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Old 11-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #31
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Default Sweet Potato + Buckwheat

I'm Gluten-Free and recently started brewing. I've been mooching off this forum, and now that I've got a few successful sweet-potato brews under my belt (thanks to you), I'd like to chime in. Note - I'm still building up my knowledge and equipment as I go, so the below is eyeballed rather than exact - but it's worked well so far.

I'm combining 2# buckwheat and 6 sweet potatos, a blender and a strainer. Note: the blender creates a really fine mash, so my current brews do require a bit of leg work to separate wert from mash (hence the strainer). I'll finder better ways & equipment with time.

Sweet potato prep: scrub the potatos but leave skin on. Chop small enough for blender to handle. Blend with hot water, set aside for mashing.

Buckwheat prep (two options)-
Option 1: malt, dry, roast, then crack with grinder, then add to sweet potato mash with more hot water.
Option 2: is a huge time saver - malt, (skip drying / roasting), blend with hot water directly, then add to sweet potato mash.

Mashing: let stand on low heat for an hour. Strain and collect liquid wert in a large pot. Add more hot water to sparge and strain (repeat until strained liquid runs more or less clear). As a last round, add water to the mash and boil for 30 minutes. Strain and cool this off before adding to the already collected liquid.

Boil: Then Very slowly rais the temperature of the wert (this probably continues some enzyme action for another 30-40 minutes). When its eventually at a boil, I added about 2 cups of raw sugar and my 1st bag of hops. After 40 minutes, + 2nd bag of hops. After 10 minutes + 3rd bag of hops. After ±3 minutes, remove all the hops bags. Cool the Wert as quick as possible.

Fermentation: 20 days in the bucket, 1 week in the bottle. I have only just aquired a hydrometer and thermometer, so I'll have more details in the future. I'm in the process of making more beer now.

Flavor / color: I have been gluten free for a while, so maybe my standards are low, but I really enjoyed my beers. The rate that my finacé consumes it indicates that they might actually be ok for a normal pallet too. Roasting the buckwheat gives a darker color (see photo with the pour, vs. photo of the 2 clear bottles in the fridge). Roasting also produces a change in the flavor, but I can't say which is better - thats up to personal preference.

yield.jpeg   pour.png  
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:20 PM   #32
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Other than saying it tastes okay, what does it taste like? I'd assume with that much sweet potato, you must be getting SOME flavor out of them. What's it like? Buckwheat dominating?

Did you test for starch conversion?

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:07 PM   #33
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Did you get any soapy flavors with your 20 day fermentation?

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:12 AM   #34
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Soapy flavors - hmmm, no but I don't consider myself a super-taster. So if you mean something subtle, maybe I'm just oblivious to it. I don't get a strong buckwheat or sweet-potato flavor either. To me it just tastes like beer - one was slightly more sour (but nothing compared to how sour Redbridge is), and the other more bitter. The main thing I taste is beer & hopps. For a second opinion, I just consulted with the finacé who concurs: "It just tastes like good beer." Not highly alcoholic, but I wasn't going for that. Sorry, I know that isn't very helpful. If there were effective delivery methods, I'd love to send you a bottle so you could draw your own conclusions and give me some independent, unbiassed feedback.

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:14 AM   #35
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I didn't test for starch conversion for those first brews- this is something I'll be doing for the first time later today. It will be a slightly different outcome either way because I'm adding in 1# malted Quinoa and 2# Millet in addition to the other ingredients. I'll take pictures and let you know what happens.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #36
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Sounds like an interesting and noteworthy experiment. Best of luck. And keep us posted.

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyBrewster_glutenfree View Post
Soapy flavors - hmmm, no but I don't consider myself a super-taster. So if you mean something subtle, maybe I'm just oblivious to it. I don't get a strong buckwheat or sweet-potato flavor either. To me it just tastes like beer - one was slightly more sour (but nothing compared to how sour Redbridge is), and the other more bitter. The main thing I taste is beer & hopps. For a second opinion, I just consulted with the finacé who concurs: "It just tastes like good beer." Not highly alcoholic, but I wasn't going for that. Sorry, I know that isn't very helpful. If there were effective delivery methods, I'd love to send you a bottle so you could draw your own conclusions and give me some independent, unbiassed feedback.

My batch of sweet potato beer had a very noticeable soapy flavor. It went away over time, but you couldn't miss it at first. I think it was the result of sitting on a large amount of trub for a few weeks, which is why I was curios about your batch. I also didn't get much flavor out of the sweet potato, but it was a good lawn mower beer. If you want to send me a bottle, I'd be more than happy to try it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:22 PM   #38
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Default New brew & more specifics (I got iodine, a thermometer and hydrometer!)

I brewed a new batch today with

  • ±1 cup chopped ginger
  • 8 Sweet Potatoes
  • a mix of 2# malted buckwheat / 1# quinoa / 2# millet. 2/3 of the grain was lightly toasted & ground. 1/3 blended with warm water.

I got myself some iodine and confirmed that there was lots of starch early on in the process & none(?) by the time I put it in the fermentation bucket.

It may have been over-kill, but I achieved this by doing a 2 series of rests. First with the mash:
  • 40C / 60C / 70C / 80C-to-Boil.
  • I separated out the wert & replaced with water after each 20 minute rest.
  • All the wert I collected was cooled before being combined (to preserve the enzymes collected at lower temperatures).

Then I went through the same series of 20 minute rests with the wert, while warming up to a final 45 minute boil. For the boil I added:
  • 2/3 cup of chopped ginger & 1 bag of hops for 45 minutes, another bag of hopps and 1/3 cup of ginger for 15 minutes, last bag of hops at 5 minutes.
  • ±2 lbs of sugar (much more than I've ever added - since I have the Hydrometer, I want to get some more alcohol) & a bit more water to reach a total of 5 gallons.
The initial SG is 1042... now its bubbling away. Can't wait to see what happens.

If its good, let me know how to send you a bottle - I don't know of any shippers that will deliver a carbonated alcoholic beverage internationally.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #39
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I found a bottle of the sweet potato beer this weekend and the off flavor was completely gone, as well as any noticable hops. Much more of the sweet potato flavor was back. It was really light, but good. I definately have to try this again. I'll be looking for sweet potatos after thanksgiving.

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #40
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Super!

I'll be bottling my latest sweet potato buckwheat brew this weekend, so Ill report back with alcahol content / conversion for the first time- I'm excited.

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