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Old 05-24-2012, 03:48 AM   #1
May 2012
Fountain Run, KY
Posts: 4
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hi all,

I was born with celiac disease and lived with it the 1st 27 years of my life (and now 10 years without it thanks to acupuncture, believe it or not). I can sympathize with anyone with gluten intolerance of any kind. Literally the 1st thing I learned how to read was the ingredients lists on food labels, as I quickly learned that eating the wrong thing could really mess me up for several weeks at a time!

Anyway, even though I now enjoy an allergy-free diet, I'm interested in using sorghum for brewing purposes, as it's a very common crop in my area (rural Kentucky) and apparently grows very easily. I know sorghum is extracted from the sorghum cane like sugar is, that is that the stalk is crushed and the juice squeezed out, and then it is usually cooked down to a thick syrup which most southerners would recognize as 'sorghum' or 'sorghum molassas'.

I'm a farmer and am planning to grow my 1st batch of sorghum this year. I've got some seed for sweet sorghum (as opposed to 'seed sorghum', which is grown for the grain rather than the sweet stalks), and it's going into the ground tomorrow. My question is if I can use the sorghum juice-- straight from the stalk without cooking down-- in beer making. If so, I can save a lot of time and energy, as the cooking process is quite a lot of work. I'm wondering if it's sweet enough to use 'straight' as wort, or if it would be too weak or maybe even too strong and would need to be watered down, which would still save me the effort of boiling it down. Any thoughts?
Fermenting: Dick's Danger Ale Clone (RIP, Dick, you are missed), Cream Ale
About to Brew: American Pale Ale, Special American Farmhouse Ale (9%ABV minimum), Black Butte Porter Clone
Drinking: bourbon and bitters because I'm outta beer!

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Old 05-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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Sweet sorghum stalks contain up to 75% juice, varying between 12 and 23% in sugar.
U of Nebraska

I've also seen the upper limit quoted as 8 BX, which is about 1.032. Not bad, it would make a session beer all by itself. Stronger beers would require boiling down, but nothing like what would be needed for making syrup.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
Mar 2013
Paris, Tennessee
Posts: 1

How did the sorghum beer turn out? Did using the cane juice work?

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