All grain light lager with rice-recipe critique please

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
Fall is here and it seems like the perfect time to brew a lager with the cooler temps. I tried to make a simple recipe that I could brew in a bucket based on local supplies and I'd appreciate some critique/advice.

Rice lager 1: 20L
Est OG-1.048 FG 1.008
Weyerman pilsner 4kg 6.6lb
Raw rice 1kg 2.2lb
Carapils 250g 8.8oz
Magnum pellets 28g1oz @60m
Celeia pelets 28g @15m

Rice lager 2: 20L
Est OG-1.048 FG 1.008
Weyerman pilsner 4kg6.6lb
Raw rice 1kg 2.2lb
Carapils 250g 8.8oz
German Perle pellets 28g1oz @60m
Galaxy pellets 28g @15m

Fruity beers are super popular here, so I'm hoping these hops bring out some light fruity and citrusy aromas and make a light lager without too much bitter, herbal, grassy or spicy notes that seem to be unpopular here. Hopefully a light inoffensive lager leaning towards gently citrusy and fruity.

I can get saflager-23 and saflager-34/70, I was thinking of trying both at least once for the experience, but any advice on those would be appreciated.

I'm brewing in rural South Korea and doing my best to find ingredients sold online here. I've been making all grain kits from the local online shop, but they have no lager kits or lots with rice adjuncts, so I have to figure it out. I've been looking at Sapporo copycat recipes, but having trouble finding the hops typically used. But this is what I can order online from my favorite brew shop.

I'm trying to make something very light and easy to drink using rice as part of the grain bill because I live among rice fields and would like to start adding local ingredients. Friends and neighbors like lighter sweeter beers without anything "fancy", I made a cream ale and it was said to be "too bitter" but American wheat beers are loved by all.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,896
Reaction score
5,653
Location
Bremen
Looks both good to me!

I'd try to keep the ibus probably between 15 and 20, otherwise it might be too bitter for your friends. Split the hops between a bittering addition and a hop stand for 30 minutes at about 80c and the result should be nice. You could also do a little dry hop with the fruity hops if you like.

Also to boost fruitiness, consider using verdant IPA yeast. This yeast is incredibly fruity on its own. Won't be a lager though.
 
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
I'm tempted to abandon/ postpone lagering.The fermentation schedule for lagers is making me nervous, I now see why there were no lager kits available. And I'd have have to buy another fermenter to both lager and keep up with my weekly brewing schedule, and buy double yeast...

So a rice ale is looking really tempting.

Do you think 50 grams total of hops will be too bitter?
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,896
Reaction score
5,653
Location
Bremen
I'm tempted to abandon/ postpone lagering.The fermentation schedule for lagers is making me nervous, I now see why there were no lager kits available. And I'd have have to buy another fermenter to both lager and keep up with my weekly brewing schedule, and buy double yeast...

So a rice ale is looking really tempting.

Do you think 50 grams total of hops will be too bitter?
You have to calculate the ibus. Use the brewersfriend.com ibu calculator or recipe builder for this. There are too many factors that the ibus depend on to give a valid answer to your question.

Btw. 3470 makes a really clean beer at ale temperature, you don't have to ferment this one cold.
 
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
I think I'm going to just try brewing the 34/70 at higher temps first, that's a great idea.

I ran my hops through the calculator you mentioned, and the ibus were estimated to be quite high, around 50. It seems like I could easily halve the amounts I listed. Thanks for that tip!
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,896
Reaction score
5,653
Location
Bremen
I think I'm going to just try brewing the 34/70 at higher temps first, that's a great idea.

I ran my hops through the calculator you mentioned, and the ibus were estimated to be quite high, around 50. It seems like I could easily halve the amounts I listed. Thanks for that tip!
You have to make sure that all numbers are filled in correctly. The amount of ibus depends on the alpha acid % of the hops, the amount of hops, the boil time, the og and the amount of liquid. One wrong number means wrong result.

Also take into account that different boil times contribute different flavour. For fruity, you want to use the fruity hops late in the boil or do a hop stand at a lower temperature, like 80c for example with that portion of hops.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
The American wheat beer kit that I brew nearly weekly has 20g willamete pellets @60 and 28g cascade pellets @15, and the hop flavor is mild and not bitter at all. But the cream ale kit had only 14g cluster hop pellets @60 and everyone found that bitter.

I bottled my first stout yesterday with 20g northern brewer @60 and 28g tettnang @15 with a much more noticeable hop presence when I sampled it. So that's my experience with these hop pellet samplers.

So I think I will err on the side of caution and start low with the hops and add as needed for successive batches. And I'll try a hop stand for aromas, I think it would be nice and bright for a light beer.
 
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
With raw rice (I’m assuming neither flaked or instant or otherwise pretreated) you will have to do a cereal mash to get the starch out of the grain and accessible to enzymes.
Yes, and I'm excited to try that for the first time and watch the enzymes work their magic.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,896
Reaction score
5,653
Location
Bremen
The American wheat beer kit that I brew nearly weekly has 20g willamete pellets @60 and 28g cascade pellets @15, and the hop flavor is mild and not bitter at all. But the cream ale kit had only 14g cluster hop pellets @60 and everyone found that bitter.

I bottled my first stout yesterday with 20g northern brewer @60 and 28g tettnang @15 with a much more noticeable hop presence when I sampled it. So that's my experience with these hop pellet samplers.

So I think I will err on the side of caution and start low with the hops and add as needed for successive batches. And I'll try a hop stand for aromas, I think it would be nice and bright for a light beer.
Don't think about it in "amount of hops" but rather in amount of calculated ibus. Hops differ from harvest to harvest. The only reliable number is the amount of resulting ibus.
 

z-bob

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
3,997
Reaction score
1,847
Location
Rochester, MN
Yes, and I'm excited to try that for the first time and watch the enzymes work their magic.
When I brew with rice, I generally buy broken jasmine rice (it's a little cheaper per pound than whole rice, and the small pieces have more surface area), and I simmer it in some of the strike water until it would be way overcooked for eating. Whole white rice probably works just as well. I add the rest of the water, then bring it back just above mash temperature and add the malt. I'll be brewing one soon using Vienna malt with about 15% rice.
 
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
Short grain rice is the standard here in Korea, so I was going to just steal a couple pounds from the rice bin, but I'll start checking for lower grade rice if I start brewing this regularly. That's a good idea.

Unfortunately Jasmin is an import and not the cheapest option, short grain rice is starchier which I guess will mash a little differently, maybe better? But not the same wonderful aroma. When I make makgeolli I use glutinous rice because it has the highest starch to protein ratio and is supposed to ferment and taste better for it. But someone else can do the rice variety experiment, not me.

I was planning to break up the rice a bit in the food processor. How much is your broken rice per pound?
 

z-bob

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
3,997
Reaction score
1,847
Location
Rochester, MN
I've never noticed any jasmine rice smell in the finished beer, even very lightly-hopped beers. Short grain or glutenous rice might very well work better. The stuff I buy at the Asian market is broken pretty small but there's no dust or flour. When cooked for eating, it looks about like couscous. I don't remember how much it cost; I buy it in 5 pound bags and think it's a little less than 5 US dollars per bag but it has been a few years.
 

SmoothBrews

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
27
Reaction score
26
Location
California
Try this
I think I'm going to just try brewing the 34/70 at higher temps first, that's a great idea.

I ran my hops through the calculator you mentioned, and the ibus were estimated to be quite high, around 50. It seems like I could easily halve the amounts I listed. Thanks for that tip!
Try this IBU calculator instead. There has been some recent advances. To my knowledge, other calculators count any additions after flameout as 0 IBU, which is wrong. Also, I think I’ve heard it’s just more accurate in general.


Here’s a podcast episode about it if you want to learn more.

 

Upstate12866

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
203
Reaction score
161
I recently did some rice and corn adjunct lagers with 34/70 at room temperature (maybe a little lower). It's a great yeast, super clean tasting and fast working. But oddly enough, and it's just my repeated experience, it doesn't prime well. So if you bottle, I think you should add a tiny bit of standard ale yeast when priming (Safale 05 or 04 are common). This will get you primed in under week instead of 3 weeks. (Or maybe you will have better luck than me.)

In my experience I did fine cooking long grain rice in a rice cooker first and then tossing it in with the other grains. Though I do like the idea of making a porridge with some strike water--I just think my rice cooker is more efficient than my stovetop and rice is 2-3x cheaper than malt here so I don't mind if I lose a little efficiency. I suppose cooking beforehand also means you don't absolutely need to do the rice in a dedicated step on brew day. Theoretically anyway. I did about 15-20% rice and thought it was great.

IBU's vs. actual perceived bitterness depends on a few factors I think. I would contend that a wheat ale, with its higher residual gravity and dextrins still in suspension, would hide bitterness well. Wheat malt retains a lot of distinct flavor. A clean lager, which mainly uses plainer pilsner malt and a clean tasting yeast like 34/70, will ferment dryer and act as an empty canvas, so bitter and harsher ("crisper"?) notes shine through. Hop varieties matter a lot too, so 1oz of Magnum will hit much stronger than 1 oz of Perle.

I like to consistently brew a very low IBU lager with around 15-25 IBU and I wonder if your drinkers might like something like that too. So it's OK to shoot very low (10 IBU?) and creep up the IBU until you hit a level you like. It might be uninteresting but it won't be undrinkable or anything if you undershoot.

Maybe try dual use hops that are classic and forgiving, like Perle or Willamette or Cascade. I might avoid the ounce of Magnum, which I think can be more aggressive in large amounts. Nothing wrong with a hoppy or bitter lager of course but it sounds like you want to keep bitterness low. :)

The others are right that calculators are needed to compare apples to apples for hops varieties when it comes to IBU. But speaking in general terms for a 5gal batch, I might personally split 1-2 oz into bitter and aroma additions (with more hops in the aroma addition than the bitter addition).

One day I looked at common recipes by style and I wrote in my notes that 0.75 oz hops per 5g is possible, 2oz seems most common, and more is possible. 10-20 IBU common for American lagers and 20-45 for German or Czech. Keep in mind lager styles often use older/classic hops that are basically less concentrated than new exciting varieties. So 1 oz of balanced, floral Saaz hops at 5% AA will not be the same as 1 oz of a newer, piney or fruity/tropical, 11-15% AA variety.

I would love to hear more updates about how you use rice. I tried rice partially because malt prices have been high. Rice has been such a solid crop lately and one of few staples that went down in price during the pandemic (though I notice it is inching up now).
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
That's a lot of tips, thank you for writing that all out.

That's a good tip for the 34/70, I'm used to my wheat beer priming readily, but the stout I just brewed is not priming as quickly and I don't want that to happen to my lager.

I agree that the best option is to start low and go up with the hops. I'm not familiar with how profiles because I'm used to just dumping in whatever the kit came with, so this will be a good way to get to know some hop varieties.

Cost is a big draw to using rice, but my main reason is because it's a local crop here, we take walks alongside the rice paddies at night, and I love the idea of using local ingredients for brewing. I'd like to try collecting a few recipes of different styles with rice as an adjunct. What else can you sneak rice into?
 

earachemyeye69

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2021
Messages
95
Reaction score
223
Im in China and brew rice lagers all the time. Just cook up 1-1.5KG of rice in the rice cooker. Use rice hulls to keep your mash from getting stuck! No I don’t buy rice hulls, they’re free here ;)
I generally use Sorachi Ace hops.
6gr at 60 mins, 20gr at 10, and another 15-20 hop stand for 15 minutes at 80c.
For yeast I’ve used both 34/70 and Mangrove Jacks M54. In both cases use two packs.
Ferment below 20c for two weeks under pressure if you can. 5-10 psi works.
Make sure you condition in the fridge for a full month before serving to give it time to clear up and mellow the flavors. It will be pretty hazy if you don’t.
 

Attachments

  • 50BF9792-C2E3-4A50-A9DE-7E5989B510A4.png
    50BF9792-C2E3-4A50-A9DE-7E5989B510A4.png
    432.6 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
OP
OP
wildtower

wildtower

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
20
What app are you using for your recipe, that looks cool.

I looked at the sorachi Ace, but the flavor profile scared me away from it.

Thanks for the tips!
 

Bramling Cross

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
888
Reaction score
4,200
Location
The 51st State
I've spent the last three years trying to learn how to make really good adjunct lagers. I think the core of your recipe looks good. I also settled on a 2/3rds base to 1/3 adjunct ratio. I would suggest that you have too much carapils in there. With 2/3rds German pils, you'll have more than enough body and head precursors to not need carapils...unless you want its subtle sweetness. I found that any more that 4oz (113g) of any additional malt is just too much in this style.

I would use 34/70 before I would use S-23. S-23 has a learning curve associated with it, while 34/70 is very easy to use.
 
Top