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Grainfather Blog - Road to Homebrew Con: Japan

By Sam Loader - Resident Grainfather Brewer 14/06/2018 11:12 Comments

Japan Int. Pale Lager

Japan: International Pale Lager



Overall Impression: A highly-attenuated pale lager without strong flavours, typically well-balanced and highly carbonated. Served cold, it is refreshing and thirst-quenching. 

Aroma: Low to medium-low malt aroma, which can be grainy malty or slightly corny-sweet. Hop aroma may range from very low to a medium, spicy or floral hop presence. While a clean fermentation profile is generally most desirable, low levels of yeast character (such as a light apple fruitiness) are not a fault. A light amount of DMS or corn aroma is not a fault.

Appearance: Pale straw to gold colour. White, frothy head may not be long-lasting. Very clear.

Flavour: Low to moderate levels of grainy-malt flavour, with a crisp, dry, well-attenuated finish. The grain character can be somewhat neutral, or show a light bready-crackery quality or up to moderate corny or malty sweetness. Hop flavour ranges from none to medium levels and often showing a floral, spicy, or herbal character if detected. Hop bitterness at medium-low to medium level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter but is relatively close to even. Neutral aftertaste with light malt and sometimes hop flavours. A light amount of DMS is not a fault. 

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Moderately high to highly carbonated. Can have a slight carbonic bite on the tongue.

History: Developed either as an imitation of American style lagers or as a more accessible (and often drier and less bitter) version of a Pilsner-type beer. Often heavily marketed and exported by large industrial or multi-national breweries. 

Characteristic Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley. May use rice, corn, or sugar as adjuncts, or maybe all malt.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 – 1.050 IBUs: 18 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.012 SRM: 2 – 6 ABV: 4.6 – 6.0% 

Commercial Examples: Asahi Super Dry, Birra Moretti, Corona Extra, Devils Backbone Gold Leaf Lager, Full Sail Session Premium Lager, Heineken, Red Stripe, Singha

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