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Old 10-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
ChasidicCalvinist
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Default Experimental GF Pecan Pie Ale--thoughts?

This is a gluten free beer.

I have really been wanting to try a few things: namely steeping grains and then boiling off liquid to make a more concentrate wort, lactose and nuts.

My last beer was such a disappointment I don't want to make another 5 gallon or even 3 gallon batch so I'm going to try for 1 gallon. But aside from mead I've never made a 1 gallon batch so I'm not sure about some of my conversions, namely the hops, lactose and sugar. The lactose is based on 1lb for a 5 gallon batch. I realize that is a LOT of nuts for 1 gallon but every recipe I've read with nuts seems to conclude that the flavor profiles of the nuts did not come through very well.

So here is what I came up with:

1 gallon batch

Ingredients
3lbs of toasted oats
2 cups ground pecans
1 cup boiled honey (medium, approx 10 minutes)
1 cup caramel sauce (1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon, boiled for 10 min)
1/4lb of lactose
Fuggles, EKG hops
Vanilla Extract

Nottingham Ale Yeast

The oats will be soaked briefly in water and then dark toasted.

I will roast 2 cups of rough ground (maybe chopped) pecans in oven. 1 cup medium roasted and 1 cup dark roasted. These will sit in paper bag(s) for 1 week prior to boil to get rid of excess oils.

The caramel sauce will be made day prior to brew: 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of water and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon will be combined, brought to boil and then boiled for 10 minutes.

Honey will be brought to boil, then reduced to low for approximately 10 minutes. I’m only looking for mild carmelization of the honey.

The oats will be steeped at 153 for 60 minutes in 1 1/2 gallons of water. Then I will boil that down to one gallon. Once at the one gallon mark:

.2oz Fuggles at 60 min
¼ lb lactose at 60 min
.1oz EKG at 15 min
2 cups of pecans pitched @ 15 minutes
.1oz EKG at 5 min
1 cup of boiled honey @ zero
1 cup of caramel sauce @ zero
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 7 days prior to bottling

Thoughts??

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Old 10-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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Alright...the sauce is made, the pecans are chopped and roasted and the oils are being soaked away. Yeast and hops purchased. I plan to brew this Sunday. Before I do so I sure would like to know if I have enough fermentables for a 1 gal batch? I nixed the honey and will be doing 2 cups of caramel sauce. I'm thinking of maybe adding 2oz of molasses.

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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How many lbs in a cup of the brown sugar (prior to making it into caramel)? No BRS or sorghum for this one?

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
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2 cups are approximately 1lb. No BRS or Sorghum--it is an experiment and only 1 gallon in case it sucks. Is 1lb of sugar enough for a 1 gallon batch?

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:57 AM   #5
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Yeah, that'll get you about 1.045 OG. Should be fine, the oats ought to keep it from being too thin...though I'm a little worried that 3 lbs in 1 gallon will leave you with a milkshake. Unless you really toast 'em dark, that is! For some reason, the really dark-roasted oats don't seem to contribute the milkiness in steeping that untoasted oats do.

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Old 10-20-2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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Yeah man, that is a huge amount of oats. I assume you mean rolled or flaked oats, and not whole or malted? I mean, imagine the equivalent 15 pounds of oatmeal in a 5 gallon batch. With no enzymes? Not quite sure what you're looking to get from them.

Oatmeal makes a mushy porridge in any application, and on top of that oatmeal tends to have a decent amount of flour on/in it in my experience. Are you going to filter your oatmeal porridge somehow before you boil it down? Oats are a great source of protein and unfermentable carbohydrates in recipes lacking those (as most GF beers are). I mean... if you were going to steep the grain (into porridge), filter (the porridge into a thinner soupy mixture), then do a kind of hybrid cereal/decoction mash of the resulting liquid with some exogenous amylase, that might break the starches down a bit into something a bit more beer-y.

I guess where I'm going is, I think 3 pounds of un-malted, un-mashed, un-sparged oats sounds like quite a bit for a 5 gallon batch, and insanity in a one-gallon. If all you're looking for is some starch and protein for body, cut the oats waaay down for that batch size IMO.

Also if you haven't tried the Fawcett oat malt, I highly encourage it. Probably not a good idea for the most sensitive people, but I've not heard of any reactions yet either. They can be used just like barley, and although I don't get incredible mash efficiency, I can't imagine how I could replace all the things it adds to the brew (malt flavor, body, and head retention much like normal pale malt) any other way.

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Old 10-21-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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I brewed this up today. Here is an updated ingredient list/schedule. I cut back on the oats due to the feedback, but I still went with quite a lot of oats. It is an experiment after all. People say nuts kill the head and yet those who have tried it say that isn't true, etc. I'll never know if I don't try. And if it is bad--it is only 1 gallon! Much easier to part with than 3-5 gallons.

1lbs 5.6oz medium-dark toasted oats steeped for 30 minutes.
Bring to boil
.2 oz Fuggles at 60 min
2oz of molasses at 60 min
¼ lb lactose at 60 min—did not add forgot I ran out
.15oz EKG at 15 min
9oz of pecans pitched @ 15 minutes
.05oz EKG at 5 min
2 cups of caramel sauce @ zero

Nottingham Ale yeast.

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Old 11-05-2012, 11:50 PM   #8
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I bottled this today. It came out a bit more thin than I'd hoped with the grains I used, but I never had oatmeal or starch it was predicted.

The flavor profile was quite complex and very good. I think roasting pecans--and other nuts--can add a lot to a GF beer. I'm looking forward to trying this in 3 or 4 weeks!

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Did you prep the pecans as described in the original post, or did that change? Curious to see how this turns out.

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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I changed it some. I roasted 2 cups of pecans to dark. I also only had them sit in paper towels for about 4 days. There did not seem to be much oil coming from them and I was impatient to brew. I did rough chop them on a cutting board. They tasted really good after boiling them in with all the other ingredients!

In the small sample I took, sometimes there was almost a banana bread flavor, other times there was a roasty-semi-sweet flavor. I'm quite excited to see how it turns out.

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