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Old 09-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
Gluten Free Brewing
kontreren's Avatar
Aug 2008
Seattle, WA
Posts: 294
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I am reading John's book (its how I got started). I do visit the FAQ when time permits. But there is SO MUCH info to weed thru. I will appreciate you answering a few more questions from a newbie.

(1) What is the "real" difference between a mash, wash, and boil? I have read these described countless times but still do not have a handle on what is meant when these terms are used.

(2) Does a sorghum syrup really need to be brought to a rolling boil? Because I'm experimenting with something new right out of the gate for Gluten Free (GF) brewing I'm not using a standard malt extract. It seems to me that a brew based on syrups (sorghum, corn, honey) would not need such a boil unless it is specifically to get the hops to hit that point where it foams (theres a name for it?).

(3) Where can I order grain bags?

Thank you ALL in advance. This forum has been / is great.
Jesse, Home and Gluten Free Brewer

Member, Forsyth Masonic Lodge #707
Member, Winston Salem WortHawgs Brew Club
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
Sep 2008
Williamstown, MA
Posts: 424
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1A: mash - hold mixture of malted (sprouted) grain and water at specific temperatures to permit specific enzymes to convert starch to sugar.

1B: wash - well, other than cleaning up, presumably (not a term normally used in barley brewing - "lauter" is the terminology there) presumably for sugary product that's not converted from starch, "washing" it out of the "bagasse" (cane sugar term - plant stalk waste) - very similar in concept to lautering, I'd guess, though I thought sorghum was mostly just squeezed out in a mill and the syrup collected, in which case you would not be bothering with this step. But perhaps you lack the mill and are starting from plant parts?

1C: Boil - boiling. What's to know? Add heat, get steam.

2: No rolling boil, no hop bitterness. Essential to what we think of as "beer". I suspect there is also "hot break" material in sourghum that could stand to be removed, as well (it does not come from the hops - we usually wait for the hot break before even adding the hops - it's from proteins in the barley malt).

3: Any home-brew store (online or local), or you can buy two for $3 that think they are paint strainers at any well-stocked hardware store - get the 5-gallon size - wash well and boil in plain water a few times before use in beer.
Re-filling the pipeline - got a lot of brewing to do.

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