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Old 11-11-2010, 12:21 AM   #101
celiacsurvivor
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Here is the recipe I followed on the 7th of October.

Malted Buckwheat Ale

~2L buckwheat Wort ppg 1016
3L water
300g sorghum syrup
50g Dark Candi Syrup (SRM 82)
8g Pacifica hops (60 mins)
5g Cascade hops (12 mins)
4g Cascade hops (0 mins)
Irish moss (10 mins)

OG - 1026

This was bubbling away nicely the next morning, and has stopped bubbling now exactly a week later. I will leave it in the primary for another week or so and then bottle.
I bottled this on the 27th October, and cracked a bottle the other night.

It was good. Not great - it wouldn't win any awards, but it had a nice head, was nicely carbed and had a sort of caramel taste to it that was delicious. This is the sort of beer I want to have in the fridge for a quiet one after work.

Very pleased with this, and I'll definitley be malting more buckwheat.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #102
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Sooo I'm not sure the attempt to make crystal malt from millet worked. I still had a ton of trouble getting the millet to germinate with any sort of consistency. But I air dried it using a grain back tied inside a pillowcase in the dryer. Then rehydrated it for 24hrs and placed in the oven(should've drained it more, but I don't have a strainer that millet won't just fall through) @150-160 for about three hours. Then bumped it up to 200 for an hour then 220 for another hour then I bumped it up 10 degrees every 1/2hr until I got to 280. Then I ran out of time and had to go to bed, so I turned the oven off and left it in to continue roasting off the residual heat in the oven. It looks pretty pale still, but crumbles easily when you squeeze the individual grains. My primary concern is that fact that it doesn't taste really any sweeter than it did going into the oven(maybe a little bit) which would seem to indicate that I failed to get enough enzymatic activity to get the job done. I haven't given up, but I do need to try something different.

I may switch to Quinoa which I had much better result getting modified, or Buckwheat which modified the best and is big enough so my kitchen stuff will manipulate it much easier.

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Old 11-29-2010, 12:22 PM   #103
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Sooo I'm not sure the attempt to make crystal malt from millet worked. I still had a ton of trouble getting the millet to germinate with any sort of consistency. But I air dried it using a grain back tied inside a pillowcase in the dryer. Then rehydrated it for 24hrs and placed in the oven(should've drained it more, but I don't have a strainer that millet won't just fall through) @150-160 for about three hours. Then bumped it up to 200 for an hour then 220 for another hour then I bumped it up 10 degrees every 1/2hr until I got to 280. Then I ran out of time and had to go to bed, so I turned the oven off and left it in to continue roasting off the residual heat in the oven. It looks pretty pale still, but crumbles easily when you squeeze the individual grains. My primary concern is that fact that it doesn't taste really any sweeter than it did going into the oven(maybe a little bit) which would seem to indicate that I failed to get enough enzymatic activity to get the job done. I haven't given up, but I do need to try something different.
I'm pretty sure what happened here is due to the differences between barley and millet, primarily that millet (and most GF grains) doesn't have enough amylase enzymes to convert on its own.
  • With barley if you hold the temp at 150-160 for 3 hours you're going to get an almost full conversion of long-chain sugars into short-chain sugars.
  • Those short-chain sugars will then start to caramelize as the temperatures increase forming sweeter and different long-chain sugars

Since millet didn't convert then it's not going to caramelize. But with millet you run into the extra fun that if you don't bring it up past the starch conversion temp the sugars won't be as accessible. But bringing it to that temp will kill any of the (mostly) non-existent amylase enzymes.

Long story short, trying to malt and kiln GF grains is a huge PITA. No matter what you do it's going to be a challenge.

Recommendations for the future:
  • Create a thick millet stew and add amylase in during your 3-hour 150-160F hold-time so that you can convert more sugars for caramelization later in the process.
  • We've got to figure out a way to automate this process, because spending an entire day each time we want to kiln a batch is bordering on ridiculous.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:09 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by aggieotis View Post
I'm pretty sure what happened here is due to the differences between barley and millet, primarily that millet (and most GF grains) doesn't have enough amylase enzymes to convert on its own.
  • With barley if you hold the temp at 150-160 for 3 hours you're going to get an almost full conversion of long-chain sugars into short-chain sugars.
  • Those short-chain sugars will then start to caramelize as the temperatures increase forming sweeter and different long-chain sugars

Since millet didn't convert then it's not going to caramelize. But with millet you run into the extra fun that if you don't bring it up past the starch conversion temp the sugars won't be as accessible. But bringing it to that temp will kill any of the (mostly) non-existent amylase enzymes.

Long story short, trying to malt and kiln GF grains is a huge PITA. No matter what you do it's going to be a challenge.

Recommendations for the future:
  • Create a thick millet stew and add amylase in during your 3-hour 150-160F hold-time so that you can convert more sugars for caramelization later in the process.
  • We've got to figure out a way to automate this process, because spending an entire day each time we want to kiln a batch is bordering on ridiculous.
While I would agree that I had a failure to convert, I disagree that it's because Millet doesn't contain enough enzymes. Millet actually has more diastatic power than sorghum(according to an African study I went to from some link on here somewhere) and they make 100% millet beer in Africa by malting and mashing millet by itself. That was my primary reason for choosing millet in the first place. I was hoping to find a way to use it as a substitute for pale malt as a base for doing GF mashes using it enzymatic power to make up for the lack in the other grains.

You are right, someway of automating it is necessary to for sure. Cost is another. Raw millet cost me as much per pound as buying almost any kind of specialty barley malt does, and I still have to take all the time effort and electricity to malt it afterwards.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:58 PM   #105
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While I would agree that I had a failure to convert, I disagree that it's because Millet doesn't contain enough enzymes. Millet actually has more diastatic power than sorghum(according to an African study I went to from some link on here somewhere) and they make 100% millet beer in Africa by malting and mashing millet by itself.
I stand corrected. Not sure why it wouldn't convert for you though. Maybe you could find out more about their malting process that yields higher sugar production?
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:32 PM   #106
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I stand corrected. Not sure why it wouldn't convert for you though. Maybe you could find out more about their malting process that yields higher sugar production?
I have had a lot of trouble getting decent result malting it consistently and completely. I wish those scientific papers included more details about the malting procedure as that would make recreating it a lot easier. There are a lot of variables that I could've had wrong. I suspect incomplete modification in my malting process left me without enough enzymes active so it was doomed from there on out.

So if anyone has had good luck with malting millet, let me know..........please
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #107
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I tried malting Millet as well. It will not. Does anyone know why?

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Old 01-13-2011, 04:56 AM   #108
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I've had good success with (MAKE SURE IT'S HULLED!) red millet (About $15 for a 50 lb. bag from feed & grain store), very inexpensive. It is modeled after a Kenyan Beer, so I call it Obama Beer. It's pretty dark and as long as you use a lot of hops, has a pretty good smack. I also add ginger, osha, some lemon peel and juniper berry for my arthritis.
When you drink this beer in the evening, your joints will feel good and warm.
The trick is in getting about 7 cups or more of millet seed in a bucket, soak overnight, then twice daily soak and rinse and cover until they start to sprout. I'm experimenting with letting them sprout quite long. Then, lay down aluminum foil over your oven inserts, enough so that you can break up the sprouted clump into small even pieces. Roast as you will from 100 deegrees to 350, until all has turned dark brown. I like quite a bit of this in a large pan, and boil for at least an hour, each batch, until you get 5 gal. worth of liquid. Add your hops, I like Warrior and Nottingham yeast, and other things appropriately. 5 cups of sugar seems to be good enough for a 5% alcohol expectation, and you can adjust flavoring as you go.
The rest is the old fermentation, bottling thing.

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Old 01-13-2011, 05:03 AM   #109
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By the way, the sprouted millet is quite tasty on it's own, good for a salad or the like.
The millet hulls contain harmful substances, so be sure to used HULLED millet. Keep the sprouting bucket covered, and it takes 3 to 4 days to get a thick carpet of it.
There's the flavor, anyway, and it's better than sorghum nor tapioca, if you ask me. The more, the darker, the more flavor. Tastes almost like chocolate in a way.
At least ONE thing Obama can be credited favorably for.

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Old 01-13-2011, 05:08 AM   #110
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BTW, I just use my hydrometer to figure out how much sugar to add without going sweet. I'm drinking my newest batch as I speak. Nice on ice, really.
While there may not be much sugar in its starch, table sugar, boiled works for me!

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