Red Rice Lager/Münchner Wies’n

FWH

Let’s see if I remember how to do this.

It’s getting late in the season to be fermenting lagers during cold weather, but it’s none too early to get some lagers ready to share at HBC in PDX, so I’m out getting dripped on by icicles and skidding across hard water at the bottom of puddles, turning out a couple pale ones.

Puffed red rice is a pretty interesting grain – gelatinized in its purplish-red husk, it’s got a really pronounced toasty flavor; it reminds me a bit of Vienna malt, but stripped of the underlying richer, breadier character of barley. I’ve used it at low rates in Belgian ales, but was apparently waiting for an excuse to try it at higher proportions in an adjunct lager:

Red Rice Lager
Target OG: 1.040

Grist:

  • 66.7% Rahr 2-row
  • 33.3% Puffed Red Rice

Mash:

  • Sacch’ at 150°F
  • Mashout at 170°F

Boil:

  • Target (10.1% aa, pellet) @ 60′ to 19 IBU

Fermentation:

  • S-189 at 55°F

I really should have got off my ass and sourced some Mexican or St. Louis-style yeast for this batch, but S-189 will attenuate the daylights out of this wort and that’s the main thing – plus, entrez nous, it felt great to just brew this beer at all.

2017 was a crazy year – I had the privilege and opportunity to write a book on a subject I love, and I had to put down my dog just a couple weeks before it was published. It was sudden – cancer, and a pretty immediate goodbye. It was bittersweet.

brew dog 2.0

Anyway, the book happened, and I’m very glad it did. Out of deference to my publisher, I won’t reprint the full rundown of the second batch here because it was created for the book, but I will tell you that the Festbier looked like this on brew day:

Münchner Wiesn
Target OG: 1.055

Grist

  • 90% Weyermann Barke® Pilsner
  • 7.5% Weyermann Munich I
  • 2.5% Weyermann CaraHell

Boil

  • German Select (3.2% aa, pellet) @ first wort and 20′ to a total of 25 IBU

Fermentation

  • 34/70 at 55°F

coldbreak

That dog would drink, or at least attempt to drink, literally any alcoholic beverage, up to and including mulled red wine, resposado tequila, and Islay single malts; I assume she would have enthusiastically sampled this beer, but it’s beyond safe to say she’d have been ecstatic just to hang out with some wort production going on in the background.

Wiesn

Full carboys, citizens.

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27 thoughts on “Red Rice Lager/Münchner Wies’n

    • Amazon is killing every social achievements since French Revolution or Victorian industrialization. Simply blind greedy corporation.
      Happy that Dawson didn’t went that way!

  1. I’ll try to convey all your fan’s thoughts right now: we hope that’s a ressurection of your writing here :). Happy to follow you along the lines, on C&B or DonO’s videos. Also in The Growler’s ‘entries’.
    Sorry to hear about you poor dog :(. I also still remember Riesa (sorry for evt. misspelling) from old NB BTV times.
    But also extremely happy of your book!! Congratulations!!!
    Please, come back here more often 😉

  2. The book: good stuff. Keep writing. We’ll keep reading. Kudos to your editor for not stifling your voice.
    The dog: condolences. We lost our dog of 16 years in January. What can you do…canines.

  3. Good to see more writing, really cheered me up this Saturday afternoon. Did you have any sparge problems with the one third terrified rice grist? Cheers!

    • Good to hear, thanks!

      Re: sparge issues – truth in advertising: I did this one as a BIAB, so no issues. Having said that, the milled rice seemed to do a decent job of settling into a semblance of a grain bed during the rest, so I don’t think it would have been too bad to lauter.

    • Thanks – both batches are still in primary and bubbling as I type, but will follow up with some notes when they’re done. Cheers!

  4. Welcome back MD! My wife bought the book for me for Christmas and we have already busted out 3 recipes (45 gallons worth). Really enjoy the artwork and your writing style. Happy to see you back to blogging if only for the occasional beer recipe inspiration. Next up is the “any zip code” blonde ale just in time for Spring to Sprung hopefully although might have to bump it for this Münchner Wiesn lager.

    FYI the Double Oatmeal Cream stout is especially good on Nitro… Cheers!

  5. Great to see you back in the blogging saddle! One question about the puffed red rice, I see that BGS offers it but I’m having a hard time finding an online supplier that sells it. Any shops you know of or do I just need to bug my localish shop to special order it?

    • Hey Sean,

      Good question … it’s kind of an obscure ingredient but your localish shop should be able to special order it for you; BSG does have it, which is where I got it. Barring that, a couple potential subs I’d suggest would be red rice (non-torrefied/toasted/gelatinized) from a grocery store cooked in a cereal mash before adding to the sacch’ rest; or regular flaked rice (which most localish shops should have) toasted on a cookie sheet in a 200*F oven for 10 minutes or so. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  6. Dawson,
    Inspired by MASHMAKER I made Munchner Wiesn in early January. I did however substitute The Barke for Avangard Pils, the select for Mittelfruh , and I used WLP833. This was my very first lager…. I think it turned out decently. The head retention is lacking a bit and the beer is still not crystal clear (honestly quiet hazy after 8 weeks at 38 degrees) I suppose this could change. Anyways, to quote yourself, it is drinking pretty good. I am very curious to hear and see how yours turns out. This may be a pretty broad question but do you feel different lager strains drop bright at different times? Or is there a point when it is not worth waiting any longer. Also do you fine your lagers? If so what is your normal procedure?

    • Hi Richard,

      Different strains will flocculate at different rates, ale or lager – some will require steps on the part of the brewer to not remain in suspension, and some will drop bright pretty quickly after fermentation. For many lager strains some cloudiness coming out of primary isn’t really cause for concern, but if it’s still hazy after 8 weeks at 38*F, I would guess there is something else besides yeast haze going on … maybe not anything to worry about since it’s drinking pretty good?

      I do fine lagers if I’m in a hurry to get them into keg and carbonated; for that it’s a good idea to wait until diacetyl is below flavor threshold, so I add gelatin or Biofine or the like sometime after a VDK rest.

      Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the quick reply!

        looks like I will have some trouble shooting to do with the next lager…maybe a different yeast and some post-ferm fining. As for this batch guess I will give it some more time and see what happens.

        Slainte

  7. Great to see a new entry here. I learned to brew from NB and DonO vids. The Schloß Wolfenstein Alte Hundchen Dunkel is on the brew plan for this fall. Sorry about losing your friend and congratulations on the book. Cheers!

  8. Hey Mike, hope all is well. I’ve been really enjoying Mashmaker and have a ton of those recipes lined up for this year. I am currently a little nervous at the moment though as I made the Wiesn this past Friday (May 11). Everything went well up until this morning (May 14). I pitched 2308 at 55 (at roughly 10 PM) and let it cool down to 52. Saw active fermentation by Saturday afternoon. But I’m still getting used to this fermentor and though it was still at 52 at 8:00 Sunday night I forgot to switch out the ice packs and woke up to 60 degrees. I know I’m right on the edge of the time period where off flavors and esters become an issue so I guess I’m asking if this one’s a goner or if I should let it ride.
    BTW the Oldtoberfest turned out great and it’s definitely going to be brewed again in the fall.

    • Hey Josh, thanks for writing – I would definitely not consider it a goner; 60F for a few hours is way more preferable than 70*F. It’s still worth keeping cool and letting fermentation run its course. Maybe call this a premature diacetyl rest and carry on.
      Cheers,

      MD

  9. As soon as I knew you wrote a book I bought it. I have enjoyed watching all of your videos, along with chip and don o. I’ve seen almost every one since March of this year. I’m so sorry about your dog! It’s never easy…God bless your family and keep the beer knowledge coming please!!!

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