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Old 10-21-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
Androshen
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Default Grain prep - malted vs unmalted

As I am preparing to delve into my first attempt at home brewing I find myself reading furiously to make sure I "do things right" ....
One question that I have come up with is this ... do I need to malt my grains? Or will simply roasting them in the oven be sufficient?
I seem to see schools of thought regarding both choices so I will hold off a bit to gather more opinions for me to use in making my decision.
I currently have 3 grains that I will be using ... buckwheat groats, white quinoa and millet.
Is malting the grains necessary? If not, what does it add to the beer to do so and what would I be missing out if I simply roasted the grains as is?
If I malt the grains, are there any problems with malting the above grains that I should be aware of?

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Old 10-21-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
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Oh ... also .... if I do not malt the grains, is there anything that needs to be added to the mix that would not be needed if the grains were malted?

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Old 10-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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Malting grains produces enzymes that breakdown the starches into sugars. If you don't malt, you have to add amylase or a similar enzyme.

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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You can always roast the malted/unmalted grains and use them as specialty grains. If you malt enough you could try to mash them, but you need to do a decoction- search around here for that. Hope that gives you some ideas!

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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After some research, I see a number of people saying that a malt extract is needed for brewing ... is this necessary? Should I be trying to obtain some sorghum malt extract or should adding the amylase be sufficient? Or do the 2 serve different purposes?

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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There should be a few recipes under the Gluten Free Brewing Forum for you to try out. I have a 5 gallon recipe for American Brown Ale (at least my take on it) that you can use. You don't have to malt grains for it unless you want to, but regardless you should roast them and steep them before bringing the water up to boil for 60 min. The directions should be there and I can clarify if you need help, shoot me a PM if you want. I'm bottling this tomorrow so taste-wise, I still don't know

For the malt extract...well, you want to use sorghum syrup or even brown rice syrup in it's place. I've only used sorghum syrup so I can't comment on the brown rice syrup, but remember- if you arent using malted grains and doing a mash of some sort, you will need some fermentables, which is what this extract, or syrup, will provide.

Hope that wasn't too confusing, if I mixed something up here I'm sure someone will chime in to fix it! Oh, and I have no experience with the amylase yet, so I can't help there.

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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Is your recipe posted?
The more I research lagers the more I think I am actually aiming for an ale anyway ....

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Androshen View Post
Is your recipe posted?
The more I research lagers the more I think I am actually aiming for an ale anyway ....
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/gluten-free-american-brown-ale-140888/

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Old 10-22-2009, 07:47 PM   #9
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What is the primary purpose of the sorghum? Could it be replaced with Honey? Which ingredient is responsible for color? I want to be sure to get something darker than ginger-ale. :-)

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Old 10-22-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Androshen View Post
What is the primary purpose of the sorghum? Could it be replaced with Honey? Which ingredient is responsible for color? I want to be sure to get something darker than ginger-ale. :-)
Sorghum provides the fermentable sugar and adds some color, although it will get masked if you use something dark enough like molasses or dark specialty grains. I don't know if I'd replace it with honey completely, but use honey in addition if you want.

You can use dark belgian candi syrup to add some color, you can use blackstrap molasses or gluten-free grains that you've roasted yourself (I've used them all except for the candi syrup). If you're making a 5 gallon batch use about 1-2 lbs of grains and steep...

Any one else got some advice?
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