I Brewed a Wild Rice Brown Ale back on the 17th, a little over 2 weeks ago. I moved it to secondary tonight, not because it needs to secondary, but because I needed the primary fermenter, and I'm not quite ready to keg it yet (I need to clean some kegs.)
I stole a little sample, and it tasted pretty damned good. My wife and I are really excited about it. I can't really give you full tasting notes because the beer was warm, uncarbonated and a little young, but it's definitely inline with what I'm going for, which is a slightly roasty brown ale with some of the nutty flavor from the wild rice. My friends don't seem to taste what I'm tasting when I drink wild rice beers, but I think the wild rice lends sort of a cross between a nutty flavor, and a very slight hint of concord grapes. I realize it's an odd description, but it's actually quite pleasant.
For those of you unfamiliar with wild rice, wild rice is not actually rice, it's the seed of an aquatic grass native to the midwestern US. If it's not locally available to you, you can get some here: Wild Rice
Along with being my first time brewing with Wild Rice, this was also the first all-grain beer I've ever brewed, which was further complicated by needing to do a cereal mash as a part of the brew, which added quite a bit of time and complexity to the brew.
The recipe is entirely my own invention, with some help from this Brew Your Own article and Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. I also got some help from the fine folks at The Four Firkins in figuring out how much wild rice to actually add. They tracked down the amount of wild rice used in Schell's Wild Rice Farmhouse Ale.
Wild Rice Brown Ale - All-Grain - 5 Gallon Batch
8 lbs. Briess 2-Row
2.8 lbs. Wild Rice
1.6 lbs. Briess Caramel 60L
0.4 lbs. Briess Chocolate Malt
0.2 lbs. Briess Roast Malt
1 oz. Kent Goldings 5.6%AAU (60 min.)
1 oz. Kent Goldings 5.6%AAU (30 min.)
0.5 oz. Fuggles 4.3% AAU (5 min.)
Wyeast 1335 British Ale II
The wild rice isn't malted, so you'll need to do a cereal mash to unlock the starches.
To do the cereal mash, mix the wild rice and 0.5 lbs of the 2-row with about 10 qt. of water. Heat this in a pot to 155ºf and hold it at that temperature for about 20 minutes. Then bring it to a boil for about 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, the water should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You will need to be pretty diligent in stirring the cereal mash during the boil to keep the wild rice from burning to the bottom of the pot.
Once the cereal mash is done, add it to your main mash. I was targeting 152ºf for my main mash, I actually ended up at about 148ºf, but had some boiling water waiting just in case and ended up at 153ºf.
I tried to crush my wild rice, but wasn't able to do so. I don't have a mill, so I was trying some other methods, and nothing worked. In the end, I don't think it mattered as my mash efficiency ended up at 78%.