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Old 09-07-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
Cueball
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Default Gluten-Free Oops?

For my third batch of homebrew ever, I figured I'd make a nice gluten-free beer to split with a good friend who has celiacs. Nice idea right?

I found a "simple simon" recipe on the web and noticed that the ingredient amounts didn't match exactly with commercially available containers, so I bought extra of everything and figured I'd measure it out when adding ingrediants to the boil.

Fast-forward to brew day, and my friend and I are having a barbecue with wives and kids running around while we brew. Lots of wine and G-F beer to be enjoyed. When the dust settled, I realized that we had just added EVERYTHING to the brew. Double the extract, double the honey, and 1.5x the hops.

I'm not exactly sure what to do, if anything, to salvage this. I have one "clean" fermentation bucket that I use for gluten-free (and one "dirty" one that I used for regular beer) so I don't have room to dilute everything 2-for-1 and make a double batch. Will I end up with swill? Can I just let it ferment longer and have something stronger?

I welcome any suggestions.

Thanks

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Old 09-07-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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Scrub the bejeebers out of your 'dirty' fermentation bucket, then split the batch and add water.

Think of it this way. People eat off of plates and forks that have touched gluten, but they're fine because they are washed between batches. Most breweries that make gluten-free beer (example Deschutes) make it on the same equipment, but they just do a double-sanitization on everything...make it extra clean.

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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I would just leave it as is and have a power brew. Diluting it at this point would give you some serious added contamination risk, and since you doubled near all the ingredients, I think it will come out fine as a stronger brew.

If you need more hops, dry hop it after fermentation, but I doubt you will.

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Old 09-08-2010, 06:51 PM   #4
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I guess really all you did was make a "Double".

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Old 09-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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I would leave it as it is. Let it sit in primary for several weeks and watch your readings. The dry hop suggestion is great.

I am local, Halfmoon, nice to see others from the area on here.

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Old 09-08-2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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well. doubling up everything will make it a stronger brew. but wont the yeast crap out when the alcohol content gets up there in strength, leaving a lot of the sugars unfermented, not to mention the possibility of glass bombs leaving so much unfermented sugar. other question is that.. might the brew get "hot" with the large content of alcohol. could he think about pitching a champange yeast into the secondary? ferment out everything and bottle.. age it longer. kinda like a barley wine

splitting the batch could be a good idea. but theres a serious microbe contamenation risk.. what about waiting for the fermentation in the primary to finish.. boil water. cool water. then split it.

then again, with the alcohol involved nothing pathogenic should be able to survive.

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Old 09-08-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtbagHomebrew View Post
well. doubling up everything will make it a stronger brew. but wont the yeast crap out when the alcohol content gets up there in strength, leaving a lot of the sugars unfermented, not to mention the possibility of glass bombs leaving so much unfermented sugar. other question is that.. might the brew get "hot" with the large content of alcohol. could he think about pitching a champange yeast into the secondary? ferment out everything and bottle.. age it longer. kinda like a barley wine

splitting the batch could be a good idea. but theres a serious microbe contamenation risk.. what about waiting for the fermentation in the primary to finish.. boil water. cool water. then split it.

then again, with the alcohol involved nothing pathogenic should be able to survive.
The yeast will crap out if it starts getting upwards of 14% ABV, but IIRC Simple Simon hovers around 5%, so doubling would only take it to 10% or so.

Glass bombs would only happen if the unfermented sugar was suddenly fermented in the bottles. This USUALLY only happens when people bottle too early, before the yeast are done, but I suppose pitching a stronger yeast at bottling could do it too. He will be doing neither of these things though, hopefully.

Hot? Hell yes it will. A 10% beer will be best in about, 6mo-2yrs. But, you can drink it sooner if you like a little burn.

I do not think champagne yeast is necessary or would be good in this case.

You are correct about the splitting risk, but the ABV doesnt happen until later. At this point, its still sugar for all sorts of bacteria, and a lot of it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:20 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the fantastic advice.

I have taken something of a middle road. I did decide to split the batch, but am not diluting to a full 10-gallon double-batch concentration. I spent last night scrubbing my extra fermenting bucket like there was no tomorrow, and am using a (sanitized) brand new lid, because there are so many nooks and crannys that I was worried I wouldn't get all the gluten out.

I racked half the wort into the second bucket and diluted both. Considering that I hadn't truly doubled the original hops, I also did a mini-boil of around a quart of water and added 1oz additional hops to the total before splitting the batch.

The aroma of the wort was amazing. I don't know if this is typical of sorghum, but it didn't have as harsh of a smell as the other brews I've made. If the flavor even approaches the the smell, this should be an excellent beer.

I'll update the forum in a couple of weeks and let everyone know how it's going.

-Cueball

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Old 09-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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Interested to see how this turns out! Keep us posted over the next few weeks.

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Well we had our first tasting over the weekend, and I'm sorry to say that the results were mixed. For some reason, half of the split batch turned out very nicely, while the other half has some fairly pronounced off flavors and is poorly carbonated. It may end up as sacrifice on the altar of experience.

On the positive side, the half batch that turned out well is delightful. I was taken by surprise at how fruity the sorghum tases as compared to a traditional malt and actually think it would make a good addition to a more standard beer. The beer pours a translucent honey-amber color that resembles a belgian wheat beer. The hone note comes through strongly in the taste as well, making this a good candidate for a really nice summer brew.

Even with the extra hops, I don't get a strong hop taste or aroma, but overall, the brew is very drinkable and was thoroughly enjoyed by many at a saturday cookout.

Other than my own mistakes leading me to really having only a half-batch for double the ingredients, I think this was a good first effort at a gluten-free brew. On the next go-around for this recipe, I plan to use a higher concentration of sorghum malt extract to less honey.

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