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Old 03-31-2011, 10:43 PM   #11
Jan 2011
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Posts: 305
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Originally Posted by andrewdell19 View Post
So they would cook molasses syrup and then light it on fire? So if I just put a few lbs of molasses in a pot, cooked it (how long?) and then burned it with a torch that would produce what brewers use to do for darker color?
Yeah the book doesn't specify timings other than they let it burn for a few minutes. What I would suggest is doing small tests, first with the cooking timings. Then putting it into some water for say 15 minutes to boil. Let it cool, check the flavour and colour. Being as that it was only used for three years the information would be pretty scarce I'd say.
My gluten free home brewing blog.

Drinking: Hopped Honey IPA
Fermenting: 2 Ciders with S-33 Yeast, Summer Pale Ale and a West Coast IPA
Planning: Belgian Triple, Blood Orange Wit and American IPA

All gluten free.

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
Mar 2011
Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 34

Actually, you can darken any syrup (much like making a caramel) by heating it in a saucepan under high heat (and watching it very closely... because syrups can darken within seconds when it gets going). The problem is introducing off-flavors or bitter flavors with 'impure' syrups. The other problem is that if you syrup or molasses are naturally acidic, heating them may invert the sugars, thus leading to a high glucose content.

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:44 AM   #13
DirtbagHB's Avatar
Apr 2010
Pocatello, ID, Idaho
Posts: 234
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im still lost about where hes getting his malted grain from and marveling at his massive huevos for trying to make a guiness clone, i hear its rather challenging not to mention lacking nitrogen for carbonation

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Old 05-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #14
Mar 2011
Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 34

Well... My first homebrew ever--- a Guinness-like gluten-free stout--- is a success! It doesn't resemble Guinness at all, but it's pretty darn good (yes, I realize this sounds cocky). Thank you all for your input.

I used as 'base malt' black sulfur-free molasses, brown rice syrup, dark maple syrup and dark Candi syrup. I malted some white and black quinoa, as well as gluten-free oats (a 'hull-less variety', available on the net). I tried to malt Millet (failure... the seeds were dead) and some wild black rice, as suggested by folks on HB forums. I did a one-step infusion-type mash. I added a bit of top-grade cocoa powder and some french-roast Arabica coffee (for color and aroma).

Tasting notes for worts:
malted gluten-free oats: darkest color, very bitter, intense chocolate and coffee flavor
white quinoa: dark color, slightly acidic and bitter, strong toasted pumpkin seed aroma
millet (failed): straw colored, corn and pasta-like flavor
black Rice: barely any color, lobsterish smell

Conclusion: don't use black rice. Doesn't add color at all, and tastes like s##t once malted.

Fermentation took about 10 days
Full carbonation in bottle took about 14 days.
Tasting notes: strong licorice notes upfront, followed by notes of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted grain. Full body.
Initial SG: 1.062
Final SG: 1.018
Final SRM: about 26 (not as dark as I would have liked...)

Next attempt: will add more malted Quinoa, less molasses (which I guess imparted that licorice root taste). Will replace Millet by malted Amaranth. Will probably keg it with nitrogen to imitate a draught Guinness.


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Old 05-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #15
Lcasanova's Avatar
Jul 2009
Park Ridge, IL
Posts: 980
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A few things I've noticed trying to get a darker beer- use blackstrap molasses but be prepared for the flavor to come through as you increase the amounts. On ony of my re-brews of American Brown Ale I increased the blackstrap, the resulting flavor is more akin to chocolate.

Adding cocoa powder seems to lighten up rather than darken the beer (at least in my experience)

Coffee only does so much to the color of the beer, especially if you are using blackstrap molasses.

Home roasted grains can do a LOT for color, but you have to be careful with these. If you burn them, that flavor may carry over into the beer. It is a fine line.

I've used wild rice before, but I roasted it my self and when I used it, I cracked the rice. It added a nice brown color...Is this the same as your black rice above? Did you roast it or crack it after malting?
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Est. 2009

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Old 05-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #16
Mar 2011
Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 34

LCasanova: interesting post.

My black rice was malted, then roasted, and cracked. It was a complete failure...

I did a little experiment yesterday: I compared worts from roasted white quinoa, roasted black quinoa and roasted red quinoa. The darkest wort came from... white quinoa! (All grains were roasted the exact same way). The white quinoa had a lot of bitterness and dark coffee aromas, exactly what I was looking for in my GF stout. The black quinoa wort had a very pleasant cocoa powder- milk chocolate aroma and almost no bitterness (to my complete surprise). The red quinoa was a bit timid; not sure if I will ever use it.

I won't be using as much molasses as my last batch, perhaps 1 cup per 5 gallon. I do agree molasses add a lot of color and flavor, but the final product had way to much black licorice notes (at 2 cups per 5 gallons...). Not sure I like BRS either. Will probably add less 'syrups' and increase the grain bill.


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