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Old 03-12-2012, 02:38 AM   #1
ChasidicCalvinist
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Default Using amranath for head retention

I stumbled upon this: http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2011/0...able-beer.html

His comments and also other comments made about his beer seem to imply that amaranth may help with head retention in a gf beer, maybe adding .5lb to every batch. Has anyone experimented with this?

Also, I'm curious about the way he prepped the grain. Can anyone explain that method? He seemed to have malted it (maybe not?) and then boiled it for 30 minutes before adding it. No roasting or toasting.

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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Do you mean "Amaranth"? A Google search for "amranath" reveals an Indian Hindu temple...

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:11 AM   #3
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Well....given the spelling of it in the body of my post, the link and the entry the link directs to the answer is obviously YES. That was a typo.

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:39 AM   #4
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Looks like he just soaked it for a little bit and then cooked it until it was translucent. That's usually how I prepare grains like quinoa, millet, and amaranth for eating--soaking them deactivates some of the phytic acid, an "anti-nutrient" present in most cereal grains that inhibits digestion and absorption. Oftentimes the traditional fermentations of these grains involves cooking them first, so it's probably a good idea. Soak overnight, then cook, then steep. Or malt, kiln-dry, roast, and steep/mash. Malting deactivates the anti-nutrients, too. As does fermentation , hence most traditional fermented grain-drinks being sort of "food-drinks" with lots of solids still in the beverage. Talk about "liquid bread"!

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:31 AM   #5
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I've now used amaranth twice. 1/2 lb in two 5-gal batches. The first batch had no head retention at all, and I was going to totally ditch amaranth because it was so dang small... But I had 1/2# left so I used it in my next batch - it's still fermenting, so I can't say anything about the head retention yet. But I did soak and roast the amaranth for this one. I roasted it @ ~ 350F for 30 min. It got fairly dark, est. 150L, and after a couple of days in a paper bag it smelled really good - very nutty and roasty, with a mild coffee vibe. For all the GF grains I've tried so far, this one came out with the most character, I'll definitely use it again, for that reason. I'll let you know more when the final product is ready, although I did use malto-dex in this batch and i'm expecting to get head retention from that too...
But to your original question, I'm not familiar with his method... I did pre-soak mine, but after the roasting (toasting in batch one) I just mashed it normally. The tiny-ness makes crushing a challenge, and in this last one I tried a coffee grinder, pulsed about 7 seconds...

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Old 06-01-2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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Well, my experiment thus far has been a total success. In my last 2 batches I boiled 1/2 pound of amaranth for 20 minutes and then steeped the porridge mixture for 30 minutes.
I am currently drinking a beer that is 13 days old (still quite young), the head was about half the glass on the initial pour (poured correctly). It dissipated to about 1/4-1/2 inch head and that has remained for the duration of the drink.
Lines up with what he found: http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2011/0...able-beer.html

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Old 07-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasidicCalvinist View Post
Well, my experiment thus far has been a total success. In my last 2 batches I boiled 1/2 pound of amaranth for 20 minutes and then steeped the porridge mixture for 30 minutes.
I am currently drinking a beer that is 13 days old (still quite young), the head was about half the glass on the initial pour (poured correctly). It dissipated to about 1/4-1/2 inch head and that has remained for the duration of the drink.
Lines up with what he found: http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2011/0...able-beer.html
ChasidicCalvinist, thanks for posting this! My buddy and I have landed on a decent GF Ale recipe, but have had some of the common problems with mouthfeel and head retention. Oats seems to help with the mouthfeel, but the Amaranth sounds like a good addition for the head retention. I am planning on brewing tomorrow and had a quick question. . .when you steeped the porridge mixture, how did you add it to the mash logistically? It's so small, did you bag the porridge and then steep it for 30 minutes? Or did you steep it in water and then add the liquid? Sorry if this seems intuitive to everyone else, first time post and only about my fifth brew, thanks!
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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I don't use a grain bag...but I've also stopped using amaranth because of how small they are. It takes FOREVER to fish all of those little buggers out. Lactose/maltodextrine creates pretty good head retention if you have the patience to wait about a month.

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