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Old 03-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
bernerbrau
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Default Read the basics, still need advice on getting into GF

Hey guys,

My wife and I just found out she may have Celiac disease (she's seeing an allergist later this month to confirm), so I've decided to look into gluten free brewing so that I can brew beer that she can drink. I've been all-grain for close to two years now, so what I'm really looking for is how GF is different from traditional brewing, and where people normally get their supplies from.

I know from the sticky in here that the approximate substitution is barley/sorghum, wheat/millet, rye/buckwheat, oats/quinoa. However, I'm also wondering if there's a malt/mash requirement for these. Do people generally do all-grain GF, or is there some reason this is infeasible or unnecessary? Is there any reputable supplier for malted versions of these grains?

It also appears that sorghum is more bitter than barley. Does this mean a light beer like a pilsner or hefeweizen style GF would be difficult to do well?

Finally, a word about liquid yeast. It looks like WLP has 2 ppm of gluten in it (the final product, that is). Would it be possible to dilute this further through a series of GF starters?

Thanks, guys!

(Also, if anyone has experience with gluten free shopping, if you could give us some pointers or good resources, we'd appreciate it!)

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:53 AM   #2
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Check out the sticky thread about ingredients and the many threads about malting. If you're going for grain, good luck. We're all working on malting and mashing any of the grains (as well as other ingredients) right now with various results. We don't have centuries of process behind us so the demand wasn't high, so the ingredients weren't there (like barley is). One of those if it wasn't broken why fix it situations. Well, it's now broken.
There is only a few theoretical supplies for pre-malted (or rather, just sprouted) quinoa but it's not malted etc as your normal grain is. Any other grain is just plain grain, and like unmalted barley, just trying to use it in a beer doesn't work well. As mentioned in the malting thread, most don't really have the beta amlayse needed, and there isn't really an outside source (other than barley). It's being worked on through things such as sweet potatoes (two known threads somewhere) but as you can see, since we have to malt, kiln and mash usually without prior knowledge of doing barley, it does tend to be a bit unfeasable. Not impossible though, but because certain ingredients (sorghum extract and brown rice syrup) are fairly common to find, either through online sources (northern brewery, midwest brewing supplies, homebrewing.org) and some health food stores, we tend to direct new people (experienced brewers or not) to use either or a combination of those two ingredients.



There are many good recipes out there. Define what you're looking for and check out the recipes on some of the people's names (Dkeshner and Lcasanova). You can throw any combination of sorghum syrup, hops and yeast to get a decent gluten free beer. I just did 7 pounds of sorghum, 2 ounces of Kent golding(60), 1 ounce for aroma and S0-4 yeast with good results, and people seem to like it, and like it even more when I cut it down with carbonated water.

Check out the threads about the light beers, particularly using combinations of brown rice syrup and sorghum syrup for light beers. Check out the blonde ale and blood orange hefeweizen.
(http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/casanovas-gluten-free-hefe-modified-224858/)

There's a thread on diluting the gluten content by going through a series of starters. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/how-make-any-yeast-gluten-free-170919/

Shopping is easier now than it was a few years ago. Most items will print, in bold, any of the 8 main allergens on the ingredient list. Many items will say "gluten free" on the front if they pass the tests. Other items may not say this, but are mostly safe, only because they don't feel like taking the test.

She'll want to avoid wheat, barley, rye, malt (malt extract). There's more details on sites such as celiac.com

A great deal of what you'll do and try will depend on the person's sensitivity. Some are incredibly sensitive where ANY amount of gluten will trigger some sort of reaction. Some are slightly intolerant where they can have a tiny (under 20ppm per ...day or so) and not have a reaction. Many people don't get tested for positive and simply try going without to find out if they have a problem or not. (lots of false positives and negatives, you'll see LOTS of stories about going though 20 or so tests and doctors over the years before someone finally told them to try it.)

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:35 AM   #3
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Hey mate, if you're looking for a good basic recipe to start off with this. Dkershner's might be a good start. Very simple reicpe and should make a decent brew.

http://brew.dkershner.com/2009/gluten-free-tripel-blonde/

I stick with the dry fermentis yeasts and they've worked really well for me so far. Pale ale's work well with sorghum syrup as well I find.

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
It also appears that sorghum is more bitter than barley. Does this mean a light beer like a pilsner or hefeweizen style GF would be difficult to do well?
It's not really bitter, more of a citrusy twang. Light beers are actually easier to create, since the gluten free beer ingredients are very light in both color and flavor. Hefeweizen is also mostly yeast flavor, so that one is fairly easy to replicate. Pilsner is a bit tougher since most of the flavor comes from...pilsner.

Here are some of our attempts though:
http://brew.dkershner.com/2010/no-pils-pils/
http://brew.dkershner.com/2010/keineweizen-2/
http://brew.dkershner.com/2009/strawberry-keineweizen/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f75/gluten-free-blood-orange-hefe-181144/
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #5
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Dropped by Whole Foods and picked up about half a cup each of amaranth, quinoa, and millet. Giving them a soak and then I'm gonna try malting and see what they taste like in beer.

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Old 03-11-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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Any success with malting them?

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Old 03-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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Any success with malting them?
The amaranth is really slow to sprout and the millet's probably a lost cause.

The quinoa malted OK, but I forgot to crush the seeds when I mashed them, so instead of wort I got this pale, opaque, not very sweet liquid.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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DKershner, I'm interested in doing a batch of the no pils pils. A couple things though: 1. I only have access to rice syrup solids and not brown rice syrup, and 2. You said the honey was really noticeable and that you would use less sorghum and more rice if you did it again.

With that in mind I figured I could change it to 1.5# honey, 3.25# sorghum syrup, and 2# rice syrup solids. I was also thinking I'd dilute some WLP800 to render it basically gluten free, since I have a vial on hand which I was going to use for a non-GF recipe anyway.

Does that sound like it would work out well?

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
DKershner, I'm interested in doing a batch of the no pils pils. A couple things though: 1. I only have access to rice syrup solids and not brown rice syrup, and 2. You said the honey was really noticeable and that you would use less sorghum and more rice if you did it again.

With that in mind I figured I could change it to 1.5# honey, 3.25# sorghum syrup, and 2# rice syrup solids. I was also thinking I'd dilute some WLP800 to render it basically gluten free, since I have a vial on hand which I was going to use for a non-GF recipe anyway.

Does that sound like it would work out well?
This beer is what I would call a light lager with some honey taste to it. It didn't taste much like anything, but the taste you could gather was of honey.

With that said, if you want even less honey flavor, your recipe should work out fine. Remember though, that I added the honey into the fermenter, if you do differently you will have a much different result.

I can think of no better yeast for this beer than Pilsner Urquell, although remember that this is a drier yeast than what I used and that it will reduce the honey flavor on its own as well.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKershner View Post
This beer is what I would call a light lager with some honey taste to it. It didn't taste much like anything, but the taste you could gather was of honey.

With that said, if you want even less honey flavor, your recipe should work out fine. Remember though, that I added the honey into the fermenter, if you do differently you will have a much different result.

I can think of no better yeast for this beer than Pilsner Urquell, although remember that this is a drier yeast than what I used and that it will reduce the honey flavor on its own as well.
Hmm. Do you think maybe steeping 1-2 pounds of some malted and lightly caramelized quinoa (or maybe just toasted and crushed) would help the flavor?
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