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Old 11-20-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default buckwheat honey for the win

I'm a few batches into the world of tiny-batch gluten-free brewing and wanted to report in.

I started first with the idea of making hoppy carbonated mead, which actually turned out great, except that maltodextrin was required for decent body, and something about the idea of pouring white starch into my beer bugged me. Here's the recipe I used. I only used wildflower and clover honey at this point, as I hadn't heard of buckwheat honey used in brewing.

Next I had contemplated doing a "traditional" sorghum + rice syrup extract brew, but before I committed to it I read the post on Hop Bursted Pale Ale, where the OP raved about how happy he was with the combination of brown rice syrup and buckwheat honey.

I was in the mood for a darkish IPA sort of beer based on the hop profile of one of my favorite non-GF beers, so I came up with a recipe that used roughly the Hop Bursted Pale Ale recipe's proportions of rice syrup to buckwheat honey, but with candi sugar I had sitting around added to darken it a bit. This beer turned out great. Amazing hop punch, great body, and a surprisingly perfect head.

Here's a photo of it a few moments after first pour:

And here's the recipe for it.

One of my fermenters has a hoppy Belgian tripel with the same concept but WLP500 as the yeast and some hop adjustments (going after Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Wild). And I just bottled a light pisner-like ale based on this same concept, but without the candi syrup and with all noble hops - my quick taste sample of what went into the bottles was very encouraging. Lastly, I decided to revisit the all-honey concept this past weekend and have another fermenter bubbling with it, but this time with buckwheat honey involved. I didn't add maltodextrin and don't plan to.

In my opinion, a big enough deal isn't being made out of how much buckwheat honey brings to the world of GF brewing. Folks who want to avoid sorghum and aren't interested or able to play with GF grains should absolutely be taking a look at brown rice syrup + buckwheat honey-based worts. I have a feeling I could dial in a version of every single beer I want to brew based on these 2 ingredients and achieve really good results with very little effort.

Thanks to all the previous posters whose threads I lurked on to come up with all these ideas!

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jeffz is offline
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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Sweet! Looks great. I'm glad this combo worked out for you. I want some. I think you could produce many styles with this base, slight variations of roasted grains and syrups, and different yeasts. Congrats on the success
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