Cats Meow 3
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Al Capone's Prohibition Beer

Classification: pre-prohibition lager, American lager, historical, prohibition, all-grain

Source: Zane Anderson (, r.c.b., 9/14/96

This recipe is allegedly from the Sieben Brewery of 1924 - which was owned by Al Capone at the time.

In addition to six-row malt and rice, this recipe calls for soy beans! They probably were used as filler. When you think about it though, back then in the mid-west, they were used to seeing truckloads of soy beans brought to warehouses in Chicago - it didn't attract as much attention as truckloads of malt would have!!

It is supposedly typical of speakeasy beer, with overtones of a German pilsner.



1. Cook rice in 1 gallon plus 3 cups water for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat mash tun and add 1 3/4 gallons of 120 F water.

3. Adjust rice temperture to 190 F with 1 gallon hot water.

4. Add rice to mash tun and immediately mash in malt and soy grits.

5. The temperature should end up between 150 F and 155 F.

6. Hold at 150 - 155 F for one hour and 30 minutes.

7. Sparge with 165 F water to collect 5 1/2 gallons of wort.

8. Boil wort for 1 hour using the following hop schedule:
60 minutes - 1 1/2 oz Hersbrucker 6% alpha-acid
30 mnutes - 1/2 oz - Hallertauer 5% alpha-acid
10 minutes - 1/8 oz Hersbrucker 6% alpha-acid

9. Add 1/2 oz of Hallertauer after turning off the boil and cover brew kettle.

10. Cool to 55 F.

11. Pitch with about 14 grams Red Star lager Yeast - Remember this is 1924!

12. Ferment & Condition at 55 F.

13. O.G. - 1.040; T.G. 1.010

14. Bottle with 3/4 cup priming sugar

For A Better Brew:

Underlet prior to sparge to make run-off easier.
Use sift brewing water (this is a Pilsner-style beer, after all).
Add 1 tsp. Irish Moss 20 minutes before end of boil.
Transfer to secondary keg for matural carbonation when gravity is about 1.016