Rice Paddy Lager (Japanese Lager)

My Grandmother's Hanko

My Grandmother’s Hanko

Japan is a part of my heritage. Quick version, my paternal grandmother and grandfather married in Japan and then moved back to the states. I have always been a little interested in the Japanese culture, but never really delved into it. Going through some of my grandmother’s belongings I found where she signed some documents and then there was a red stamp beside her signature. This was her seal, or hanko. I wasn’t quite sure of this, but it intrigued me. And I was able to find her Hanko. Which that was a very surreal moment for me. I never knew her maiden name until I saw the documents. Yamada.  A quite common surname in Japan. It’s meaning mountain rice paddy or mountain field. I found one site to say yama meaning mountain and ta meaning field, rice paddy. I decided to set sail and brew myself a rice lager, this is where I came up with the name, Rice Paddy Lager. I admit, I don’t know the Japanese culture very well. Just scratched the surface. So if I have things wrong. I apologize. The internet is my only source now.

Now onto the recipe development. I worked hard on this, seriously. I watched a YouTube video. If you guys aren’t watching the Clawhammer Supply YouTube channel, I’d highly suggest it. Their care free attitude towards brewing is what makes this hobby great. You can either go all out and be super nerdy with it, or you could just brew what you like and how you want it. It’s your choice. I pretty much just followed their recipe. See their video on brewing a Japanese Rice Lager. 

The main difference I did is that I used a medium grain rice. It’s my go to rice, rarely will you find a long grain rice in my house, unless we’re making a Cajun dish. Also I just used 1 ounce total of Sorachi Ace. This high alpha acid hop, I didn’t want to accidently introduce that much bitterness to it.

Also, this wasn’t my typical brew day. We one of those 20 year ice storms heading our way. I gathered everything I could to brew this beer inside my house, because I didn’t want to try to run my heater, and vent the beer in the brew shed, because once I turn on the vent, bye bye heat that my heater worked so hard to warm up.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 18.1 IBUs 2.7821558 1.043 1.010 4.3 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
International Pale Lager 2 A 1.042 - 1.05 1.008 - 1.012 18 - 25 2 - 6 2.5 - 3.2 4.6 - 6 %


Name Amount %
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger 5 lbs 52.63
Rice, Flaked 4 lbs 42.11
Acid Malt 8 oz 5.26


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Sorachi Ace 0.4 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 13.4
Sorachi Ace 0.6 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 13.4


Name Amount Time Use Type
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 4.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 1.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 1.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Saflager Lager (W-34/70) DCL/Fermentis 75% 48°F - 59°F


Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152.1°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min


Used nishiki rice. 4 pounds. Was approximately 8 cups of rice. Used 12 cups of water. Rice was pretty much cooked all the way through, there were some crunchy bits though. Volumes were a bit high because the rice was already saturated with water. Will need to reduce the water down a touch. Used approx 8 gallons of water, got 7.5 pre boil volume. Since I was using a 7 gallon pot, I boiled roughtly 1.5 gallons another pot until I can get enough boiled out of the big pot to add them. I will add the 60 minute hop addition once I can combine the two worts together for a full volume boil.

Rice Paddy Lager

Tasting Notes


Doughy and cracker like malt character. Moderately-low lemon and low herbal hop notes. No esters present. Ever slight note of DMS. 


Straw in color, fairly clear (it is now as I am reviewing it, I know the pic is quite hazy. haha), poured a white head that is lasting. Beer leaves a lacing on the glass as I enjoy the beer. 


Cracker and doughy malt character. Hop flavor is lemony and herbal that is of a moderate level. Fairly well balanced that finishes very dry. 

Overall Impression

I have really enjoyed this beer. There are a few small tweaks I would like to do next time. I want to drop the acidulated malt down to probably 4 ounces instead of 8 ounces. I was following Clawhammer’s recipe as a base. All in all I am really pleased with this beer. I will brew again.