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-   -   GF GF Ale (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/gf-gf-ale-358867/)

muench1 10-04-2012 11:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Gluten Free Girlfriend Ale

The recipe is linked here. The new version of Hopville still has some problems- it's mixing up my mashed grain with the late boil "extract" ingredients, so the efficiency is all messed up on there. Suffice to say my efficiency was bad, something like 55%. Apparently the 100% efficiency of the D-180, sorghum and honey was enough to, on average, convince the calculator I'd hit my original target of 70% :rolleyes:

Mash was pretty inexact; used only endogenous enzymes and held roughly in the low 150s for 90 minutes while watching TV. Some of my Fawcett Oat was kind of old as well (I had some old leftover that I used along with fresh stuff I just got).

First few days of primary were quite vigorous, but then no discernible activity after 7 days, so I racked to secondary today. It tastes and smells like beer, with nothing to indicate that it's gluten free. The hopping seems like it might be a bit off, but I was literally out of hops and just decided to brew up with the Perle and Crystal I had leftover, and hops are easy to adjust anyways. It's pretty darn cloudy still but I'll wait and see if it drops clear, but looks really aren't the point. I'm waiting a few more days to take my FG reading.

muench1 10-06-2012 08:58 PM

Took FG today, sampled it, and had the girlfriend drink the hydrometer sample. Two parts:

My opinion: I like it. It tastes like beer. It's not anything super special, just a nice ale. It's comparable to better quality storebought barley beers. There is nothing in the flavor to suggest anything "special" or "gluten-free". I like it, but not as much as my big dark barley beers. I aimed for a medium hopped, medium malty, beer-y ale and it hit the mark.

Her opinion: She likes that it has no sorghum flavor. She tried it and was kind of stunned for a little. I could tell she was trying to wrap her head around it, as she's never had "real" beer before in her life. After a minute she decided she enjoyed the half-glass of flat beer with her lunch.

I claim succeess, unless something terrible happens when I bottle it (which has happened to me before :eek: )

muench1 11-15-2012 07:51 AM

Tapped this yesterday. It's great, and tastes like a good brown ale. Maybe a very slight hint of the candi syrup flavor hiding in the maltiness.

Cainepolo12 11-16-2012 05:08 PM

Hey muench1, sounds great. I've never tried malting before, but where do you get your ingredients. I'm always trying to learn something new!

muench1 11-17-2012 07:45 AM

I've only done a little malting, but all of these ingredients are storebought. Northern Brewer and Midwest both stock everything including the Fawcett oat malt and Golden naked oats. Candi and sorghum syrups are pretty widely available, and the other ingredients are standard conventional homebrew stuff.

richbrew99 11-17-2012 11:03 AM


Originally Posted by muench1 (Post 4597930)
I've only done a little malting, but all of these ingredients are storebought. Northern Brewer and Midwest both stock everything including the Fawcett oat malt and Golden naked oats. Candi and sorghum syrups are pretty widely available, and the other ingredients are standard conventional homebrew stuff.

Probably a dumb question, are all oats gluten free?

Ash_Mathew 11-17-2012 11:23 AM

Hey man. Not all are, no. Only ones that state they are. Even then, some Coeliacs can not have them. I personally just buy normal ones from the shop and have no issues at all. But again, that is not for everybody. Some places pack it out with wheat flour to boost the weight of the bag etc. So if you do buy them from a supermarket, check the ingredients say 100% oats. It also has to do with crop rotation.

muench1 11-17-2012 07:15 PM

I don't know of anyone that's contacted Fawcett and Sons to ask about how much contamination their malted oats might have. There are two theories: 1) The oats are grown in a region where they tend not to be crop rotated or harvested on contaminated equipment, so they should be OK, and 2) Fawcett malts barley and there would probably be cross-contamination at the malthouse. I suspect both are partially true.

I'll tell you that my girlfriend and a number of other people drink beer brewed with Fawcett oat malt without noticing any problems. So far I haven't heard of anyone reacting.

There are two issues with oats (and a lot of other food products for that matter) and gluten-sensitive people. The first and "simplest" is cross-contamination with wheat, barley or rye. Depending on your level and type of sensitivity, most can tolerate at least a little without noticing ill-effects. Do note that celiac is probably very over-diagnosed as a generic sensitivity to wheat and wheat products, and many "celiacs" probably have a different wheat- or gluten-sensitive condition as I believe my girlfriend does- she tested negative for the celiac antibody but was completely cured by a wheat- and gluten-free diet. The second issue is that people that have been living with celiac (or something similar) for a long time undiagnosed or stubbornly refusing to change their diet tend to develop lots of other lower GI problems over time, making them more and more sensitive to various different foods simply due to their damaged lower GI tract.

muench1 11-27-2012 08:29 AM

So... this was my first candi syrup beer, and I'm wondering if I may have gone about it wrong. When I racked, bottled/kegged, and initially tapped it, it tasted exactly the way I wanted. Nearly two weeks after initially tapping it, the flavor is seeming a little bit wonky. I'm getting some slightly fruity/estery and caramel-y flavors I'm not really fond of that I didn't notice before. I don't think it's a sorghum flavor, and I'm really tempted to blame the candi syrup.

My idea was that darker D180 candi syrup was going to have more intense and "darker" flavor, and that one pound of 180 would also give me roughly the color I was interested in. Is that the wrong way to go about it? Would more but lighter candi syrup, like maybe 2# of D90, be more appropriate since it's less caramelized?

Willie3 11-30-2012 02:49 PM

In my limited exposure and experiments with Sorghum, the flavor that you describe sounds to me like it may be possible your tasting Candi Sugar, however in all the GF Sorghum beers I have brewed I find that the fruity flavor is directly related to Sorghum. I have yet to find a GF beer that I have made that does not have this flavor. Not that the beer is not drinkable, the flavor just doesn't fit into what I know as beer. I find that these GF beers taste better in a wine glass than a pint glass. I think alot has to do with perception and acceptance.

I guess we just have to keep on experimenting to find a GF beer that tastes like beer.

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