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Old 08-07-2011, 04:34 AM   #1
Infidel
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Default Your YEAST experiments in creating a drinkable gluten free beer?

I've had discussions with dozens of people over the years about making gluten free beers that taste like something that resembles beer. Everyone seems to ignore the one thing that contributes more to flavor and aroma than other ingredients - yeast (a near exception seems to be the thread on hefe like beer).
One thing is certain in a gluten free beer, body is going to suffer. Then getting hops to behave like an experienced hombrewer expects them to in a batch with no body or familiar grain flavors is going to be tricky.
I suggest a Belgian yeast or other that contributes esters, most of those are going to come in a culture, vial or smack pack, that contains a minuscule amount of gluten. Not enough to bother someone with a mild intolerance, but for those that suffer from full blown Celiac's disease need to talk with their medical doctor. A few generations of slowly reducing the present gluten through making consecutive gluten free batches and harvesting the yeast might do the trick. Come up with good results and I don't see how Chris or David are going to be able to turn down some homebrew store with a truly gluten free viable option other than a boring ale offering (if there is a pun there it isn't intended).
There are a few dry yeasts a couple of homebrew stores carry that will produce a lot of funky flavors, especially on these brutal summer days.
There are also the wild things, even more funky flavors but only for the adventurous. Another suggestion, and unrelated to my main point is the use of oak. (it could be tied together by suggesting oak is a good way to inoculate subsequent batches with wild yeast and bacteria - if you don't know what I am talking about this is a subject the average homebrew supply employee is not qualified to answer.)
I haven't tried this because I don't have a reason to, but there is obviously an interest. If I stay off beer and bread and shift to wine and rice I have a happier digestive system. I have a friend with true Celiac's and I'm sure he would think it would be cool if I came up with a drinkable beer, but it really stops there. I like big IPA's, and I can't help it.

Post your results somewhere! I'm not claiming to have some knowledge handed down to me by some god of brewing, it's just what I see missing from the discussions on gluten free beer and it's a bit irritating that over the last few years creative homebrewers haven't been able to come up with something on their own, putting to shame what is commercially available.
-Cheers



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Old 08-08-2011, 05:21 AM   #2
KevinM
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I've been using a variety of yeasts, however, I've not done a side by side by side by side comparison. Just too much effort involved right now. There are some differences, but most of them have that sorghum tang.
I've felt that lagers had less of it than ales.
And we've talked about gluten dilutions and propagation in here before, so anyone interested, check those threads.

Also true though, is that normal brewers have used the dry gluten free yeasts that we use for their own results without having any issues, so it's not as if we gluten free people are the only ones using those dry yeasts.

Also, my very first beer used white labs liquid english ale yeast (I don't recall the #, but I still have the vial around, I'll be using them once I start yeast washing). I recall that I had a strong sorghum tang that I had tasted in redbridge and bards.
And I'm currently doing a White Labs Czech lager from a liquid yeast (which I'm going to try to remember to wash and save).
Also doing a sake with a liquid yeast, but this doesn't really count since there's no sorgum involved (yet. Just wait a few weeks.)

I'm not going to work with sours yet, but eventually, or accidentally, like my brett infected mead.

Other times, I just use the dry yeast, since I don't have to do the dilutions. I've made a few where I don't get too much of the sorghum tang based on some non-yeast alterations, but it's still a tiny bit there, but it retains more body than when I attempt to strip it completely away.



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Old 08-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #3
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How did the liquid yeast affect you, did you get even a mild reaction? I was certain it would kick my butt. Also, has anyone ever had a gluten reaction to any dry yeast? I'm fairly sensitive so I've only been using Nottingham so far, but I'm going to start using other yeasts now.

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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I'm mostly sensitive, but there are some times when I can get away. Again, check threads on gluten dilutions.
I used distilled water to do some dilutions (pretty much washing away the old wort in the vial and retaining the yeast.) You know, add vial to 1 gallon clean water, put in fridge to settle, dispose of as much water as possible, repeat until clean and ppm is under some amount. Then use in batch. I didn't have any reactions to it, though I didn't drink all 5 gallons in one setting. I'd potentially could have had gluten problems at that point, but it'd be overshadowed by the effects of drinking 5 gallons of beer at one time.
I do have reactions when I eat some food that's been fried in a shared fryer (I had 3 chips and had a reaction.) So take that as you will. It's not for everyone and I'd feel that I should give full disclosure if I were to offer that to anyone without it being rigorously tested in a laboratory.

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Primary: Sake
Secondary: GF Czech Lager
Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
Bottled: Infected Mead, Dry Hard ciders, Accidental Sorghumwine, various unnamed.

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