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Old 04-16-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
gin007
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So, I've been reading about the brewing process, and I'm interested in brewing a millet beer. However, most millet sold locally is hulled millet, making it very hard to sprout (there is no malted millet I can find yet, although I understand a CO company will have some available this summer). I however have tried to malt some hulled millet and now just have a batch of soggy millet.

I was wondering if it is absolutely necessary to malt before brewing. Will brewing just take longer or not work at all if the millet has not been broken down into simple sugars? There should be a small amount of natural sugars, and I could add some sugar if that would help. I just don't want to throw away this batch without trying something.

Thanks

 
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
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Malting is all about getting the enzymes working that the mash needs. Raw grains don't have those enzymes in sufficient quantity to convert the starches.

I've heard that sweet potatoes have a lot of enzymes, so maybe you could do a mix of sweet potatoe and raw millet to get wort, but I don't know much about GF brewing.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
Inodoro_Pereyra
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You can buy amylase at any winemaking store (they sell it as "pectic enzyme"), so if you were only planning on doing an amylase rest, you should be OK with just it. Don't know where to get the other enzymes though, in case you need them.
Where are you getting your millet? I want to brew mbege in the future, so I'm gonna need some. I read somewhere you can get it at pet stores, as bird food...
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inodoro_Pereyra View Post
You can buy amylase at any winemaking store (they sell it as "pectic enzyme"), so if you were only planning on doing an amylase rest, you should be OK with just it. Don't know where to get the other enzymes though, in case you need them.
Where are you getting your millet? I want to brew mbege in the future, so I'm gonna need some. I read somewhere you can get it at pet stores, as bird food...
Since when is amylase and pectalose the same thing?!?!?!

Pectic enzyme is to break down pectins (think anti- jelly when making fruit wines instead of jams). Amylase breaks down starches. Not the same thing at all!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Since when is amylase and pectalose the same thing?!?!?!

Pectic enzyme is to break down pectins (think anti- jelly when making fruit wines instead of jams). Amylase breaks down starches. Not the same thing at all!!!!!
Sorry, my bad. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have confused the names...
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:54 AM   #6
KevinM
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If you can drink normal beer, try using premalted barley and add the millet to it during the mashing process.
There's some bits about malting over in the gluten free forum, but I'm not sure if we've been successful with it compared to the other grains.

If it's not malted, or mashed with enzymes, then you're not likely to get much with millet, other than some flavor and starch. (Millet can be cooked like rice and served as a side dish so it's not like it'd be a total waste)

One of the problems with the storebought enzymes is that it's all alpha enzymes. I'm still working on understanding grain brewing, so I believe this means that you wind up with a fuller bodied worth with less fermentable sugars. (Unless I have it completely backwards, in which case I'll edit this and strike it out.) We're lacking the beta enzymes in which people are testing out different non-barley sources for (including sweet potato). Which I believe breaks down the starches and larger sugar chains to smaller ones that are more easily fermentable.

If you've not done any brewing, I'd recommend starting with barley or extract. Otherwise, browse the gluten free forum for more info on millet.

 
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:01 AM   #7
Inodoro_Pereyra
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Hey, you can always chew the grain...
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inodoro_Pereyra
Hey, you can always chew the grain...
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:55 AM   #9
gin007
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[QUOTE=Inodoro_Pereyra;2844099]Where are you getting your millet? /QUOTE]

I got mine at a natural foods store - you can find hulled millet in the bulk foods sections of stores. Unfortunately, it has low germination rates, so it doesn't appear to be terribly useful for malting. I haven't found unhulled millet yet, although I saw one could buy it online (albeit in small quantities). More promising is the fact that a CO company will be selling malted millet this summer.

I have not brewed beer before. Although I'm not anti-gluten, I'm trying to recreate the West African "Tchoukatou" which is millet beer, so mixing it with barley probably would change the taste too much. Millet beer is not hard to make and it ends up tasting like hard cider. mmm. I will try the sweet potatos - thanks for the suggestion - and see how it turns out. Otherwise, looks like I'll have to wait until July to buy malted millet.

Thanks all!

 
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:41 AM   #10
Inodoro_Pereyra
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Hmmm...I don't know if the bird seed is unhulled...

Anyways, I wasn't completely kidding when I suggested you could chew the grain. Peruvians use this method to brew a kind of corn beer they call "chicha", as saliva contains amylase. Maybe not the best way, but...

I couldn't find any information about "tchoukatou". Do you have a link to a recipe? I'd like to try it in the future...
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