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Old 03-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
Aug 2009
Kitchener, ON
Posts: 32

So I'd like to add some quinoa to a standard amber ale recipe that I brew. The idea would be to add a little bit of a nutty flavor and a little more interesting character. What's the "best" way to use it? Should I try to roast it, boil it, or what?

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
Lcasanova's Avatar
Jul 2009
Park Ridge, IL
Posts: 980
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts

Roast it and let it waft for 2 weeks...I think buckwheat would give a better nutty flavor though.
Lucky 13 Brewing Company
Est. 2009

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
jmo88's Avatar
Sep 2008
Posts: 1,380
Liked 26 Times on 16 Posts

I love quinoa. It's a pseudo-grain, meaning it's actually a seed prepared like a grain. I doubt you'd get much conversion of starches but maybe if it was treated like a specialty grain, some of the proteins and flavor would affect the beer. Here is one of many threads on it here. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/anyo...a-beer-104067/
(~):} Just a little Furthur (~):}

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:12 PM   #4
midfielder5's Avatar
Jan 2009
San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,448
Liked 72 Times on 64 Posts

first make sure they don't fall through your grain bag first; they are so tiny.

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Old 03-26-2010, 12:47 AM   #5
FlyGuy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,605
Liked 183 Times on 53 Posts

Quinoa smells like corn husks to me -- pure DMS. It would be cool to use it in a brew, but you might need an extra long boil...

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Old 03-26-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
Oct 2009
Austin, TX
Posts: 168
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I'm a huge fan of quinoa as a specialty grain in beer. Its flavors are very wort-like, and I've gotten pretty decent conversion on some of the lighter malts. That said, I'm going to do a few experiments this week to find out more.

-Do normal beer-rests, then at 155 F add some amylase.
-Do normal beer-rests, then when I would move to 155 F bring up to at least 180 F to try to get past the gelatinization temp. Then bring down with decoction cooling to 155 F and add amylase enzymes.

On all experiments I will use a refractometer to see how well things are converting and maybe hone in on what the expected yield might be for each version.

Further experiments for later this month:
-Do a Wit with Quinoa as only specialty grain (brewing this weekend), then do the same beer with Millet as the only specialty grain.

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Old 03-26-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
Noontime's Avatar
Feb 2010
Delray Beach, FL
Posts: 200
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I hope you let us know how the testing goes! I've tried mashing (partial mash?) on the stove top and really don't know what I'm doing, so any information like this is really helpful (and interesting).


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Old 03-26-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
fineexampl's Avatar
May 2009
Edison, NJ
Posts: 666
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Another thought on quinoa, you can get flaked quinoa these days similar to any flaked grain. i bought mine at a natural foods store here in jersey. i'd oven roast a whole box (about a half pound) until it turned light brown and add it into the mash with all the other grains. the starches already have a head start and are basically ready to go.

my last time using quinoa i tried to malt it. it went well, but i don't think it was any better than any of my other extract brews at that time. it was cloudy as hell though.
Primary: Highway 35 Scotch Ale (Highway 78 clone), second runnings small beer

Bottled: Pitch Black Sheep IPA, Juniper Fail/Ale

Kegged: Apollo Pale Ale, South River Brown

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Old 03-29-2010, 02:47 AM   #9
Oct 2009
Austin, TX
Posts: 168
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Originally Posted by fineexampl View Post
...it was cloudy as hell though.
That actually makes a lot of sense since the profile (carb/fat/protein ratios) of the Quinoa is actually closer to Oats or Wheat than Barley.

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Old 09-16-2010, 02:06 AM   #10
Sep 2010
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 126
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

if you use whole quinoa make sure you rinse it as the seed/grain is covered in a layer of alkali that will mess up your pH and doesn't taste so good. A quick wash will get most of this but its better to cover it with water completely, then poor the water off.

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