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Old 06-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default First gluten free extract brew

I've been doing all grain brewing for many years, but I have never made a GF beer. It's a last-minute request for a party I am attending this summer, so I don't think I have time to get up to speed on malting my own grains. I've developed the following extract recipe and wanted to get some opinions:

6.6 lbs White Sorghum Syrup
8oz Bob's Red Mill Oats (Plan to steep them for body / head retention)
8oz Candi Sugar (Amber, 45 L)

0.25 oz Centenial 45 mins
0.50 oz Citra 10 mins
0.50 oz Citra 5 mins
2g Grains of Paradise (last 10 minutes)

S-33 Yeast

Thanks for the help!

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Old 06-12-2014, 01:00 AM   #2
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I like the hop choice. My experience is that you have to go with the citrus tendency of sorghum and not against it.
If this is a 5 gal batch, then my first impression is that you need more gravity.
I would up the Belgian candy or add some Buckwheat honey to get up to 1 lb of sugars. Make sure that the Belgian candy is the syrup not the rock candy kind. Add a half pound of maltodextrin. I would get in the 1.060 gravity territory. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 06-12-2014, 02:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glutarded-chris View Post
I like the hop choice. My experience is that you have to go with the citrus tendency of sorghum and not against it.
If this is a 5 gal batch, then my first impression is that you need more gravity.
I would up the Belgian candy or add some Buckwheat honey to get up to 1 lb of sugars. Make sure that the Belgian candy is the syrup not the rock candy kind. Add a half pound of maltodextrin. I would get in the 1.060 gravity territory. Let us know how it turns out.
Couldn't agree more with Chris here. Sorghum is easy to get but offsetting it with other sugars can really reduce the twang of the sorghum. I think you might be soured on GF brewing (pardon the pun) if you go ALL sorghum.

This was my first GF batch: http://ghostfishbrewing.com/ghostfis...rapefruit-ipa/

It has sorghum, buckwheat honey and the candi syrup Chris is recommending. It came out nice. Needed a good 2-4 weeks to condition (for me in a keg) and mellow. GL!
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendations. The candi sugar I planned to use is the syrup, and in fact it was the D-45 mentioned in merg's recipe. I've used it before in Belgian beers and it's great. As for the Sorghum, I've read plenty about the weird flavor it has. I'm glad the other sugars will help offset that.

So this is the new recipe:

5 lbs White Sorghum
2 lbs Amber Candi Syrup 45L
1lb Clover Honey
0.5lb Maltodextrine

According to Beersmith, that gives me an OG of 1.057. It also seems to think it will end up with a final gravity of 1.005 giving me an ABV over 6%, which might be a tad stronger than I am loking for. I'm assuming that beersmith might not be capable of accurately predicting things given it doesn't include ingredients like Sorghum. But Briess says on their web site that their Sroghum syrup behaves identically to regular extract syrup and can be exchanged in a 1:1 ratio in recipes.

What are your experiences with regard to attenuation, FG, and resulting ABV?

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Old 06-12-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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Make sure you mark maltodextrin as unfermentable in Beersmith. That will raise your FG.

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Old 06-13-2014, 02:56 AM   #6
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I think the high alcohol is due to the high sugar (3 lb). I usually use 1.5 lb max of added sugars in a 5 gal batch (1 lb candy syrup and 0.5 lb honey). You can offset some of the sorghum with rice syrup or rice solids but I would only use a couple of pounds as the sorghum syrup is still the work horse (FAN). The maltodextrin keeps it from being thin and good fresh hop flavor and aroma will diminish the negative parts of the sorghum.

Good carbonation helps with the taste and appearance. If you are bottling, aim for the higher range of carbonation and if you are kegging, I recommend 14 to 16 psig CO2.

I think you will find that even your simple gluten free extract homebrew will blow the doors of commercially available GF beers and you can easily dial it in to a particular preference with just a few changes. A fresh, unpasteurized homebrew has a big advantage over commercial breweries that have to bottle and ship. We have the advantage that we can easily up the gravity and hops.

If later you decide to bring some of your all grain experience to bear on GF beer, there are some good references here in this forum. Welcome to the dark side!

Let us know how it works out. We like success stories.

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Old 06-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glutarded-chris View Post
I think the high alcohol is due to the high sugar (3 lb). I usually use 1.5 lb max of added sugars in a 5 gal batch (1 lb candy syrup and 0.5 lb honey).
Okay, changed:

5.5lb White Sorghum Syrup
1lb Amber Candi Syrup (45 SRM)
0.5lb Buckwheat honey (60 SRM)
0.5lb Maltodextrine

That looks like it gives me an OG of 1.048 and an estimated ABV of 5.2%. I also changed the hop additions to be the following:

.5oz Centennial 60 minutes
.5oz Citra 10 minutes
1oz Citra 5 minutes
2oz Citra dry hop
Total IBU: 35

I'll let it age in secondary for 2-3 weeks to mellow it out and then bottle on the higher side of carbonation, perhaps 2.6 - 2.7 vols?
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #8
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Another ingredient that might help is some roasted Buckwheat Groats. I usually steep up to 2 lbs of Buckwheat I lightly roast in the oven at home. Buckwheat is good addition for head retention.

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Old 07-11-2014, 05:34 PM   #9
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Let us know how it works out. We like success stories.
Well, it's been aging for a couple weeks now and I think I will bottle it this weekend. I tried a sample and I am amazed at how well it turned out! The late Citra addition gives it such a great tropical / floral nose. Slight bitterness from the hops, and the malt flavor is perfectly fine. No weird flavors from the sorghum at all, really.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:09 AM   #10
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I think I'll try your recipe next time I brew. I can't seem to get any answers every time I ask someone for advice about GF brewing. Do you use all the same equipment and methods?


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