Gluten-uff?

(Get it? “good enough”… ahem)

So an update on the first gluten free beer test in a bit.

But first: why do so many people who do gluten free brewing post all sorts of recipes, but rarely ever post results? Of all the many recipes I’ve found on line, I’ve found ONE, count em, ONE evaluation of the beer.  It’s very frustrating, because I’d like to brew something good, not just gluten free.

So I’m going to try to chronicle this for you.  If you care.

First: here is the recipe again.  This is for a 2.5Gallon batch

Toast 1/4 lb white and 1/4 lb dark Quinoa in a 350F oven for 1/2 hour until it smells like oatmeal cookies.

Grind it up in a Magic Bullet blender so that some is pulverized (pulse on and off). Put in nylon steeping bag.

Heat 3 1/4 distilled Gallon water.  Put steeping bag in water.  When it reaches about 160F, hold for an hour.

Then remove bag, squeeze out some water, and crank up the heat.

Add:

  • 3 LB Sorghum DME (45DE)
  • 4 oz Light candi sugar (for body and fermentable)
  • 2 oz lactose (for body–not fermentable)
  • 1 oz N Brewer pellets (60 min)
  • 1/2 oz Sterling hop pellets (60 min)
  • 3/4 oz Citra hops (15 min)
  • 1/2 tsp Gypsum (15 min)
  • 1/4 oz Citra (2 min)
  • 1/2 oz Cascade Plug (2 min)

Pitched Safale US-05 dry yeast

OG: 1.062

Now, from there, it fermented slowly but continuously.  Nine days in, here is my evaluation

Gravity reading: 1.015.  About what I expected

It is golden and cloudy like a wheat.  This apparently is typical of sorghum.

Nose: very hoppy.  Vivid Cascade and Citra nose

Mouthfeel: not bad.  Not as thin as I thought it might be. This could be a result of the lactose or candi sugar.

Taste: very bitter. Not surprisingly.  but the flavour of the hops is muted a bit.  There is a slight plastic tone in there, too.  It is clearly beer, but not with the complexity of normal beer.

My mom is visiting and she couldn’t drink it because of the bitterness.  but as far as it goes, I think this is promising. I’ll bottle it in the next few days with some dextrose, and in a few weeks give a final update.  My sister will be in town in early April, and I’ll let her, with her trained sommelier’s palate, give an eval, too.

Meanwhile, I’ve picked up Tapioca Syrup and malto-dextrine.  Both give more body to a brew, and the malto-dextrine apparently gives more maltiness.  We will see.

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About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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