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View Poll Results: How much would you pay for real GF malt?
$1-2/lb - Not more than barley costs 16 40.00%
$3-4/lb 17 42.50%
$5+/lb 0 0%
The price would be mostly irrelevent to me. 7 17.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muench1 View Post
Mostly for people who turn up these threads while searching for info, I'd like to point out that that product is NOT malt extract. It is sorghum extract, from unmalted grain. Malt extract is concentrated wort. Currently the only source for consumer GF malt extract are the bard's tale extract kits.
Really? They should point that out more clearly in their product description. They describe it as sounding like it's equivalent to their other LMEs (all of which they have labelled as "syrups" and are made by Briess):

Quote:
Made from 100% white sorghum grain, this gluten-free syrup provides proteins and amino acids necessary for yeast nutrition, head retention and body along with color and flavor. Mild flavor and pale color (2° -6° L) with a yield of 37 ppg.
If it is essentially a fermentable 1.037 sugar from a sorghum base that includes proteins and amino acids, what are the missing components as compared to a true extract? Could this be supplemented with particular yeast nutrients/energizers to get the full effect of LME?
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DarkBrood View Post
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Standard GF alternatives to specialty barley malts are mostly easily handled - they just need more research/documentation into how much and in what combinations will approximate particular specialty malts. Molasses, treacle, and GF chocolates can give "roasty" flavors. Caramel syrups or caramelizing your own sugars can approximate crystal malts. The tough zone is the "toasty" flavors (such as those from Biscuit, Vienna, Munich, Aromatic, etc. malts) - the fact is that the gluten in breads and grains is fairly important for the development of the Maillard "toasty" flavors. A proportioned mix of the previously mentioned roasty/caramel additives can be the solution - but would require a fair amount of trial-and-error.
Sorry mate, it ain't that easy. I've tried just about every combo of sugar-based GF adjuncts, and they just can't match the flavor of grains. I routinely calibrate my taste buds by taking small sips of real non-GF beer, just to keep myself from thinking too highly of my own GF brews, and there is a depth of flavor as well as a difficult-to-describe mouth feel that I just can't achieve with extracts and sugar syrups. There's a sort of chewy nuttiness to barley beers that I have been totally unable to duplicate with extracts, even with the addition of steeping grains. Roastiness is the only flavor I can realistically replicate, which is why my stouts are always my best beers. But for lighter beers, I've given up on the extracts and syrups as anything but an easy way to boost gravity, and am now working on ways to utilize grains as the direct source of fermentables.

To be honest, I'm not even sure if that will do it; I've tried Green's beers that use malted gluten-free grains and no extracts at all, and while they're much better beers than the extract-based alternatives, they are still noticeably thin and lacking in that chewy mouth feel. It could just be the styles, but even the amber is not too far off, taste-wise, from what I can achieve with sorghum and rice extract and candi syrup. I just hope I can do better, because if I can't, I might have to throw in the towel.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:28 PM   #23
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Also, Briess is very forthcoming about the unmalted nature of their sorghum extract. Taken directly from their website:

Quote:
BriesSweet™ White Sorghum Syrup 45DE High Maltose is a gluten free, 100% concentrated wort made from the unmalted grain, not the cane, of the white sorghum plant.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #24
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After neglecting some malting millet and it going into the bin (smelling like the toilet in a bachelor pad after a curry night), can I change my response to this survey to the maximum $5/lb?
Expensive, but my wife would happily see me pay that instead of listening to my temper tantrums and swearing. To clarify, nothing directed at her or anyone else around, but I still behave worse than our 2 year old when stuff like that happens. I cry on the inside though... mostly.
In the meantime, I'll invest in flyscreen and timber and make a semi-decent, user friendly malting setup.

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Old 09-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkBrood View Post
Really? They should point that out more clearly in their product description. They describe it as sounding like it's equivalent to their other LMEs (all of which they have labelled as "syrups" and are made by Briess):

If it is essentially a fermentable 1.037 sugar from a sorghum base that includes proteins and amino acids, what are the missing components as compared to a true extract? Could this be supplemented with particular yeast nutrients/energizers to get the full effect of LME?
The bottom line is it is not made of malt, although it is chemically processed in a way that mimics malt. Malt extract is when you make a big batch of wort and remove most (liquid extract) or all (dry extract) of the water. True malt extract requires you to take grain, malt (and kiln) it, mash (and sparge and lauter) it, and then boil it down.

Sorghum syrup has some good things going for it, and until we really have GF brewing figured out at a more advanced level, it's still a useful tool. It does make yeast happy; yeasties don't know it's not barley. We can taste the difference (and most opinions range from grudging acceptance to outright hatred), which is why using it for all or most of your fermentables is generally not a great plan. Until I have a better solution, I often toss in a little bit with the idea that it should help round out my flavor profile and reliably boost my gravity a tad. Mashing GF grains isn't a very exact science, and hitting my OG target isn't realistic for me yet, so a certain level of adjunct sugar gives me a little more precise control, and a very slight sorghum twang should disappear into the overall flavor profile if I did a good job.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #26
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FWIW, I e-mailed Briess suggesting that they offer some GF oat malt in the future, and their response is that that's basically impossible for them unless they build a dedicated malt-house. Which makes me think that malt from Colorado Malting Co. probably can't ever be used in a commercial GF brewing operation, unless it turns out that tests for hordein and gliadin are sufficiently medically reliable (and beers made from CMC malt can pass such tests). It actually makes me wonder about the commercial viability of grain-based commercial GF brewing, since most of the millet, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, and rice out there isn't necessarily certified "gluten-free". One encouraging thing in the Briess response was that apparently they are still actively researching more gluten-free syrup options. So maybe in the future we might see some millet or buckwheat syrup, or some amber or dark sorghum syrup? That would be great.

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Old 09-29-2012, 12:45 AM   #27
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How much would I pay? If you could start a nano malt house and stay with in 60-70 cents a pound for a ton then we would have a deal.

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Old 09-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #28
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Igliashon, I had the same thought about Co Malting and truly gluten free grains. I even addressed it in my email. Sadly, I got no response. Maybe that's why?

I am happy to hear Briess is still working on more varieties of gluten free extracts. I had previously written sorghum syrip off, partly anyway, but I am going to play with using DAP and see if my results get any better.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igliashon View Post
most of the millet, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, and rice out there isn't necessarily certified "gluten-free".
Isn't that sort of like certifiying those grains as "cholesterol-free"?
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #30
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Not exactly; if they're processed with gluten-containing grains, as they are at Colorado Malting Company, then they can become contaminated.

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