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Old 01-28-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default First Time Gluten Free Brew

Hey Guys,

I was just asked a question by gmason4. He asked me what a good first time brew would be. After identifying his tastes for an amber, I pointed him towards my and David's pale ales, cause it is somewhat similar in taste and the recipes are pretty easy.

Beginner Recipes:
http://brew.dkershner.com/2009/gf-haus-ale/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/gf-pale-ale-148976/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/first-time-gluten-free-brew-159868/index2.html#post1846713

Does anyone have any similar or better suggestions for a newcomer? I remember getting a recipe from BYO, and it was terrible, so hopefully this will help the newcomers make something that tastes somewhat similar to beer.

Where to find the hard to find ingredients:
Brown Rice Extract: Whole Foods, Amazon


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Old 01-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #2
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I have a gluten free friend. It'd be nice when I make beer for a music festival this year if I could make a gluten free one so she'd be able to drink it, but not if it would taste like there was obviously something "special" about it.
Do most Gluten free beers taste "gluten free"?

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
I have a gluten free friend. It'd be nice when I make beer for a music festival this year if I could make a gluten free one so she'd be able to drink it, but not if it would taste like there was obviously something "special" about it.
Do most Gluten free beers taste "gluten free"?
Yes. That is the short answer.

Look around this forum and you will see we are getting closer to making GF beer that tastes like normal barley beer, but as of yet I am unsure there is a way without very expensive or complicated procedures. The taste you are describing is 'Sorghum'. You will see the word come up a lot, and sometimes notes will say the taste has faded nearly completely or completely. Realize that these are personal tastes though, and depending on the person they may taste it or not. Most people describe the taste as 'bitter' or 'citrusy'.

This process is very much in its infancy.

Note: Sorghum ages out well.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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There is one sorghum beer at the grocery, Maybe I'll pick up the 6'er and try it out.

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
There is one sorghum beer at the grocery, Maybe I'll pick up the 6'er and try it out.
It's probably Redbridge from Budweiser. You should be able to make something that is at least that good.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:58 PM   #6
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Thanks dkershner for starting this thread. I am the guy he references. My buddy was asking me about a steeping of the grains step. Being an absolute beginner i had no idea what he was talking about and i did not see this step mentioned in your recipe.

Is this skipped due to it being a GF brew? Or am i missing something.

Thanks guys.

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmason4 View Post
Thanks dkershner for starting this thread. I am the guy he references. My buddy was asking me about a steeping of the grains step. Being an absolute beginner i had no idea what he was talking about and i did not see this step mentioned in your recipe.

Is this skipped due to it being a GF brew? Or am i missing something.

Thanks guys.
Beginning recipes, both gluten-having and gluten-free, skip this step.

The step is relatively easy for barley beers, but much more difficult for gluten-free ones. You usually have to malt or toast your own grain, which is MOST DEFINITELY not something you want to tackle on your first brew.

Here's what John has to say about it: http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13.html
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:54 PM   #8
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it is not difficult-- and well worth it to toast malt at home [i am not talking about malting it].

But the one downside is time. You should wait 2 to 3 weeks for the home toasted malt to sit in a paper bag.
and if it is your first attempt, you are probably itching to do it. This is the only reason i can think of why you wouldn't buy some whole buckwheat at a health food store and toast it at home; for a steeping grain.


http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter20-4.html

For me the sorghum has a crummy taste that i wouldn't want to drink it straight as extract. Steeping grains will add complexity & color (if you toast it dark) and make it taste better.
my two cents.

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Old 01-28-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
it is not difficult-- and well worth it to toast malt at home [i am not talking about malting it.

But the one downside is time. You should wait 2 to 3 weeks for the home toasted malt to sit in a paper bag.
and if it is your first attempt, you are probably itching to do it. This is the only reason i can think of why you wouldn't buy some whole buckwheat at a health food store and toast it at home; for a steeping grain.


http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter20-4.html
Agreed that it isn't actually difficult, but the process is a rather extended one for a new brewer. Feel free to read about it though for the future, midfielder is dead on.

Quote:
For me the sorghum has a crummy taste that i wouldn't want to drink it straight as extract. Steeping grains will add complexity & color (if you toast it dark) and make it taste better.
my two cents.
Agreed. But that's what the hops and sugars are for in the above recipes!
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:20 PM   #10
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hmmm... I'm not sure sugars do a very good job to mask sorghum. Sugars ferment out and are used to lighten the beer, dry it out and increase ABV. (see, belgian beer for example).
I do agree on the hops. i always add a s#&%t load

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