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Old 10-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
johndtuesday
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Default Gluten-Free Holiday Stout - Suggestions

Long time lurker, first time poster. Three years ago, I was hit with the Celiac diagnosis and my worldview turned upside down. I have tried pretty much every gluten-free beer I could find on the market in the US and in Europe, but I have not been pleased at all at the selection. Moreover, I have had reactions to gluten-reduced beers made using Clarity Ferm. I have brewed a couple of gluten-free pale ales at home that I relatively enjoy, but the thing I miss the most are stouts. So, I have decided to take a stab at a holiday stout for the upcoming winter holidays. I have taken inspiration from a few recipes on these forums (such as Casanova's Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout) and from a few recipes on the Gluten-Free Home Brewing Facebook page. I have tried to include some classic Christmas breakfast ingredients with a chestnut base, oats, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and lactose. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I plan on doing the boil next weekend.

Here is the current game-plan:

Gluten-Free Holiday Stout

Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Boiling Time: 60 Minutes
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @ 68 degrees
Secondary Fermentation: 7 days @ 68 degrees
Botling: Carbonated with 3.5 oz of corn sugar

Ingredients/Instructions:

5 lbs medium roasted chestnut chips steeped at 160 degrees for 24 hours with amylase and pectinase
2 lbs roasted oats steeped at 160 degrees for 30 minutes prior to boil
3 lbs sorghum syrup (prior to boil)
1 lb dark Belgian candi syrup (prior to boil)
0.5 oz nugget hops (60 min)
1 oz willamette hops (10 min)
1 tsp Irish moss (10 min)
1 tsp yeast nutrient (10 min)
1 tbsp fat free cocoa powder (10 min)
8 oz maltodextrin (5 min)
8 oz lactose (5 min)
1 pckg S-04 safale yeast
2 vanilla beans, split and chopped (added to secondary)
12 oz of cold-brewed Sumatran coffee (added at bottling)

Some remarks:

* I decided to use lactose to add some body and sweetness to the beer. I am hoping it will also work well with the cocoa, oats, and coffee.
* I am wondering if 12 oz of cold-brewed coffee may be too much and will diminish the head and body of the beer (beyond what one already expects with a gluten-free beer). I will be cold-brewing the coffee for 24 hours and then using a press to minimize acidity and maximize smoothness. I am also hoping the coffee will improve the color of the beer.
* I soaked the oats (Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats) for 15 minutes before toasting them at 300 degrees for 2 hours, turning them every 15 minutes. They turned a chocolate color and have a nice toasted oat taste. I have already let them waft in a paper bag for 2 weeks, and I will let them waft for this next week as well.

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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I have no experience with chestnuts, but people seem to like them if they can get past the price tag. If they won't bother you, you can try Thomas Fawcett oat malt which can definitely give you a good base to work with for a GF stout. A pound of D180 does wonders, that's spot on.

I'm not sure what your experience level is, but I'd be concerned about all those flavorings being a bit much. That also looks like a very, very sweet stout. I'd recommend baby steps, if you're new to GF brewing.

Also, I prefer to not boil my sugar syrups and instead add them at flameout. I know there are some who do the same.

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Muench. I keep hearing good things about chestnuts so that is why I decided to go that route. I am honestly not worried about the price tag if I can get a better quality final product. And thanks about the heads up on the oat malt. I am pretty eager to try oat malts (and other gluten-free malts) in the future as a substitution for white sorghum syrup. The gluten-free brewing world seems wide open.

Some notes about experience. I have only tried a few gluten-free pale ales so far and a couple of "gluten-reduced" beers (a blonde and an amber ale), so I do feel like I am probably jumping in over my head. That tends to be the way I go about things though =P. I am a bit concerned about sweetness and hitting the right balance. I added in the maltodextrin as everyone recommends it for adding body to gluten-free beers (and I have found that to be useful with my gluten-free pale ales), but I am wondering if the lactose is a bit much. I might just take that out entirely. I am looking for a distinctive mix of coffee and oat flavors, so I will probably stick with added coffee at the end.

As for boiling the syrups at the end - I have been adding 3 lbs of sorghum syrup before the boil and 3 lbs at flameout for my pale ales and find that works better than adding all 6 lbs before the boil. I think I might just add the 3 lbs of sorghum syrup here too at flameout along with the dark candi syrup.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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The oat malt isn't "gluten-free". There's almost certainly some level of contamination somewhere in the supply chain, but in the final product the gluten content should be quite low. My girlfriend does not react to it, but YMMV. There is not currently any malting house making truly "gluten-free" malt, although CO Malting Company is fairly close. Also check the sticky from igliashon about Clarity Ferm and why it can't be relied on to do what is claimed for gluten.

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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Cross contamination is not as big an issue for me as it was right after my diagnosis, but it still is a problem. I will likely try to eventually malt my own grains, though this is something I do not plan to do for some time.

The sticky from igliashon is enlightening. I learned about Clarity Ferm and its lack of reliability the hard way. About a year or two ago, I had heard all about a "gluten-free" beer (Estrella Damm Daura, specifically) that had been made with barley thanks to Clarity Ferm, but I could not try that beer due to antiquated label laws in Texas. So, I decided to try to brew one myself. I first took a stock barley-based blonde ale recipe and just added Clarity Ferm to the primary. I ended up feeling the consequences of that decision for three days. Still convinced I could make barley-based beer work, I used a combination of malt extract and white sorghum syrup for an "amber ale", but still no dice. Ironically, there is now a wide selection of gluten-reduced beers available here in Texas (Omission, etc.), and in fact I can sometimes handle drinking one of these beers (though never two or more). However, I have decided to brew using only gluten-free ingredients from now on.

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Malting your own grain isn't hard, it's just time-consuming. and you have to be ready to make mistakes.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Two things: good for you for entering this field. There is a GF Holiday Stout recipe on here somewhere that looks good. YOu may want to compare yours to it for ideas. Secondly, I think 12 ounces may be a bit much...but I'm not sure. I have a coffee dunkel I made that is the unanimous favorite among non-gf drinkers. They all say it tastes like "regular" beer. Anyway, I had 1/4oz of cold coffee to each 16 ounce bottle when I pour it. If I measure it wrong and it is just a bit more than 1/4oz of coffee it is too much. 1/4 oz added up to however many bottles I have is beyond my math skills, so just a heads up. It may be too much but it might not be

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:53 PM   #8
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5 gallons of beer = 640 oz; 12 oz coffee per 640 oz of beer = 0.01875 oz coffee per ounce of beer. 12 ounces of beer per bottle = 0.225 oz coffee per bottle, right about 1/4 ounce, as per ChasidicCalvinist's method. So, spot on!

The vanilla and cocoa could be good, but they could also throw off the balance. As someone known for jumping in way over his head right off the bat, PLEASE heed my advice and resist that impulse! The beer will assuredly be good without the spices. Alternatively, you can add vanilla extract and some homemade cacao tincture (or chocolate liqueur) at bottling to half the batch. I'd also throw the oats in the mash with the chestnuts--why not? It'll deepen the flavor and add some more grain-based fermentables. With this much sweetness, I'd also recommend aiming for more like 45 IBUs, unless you want a dessert beer that is only drinkable in small amounts.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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The 1/4 oz per bottle guideline helps quite a bit, many thanks. I am hoping to get 48 bottles out of this batch, so 12 oz should be spot on just as igliashon has said. This is perfect as I have a French press which makes exactly 12 oz of coffee.

Igliashon - thanks for the advice on the vanilla and cocoa. I think I will heed your advice and leave those ingredients out this time around. I also like the idea of adding in the oats with the chestnut mash - a deeper flavor would be fantastic.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:14 AM   #10
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Re: the 24 hour mash of the chestnuts, check out the discussion here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/gf-...uccess-348500/

It's questionable if this is really necessary, although it can't hurt.

I've never used vanilla beans in a brew, but 2 strikes me as a lot. Is this is a typical amount to add to secondary?

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