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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Gluten Free Brewing > GF Beer that Tastes Like ... Beer?
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:30 AM   #11
Thunder_Chicken
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Perhaps a bad analogy, but it sounds like GF brews are to traditional grain-based beers what tea is to coffee - some truly prefer one to the other, and others consider one a substitute for the other. You might enjoy gluten free beers on their own merits out of personal choice, or you might be one who accepts it as a substitute for something else that they can't or shouldn't have.

I'll agree that my problem is probably one of what to expect of GF brews. It sounds like the idea of a perfect traditional beer substitute may be a stretch, but with that in mind I'm open to making something tasty that may or may not resemble traditional beer.

I'm not so familiar with sorghum (other than a very occaisional sample of molasses) and rice syrup. Is the sorghum flavor really something like the flavor of molasses, something that displaces/replaces the role of malt (i.e. different flavor, but similar role in providing body)? I know some BMC type beers utilize rice, but am having a hard time envisioning the true flavor of it.

I think I need to make a small sample batch of something so I can get a taste and a feel for these types of fermentables. The stout and brown ale recipes on the recipe forum seem a little heavier than I was thinking/hoping. Can anyone suggest something somewhat lighter with a bit more hop balance?

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Old 05-17-2013, 04:08 AM   #12
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The analogy is kind of correct. Imagine if coffee made you violently ill though. Your getting the right idea about style.

Rice just lightens body. It doesn't taste like much unless you go with some exotic stuff. Sorghum tastes metallic-y and a little fruity. Everyone agrees that it has a twang. Try it. You will understand.

Here is a really old recipe I once made:

Gluten Free IIPA

5 gallons

Fermentables:
3.3 lbs Sorghum syrup (1/2 at 60 and 1/2 at 0)
2 lbs Amber candi syrup (0 min)
1 lb Buckwheat honey (0 min)
1 lb Rice Syrup Solids (60 min)
1.5 lb Clover Honey (10 min)
1 lb slightly toasted GF oats (Steeped)

I homemade the candi syrup. Also, I actually mashed the oats with yams and rice.

Hops:
FWH- .25oz perle, .5oz UK kent goldings, .25oz cluster
60 min - 1 oz perle
30 min - .5oz Centennial, .5oz UK kent goldings, .75oz cluster
20 min - .5oz Centennial
15 min - .5oz Northern Brewer
10 min - .5oz Centennial
5 min - .5oz Centennial

No idea whats up with that hop schedule but, its what I used. No dry hop either. Dunno... I'd change that.

Ferment:
1 pkg s-04
1 pkg t-58
2 weeks @ 65F

That seems like a stupid yeast choice. This recipe gets weirder the further I read. Well that was the last extract brew I made. I feel like I have made some brewing strides since then.

It was pretty good and got you messed up. Feel free to change anything in there. I can see a bunch of stuff I would. Good luck.

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Old 05-17-2013, 05:35 AM   #13
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OK a celiac friend abd his gluten intolerant sister has tried my "GF beer" and without any side effect. Both are hypersensitive to the point of swishing a regular beer in their mouth and spitting it out would make him not feel well for a day or 2.

Slap together a medium gravity beer recipe with little to no wheat variety in your grain bill.

I did a maris otter base with 60L, dextrine, flaked oats, biscuit malt, chocolate, and some special B. Little fuggles, little EKG action, chilled it, then aerated the c!?p out it like we all do. Then I added Clarity Ferm, aerated again, pitched my yeast, and aerated one last time. That's it!

I also just made a 10g batch of Kolsch. One half is all natural and the other half got the Clarity Ferm. Just kegged both and added honeydew melon. I cannot taste the difference!

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Old 05-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #14
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Thunder Chicken,

Please note that Sorghum Molasses and the Sorghum Syrup reference in this forum are different. Molasses is made from "juicing" the stalk and boiling it down. The Syrup is made from the grain using a "malting" process and is chemically the closest replacement for standard LME. There are additional and different minerals in Sorghum Syrum that seem to create the "twang" as it's known, most brewers have found that split addition and aging will melow the "twang"

kingof14ers

We appreciate your input and I for one would love to see te hop schedules that you used for both those beers. The problem is that Barley, Wheat and Rye all contain gluten. If you take a look at the first sticky in this forum you'll see how large the debate is around the effectiveness of Clarity Ferm. The basic idea is that Clarity Ferm breaks the gluten molecule down into its component parts, so the standard tests will not detect gluten molecules, but the component parts can cause reactions in some people that are sensitive. The danger here is that though no outward reaction in felt, the damage to the internal orgrans may still occur.

I hope that you don't take offence, I'm just trying to inform. The more you know and all that GI Joe taught us right?

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Old 05-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #15
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It's entirely possible to replicate barley beer using GF ingredients. I have a recipe that, when consumed FRESH, tastes just like a brown ale made with barley- if you wait a few weeks it gets strange though . That said, I agree that if your goal with GF brewing is to simply replicate barley you're doing a lot of work for a mediocre result. See this thread for my favorite discussion on GF beer ideology. My favorite:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagec View Post
In some ways it's a problem with the American culture. If we're used to doing things a certain way (like beer), but can't anymore (diet change/health reasons/allergies), we try to replicate an existing product, rather than make something good in its own right.

I haven't made a GF brew for like 6 months (shame on me!) but once I start up again I'll be test brewing with my prototype malts.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewCanuck View Post
Thunder Chicken,

Please note that Sorghum Molasses and the Sorghum Syrup reference in this forum are different. Molasses is made from "juicing" the stalk and boiling it down. The Syrup is made from the grain using a "malting" process and is chemically the closest replacement for standard LME. There are additional and different minerals in Sorghum Syrum that seem to create the "twang" as it's known, most brewers have found that split addition and aging will melow the "twang"
I don't mean to sound like I am trying to make a GF Centennial Blonde clone, but I would be interested in making a tasty GF beer of a similar gravity.

So what sort of GF syrup additions would produce a base beer body/color similar to say, extra-light LME, wort OG ~ 1.040? I understand the flavor would be different. I like the citrusy Pacific NW hop schedule using Centennial & Cascade, but are there similar hop combinations that might play better with the sorghum twang?

Maltodextrin would go in for head retention I assume, essentially replacing the role of dextrinous grains like Carapils/Carafoam?
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