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Old 10-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
MapleTreeBrewCo
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Default GF Chocolate Vanilla Ale

In May 2012, we brewed our third batch of gluten free beer - 5 gal -
chocolate vanilla ale.

1 pound gluten free oats, roasted for 1 hour (90)
6 fl oz molasses (60)
6.6 lb. Briess white sorghum extract (60)
1 oz U.S. Northern Brewer pellet hops (8.6% acid) (45)
1/4 oz anise pods
1/2 c ground walnuts, roasted 5 minutes
4 oz cocoa powder
6 oz dextrose
1 Tbs ground coffee
1 oz Hallertau, German pellet hops (4.0% acid)
4 oz vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean


1. Roast oats at 350F until dark brown (about 60 minutes)
2. Roast walnuts at 350F for 5 minutes - watch carefully or they will burn.
3. Add 2.5 gallons distilled water to brew pot. Heat to approximately 150-180F. Soak oats for 30 minutes.
4. Add 6.6 lb sorghum extract and 6 oz of molasses to pot. Bring to a boil. Start 60 minutes timer. Stir to prevent scorching.
5. Place Northern hops in large tea ball (don’t compress). Add to brew pot when mix boils. Boil for 45 minutes.
6. At 30 minutes, add anise.
7. Add walnuts and cocoa powder at 15 minutes.
8. Add dextrose, coffee, and Hallertau hops at 5 minutes.
9. Rehydrate yeast
10. Cool wort in ice bath.
11. Add 2.5 G water to fermenter. Add vanilla bean (quartered & seeded) and vanilla extract.
12. Add wort and yeast to fermenter. Mix well.

AT BOTTLING:
1 1/2 c Jim Bean bourbon
2 oz vanilla extract
1/2 cup dextrose (priming sugar)


Starting gravity was 1.047. Final gravity was 1.004. Final alcohol content was 4.5%. Approximate IBU: 24.05

While our initial goal was a vanilla ale, the vanilla didn't come through as we expected - although it's still a great brew! After sharing this brew with several family and friends, they all agreed it was excellent.

Comments:
* Bourbon, but spicy aroma
* Inadequate carbonation (could use a bit more priming sugar)
* Amber color, opaque
* Nice vanilla notes
* Good mouth feel
* Chocolatey mouth feel
* Coffee undertones with a hint of nuttiness and oats

WAIT a total of 4 weeks after bottling before drinking. It brings out more of the vanilla/chocolate tones than drinking it at 2 weeks post bottling.

Suggestions:
* More priming sugar - we had issues with our tubing and lost some to splashing
* Try without the bourbon addition at bottling
* Cut back on cocoa, add more vanilla
* Replace bourbon with vanilla vodka!


Our next bottling will be in the spring 2013: 2.5 gallon batch of our Blue Moon Clone.

Cheers!!
- Maple Tree Brewing Company
- Gluten Free Diaries

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Old 10-07-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
ChasidicCalvinist
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Interesting recipe, thanks for sharing. I have a number of questions!
What yeast did you use?
What made you think of using walnuts? What did the walnuts add and why only 1/2 a cup? Do you think more and/or other types of nuts might have had a similar effect?
I'm not a fan of chocolate/vanilla flavors. If I left out the vanilla would much be lost?
I am planning on adding 2 cups of bourbon to a beer I have in my secondary. I see you used 1 1/2 cups and it came out a bit strong. Would you recommend 1 cup of bourbon?
Finally, what did the anise seeds contribute? Do you notice their presence?
Thanks!

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Old 10-08-2012, 01:37 AM   #3
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Yes what yeast? I am assuming you have to use dried because White Labs and Wyeast smack packs both have malt in them.

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Hey folks!
Sorry I forgot to include the yeast strain!!! We used 11g Munich wheat beer yeast by Danstar (still gluten free, even though it says "wheat beer yeast").

Per your questions:
What made you think of using walnuts? What did the walnuts add and why only 1/2 a cup? Do you think more and/or other types of nuts might have had a similar effect? I thought the walnut flavor would pair well with the chocolate and vanilla flavors. One of the brew books also mentioned that nuts can add depth to the flavor. It seems difficult to get a "hearty" beer with white sorghum syrup, so we wanted to give this new brew its best chance. This batch was definitely creamier than the last brew, so I think the brew book was right on nuts. Hard to say if it was the walnuts specifically since we haven't tried it without nuts though. We went with 1/2 cup of walnuts since this was our first use of nuts. Seems to work out okay, so we might have to check out some nut brown ale recipes. I think more and/or other types of nuts might have a similar effect, but it might depend on the other flavors in the brew. The nuts roasted pretty quick in the oven, so watch them close. I imagine that drier nuts may be trickier and require more for the same flavor impact.

I'm not a fan of chocolate/vanilla flavors. If I left out the vanilla would much be lost? No, the vanilla was overpowered as is (without adding vanilla vodka), so I don't think you'd lose much.

I am planning on adding 2 cups of bourbon to a beer I have in my secondary. I see you used 1 1/2 cups and it came out a bit strong. Would you recommend 1 cup of bourbon? Seems reasonable, especially if you like bourbon. We'll be tasting any new liquor before determining how much to put in fermenter.

Finally, what did the anise seeds contribute? Do you notice their presence? I'll have to try another beer before I can answer the anise question.

Hope that helps!!

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
ChasidicCalvinist
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It helps tremendously, thank you. I'm not sure if I'm going to brew this beer, but some of what you did in this beer is very clever and I will definitely be attempting to bring into some of my other beers. Though I may go ahead and brew it I do have a hazelnut brown ale I'm planning on making and now I'm wondering if I could roast some hazelnuts and add to the wort like you did.

One more question related to that: how finely did you grind the walnuts? Were they ground prior to roasting or after the roasting? Sorry for all the questions!

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Old 10-11-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Oh! Roasted hazelnuts sounds like a nice addition to your ale! Our walnuts were coarsely chopped and [I]then[I] roasted.

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Old 10-13-2012, 03:06 AM   #7
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Here is an interesting article on adding nuts to beer.
http://byo.com/component/resource/article/2611-brewing-gone-nuts

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the article on nuts! Very interesting. If we ever feel inclined to do our own mash, I think amaranth would pair nicely with nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasidicCalvinist View Post
Interesting recipe, thanks for sharing. I
Finally, what did the anise seeds contribute? Do you notice their presence?
Thanks!
I had to smell some anise seeds before I could pick out that particular flavor in the beer. It's subtle (rare thing for anise), but it's there. It blended nicely - always nice when things work out. I should also note it was anise pods, not seeds. I would imagine seeds would contribute more flavor than the pods.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #9
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So do I! I'm going to try a spin on this recipe this week. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Sweet! I'm going to brew this soon!

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