Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association
Homebrew Recipes

Imperial Rice Pilsner

[This recipe is featured in the November/December 2017 issue of Zymurgy magazine.]

Imperial Rice Pilsner | Pilsner


  • For 5.5 gallons (20.8 L)
    • MALTS
    • 9 lb. (4.08 kg) Barke Pilsner malt
    • 5 lb. (2.27 kg) rice (cereal mash)
    • 1 lb. (454 g) Barke Pilsner malt (cereal mash)
    • 5 oz. (142 g) acidulated malt (27%)
    • HOPS
    • 1 oz. (28 g) Spalter, 4.5% a.a. FWH @ 90 min
    • 1 oz. (28 g) Spalter, 4.5% a.a. @ 10 min
    • 2 oz. (57 g) Spalter, 4.5% a.a. @ 5 min
    • 3 oz. (85 g) Spalter, 4.5% a.a. whirlpool 20 min
    • YEAST
    • White Labs WLP802 Czech Budejovice Lager Yeast (slurry from previous batch)
    • 1 Whirlfloc tablet or 1 tsp. (5 g) Irish moss @ 15 min


    • Original Gravity: 1.073 (17.8° P)
    • Final Gravity: 1.013 (3° P)
    • ABV: 7.5%
    • IBU: 36
    • SRM: 3.9


    If you are conducting a cereal mash, begin that first. Add the rice and 1 lb. (454 g) milled Pilsner malt to a heavy-bottomed stockpot on the stove. Slowly raise the cereal mash temperature to at least 154–155° F (68° C). After a 15-minute rest at this temperature, add heat to slowly ramp up to a boil, and continue boiling for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mash in with the remaining 9 lb. (4.08 kg) of Pilsner malt, starting with a protein rest at 122° F (50° C), monitoring pH if necessary.

    After 20 minutes, add the hot cereal mash to the main mash and blend well to stabilize at 149° F (65° C), then hold for 50 minutes. (If you are using flaked rice, skip the cereal mash directions and simply mash everything together, beginning with the protein rest, then raising the temperature to 149° F for the main rest.) Mash out at 168° F (76° C) and hold 10 minutes, then commence sparge. Run off and add first wort hops. Boil and add Whirlfloc and hops at stated intervals.

    Chill wort to 48° F (9° C) as quickly as possible, run off into fermenter, oxygenate, and cold-pitch yeast slurry from your previous Pilsner batch. Fermentation should be allowed to free-rise from 65° F to 68° F (18–20° C) during the first 2–4 days. Ferment at 48° F (9° C) until signs of fermentation are evident (usually within 36 hours). Ferment at 50° F (10° C) for the next two weeks, allow temperature to free-rise to 55° F (13° F), and ferment until activity slows. Conduct a long diacetyl rest at 60° F (16° C) until terminal gravity is reached (7 to 14 days) before crashing the beer to lagering temperature. Cold condition for at least 1 month at 35° F (2° C) before packaging, although 3 months is better.


    Substitute Pilsner malt with 8 lb. (3.63 kg) Pilsner liquid malt extract. Substitute rice with 3.5 lb. (1.59 kg) rice extract syrup. Omit acid malt. Dissolve extracts and top up to desired boil volume with reverse osmosis water. Add hops and boil 60 minutes. Proceed as above. Note that extract version will be darker (6–7 SRM).