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Old 03-16-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default steeping grains

I would like to brew some GF beers for my family members and friends who are gluten free. I am an extract brewer and was wondering if things like quinoa, millet, etc... can be steeped, or must they be mashed? If they cannot be, what is a good extract only recipe. Thanks.

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by asidrane View Post
I would like to brew some GF beers for my family members and friends who are gluten free. I am an extract brewer and was wondering if things like quinoa, millet, etc... can be steeped, or must they be mashed? If they cannot be, what is a good extract only recipe. Thanks.
Well...if you want to get any fermentable sugars from them, you're going to need to malt and mash (and I think do a cereal mash or something). If you just want to get flavoring out them, it is possible to roast some unmalted gf grains and steep them.

For simplicity starting out, I would recommend doing an extract-only recipe. The easiest way to do this is to pick out an extract recipe you already like, and replace the LME/DME with Sorghum Extract syrup and rice extract syrup/solids.

What sort of beer do you think your family/friends would like to try?
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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He is more asking because certain grains cannot be steeped in conventional brewing, grains like Rye. The flavor will not come out as expected.

I wish I could answer your question fully asidrane, but we dont really know what malted and mashed quinoa, millet, etc taste like, so we have no way to compare.

That being said, I know that steeped grains will add some sort of flavor, so I think you should try it and see if it is something you like the flavor of. Remember that you can do so outside a brew (just put the grains in 160F water) and get the separate taste of just that grain. Like it? Add it!

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Old 03-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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He is more asking because certain grains cannot be steeped in conventional brewing, grains like Rye. The flavor will not come out as expected.

I wish I could answer your question fully asidrane, but we dont really know what malted and mashed quinoa, millet, etc taste like, so we have no way to compare.

That being said, I know that steeped grains will add some sort of flavor, so I think you should try it and see if it is something you like the flavor of. Remember that you can do so outside a brew (just put the grains in 160F water) and get the separate taste of just that grain. Like it? Add it!
Somewhat off topic, but the only unmalted, uncooked grain I can recall hearing about being used in extract+specialty brewing is unmalted wheat.

I've only given thought to using roasted grains (malted or unmalted) as specialty grains in my extract brews.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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I think the "Can anyone tell me a good GF recipe" seems to be the most frequent question. Think we should get a sticky with details?

Did you happen to say what kind of beer you/your friends are looking for? Dark and malty? Light lager? IPA?
You can do any sort of gluten free extract combination:
Molasses, Honey, Sorghum, brown rice seems to be the most common 4 available.
Check DKershner's website there.

As for steeping, the only think I've gotten from oats so far is toast notes, not grain notes.

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Old 03-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Sorry I wasn't more specific. I was thinking along the lines of specialty grains in extract brewing. As far as styles go, my sister said the best GF beer she has tried is Quest from Green brewer. Anyone have a recipe for that?

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:15 PM   #7
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Somewhat off topic, but the only unmalted, uncooked grain I can recall hearing about being used in extract+specialty brewing is unmalted wheat.

I've only given thought to using roasted grains (malted or unmalted) as specialty grains in my extract brews.
True enough, but what does the malting really do if you aren't releasing any of the sugar? When I am thinking of steeping, I think of it more like cooking or making soup, in which case I care very little whether it's malted.

Now cooked...that could make a difference.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by asidrane View Post
Sorry I wasn't more specific. I was thinking along the lines of specialty grains in extract brewing. As far as styles go, my sister said the best GF beer she has tried is Quest from Green brewer. Anyone have a recipe for that?
It was the inspiration for this beer. Came out...less close than I'd hoped, but still good.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DKershner View Post
True enough, but what does the malting really do if you aren't releasing any of the sugar? When I am thinking of steeping, I think of it more like cooking or making soup, in which case I care very little whether it's malted.

Now cooked...that could make a difference.
I was leaning more towards steeping 'cooked' (roasted, toasted, etc) grains.

Just from the perspective that unmalted grain won't taste like grain that has been malted and kilned (which I see as some level of cooking) or especially as roasted grain.

I think the whole thing of steeping gf grains, and MAKING the grains to steep, is something that could generate a whole thread-worth of discussion...(I've been trying to read up on specialty grains in non-gf so that I can figure out how to replicate them...)
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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It was the inspiration for this beer. Came out...less close than I'd hoped, but still good.
Thanks, I'll use this as a good foundation to work off of. What changes would I see in the beer if I swapped in brown rice extract for sorghum, either partially or completely?
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