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International Pale Lager Japanese Rice Lager

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saltymirv

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
w34/70
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter
Use 2 packs 34/70
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.5
Original Gravity
1.046
Final Gravity
1.009
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
21.2
Color
2.3
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
10 days @ 55F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
4 days @ 65F
Additional Fermentation
4 weeks @ 35F
Tasting Notes
Light, Crisp, Clean
This recipe was inspired by http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/amaze-ake-me-japanese-pilsner. I made several changes to fit my tastes and brewing setup. I also borrowed the hopping schedule from this thread https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=255659. That was one of the first beers I made and liked the hop combo a lot. I went with that hopping schedule because its a little more unique than just using noble hops. Sorachi Ace is used in Sapporo so it fits within the Japanese theme along with the rice. The two hops together will give you a subtle lemon/lime character, making it even more refreshing.

Grains:
5# Briess Pilsen
4# Jasmine Rice (or any other rice variety)
1/2# Acid Malt
1/2# Carapils

Hops:
.25oz Motueka @ 60
.25oz Motueka @ 20
.25oz Sorachi Ace @ 20
.25oz Sorachi Ace @ 7

Water: I used tap water (mine is very soft) and dechlorinated it with campden tablets. My water is pretty similar to the "American Light Lager" water profile in Bru N Water.

Instructions: If you have a mill you can run the rice through once to increase surface area. That should give you faster conversion in the mash. I've done it without milling and got great efficiency so if you don't have a mill don't stress about this step.

Add rice to 1.5 gallons of water. I didn't wash the rice because I figured the starches would get converted during the mash. You can wash if it if you want to. Bring the water to a boil then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes

Mash in with your grains. I have only done single infusion with this recipe, although you could use a step mash. I like to mash in around 145F and then add the rice, which will bring the temp up a bit. I try to target 150-152F once everything is added. Make sure your pH is in a good range (5.3-5.4). Mash for 1 hour. I BIAB so removal of the rice and grains is easy. I'm not sure how it would go with a conventional setup.

Boil, add hops, whirlfloc, chill like normal. I like to chill the beer to 55F before adding my lager yeast. I've also used WLP029 with great success in this beer, but the true lager yeast is a little cleaner.

That's it! The beer turns out very light and crisp. Its sure to satisfy the macro drinkers but it has subtleties that craft lager drinkers can appreciate as well :tank:

edit: If you don't feel like doing the rice cooking part, you could just buy 4# of flaked rice from the HBS. I like being able to choose the rice variety though so I choose to cook my own
 
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saltymirv

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Someone reminded me of this post, so here's an update on the color/clarity. Its a very, very light straw color. Looks almost like water in the photo against the white background. Clarity is obviously good.

This batch was actually fermented with a saison strain as kind of a summer/table saison.

 

z-bob

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I've been planning to brew something very similar in the near future; there was a discussion recently at my local homebrew club about Sapporo beer and that inspired me. (there's a member that works at a brewery that makes Sapporo on contract and they just use 2-row and corn syrup, but I want to use rice just because Japan)

I am planning to use more pilsen malt and less rice, and Sorachi Ace hops for both bittering and flavor/aroma.

You can buy broken grains of jasmine rice at the Asian grocery store. It's cheaper than fancy jasmine rice and tastes the same when you cook it. That's what I'm planning to use because it'll have more surface area.
 
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saltymirv

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I've been planning to brew something very similar in the near future; there was a discussion recently at my local homebrew club about Sapporo beer and that inspire me. (there's a member that works at a brewery that makes Sapporo on contract and they just use 2-row and corn syrup, but I want to use rice just because Japan)

I am planning to use more pilsen malt and less rice, and Sorachi Ace hops for both bittering and flavor/aroma.

You can buy broken grains of jasmine rice at the Asian grocery store. It's cheaper than fancy jasmine rice and tastes the same when you cook it. That's what I'm planning to use because it'll have more surface area.
Sounds like a good plan. This is one of the lightest beers you can brew, so I can see adding a little bit of malt back. Maybe 25% rice would be a happy medium of light body and flavor.

What yeast do you plan on using?
 

z-bob

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I would use 34/70 if I had a lagering fridge. I think I'm going to try K-97 or maybe Nottingham.

Did the jasmine rice aroma survive fermentation? If so, was that a good thing?
 
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saltymirv

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I would use 34/70 if I had a lagering fridge. I think I'm going to try K-97 or maybe Nottingham.

Did the jasmine rice aroma survive fermentation? If so, was that a good thing?
Brulosohpy did an experiment with 34/70 at ale temperature. Apparently it was indistinguishable from one fermented at lager temps... I haven't done it but it might be worth a try. Otherwise a kolsch yeast like 029 is a great choice for this beer.

The rice flavor might come througha little. I don't really detect it. It's mostly to lighten the body and a bit of fun/interesting way to brew

Good luck and post back with your results!
 

z-bob

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Here's my recipe exported from brewersfriend.com but I'm still tweaking it. And there are 2 other beers ahead of it in my brew schedule so it'll be at least a month before I get to it. I know it's too strong; maybe I'll add a little more water:

Batch Size: 4 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.043
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV (standard): 5.91%
IBU (tinseth): 21.06
SRM (morey): 3.02

6 lb - Belgian Pilsner (77.4%)
4 oz - German Acidulated Malt (3.2%)
1.5 lb - Jasmine rice (19.4%)
0.5 oz - Sorachi Ace pellets, AA 12, Boil for 15 min, IBU = 15.02
0.5 oz - Sorachi Ace pellets, AA 12, Boil for 5 min, IBU = 6.03
1 pkt - Fermentis/Safale German Ale Yeast K-97

NOTES:
This recipe is inspired by Japanese Sapparo beer. (I don't know if they really use rice) Since I'm brewing this in the spring and don't have adequate temperature control for lagering, I'm using ale yeast. If you can lager it properly, maybe use W-34/70 yeast instead of K-97?

The rice is broken jasmine rice from the Asian market, simmered for a half hour in 2 quarts of the mash water. (1.5 pound is the precooked weight, duh)
 
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saltymirv

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Looks good man. The biggest thing is to get a clean, healthy fermentation.
 

z-bob

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I finally brewed my rice beer (posted a couple of messages back) last weekend. Pitched it with half the K-97 yeast I harvested a month ago. Lag was just 3 or 4 hours. I'll probably harvest the yeast tonight and move the beer to a carboy to finish fermenting; it's in a bucket right now.
 

Allyster

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I finally brewed my rice beer (posted a couple of messages back) last weekend. Pitched it with half the K-97 yeast I harvested a month ago. Lag was just 3 or 4 hours. I'll probably harvest the yeast tonight and move the beer to a carboy to finish fermenting; it's in a bucket right now.
How did it turn out? I know this is dated back, but I am trying your recipe out soon.
 

z-bob

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How did it turn out? I know this is dated back, but I am trying your recipe out soon.
It was good! I will brew it again this spring or early summer; probably using Columbus hops (and not much of it) because I'm out of Sorachi Ace. Or Columbus and Hallertau Tradition.

I don't think the Jasmine rice added anything more than just plain long-grain white rice would have. And American or German pils malt should work as well as the Belgian that I used.
 

Allyster

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It was good! I will brew it again this spring or early summer; probably using Columbus hops (and not much of it) because I'm out of Sorachi Ace. Or Columbus and Hallertau Tradition.
Thats awesome! The only hops you put in there was the X2 .05 oz Sorachi at 15 min and 5 min? These intervals gave the finish product enough flavor?
 

bigbeer

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Just making sure I got it right. do I have to boil the rice before the mash to gelatinize or just mash with it?
 

z-bob

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Thats awesome! The only hops you put in there was the X2 .05 oz Sorachi at 15 min and 5 min? These intervals gave the finish product enough flavor?
Yes, Sorachi Ace is a powerful hops so you don't want much in a beer this light. (that's why I think Columbus will work) I mainly used S.A. just because it's Japanese, :rolleyes: and the amounts were calculated based on I only had one ounce to play with.

You have to boil the rice, or else use Minute Rice (it's pre-boiled and then dried) Minute Rice can go straight into the mash, but I've never tried it. You could also use generic Rice Krispies cereal because that's already cooked.
 

ebbelwoi

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FWIW, Japanese beer must not contain more than 33% adjuncts (including rice) in order to still be called biiru (beer). More than 33% would put it in the happoshu category. It's taxed at a much lower rate, and is therefore more popular with people who drink at home. However, happoshu generally isn't sold in bars and restaurants, and it isn't exported, so most people outside of Japan have never had it. If you're trying to stay authentic, go with no more than 1/3 rice in your grain bill.
 

Andre3000

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Forgot to mention I brewed this. Definitely unique. Definitely amazing. Thanks for the recipe and idea.

I followed your exact grain bill. Way too much rice. I made a huge fking mess trying to gelatinize it all in about five different vessels because there was so much of it. The GF (half Chinese) was not impressed with my rice antics.

It was my first time using Sorachi Ace. I decided to use it exclusively, and went with one ounce with roughly the same hopping schedule you proposed. When I first tapped this beer, man alive, it was a lemon and dill bomb! With ONE ounce! That is a POTENT hop. Luckily it mellowed out after lagering.

All told, everyone including me was a huge fan of this beer. Will be rebrewing it for sure with slightly less rice and Sorachi Ace perhaps, but may that's what made it so awesome.

Look how pale it is!

IMG_20200424_170952.jpg
 

Andre3000

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FWIW, Japanese beer must not contain more than 33% adjuncts (including rice) in order to still be called biiru (beer). More than 33% would put it in the happoshu category. It's taxed at a much lower rate, and is therefore more popular with people who drink at home. However, happoshu generally isn't sold in bars and restaurants, and it isn't exported, so most people outside of Japan have never had it. If you're trying to stay authentic, go with no more than 1/3 rice in your grain bill.
Hey man that is some good and interesting info! Thanks.
 

z-bob

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Thats awesome! The only hops you put in there was the X2 .05 oz Sorachi at 15 min and 5 min? These intervals gave the finish product enough flavor?
I just noticed you said .05 instead of 0.5. Just in case that's not a typo, I used half a ounce for each addition. Also I was only brewing 4 gallons, not five.
 
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I started developing a version of this beer back in 2014 and settled on the final version in 2016. I'm now in the process of developing a 3% version so I am very familiar with this beer. It'll never win any awards but it's the beer everyone wants to drink. I use the same yeast, only Wyeast's version of it. So when I read this recipe it brought up some questions, especially for the people at Briess.

I looked up Briess's data sheet for their pilsner malt and it says it has a diastatic power of 140%, meaning each kernel contains enough enzymes to fully convert that kernel's starch plus 40% of another kernel. Rice has no diastatic power so it is wholly dependent on these extra enzymes to convert its starch. In this recipe, derived from Briess, the rice is 80% of the malt meaning, on its best day, the malt could convert only half the rice starch to fermentable sugars. Since I didn't see any amylase additions in this recipe or in the original Briess I assume roughly half the rice is wasted.

These beers are often labeled as dry or super dry so maximum attenuation of the starch is the name of the game. Which is why the Briess Techical Services Staff, who are credited, produced a recipe with a bill their own malt couldn't possibly fully convert is a real head scratcher. You'd think Briess would have known this, but I guess not. This might partially explain why the efficiency is so low. A ten pound grain bill into five gallons should yield a FG way higher than 1.046. I get 1.050 in ten gallons from a 15 pound bill.

The second question is why copy a hop schedule from a Hefeweizen? These two styles are not even close. A hefe is all about the yeast's character mixed with the malt. Hops are there as background support and should not interfere with the yeast. A lager is all about the malt to hop balance and the yeast's presence should be minimal. For a beer like this where the malt character is thinned out by the rice a BU to GU ratio of 0.46 is on the low side.

Here's what I settled on after two years of development: The grain bill is just a 2:1 ratio of Pale 6 Row malt to rice. I use 6 row because the average diastatic power of 6 row is in the 160 to 170 range which is enough to cover a 2:1 malt to adjunct bill. Use the cheapest rice you can get your hands on. Starch is starch and fancy rice does not translate into the beer. After living in CA, MT, and CT I found the harder water of Montana produces the best version. So I add chalk and acidify with lactic acid. I tried decoctions, 4 steps and single infusions and settled on a 3 step mash. Dough in at 140-145. A beta amylase rest at 145-148 for an hour. An alpha amylase rest at 155 for an hour. I found that a BU to GU of 0.75 works the best. I use Nugget for bittering because it's a high alpha hop with a relatively low level of CoH, and Saaz for flavor and aroma because that's what Asahi uses. I ferment at 48º because that seemed to best keep the diacetyl issues of this yeast to a minimum.
 

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I just brewed something similar. Just passed VDK test and is starting to lager now. I’m going to try and add a subtle “Japanese” flavor by doing a very light dry hop with cashmere 5 days before packaging. Slow cold very light dry hop. Hoping to add a hint of melon, citrus, and herb.

base recipe was super simple as it’s my first rice lager. If it turns out, I will do a proper cereal mash with a more aromatic and interesting rice and better pils malt

OG 1.046
FG 1.009
70% briess pils
30% flaked rice
.4oz Sterling 90min
.5oz Sterling 30min
Omega bayern lager (Augustiner)


BFA687E5-EED1-4BC4-A49E-4A9723A73F4E.jpeg
 

Toto's

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Hello,
Here is a small question...
I am not able to find 6-row some how .... with what could i replace it for? I found a red wheat briess who has a diastic power of 180 but i never used a red wheat before so i am concerned about the impact on the taste....
Thank you for your helpful experienced advice 😅
 

z-bob

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Hello,
Here is a small question...
I am not able to find 6-row some how .... with what could i replace it for? I found a red wheat briess who has a diastic power of 180 but i never used a red wheat before so i am concerned about the impact on the taste....
Thank you for your helpful experienced advice 😅
Use plain pale 2-row barley malt. It has almost as high diastatic power as 6-row. You could also use North American pilsner malt.
 

kmarkstevens

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(there's a member that works at a brewery that makes Sapporo on contract and they just use 2-row and corn syrup, but I want to use rice just because Japan)
No offence to your member, but the Sapporo brewed in the US or Canada is an abomination compared to the Sapporo from Japan.

I visited the Sapporo Brewery in 1989, and lived in Japan for a few years in the 1990's. The beer there is so much better than the crap they peddle in N America. I can't understand why they changed the recipe for North America but there is no comparison. Maybe it's the corn syrup in the US.

@ebbelwoi happoshu is drinkable really cold but just barely.

Anyhoo, just discovered this thread. Thanks to all that bumped it and contributed. This winter I have added a Sapporo lager to my list!
 

Allyster

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This recipe was inspired by Amaze (ake) Me Japanese Pilsner | Beer Recipe. I made several changes to fit my tastes and brewing setup. I also borrowed the hopping schedule from this thread Fruit Beer - Lemon-Lime Hefe Weizen. That was one of the first beers I made and liked the hop combo a lot. I went with that hopping schedule because its a little more unique than just using noble hops. Sorachi Ace is used in Sapporo so it fits within the Japanese theme along with the rice. The two hops together will give you a subtle lemon/lime character, making it even more refreshing.

Grains:
5# Briess Pilsen
4# Jasmine Rice (or any other rice variety)
1/2# Acid Malt
1/2# Carapils

Hops:
.25oz Motueka @ 60
.25oz Motueka @ 20
.25oz Sorachi Ace @ 20
.25oz Sorachi Ace @ 7
I am not sure if I am missing something here, but what are the weights on the grains, is the # supposed to be kgs?
 

Toto's

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  • lbsPilsen MaltBase
    4 lbsLong Grain White RiceUncooked
    4 ozCarapils® MaltDextrine
    1 ozHallertau Hops (5.5% AA)Boil 60 minutes
    1 vialWLP840 American Lager Yeast
 

z-bob

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If you actualy click on Amaze (ake) Me Japanese Pilsner | Beer Recipe the whole recipe will show with the directive how to brew it
Thanks for the link. That looks like a little too high percentage of rice to me (I'd change it to 6# pils and 3# rice) but I guess it works for them. I'm also not sure what the 110* rest is for; an acid rest?

You can buy the rice pre-cracked at an Asian grocery to save a step, and it's a little cheaper than whole long-grain white rice. That's what I used for my rice beer. HTH
 

dirty_martini

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There's not really anything "Japanese" about that, but I'm sure it'll make a good beer. :yes:
it’s kinda playing off midori and a buddy of mine that traveled to Tokyo a lot talked about melon soda being very popular. Then when I think of Japanese citrus, I think of yuzu which has that lemon/grapefruit/orange complexity. Since they are common drink flavoring, i figure if I can get a hint of honeydew/cantaloupe with a touch of citrus, that’s what I’m going for.
 

TheDogsRump

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No offence to your member, but the Sapporo brewed in the US or Canada is an abomination compared to the Sapporo from Japan.

I visited the Sapporo Brewery in 1989, and lived in Japan for a few years in the 1990's. The beer there is so much better than the crap they peddle in N America. I can't understand why they changed the recipe for North America but there is no comparison. Maybe it's the corn syrup in the US.

@ebbelwoi happoshu is drinkable really cold but just barely.

Anyhoo, just discovered this thread. Thanks to all that bumped it and contributed. This winter I have added a Sapporo lager to my list!

I strongly second this. The Sapporo from Japan is world's apart from the crap brewed in N America. I find you can generally find Asahi imported from Japan, imported from Thailand, and those brewed in N America at liquor stores. I'd encourage those interested to try and get their hands on all three and do a side by side. Even better is Sapporo Classic which is only sold in Hokkaido--though admittedly, I think it is a mind game and I haven't done a side by side with regular Sapporo to see if it is actually any different. Maybe I'll do that this summer (if the world opens up again and I finally get back).

Anyways--I'm chiming in because I'm making the jump from beer to Sake and have been studying up on the process for a long time. It's a lot of work and a lot more time, but honestly, I am looking forward to not having to deal with bottle carbonation. I am first making a Koji Black Lager (kind of like a very distant cousin to Asahi Black but with some koji aroma), where I will start the Sake process with a rice/koji "Moto" and then add this to the mash. A bit of a hybrid experiment. We'll see what happens.

My two cents to add to the forum, is to try and aim for rice that has a high "shinpaku" (and if you can polish it--even better--but that is out of the realm of most peoples capabilities). Koshihikari would be a great choice and will probably get you better results than Jasmine IMO. I would strongly back steaming rather than cooking the rice before the mash as well.
 

Toto's

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Thx for the input,
I had the asahi beer last summer and it was a nice refreshing beer.
You should start a thread when you are about to do your sake so we will follow your process.
I wanted to try as well but its the special yeast that is not that easy to find.
 

TheDogsRump

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Thx for the input,
I had the asahi beer last summer and it was a nice refreshing beer.
You should start a thread when you are about to do your sake so we will follow your process.
I wanted to try as well but its the special yeast that is not that easy to find.
Will do. The yeast hasn't been too big an issue for me. Ive found a few suppliers in my city and those who will ship it. Rice is the problem I need to solve before starting as there is a bit of a shortage at the moment. Ive found a supplier for Koshihikari here in Canada but the next problem after that is polishing. I could skip this step, but I want to make good sake or not at all so polishing is a must for me. I found a small rice polisher which will be a bit time consuming but it seems the only route at the moment. Just have to commit to the purchase.

Anyways, looking forward to following this thread. I love me some craft beers but sometimes you want nothing more than a crisp, dry beer and the Japanese are absolute pros at that.
 

kmarkstevens

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@TheDogsRump, a couple of winters back I made sake. Instead of the hand mixing method, I used a power drill with a wine de-gasser attachment. You sound like a purist, but it only took about 2 sessions of sticking my arm in deep and squishing by hand before I figured the de-gasser should have the same effect.

Sake yeast and Nottingham go well together for making beer. Sake yeast also makes a decent cyser, but note that there is an aroma I can only describe as "puke" for a few weeks until it fades away.

I used premium japanese rice from the local Japanese supermarket but didn't go crazy about finding the most expensive Japanese rice and then polishing it. That's a whole 'nother level.

I ended up with decent Sake but decided it wasn't my thing. Your mileage may vary.

Basic Brewing Radio had a session with Bob Taylor in Anchorage on making sake, that I found helpful. It seems BBR also did a video at Sake One in Portland, which I am going to watch right now.
 
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