Recipes for Continental Light Beer

Prepared by
Nam Sun Wang
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-2111

Shihhh! My secret recipes. Don't tell anyone. See how we have fun in the lab in making the beer, not drinking it. Never drink in the lab. Note that the University of Maryland has strict rules on the consumption of alcoholic beverages and possession of common containers on campus. Below are some policies that are strictly enforced:

List of Ingredients

One of the beer/wine suppliers close to the University of Maryland is listed below. It also has some good links and recipes.
The Flying Barrell
103 South Carroll Street (one block east of Market, one block north of water tower)
Frederick, MD 21701
Maryland Homebrew
6770 Oak Hall Lane, Suite 115
Columbia, MD 21045
The Brew Pot
13031 11th Street
Old Town Bowie, MD 20715
Locate other suppliers at
Home Wine & Beer Trade Association


  1. Soften the malt syrup by immersing the can in hot water for 5 minutes. Add approximately equal part of boiling water. Mix and dissolve all the ingredients (except for the yeast and the priming glucose). Finally, pour this mixture into 15 liters of water. Autoclave to sterilize. See Note 1.
    Picture Figure: Pour Malt Syrup. (Movie 304K)
    Picture Figure: Dissolve Malt. (Movie 221K)
  2. When the wort is cool, measure the initial specific gravity of the wort with a hydrometer. (It should be between 1.035 and 1.045.) Inoculate the wort simply by sprinkling a small package (7 g) of active dry beer yeast (from Redstar) over the wort.
    Picture Figure: Hydrometer. (Movie 819K)
  3. Cover the top, and vent the container with an air-lock.
  4. Let fermentation proceed at 25ºC for one week, or until the yeast ceases CO2 production as evidenced by the lack of bubbles and foam. The specific gravity should now be between 1.003 and 1.009.
  5. Siphon the clear beer into another clean container, leaving the yeast sediment behind.
    Picture Figure: Siphon tubing. (Movie 208K)
    At the University of Maryland, we utilize this opportunity to practice operating a continuous centrifuge for cell separation.
    Picture Figure: Set up continuous centrifuge. (Movie 265K)
    Picture Figure: Set up continuous centrifuge. (Movie 584K)
  6. Stir in the priming glucose.
    Picture Figure: Shake it up. (Movie 543K)
  7. Pour/siphon into storage bottles and apply caps. See Note 2.
    Picture Figure: Fill bottles. (Movie 276K)
    Picture Figure: Cap bottles. (Movie 441K)
  8. Ferment and store in a refrigerator, then wait patiently for another 4 weeks.


  1. Alternatively, when brewing at home, the quantity of the nutrient to be sterilized can be reduced by mixing the ingredients in 3 liters of water and boiling for 10 min. Pour the sterilized ingredients into 12 liters of cold water.
  2. Leave the beer to ferment further if the specific gravity at the end of the primary fermentation is significantly higher than the values indicated above. This avoids the possible build up of excessive pressures once the beer is bottled and sealed. Although rather scarce nowadays, returnable bottles are recommended because they can better guard against explosions during the secondary fermentation and storage.

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Recipes for Continental Light Beer
Forward comments to:
Nam Sun Wang
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-2111
301-405-1910 (voice)
301-314-9126 (FAX)