Homebrewing with BSG: Traditional German Roggenbier Recipe

Time to shake up the foundation of your beer. This week, we’re stepping away from our coveted, traditional barley and trying out something new- Rye malt. While it’s certainly not unheard of, Rye beers are considered specialty beers, and this week’s recipe is definitely special.

Rye beer was actually common in Germany up until the 15th century when a bad harvest enforced a law that mandated rye could only be used for baking. Brewers switched to barley, and it remained a Rye beer-less society for close to 500 years. Roggenbier, German rye beer, made a comeback in the 1980’s as a modern beer. This modern version is about 5% ABV and fairly dark in color. In today’s beer, we’ll be focusing on this style using Gambrinus Rye malt, a perfect malt for this homebrew recipe.


For 5.5 gal

  • 3.2 lb (1,360g) Gambrinus Rye
  • 4.4 lb (1,814g) Gambrinus Pilsner
  • 2.2 lb (1kg) Gambrinus Vienna
  • .5 lb (227g) Weyermann® Carafa Special
  • .4 lb (182 g) Weyermann® Carawheat or Cararye
  • Brewers Rice Hulls / as needed


  • ½ oz (14 g) Heulle Mellon Hops 7.5 alpha acid x 60 min (IBU 12.1)
  • ½ oz (14g) Heulle Mellon Hops 7.5 alpha acid x 15 min (IBU 6)

Wort Clarification/Yeast

  • 1 x tablet Whirlfloc T x 15 min boil
  • 1 x 11.5g Fermentis WB-06 Wheat Beer yeast


  • Original gravity:1.048
  • Final Gravity: 1.009
  • ABV: 5
  • IBU: 18
  • SRM: 12.4


  • If you wish you can do a classic German Step Mash: Mash in 122 F (50 C) x 20 min, raise to 149 F (65 C) x 45 min, raise to 158 F (70 C) x 20 min, then mash out x 10 min. This technique gives superior fine foam and a more subtle texture, but an infusion mash makes very good beer
  • Infusion Mash: 155 F (68 C) x 75 min, mash out 170 F (76 C) x 10 min
  • Fermentation; 68F (20 C) x 6-7 days

Leave a Comment