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This might be the tastiest homebrew beer we've ever made. We wanted to mimic a traditional Japanese beer such as Asahi or Sapporo. Honestly, the results blew us away. If you're looking for a unique light lager that loosely resembles commercial beers made with rice, but is a heck of a lot better, this is it. It was also a super nice day when we brewed this beer so we made it in Kyle's backyard using our 10 gallon home brew system. Here are the full recipe details.
Full Japanese Rice Lager Recipe and Brew Day Video
We started with 7 gallons (26.5 liters) of Asheville city water. We added a gram of Gypsum to ours, but this will be different for everyone depending on your water.
10 minutes into the mash we checked our pH.
Inserting probes to test pH
We were looking for something in the range of 5.2 - 5.4. We had a pH of 5.2 without having to add any lactic or citric acid.
We used 4 pounds (1.81 kilograms) of white rice, 5 pounds (2.27 kg) of pilsner malt, and 8 ounces (227 grams) of acid malt. The acid malt helped drop our pH into the desired range, which is part of the reason we didn't have to adjust chemistry any further.
We crushed our rice and then cooked it
We also crushed our pilsner and acid malt
We mashed at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes. For our European friends, that's 70c.
The contents of our mash on a wooden spoon we used to stir it with
A compost pile is a perfect place for your spent grain to go after the mash
We exclusively used Sorachi Ace hops in this beer. This hop variety is the same hop used in Sapporo beer and has a high percentage of alpha acids along with a lemon flavor and aroma.
We added .4 ounces (11.33 grams) at 60 minutes and then 1.6 ounces (45.4 grams) as a whirlpool addition.
Yeast and Fermentation
Yeast: We used two packs of Saflager W-34/70 dry lager yeast.
Fermentation: 10 days at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (12.77C).
After 10 days we warmed it up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for a 3 day dialectal rest. (21.11C)
We lagered it for about two months at 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.66C).
The beer finished with a low ABV of 3.8% and was extremely crushable. It turned out really light, really crisp, and really smooth, all with a bit of hop character up front. The rice also came through as well. This beer left us wondering why every light lager made with rice couldn't taste this good. We highly recommend you brew this beer at home, we may keep it on tap all the time now.