This was an early batch that could be considered the forbearer of my Elkland Lager series. I’m not sure that steeping the rice as I did in this recipe added anything to the beer. Whether the rice added to the fermentability of this beer or not, it was delicious and popular beer. This is the beer that started my tradition of trying to make something at Christmas that is suitable to share with people who are probably used to Miller Lite and the like. N.E. Helles was that for this past Christmas
Here is something I wrote about the beer at the time:
“I came up with this recipe to share with non craft beer appreciating family members around the holidays. I was expecting no flavor and was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share. I’ve never used rice before this. I didn’t really know anything about Liberty hops, either I just had the name of the beer picked out ahead of time and Liberty seemed to be right hop for the job. The beer ended up slightly sweet with a hint of apricot (where did that come from?). I brewed this for family Christmas get togethers, but I am now planning to do another batch over the Summer.”
That Summer re-brew morphed into something completely different, Bear Wallow Blonde, but I’ll write about that another time. So… I steeped the flaked rice at about 160 degrees for an hour, and added the Caramel grains for the last 30 minutes. I removed the grains, added the LME and brought it to a boil, added the hops at 60, 30 and 5 minutes from the end of the boil. After the boil, I cooled it down and sprinkled the dry yeast right on top. I only fermented for two weeks in the bucket and then bottled on 5 oz priming sugar. After another two or three weeks in the bottle, I was shocked find a beer that I actually enjoyed.
Steeping the flaked rice, to my current understanding, probably had almost no impact on the finished beer as it needs to be mashed for conversion. The rice syrup solids work nicely, though. I brewed similar things later and tried to substitute (much cheaper) corn sugar in place of rice syrup solids and the results were not nearly as good. You could skip the flaked rice and follow the rest of the recipe below for a nice, mild Summer session blonde ale.
2 lbs Flaked Rice
1 lbs Caramel 10L
2 lbs Rice Syrup Solids
3 lbs Pilsen Light LME
.75 oz Liberty Hops (60 min)
.5 oz Liberty Hops (30 min)
.75 oz Liberty Hops (5 min)
US-05 Dry Yeast