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Old 02-26-2014, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default First gf beer. Have some questions

Ok so a couple of the guys from the local brewery and I are putting together gf recipes to try.
We are each doing 5 gallon batches, mini mash style. I am shooting for a simple ale. My ingredient list is as follows:

2 jars sorgum extract weighing 3# 11oz each
2# instant rice
1.5# malted buckwheat
1# rolled oats
4# agave nectar
1 oz of saaz
Nottingham yeast

I am malting the buckwheat on my own. Did a little reading and on this small scale sounds easy enough. Once malted and dried, should I crush the grain?

The rice, I read that instant rice should convert easier than regular rice. Is this true? Please critique this recipe. Any feedback would be helpful. No one who will be consuming this has celiac disease it is just an experiment. Oh and should I put this in the mash tun or biab.


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Old 02-26-2014, 04:40 AM   #2
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I'm kind of confused at the thinking that went into this recipe. Why bother with instant rice at all? Why such a small amount of buckwheat? Why agave nectar? I can't really tell what kind of beer you're trying to achieve here, it seems like you're trying to throw the kitchen sink in, in the hopes that all of these disparate ingredients will add up to something flavorful.

The instant rice is going to basically do nothing for you. With that much sorghum, the body is already going to be pretty light. It's highly likely that your buckwheat malt will not have the diastatic power to convert the instant rice, let alone the oats, and since I don't see any enzymes included, you're likely going to end up with a starchy mess. Such a small amount of buckwheat will do little more than give a slight improvement to mouthfeel and head retention; buckwheat is actually a very mild flavor in beer and you need to use a lot of it--and roast it a little--to get the flavor to come through. It is difficult to get it to fully convert on its own, because it has a rather high gelatinization temperature.

If you want to do a buckwheat beer, really do it. Malt 12 lbs of buckwheat, kiln some of it a little darker than the rest, grind it to a coarse grits consistency, do a decoction mash. Leave out the adjuncts, leave out the agave, and only use the sorghum if you don't hit your target gravity.

If all that sounds like too much effort, then save your trouble in the malting and just buy the stuff already malted, from Colorado Malting or Grouse (both sell buckwheat malt). If the thought of a decoction mash sounds horrible, then get some Diatase from EC Krause and do a step-mash instead, mash out at 180 to gelatinize, then cool it down and add the enzyme formula to finish off the saccharification of whatever starches didn't get converted during the previous steps. And add some rice hulls when you lauter.

If THAT sounds like too much work, you should probably give up on using grains all together, or at most steep 1-2 lbs of oats in 145°F water for 30 minutes, strain out, and hit it with some Diatase for 15 minutes before the boil to take care of any dissolved starches (or just accept the starch haze that will inevitably form). Use sorghum, rice syrup, and agave nectar in a 2:2:1 ratio. Add 1 lb of maltodextrin for body and mouthfeel. Feel free to sub some honey for the agave nectar if you can find raw unfiltered buckwheat honey (star thistle honey is also good).

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:55 AM   #3
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Thanks, what's the difference between rice syrup and the instance rice here. The basis here is to see how this sorgum ferments. This is step one in the process. The added ingredients are because we are told sorgum tastes awful when fermented and we are trying to mask it.-any ideas for that? Body is not the issue at this point. The agave is another just to see ingredient as I had a barley experiment that worked with it. Another guy is mashing 10# of buckwheat that's it with .75oz of warrior hops. Yet another guy is doing the same amount of extract with maltodetrin plus one oz of saaz. These are just experiments .


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Old 02-26-2014, 04:59 AM   #4
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http://tamlinsey.wordpress.com/2011/...ts_exclude=401

I got ideas from this


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Old 02-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
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What sorghum syrup are you using? 3 lb 11 oz can seems an odd amount. The sorghum syrup that I have seen either comes in 3.3 lb plastic can or 6 lb milk jug and I have only seen Briessweet and Mailliard available by themselves. Bard's can be purchased with a kit. I have used Briessweet and Bard's and they are not awful IMHO. There is a citrus twang that you have to deal with and by itself it is thin so it is helpful to use maltodextrin and ingredients that help with head retention. If people have used the sorghum syrup that is made for cooking, then that may very well be awful when used for brewing.

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Old 02-26-2014, 11:35 AM   #6
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The sorgum came to the brewery. It says extract not syrup on he box. We assume it is for brewing.


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Old 02-26-2014, 09:43 PM   #7
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Yeah extract and syrup are not necessarily interchangeable but that's a safe assumption on the sorgum.

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Old 02-26-2014, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan5159 View Post
Thanks, what's the difference between rice syrup and the instance rice here.
Rice syrup is fermentable; instant rice has to be mashed with some source of enzymes, and produces even LESS flavor since it's pure white rice, whereas rice syrup is made from brown rice.

Quote:
The basis here is to see how this sorgum ferments. This is step one in the process.
Then it's probably wise to not introduce a host of other variables. Sorghum ferments as well as any LME, the main issue it has is taste and lack of body.

Quote:
The added ingredients are because we are told sorgum tastes awful when fermented and we are trying to mask it.-any ideas for that?
Sorghum is a strong flavor that overpowers much of what is added to it, unless it is kept at under 50% of the fermentables. I suggested rice syrup and agave nectar and/or honey because together they will cut the sorghum taste and produce a light-bodied smooth beer.

Quote:
Body is not the issue at this point. The agave is another just to see ingredient as I had a barley experiment that worked with it.
Are you trying to make a good beer, or are you trying to "just see" what different ingredients taste like? If you're just experimenting, then you should keep your variables isolated, make a few "base" beers, and then see what you learn from each of them and try to put it all together. If you're trying to make a good beer, then I've already given you my best recommendations.

Quote:
Another guy is mashing 10# of buckwheat that's it with .75oz of warrior hops. Yet another guy is doing the same amount of extract with maltodextrin plus one oz of saaz. These are just experiments.
I would say if you're trying to learn by triangulating results from these other two, then you should aim right in the middle. But you won't learn much from experimenting unless you try to minimize at least some of your variables. I'd say you should do 5# of buckwheat and half the amount of extract.

10# of buckwheat is really going to result in a very low-gravity beer at 5 gallons, though. 12# would be the minimum I'd recommend--estimate buckwheat at a theoretical max of 25 PPG (at 100% efficiency). If you want a beer at 5% ABV, 14# would be a closer bet, probably more like 15# or 16# figuring your efficiency is going to be pretty low since none of y'all have tried anything like this before.

And YES, you DEFINITELY want to crush the buckwheat.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:09 AM   #9
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So, what would you say to steeping the oats and buckwheat and then adding that to sorgum?


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Old 03-02-2014, 01:14 AM   #10
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Ended up doing 3# 11 oz of sorgum extract, 6# malted buckwheat, and saaz hops. Notty yeast. If that's not good enough for you guys then sorry


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