~100% Oat Malt... Shmeh
So brewed up a batch of Gluten-Free Pale Ale for my celiac cousin the other day... and it seems to be going so-so so far. Brewday was a bit of a pain in the ass though. Final Recipe ended up as below. No problems with sparge or runoff, Oat Malt had plenty of husks and I added a few handfulls of rice hulls to help things along. OG actually came out around where I expected it, but the wort was definitely a bit starchy, never really clarified like it should've.
After about an hour and a half with no noticeable conversion (as per iodine test), I ran out and grabbed some Beano (LHBS was out of amylase). Added 10 tablets, waited another hour, still no results, added another 5 tablets, waited an hour, still no visible conversion, added another 5 tablets, still no visible conversion but gave up and mashed out at this point.
Got a decent hot break during the boil (after adding whirlfloc), and it definitely clogged up my counterflow chiller a bit, so guessing I got a good bit of cold break. Despite the break, wort still appeared a bit starchy/hazy. OG sample tasted fairly sweet as normal wort would, though with a slightly starchy background. Added 1 tube of Clarex/Clarity-Ferm at pitching.
Now that it's been fermenting away (With Wyeast London Ale III) for a few days, it definitely looks like it's fermenting down. Looks like a normal amount of trub and yeast performance, though I put this one in a bucket, so don't have a great indication of actual beer clarity as of yet.
Things I'd do differently: Ensure I've got more than 1tsp of amylase enzyme on hand. Ensure SWMBO doesn't have plans for us in the early evening. Buy pre-roasted buckwheat (which apparently is only $.30/lb more though I thought I could do it better).
For clarification on the grist: Bought raw Buckwheat groats and toasted at 180F until I overcame the starchy/tangy flavor of the raw groats and started to get some nutty/buttery notes. Took about 8 hours, though it wasn't a continuous process, and I had other things in the oven at the same time (more raw groats, some oats, some wet malt).
(sorry for the formatting, for whatever reason BrewAlchemy wont export properly right now)
Ingredient Amount % MCU When
UK Oat Malt 10lb 10oz 75.9 % 3.5 In Mash/Steeped
US Rolled Oats (Gluten Free) 2lb 0oz 14.3 % 0.0 In Mash/Steeped
US Buckwheat (raw) - Medium toast 14.00 oz 6.2 % 5.8 In Mash/Steeped
US Rolled Oats (Toasted) 8.00 oz 3.6 % 3.3 In Mash/Steeped
Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
NZ Super Alpha 11.0 % 1.00 oz 35.5 Loose Pellet Hops First Wort Hopped
US Centennial 10.4 % 1.00 oz 16.6 Loose Pellet Hops 15 Min From End
US Cascade 4.9 % 1.00 oz 7.8 Loose Pellet Hops 15 Min From End
US Centennial 10.4 % 1.00 oz 6.7 Loose Pellet Hops 5 Min From End
US Cascade 4.9 % 1.00 oz 3.2 Loose Pellet Hops 5 Min From End
US Centennial 10.4 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops At turn off
US Cascade 4.9 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops At turn off
US Amarillo 5.0 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops In Fermenter
US Simcoe 13.0 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops In Fermenter
Australian Topaz 15.0 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops In Fermenter
US Simcoe 13.0 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops Dry-Hopped
Australian Topaz 15.0 % 1.00 oz 0.0 Loose Pellet Hops Dry-Hopped
Doughed in with 3.5g at 170F, ended up around 142F for 15 min, added appx 2g to bump the overall temp up around 152F, let sit for the duration of the mash (with various additions of Beano as per above notes). Sparged out with 3.5g at 170F (overall 9g of water used in mash/sparge). Ended up with around 7.5g of wort pre-boil. 5.5g post-boil, with about 1g lost to break and hops in the kettle, ended up with just over 4.5g in the fermenter.
Shot for 13.8P OG, ended up closer to 11.4P (by hydrometer reading), though not sure how the weight of starch v. sugar affects my results.
Last notes: LHBS was out of Amarillo, suggested AU Topaz as a decent sub, we'll see how it goes
This will be interesting to see the results post them when you taste them
#1. It will certainly be interesting to see what results you get and I look forward to hearing the results of your "experiment". Few have had much success with conversion of GF grains so I wish you luck.
#2. Sadly, your beer appears to be NOT free of gluten as even your yeast is non-GF, and your fermantables are probably cross-contaminated. Might be OK for some, but Celiac's are a no go.
I'd suggest you spend some time here reviewing truly GF ingredients before your next try.
Very interesting recipe!! I've read a few posts about oat beers on here but I haven't read anything recently, thanks for posting all your effort.
Much respect to you for going through all the effort here for your cousin but you may want to warn him/her that its a low gluten beer, not gluten free.
Definitely forgot to add the bit about adding Clarity-Ferm to the fermenter. Hopefully that'll help drop out whatever may have been cross-contaminated, etc.
Apparently that's all the guys making O-Mission beers are using now to make beers from barley that are within the guidelines to be declared gluten-free (or at least that's the little bit of info I could get from their goofy-ass website)
I read somewhere that wyeast yeast strains were not gluten free either but I could be wrong. I'm definitely interested in the final product. I have a cousin that has celiac disease so I'd like to be able to make something eventually that is gluten free.
Omission is not sold as "gluten-free" in any state but Oregon. They can get the gluten below levels of detectability by current testing methods, but there have been no in vivo studies as to whether or not the beers are actually safe for celiacs (let alone people with other forms of gluten intolerance). As much as I wish it was "just that simple" to add clarity-ferm, the evidence isn't in yet...and I know that more than one Omission has given me reactions in the past.
That said, with a base of oat malt (which some people here have reported success with) and the use of clarity-ferm, you may end up with something relatively safe. You just can't guarantee it, like you could if you had used all GF ingredients from the get-go.
Oh, also--when brewing with oats, it is imperative that you do a step-mash! You need rests at 120°F and 135°F to get beta-glucanase and protease active, or else you will get lousy efficiency.
There is a very thorough analysis of Oat malt conversion that was done in a pilot study:
I picked up 15 lbs of Fawcett Oat malt recently and will be doing some experimenting to see if I can replicate their optimized 120 minute step mash process (apparently they conducted this outside the lab in a pilot study as well - without using amalyse).
Regarding being gluten free my understanding is that the biggest issue is cross-contamination. My thought was that if we can get something resembling a good beer from oat malt we could probably source something direct and uncontaminated. I believe Colorado Malting Company has mentioned that they will malt anything if you can put together an order of 500lbs or more.
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