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A Throwback to the Future

Building up a beer recipe from scratch is always a challenge. It can be as terrifying as it can be fun – especially when your neck is on the line. And so it is with a recipe I’ve committed to building for a collaboration partner for our brewery. It’s a potential mainstay beer at our collaborator’s on site taps if it goes well and is well received – and it’s certainly something I would love to maintain at our taproom downtown if it works out well – I just don’t want it to be a “competitor” to our other beers, although I’ll be building it as a super light pale ale, so who knows? For now, I’ve been diving pretty deep into rice fermentation, and I’m working on splitting the grist with a huge amount of rice – around 20% of the grist will be rice. I’ll also be enzyme treating it, and running it hot and fast using the kveik yeast (again). I’m hoping that the resulting “makkoli” beer will provide a unique twist to the old Korean rice drink makkoli, but also fuse with an old style pale ale/farmhouse ale to create something that is light in body, absolutely refreshing, and balanced well so that it can pair with just about any Korean food out there. My main problem is how the rice will come out once enzymatically treated. If clarified syrups are any indication, rice is up to 70% fermentable – which is a boggling amount considering barley is much lower than that. Rice simply doesn’t have the enzymes that barley has – or at least much less diastatic power as to be considered “nil.” Traditionally, sake is brewed by inoculating with¬†koji, which is a fungus (Aspergillus oryzae) that breaks down the starches in the rice to create the sugars needed for fermentation by brewers yeast (I’ve used both S. cerevisiae and¬†pastorianus successfully with this kind of brewing). I’m not going to go that route, and instead dose with amylase and amyloglucosidase/glucoamylase to get the full breakdown of the starch so I get 100% fermentability. I’m not sure what flavors will come out from the rice in this way – but if my prior experiments in making rice lager or rice ale bears out, it will be fairly floral, and potentially “coconut” in aroma. I’m also not sure how kveik strains will react to the utter lack of protein in the recipe (I’m going to be dosing fairly hard with nutrients), but I guess I’m about to find out!
Makkoli Farmhouse Ale 10-10.5 gallon batch (60 minute boil) Grain: 10 pounds pale 2-Row 2 pounds flaked rice 1 pound Golden Naked Oats
  • Sacch Rest 1: 155F / 45 minutes
  • Sparge: 168F / 55 minutes
  • amylase and amylogocosidase added at start of mash
Hop additions:
  • 1.0 oz Styrian Wolf
  • 2.0 oz Styrian Wolf (dry hop 4 days @45F)
  • 1.0 oz Bitter Orange Peel/Grapefruit peel (dry hop 4-5 days @45F)
Yeast:
  • Propagate Labs MIP-340 (ferment at 95F, DiAc@90F)
  • Imperial A43 Loki (ferment at 95F, DiAc@90F)