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Old 01-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
mattinboston
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Default Chestnuts: my GF-brewing God-send...

Hi guys - I'm newly registered, though I've been trolling this forum off and on for a couple years now and appreciate all the help!

Anyway, I found out I was highly gluten-intolerant about 6 months ago and therefore have accelerated my homebrewing pace in order to drink good interesting beer again! I think it's the challenge, though maybe the recent purchase of kegging equipment has had an impact too!......

I searched on the forum a little and I can't seem to find anything on using chestnut chips with amylase enzyme as a base for a GF brew. I'm surprised at that... I did some research a few months back and have brewed 4 batches with chestnuts toasted to different levels with great results.

I've tried american pale ales, IIPA's, and recently a killer american cream ale with chestnuts as my only constant. I've mixed in some sorghum syrup, buckwheat, and corn sugar, etc... but all have been good so far and pretty close to style. I'm thinking about lagering in my next chestnut brew.

Anyone else using chestnuts out there in your GF brews? Results? Secrets?

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Old 01-15-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Being from Texas I thought Chestnuts were just something in Nat King Cole songs.

I would be interested to hear more about how you'd brew with them. Ultimately if it makes sugar, has FAN, and avoids gluten, then I'm all for trying to make a beer out of it.

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Old 01-15-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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I would be interested to hear more about how you'd brew with them. Ultimately if it makes sugar, has FAN, and avoids gluten, then I'm all for trying to make a beer out of it.
+1 on that

I thought I read some lady's blog a few months back about brewing a gluten free beer with chestnuts. I seem to remember though that they are quite expensive...
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:58 PM   #4
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Yeah, although I don't scan all the GF threads, I haven't seen any mention of them.

So methinks rather that you looking for insight from us, you may be the one to bring enlightenment on this interesting topic.

So why don't you do a thread teching us what YOU know about it. Share with us your technigues and recipes, and if you can include picts of your processing of them.

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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I read about them as a gf ingredient before, but because my girlfriend is also allergic to nuts, I wasn't sure if I could use them.

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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my girlfriend is also allergic to nuts.
You must have to drink all the time.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:06 PM   #7
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Sorry for the delayed reply - my new son came a little early so we've been in the hospital since i posted this.

aggieotis - I'm a native Texan and TAMU c/o '98 so I know what you mean about chestnuts down there... I thought of them as something mythical along the lines of Sasquatch myself until I moved to New England!

Anyway, they're good to eat roasted per the Christmastime song, but I have to say they are equally good in beer as a barley sub.

Revvy - I hesitate to volunteer as too much of an expert. I've read enough posts from you guys here to know the limits of my knowledge on the subject of beer brewing! In any case, I'll give you all as much as I know and maybe we can get better at this (using chestnuts) as a group...

I'll start another thread... Thanks for the encouragement.

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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I'll start another thread... Thanks for the encouragement.
Just do it in your original post, it's usually how it's done around these parts.

As for me, I would love to hear how this affects the taste, but being allergic to chestnuts myself, I hesitate to make something I cannot taste, even if it's for my GF...
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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NUT ALLERGIES? Chestnuts are not a true nut, they are really a fruit. Some nutritional mags list chestnuts as very HYPO-allergenic Fresh chestnuts are perishable and need to be kept refrigerated to extent shelf life. Dried chestnuts will keep for months and are rock hard until reconstituted. Dried nuts and dried products have about the same nutritional content as barley. The sugars are not quite as available that's why amylase adds to final brix when mashing. Usually 4-5%. Supplimental sugars give higher alcohol end results. Corn sugar produces a nice smooth alcohol without residual flavors to cover up the taste of the chestnuts.

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:26 PM   #10
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NUT ALLERGIES? Chestnuts are not a true nut, they are really a fruit. Some nutritional mags list chestnuts as very HYPO-allergenic Fresh chestnuts are perishable and need to be kept refrigerated to extent shelf life. Dried chestnuts will keep for months and are rock hard until reconstituted. Dried nuts and dried products have about the same nutritional content as barley. The sugars are not quite as available that's why amylase adds to final brix when mashing. Usually 4-5%. Supplimental sugars give higher alcohol end results. Corn sugar produces a nice smooth alcohol without residual flavors to cover up the taste of the chestnuts.
Good, I take chances anyway, but I also never crave a chestnut.

As discussed before, dextrose doesn't cover anything. The taste is incredibly neutral to a cidery taste that you don't want. Replacing some of the fermentables is a regular practice for us, since we don't really want to taste any of them! I thought Matt was saying this WAS good though, and not to replace!
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