I have been eager to try a more flavourful and interesting version of a New Zealand Draught. This is a style unique to New Zealand and commercial examples include beers like Speights, Tui, DB Draught and any number of other versions. The beers often carry historic labels that identify them as ales (or in the case of Tui, an India Pale Ale), but they are, in fact, all lagers. The method of continuous fermentation that allows the furious mass-production of these lagers was invented by a Kiwi, and is our gift to the brewing world 🙂

The NZ Draught style is an amber lager, quite fizzy and often quite sweet. Hops bitterness is very low and the dominent flavour (if there is any) is of the malt. Here is my first attempt at a recipe, brewed for my NZ Draught-drinking neighbour.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.041 SG
Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
ABV: 4.5 %
Colour: 24 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.38

Mash water: 18L
Sparge water: 14L

3.5 kg (65%) Pilsner Malt
1 kg (17%) Munich Malt
500g (9%) NZ Medium Crystal
200g (4%) Wheat Malt
150g (3%) Aurora Malt
60g (2%) Carafa Special II


8g Pacific Gem (15 IBU) @ 60mins
8g Pacific Gem (3 IBU with a hop stand) @ turn-off
Mash in at 69°C and rest for 60 mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins

Ferment at 9°C with Fermentis S-23 or W-34/70. Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a week and a half (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18°C to fix any diacetyl and to finish nice and dry. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days. This should drop the beer clear and yield a crisp, dry lager with a strong malty flavour.

The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I add 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hits 10°C on it’s way down. This helps to clear to near commercial levels.

The beer tastes great, although it dried out and lacks some of the sweetness you get in a typical NZ Draught. Also I think it’s probably still too bitter. I would drop the bittering addition by a couple of grams

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