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Old 12-29-2010, 08:23 PM   #21
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Not sure what you mean about it not having enough sugar -- I mean 100% barley beer is delicious and isn't used as a sugar substitute...
But anyway, ya, used tons of amylase enzyme, though, like I said, the iodine test kept coming up positive for starch.

Here's what I did in more detail:
I used pre-sprouted quinoa grains, toasted in the oven for ~30 mins.
Mash-in was 12oz quinoa and 1/2gallon of water at 125F, then stepped up (using combination decoction and infusion) to ~140.
After an hour or so raised to ~150 and left it there for another hour and half maybe.
After all that it still seemed starchy, but anyway I sparged with another 1/2 gallon and then boiled for an hour with 1/2oz noble hops of some sort that i found in the freezer. Ended up with 3 cups of wort at 1.064, tossed it into a growler with a packet of champagne yeast. This morning it looks like it's somewhat active, so we'll see.

Don't really know what I'm doing, only do partial mashes so don't have all the equipment for more complicated stuff, but got any ideas for improving conversion?
I was talking about the grain itself, unconverted from starch to sugar. Barley beer would take like soup without conversion.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with yours, how much it actually converted. But if anything is reasonably converted at all, the champagne yeasties will get it. With a bunch of amylase, you will probably end up with a full bodied beer, but nothing out of line. The decoction should help too, so who knows, this could come out good.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:13 PM   #22
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I see, ya, might end up with quinoa soup, which could good too I guess.
But what do you mean by "With a bunch of amylase, you will probably end up with a full bodied beer...?" This is my first time using it, and my brewing chemistry knowledge is very basic, but i thought amylase converts starch to sugar, making it a dried beer...

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:27 PM   #23
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I see, ya, might end up with quinoa soup, which could good too I guess.
But what do you mean by "With a bunch of amylase, you will probably end up with a full bodied beer...?" This is my first time using it, and my brewing chemistry knowledge is very basic, but i thought amylase converts starch to sugar, making it a dried beer...
Well, my beer chemistry might be a little better than basic, but I certainly am no expert, but here goes. Also, my knowledge is really limited to Barley, so I will have to explain it that way.

In a normal barley mash, the temperature determines how fermentable the wort ends up, essentially ranging from very dry at 148 to very full bodied at 160. The reason for this is the enzymes at play. Beta amylase enzymes are more "excited" at the lower end of the range, and they make the beer very dry. Alpha amylase enzymes are more excited at the high end of the range, and while they still convert starch to sugar, they do less, leaving a more full bodied beer.

Hope that helps, at least somewhat. You essentially only had alpha, and therefore only converted what alpha would take care of, similar to a 158-160F mash.

This is also why we talk a lot about beta.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:35 PM   #24
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Interesting, thanks a lot. I kept the mash at the lower end temp-wise because I had heard it would make it drier, but I guess if I was only adding alpha amlylase that wasn't super useful.
I saw from searching the forum it sounds like the easiest way to add beta is to use sweet potatoes, so maybe I'll try that next time -- quinoa sweet potato ale sounds pretty good, no?
thanks again

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:53 PM   #25
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Interesting, thanks a lot. I kept the mash at the lower end temp-wise because I had heard it would make it drier, but I guess if I was only adding alpha amlylase that wasn't super useful.
I saw from searching the forum it sounds like the easiest way to add beta is to use sweet potatoes, so maybe I'll try that next time -- quinoa sweet potato ale sounds pretty good, no?
thanks again
Sounds like it could be good to me. I am in process of designing a system that I should be able to mash GF beers with. I will be experimenting with them then.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:04 PM   #26
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Not many have tried, but I doubt there is enough sugar just lying around in Quinoa to make a decent beer. After all, if this were the case, people probably wouldn't use it as a replacement food for grains, but rather as a sweetener or sugar substitute.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-pasta/5705/2

Quinoa is 70% carbs, 15% protein and 15% fat...very similar profile to Oats. While not sweet, with the right amount of enzymes and starch conversion it can likely yield a decent beer. There's at least plenty of carbs for making alcohol.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:58 AM   #27
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You mentioned "pre-sprouted" quinoa...was it purchased that way? When I think of pre-sprouted I think of a grain that has gone a little further than I would want it to have gone for brewing, meaning not much sugars left behind for conversion.

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Old 12-30-2010, 04:24 PM   #28
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You mentioned "pre-sprouted" quinoa...was it purchased that way? When I think of pre-sprouted I think of a grain that has gone a little further than I would want it to have gone for brewing, meaning not much sugars left behind for conversion.
Well, it looked like it was sprouted about as much as you would if you did it yourself -- i.e., the sprouts were about twice as long as the grains.
I used this: http://www.truroots.com/p.aspx?cont=Products&id=9

Like I said, with 12 ounces I got 3 cups of 1.064 wort. Could be mostly starch, but there was something in there...
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:26 PM   #29
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http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-pasta/5705/2

Quinoa is 70% carbs, 15% protein and 15% fat...very similar profile to Oats. While not sweet, with the right amount of enzymes and starch conversion it can likely yield a decent beer. There's at least plenty of carbs for making alcohol.
Yeah...any ideas how to convert the starches though?
I guess a related question is: am I right to be using the iodine test for a 100% quinoa mash, or is it never going to all convert and I should just hope for some sugars? Any way to know how much of the gravity is coming from fermentables?
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:57 PM   #30
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Yeah...any ideas how to convert the starches though?
I guess a related question is: am I right to be using the iodine test for a 100% quinoa mash, or is it never going to all convert and I should just hope for some sugars? Any way to know how much of the gravity is coming from fermentables?
Iodine test is the only easy way I know.

Taste what it tastes like, we can worry about converting the sugars or even compensating with other sugars after we know if quinoa's taste is worth the effort.
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