips off the liquid and add this cool, sterile tea to the fermenter. Then pitch the yeast, aerate and place the brew in a cool place.

Let it ferment to completion (in perhaps three weeks). Rack the brew into a clean carboy and let it warm up to room temperature for a two-day diacetyl rest. Rack the brew again, but do not prime it.

Let it mature unpressurized for about two months at a typical cellar temperature of about 50-55°F (10-13°C). Do not rack again.


After trying Creemore Springs Brewery‘s seasonal Kellerbier for the first time last summer, it quickly became one of my favourite go-to beers. I stocked up as much as I could before it disappeared, but it nonetheless did anyways. Having started brewing by this point, I thought I would take a stab at trying to brew a clone of it. (see article titled “Caveman Kellerbier”) Not really knowing much of the history, or the style at the time, I was lucky enough to come across an article in Brew Your Own Magazine titled “Kellerbier – Style Profile“, that gave me a bit more of an insight. I imagined that this style could vary greatly from region to region, so I wasn’t sure how close to Creemore’s version I would get. After waiting about 4 months to taste the results, I have to say, I am pretty blown away! Here is what I’ve found:

  • Colour: As you can see from the picture, it’s 95% there
  • Body: The original has more of a body to it, the difference probably due to us brewing it from extract. I can only imagine how good the all grain version would be. Ours also tasted a bit sweeter.
  • Head: Our version had slightly less foam to it, again, an all grain version would probably help with that.
  • Bitterness: The “traditional german hops” they refer to on the can must be Hallertrauer, because the hop character & flavour is totally the same, although I would add a touch more to ours next time.
  • ABV: The original sits at 5.0% ABV, and even though the recipe called for a higher alcohol content, we came in at 5% as well.

One thing I would change is the amount of ‘oak’ flavour. To simulate aging in oak casks, as would have been traditionally done, we added 4oz of oak chips to the fermenter. It came out a little too pronounced for me. Oak really isn’t my thing, even in wines. Perhaps if it were more subtle, then maybe I could appreciate the complexity it brings. Next time we’ll try it from all grain, I can only imagine how good it will be! I guess we’ll find out next winter!


  • 2
  • 2

2 Responses to Battle of the cellars – ‘Brew Your Own’s’ Caveman Kellerbier vs. Creemore’s Kellerbier

  1. I actually preferred yours.


Leave a Reply

Logged in as hoptomology. Log out?

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


7 Responses to Caveman Kellerbier

  1. What does “actually efficiency” mean? Why is so different than Brewhouse?

    • Actually, good question! I didn’t notice that when I posted it. I use Beersmith and it gives you the option to key in your brewhouse efficiency, which I guess, over the course of a few batches you can figure out. There’s a few windows for actual measured OG and actual measured FG that may have not have had the correct info keyed in.So that’s probably why it showed up as 31.21%.
      Let me look into it though.
      Cheers, Jeff
      (I had mentioned in this comment that we were closer to 85%, but I was mistaken, my later comment will explain it better)

  2. It’s funny that I stumbled into that because I’ve always found efficiency quote incredibly confusing. I did’t point it out because I figured it was wrong but rather because of my limited knowledge on the subject.

    Some quote brewhouse efficiency which I understand to be the efficiency of the entire brewing operation (ie grain to glass), others quote sugar extraction efficiency from their Mash/Lautering (which I think you reference in your 85% quote).

    • I’m glad you did point it out because it made me take a closer look at it. From sheer chemistry, nobody gets 1oo% efficiency. It’s usually 80-85% if you do well. Beersmith sets your brewhouse efficiency at 75% as a starting point.(as in how much you extract from your mash using your equipment setup.So your reference to ‘brewing operation’ and ‘mash/lautering efficiency’ I think are one and the same.) So, using 75% as a reference point, we should have ended up with 1.061 OG, but since we ended up with only 1.052, we actually only ran at 31%.That sounds terrible doesn’t it! ha,ha! But another thing we also have to take into consideration is the volume of the wort. I didn’t know this at the time of brewing, but if you end up with a larger volume than the 5 gallons target, (say 5.5 gallons or so) then your OG will be lower. If we had continued to boil it down to say 5 or even 4.5 gallons, then we probably would have been closer to 1.061. I don’t remember because I wasn’t looking for it at the time, but my guess is that we had a larger volume with perhaps slightly less efficiency than the 75%.
      Have you heard of gravity units? There’s a pretty simple way to calculate where your wort is at based on the volume you actually have and the SG reading, but I’ll write a post on that one in the future to explain how to calculate it. Plus, there’s the issue of temperature too! Ahh! so much stuff to think about! lol, (don’t worry, it’s really not that difficult…. )

  3. Pingback: How to filter your beer using a plate filter… |

  4. Pingback: Battle of the cellars – Brew Your Own’s Caveman Kellerbier vs. Creemore’s Kellerbier | Hoptomology

  5. Pingback: Falcon Town Pilsner | Hoptomology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>