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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Gluten Free Brewing > Yeasts for GF Brew Success
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
anemic
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Default Yeasts for GF Brew Success

Do yeasts perform differently in sorghum than they do in barley / wheat malts?

I am curious that one may see success with a GF Belgian Single (Patersbier) due to the reported sour nature of sorghum beer. However I saw one comment that Trappist High Grav (3787) doesn't love sorghum. Can anyone report actual results of 3787 or similar? I'd like to think I could light toast some GF grains (like carapils), replace the pilsner LME with sorghum, add the maltodextrin and have a winner.

What yeast would be a better substitute if not?

Honestly, I plan to use my stock 3787, make a starter using sorghum and calling it 'gluten good enough'. I'll pour off as much of the storage fluid (light DME > barley product) as I can, and it should be very low in gluten at that point.

Note: I am not strictly intending to make a 100% GF beer, merely very low gluten, as I'm not a strict Celiac. I have some sensitivity, and my wife has quite a bit more.

Thinking of brewing the GF Patersbier, then a basic ale (6# sorghum 1 oz cascade 60 mins, .75 oz cascade 15 mins, .25 oz cascades flameout, irish moss 15 mins, maltodextrin 10 mins), and then GF IPA from our forum.

Thanks. Keep sharing progress & tips.

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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YES! Some strains work differently with sorghum.

I've had really bad luck with belgian trappist ale yeasts and sorghum. Everything was very winey, and frankly I can't bring myself to choke the rest of them down. They will be sacrifices to the gods of beer.

However, I've had perfect luck with California Ale yeast, those strains are just amazing.

Also, I had great success with a yeast for a Belgian Wit...in fact, that one turned out most excellent too, need to brew it again.

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #3
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ok! so did you use the Cali Ale yeast for your Wit?

Very sad news about the GF Belgian. If you the space to age it, let time do it's magic for a month or longer. I wonder how the sorghum ages. It seems time heals nearly all problems related to standard brewing malpractices.

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Old 01-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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I used the White Labs Wit yeast for the Wit.

The Belgian Trappist Yeasts were problematic, but not the Belgian Wit Yeasts.

Wit's and Hefe's are meant to be pretty fast in the brew-to-serve lifecycle. And a good Wit usually has some orange or lemon zest which will do a good job of masking the slight citrus taste that the sorghum gives you.

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Old 01-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Fascinating stuff otis thanks!

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Old 01-18-2010, 05:12 PM   #6
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I was wondering if I could use a better yeast myself. In my first GF batch I used Sorghum syrup and a little maple syrup. I used a Nottingham ale dry yeast and while the beer has fully fermented now it was really really slow.

For the California Ale yeast, are you referring to WLP001 from White Labs?

Joel

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Old 01-18-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anemic View Post
I wonder how the sorghum ages. It seems time heals nearly all problems related to standard brewing malpractices.
Sorghum loses it's 'bitter' aftertaste. Some people call it citrusy, I call it bitter. On most of my sorghum beers, I make sure they sit around awhile before consumption, it helps ALOT.

As for how well they would age over a years time, I think you could just make it high gravity, which I have not done yet.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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I concur on the bitterness. A couple weeks after racking the bitter aftertaste was really off-putting. Now after about five weeks in the carboy it's still there but much better. I expect a couple months in the bottle and when this batch is cold and carbonated it will be quite nice.

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkershner View Post
Sorghum loses it's 'bitter' aftertaste. Some people call it citrusy, I call it bitter. On most of my sorghum beers, I make sure they sit around awhile before consumption, it helps ALOT.

As for how well they would age over a years time, I think you could just make it high gravity, which I have not done yet.

That could explain why no two 6 packs or Red Bridge ever taste the same to me.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:44 PM   #10
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That could explain why no two 6 packs or Red Bridge ever taste the same to me.
I have only had one, ever, but I can't imagine it would be much different than any other commercial beer, barley or not. I actually think things like hop flavor and aroma or hefeweizen yeast qualities change faster than sorghum malt flavor.

It's actually pretty hard for me to imagine AB making a product that doesnt taste exactly the same every time, no matter what you do to it.
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