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Old 02-16-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
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Default Toasting un-malted gluten free grains

I'm getting ready to start my first ever home-brew. The recipe I've chosen uses Buckwheat, Quinoa, and Amaranth. The recipe says to toast them, then include them in the boil, but I don't know if I understand everything associated with toasting the grains. My questions are:

I understand that I toast the grains whole, but after toasting do I have to crush them? Do I crush some but not others? How would you recommend I do this? I have a food processor, blender, rolling pin, meat tenderizing hammer...

Do I just dump the grains in with the boil, or should I use some sort of bag to make sure they don't get loose and float around?

I tried my best to search this forum, but couldn't find the answer I was looking for. I would really appreciate any advice you could give. I can't wait to get this brew started.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Cracking the grain is really to provide a greater surface area for 1) the water and heat to work on to release the starch 2) the enzymes to work on to convert starch to sugar. If you are not adding an enzyme, you don't need to crack them.

If you are cracking them, any method you mentioned is fine. Remember you aren't trying to make flour, more like a cracked black pepper.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
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Sorry, missed a point. You probably want to use a grain/hop bag. You don't want to boil the grain, that will draw out the bitterness and astringency in the grain. Steep the grain at about 155F for 30-60 minutes, then pull them and start the boil.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response! I'm not adding any enzymes, just using the grains for flavor. Sounds like I'll just toss them in as is and not worry about crushing.

Also, is there anything special I have to do to the grains before I toast them, or do I just open the bag and spread it out over a cookie sheet?

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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NP That's a matter of preference. Some soak them in warm water for a couple hours first then drain and roast. It seems to mellow the flavour a bit. Others just open, spread and roast. In any case, you usually want to let them mellow for a week or so

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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Sorry, the word is waft.

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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Ahh, so I toast them, then let them sit out in the open for about a week before steeping them and then beginning the boil? I guess there was a lot I didn't know!

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #8
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Best is to put them in a paper bag. The reason is that some of the off, burnt, astringent flavours that come from roasting are released. If you are not going really dark, you could try just go from oven to pot.

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the tips.

By the way, excellent blog! I also happen to be an engineer and have travelled to Germany on business several times (Bremen). Loved the food! I was a bit wary at first, but my wife and I both grew to love the Mett that everyplace seemed to serve for breakfast. Everyplace seemed to have great food and fantastic wine. I hope you're enjoying yourself over there.

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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Not a problem, that's what this forum is all about.

We've been living in Fulda just over a year now. Its been fun, we're in a smallish town, so for the most part we're limited to German and Italian food, but its all good.

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