Gluten Free Brewing Observations

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FatMonsters

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I brewed up a Gluten-Free beer over the weekend and thought I would share some of the differences I noticed while brewing it. It was an extract recipe as I used the Sorghum Malt Syrup from Northern Brewer. I brewed this for a friend of mine who is gluten intolerant.

- The malt syrup was extremely thick! It was definitely thicker than regular LME. I even kept a little pot of warm water on the oven to try and warm up the syrup so that it would flow easier into the kettle.

- When I got the water boiling, I added the malt syrup and it barely made a dent in color. Seriously this was lighter than Bud Light in the kettle. The 60 minute boil didn't darken too much either. The color came from the Succanat sugar I added.

- I had three attempted boil-overs that I quelched each time. I have never had that many boil-overs in a batch.

- Aerating the cooled wort was a real chore and it never seemed to hold any head on top. I shook the bejesus out of it and it just wouldn't foam up on top. It quicly settled into the wort.

- Its been fermenting 3 days now, very vigorous bubbling through airlock, but krausen is barely there. Again, it won't hold a head. I'm kinda concerned for bottling...

I grabbed a sample before pitching the yeast and it tasted fine. I'm very curious for the overall outcome of the beer.
 

david_42

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The commercial sorghum beers I've had don't have much of a head either.

What style were you shooting for & what was your hop schedule?
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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I think you're the first among us to actually attempt doing one...I'll look forward to hearing how it finally turns out.
I have been meaning for awhile to try one since my friend has Celiacs disease. Thought it would cool to surprise her for her birthday with gluten-free beer. She wasn't always gluten intolerant, she developed it about a hear and half ago.

I didn't have the recipe earlier at work, but here it is if anyone is interested:
___________________________________________________
Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Nottingham Dry Yeast
Batch Size (Gal): 5
Original Gravity: 1.054
Est Final Gravity: 1.014
IBU: 23.1
Boiling Time (Min): 60
Color: 5

Ingredients:
6 lbs White Sorghum Extract Syrup (Northern Brewer - 37 ppg, 2-6 deg L)
1 lbs Succanat Sugar
.75 lbs Orange Blossom Honey (At Flameout)
1 oz Spalt (4.5%) - 60 min
1 oz Spalt (4.5%) - 20.0 min
1 oz Hallertauer Select (1.5%) - 5 min
1 pkg Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast
___________________________________________________

I adapted the recipe from the BYO article for the Simple Simon recipe. I couldn't get Tettnang at the time so I subbed in Spalt and I had some of the Hallertauer Select so I threw it in last minute and threw in some succanat sugar. Overall, like I said, it tasted fine before pitching...
 
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Ok so I have to ask how much did this cost for the 5 gallon batch?
I have a guy here that I told I would brew a batch for and I like the looks of you recipe. Where did you get the succanat sugar?
JJ
 

Kimsta

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How would fruit go with this recipe? I have a friend with celiac's as well and she loves wine. She would be interested in how it would taste with Rasperries, etc. It'd get her to try some decent beer for a change.
 

Sixbillionethans

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I'd be interested to hear your opinion of the sucanat. I got mine at the local hippie grocery store...they have it packaged and bulk.

I put 1.5 lb in what was supposed to be a Belgian Tripel https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=63627. It contributed far more color and darker flavors than I expected, so I ended up calling it a Belgian Strong Ale. For a beer with 14 lb of other stuff, the sucanat just comes screaming out in the flavor profile.

In my "tripel", the sucanat lends a rum-like sweetness that really comes out as the beer warms up. I think the ingredient could really be great in dubbels, stouts, perhaps porters, or it would really add interest to a winter seasonal. IMHO, I think sucanat is quite a bit different than some of the other sugars.
 

blacklab

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Curious to hear how this turns out. I also have a friend with Celiac who came down with it about five years ago. She was a beer lover as well and I'd love to make her some gluten free brew.
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Ok so I have to ask how much did this cost for the 5 gallon batch?
Where did you get the succanat sugar?
JJ
I ordered the ingredients (malt syrup, hops and yeast) from Northern Brewer. The syrup, hops and yeast is $18-$20. I ordered stuff for my wheat ale at the same time so I had it all shipped for the brew saver special of $7.99 (I think that is the cost?). So not bad on the cost from NB.

The succanat sugar I got from the health food store in town. I want to say that was $4 - $5 for a 2 .lb bag. And then the Orange Blossom Honey I got from the local supermarket at $3 for a 12 oz plastic bottle. Worst case, without shipping costs, is $28 - $30. Not bad...
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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How would fruit go with this recipe? I have a friend with celiac's as well and she loves wine. She would be interested in how it would taste with Rasperries, etc. It'd get her to try some decent beer for a change.
I had never thought of this! This is a great idea. I think next time I would definitely pursue this idea. Maybe some strawberries or apricots. Or Raspberries in your case. I would probably lower the succanat sugar in the recipe. The succanat is a little strong on molasses and rum flavors. Although with the right fruit, it may not matter...
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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I'd be interested to hear your opinion of the sucanat. I got mine at the local hippie grocery store...they have it packaged and bulk.

In my "tripel", the sucanat lends a rum-like sweetness that really comes out as the beer warms up. IMHO, I think sucanat is quite a bit different than some of the other sugars.
Yeah the succanat is different, but I really like it. I got mine at the health foood store as I posted and I was thinking of keeping it as a stock sugar in my house for other uses. It does have a rum flavor but I also pick up some molasses in it to. I hope it doesn't overpower the beer!

I definitely keep this thread up to date as the beer progresses. Last night found airlock out of control again, but little or no krausen. So far so good.
 

Kimsta

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I think my next batch will be a sorghum beer so i'll throw up a recipe when it's time! Most likely will use frozen fruit since nothing is in season yet. Does sorghum itself lend a light colored beer, or does it come out brown/heavy?
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Does sorghum itself lend a light colored beer, or does it come out brown/heavy?
Extremely light color! The syrup from NB that I used came out extremely light in color. The succanat sugar added the color, which wasn't much.
 
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I ordered the ingredients (malt syrup, hops and yeast) from Northern Brewer. The syrup, hops and yeast is $18-$20. I ordered stuff for my wheat ale at the same time so I had it all shipped for the brew saver special of $7.99 (I think that is the cost?). So not bad on the cost from NB.

The succanat sugar I got from the health food store in town. I want to say that was $4 - $5 for a 2 .lb bag. And then the Orange Blossom Honey I got from the local supermarket at $3 for a 12 oz plastic bottle. Worst case, without shipping costs, is $28 - $30. Not bad...
Thanks for the tip:mug: Not bad at all I must say
Cheers

JJ
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Update:

I did not use a secondary. I got busy with work and house repairs so it sat in primary (better bottle) for three weeks. I bottled on Saturday 5/24. Taste from primary into the bottles was a light beer with a tiny cidery flavor. Coming form the succanat sugar?? I'm not sure.

Just have to wait until it matures in the bottle to see what it'll be.
 

yeastybeasty

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Doing gluten-free beers this way will get you drinkable brews but not great ones. You really need to make your own GF base + specialty malts to get that "real" (malty) beer flavour, although it still won't be quite like a barley or wheat-based beer. It's an awful lot of work and the brewing process is long/ complicated but it's worth it, for me anyway. Here's a good resource: http://www.sillyyak.com.au/gfb/index.html
 

SteveM

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I have a nephew who has Celiac's. He is 18 now and I promised him a batch of gluten free beer for his 21st birthday, so this is great info. I will save the recipe. Who knew there were some many people who were gluten-intolerant?

My question is this - subjectively, how is the taste? Is it adequately "beery" for an average beer drinker? Or is it one of those brews that we try at a beer tasting, where we conceal a grimace and pronounce it to be "interesting?"
 

slim chillingsworth

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I would just like to add this to the conversation for anyone brewing for someone with an extreme gluten intolerance like celiac disease:

MAKE SURE YOUR YEAST IS GLUTEN FREE

Most yeast is cultured using barley or wheat, so be careful.
 

yeastybeasty

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All dry yeasts *should* be fine - Fermentis and Lallemand/Danstar are anyway (as far as I know.) Wyeast put out a couple of seasonal GF strains a while ago but I don't know whether they're still available. White Labs claims that their yeast is "low in gluten" and within the European gluten-free standard but I hesitate to use it. My best GF ales have been made with Windsor/ Nottingham yeasts.
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Good points about the yeast. I used the Nottingham dry.

I'm not sure if I would call it a 'beery' taste. Its different and like I said its got a slight cidery flavor when I went to bottle it. I hope that mellows. Otherwise, its a very light (color, body, flavor) beer. But I gave it a shot for my friend. Hopefully it'll turn okay and she won't want to just dump it!?

Oh I'd love to do an all-grain gluten-free brew. Maybe next year...
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Update:

Cracked one open last night to test carbonation, my friend's birthday is this weekend, giving the beer as a gift. I know she'll appreciate the thought of the gift. Hope she likes it.

Summary: Not bad, but not great either. Very light color with nice clarity. Pours very light head which dissipated quickly to a small lacing in the glass. Taste is very light on malt and hops (wasn't shooting for a hopbomb anyway). Slight cidery flavor detected at bottling has dissipated, can't really taste that anymore. Overall, just a really light beer. It would good on hot days, which is now! I would definitely like to explore doing another gluten free brew, but next time with some grains to get more flavor.

Not my worst beer and certainly not my best, but quaffable...
 

menschmaschine

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White Labs claims that their yeast is "low in gluten" and within the European gluten-free standard but I hesitate to use it.
That sounds strange to me. My impression is that the EU is pretty strict on labeling something as "Gluten Free". Celiac disease is either more prevalent or more recognized in the UK, for example. There, a celiac can get "prescription food" from the NHS (basically free gluten-free food). It's almost strange... you literally go to a pharmacy like Boots (similar to Walgreens) and pick up a box of prescription food every week or two (bread, tea biscuits, pasta, etc.). If White Labs yeast truly meets EU Gluten Free standards, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
 

paulvp

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I've been wanting to try this as my stepmother and stepsister both have celiac disease. Thanks for the nice write up.
 
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FatMonsters

FatMonsters

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Thanks for the nice write up.
No problem. Definitely give it a try and play with the hops and/or fruit to your liking, or your stepsister and stepmohter's liking.
 

yeastybeasty

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That sounds strange to me. My impression is that the EU is pretty strict on labeling something as "Gluten Free"
Yeah, you're right - the EU standard is 20ppm, which is a pretty damn small amount of gluten. I guess it's just the fact that there may be *some* gluten that sort of concerns me. I've got a real hankering for a GF bitter made with the Fullers strain, so I may give White Labs a try...
 

bootin-gluten

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Hi,
I used to brew from can (yeah, I know you're probably looking down on me right now) but I've stopped drinking beer since I am no longer able to tolerate gluten (a real pain). I have been looking into making my own gluten-free beer and realized that there aren't any GF canned wort kits out there. I haven't really used made a beer using hops etc. before so I was wondering if you would mind giving me a more detailed explanation of how it's done. This is what I'm guessing:

1. Boil 5 gallons of water
1. add the sorghum syrup and succanat to the boiling water
2. (attempting to discern hops schedule... are the times you list there the number of minutes before turning off the burner or number of minutes to have them in the boiling wort?) From what I'm guessing, it's the latter... but please let me know if this is right or not.
3. After boil time, shut off heat and then add honey
4. Put wort pot in a cold bath to facilitate cooling
5. While wort is cooling, add dried yeast to a cup of warm water to rehydrate it
6. Once wort is cooled to the proper temperature (~16-20 degrees celsius for that yeast?), add yeast to wort.
7. Did you use 1 or 2-stage fermentation
8. I think I can get the rest.

By the way, I think I might try malting some buckwheat, sorghum or quinoa as per one of the suggestions. Just curious how this is added as I've never used real grains before.

Thanks so much for starting this thread!
 

fergy89406

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There are many things you can add to your gluten-free brews to give them a little more flavor capacity. Flaked oats can be thrown in for body and creaminess, and the use of honey and belgian candi syrups can add flavor and color!
 

kevlee67

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Hello folks
I went gluten free recently, and well my only choice is redbridge.
I have since, ordered a brew kits, with a few extra carboys. I now have 3 batches in the carboys, saving my last for my son who is coming this next weekend as he wants to see how its brewed.
I made 2 with sorghum and I also made a kit batch with "clarity ferm" oh brewed it one nite and itched like hell the next day. But its in the carboy. I am deciding if I will go thru the advanced stage and let it ferment for 4 weeks or bottle it after 2.
I know nothing about brewing my own beer, but I sure like to experiment. I added maple syrup to one and nector, etc............I will post the reciepes, along with my opinion on each when I drink them. What I really want to do, is make a beer close to redbridge as I can drink that beer. I dont like the bitter, I dont like bitter at all. I found what hops redbridge uses, and some of the ingrediants, dont know about the yeast, but I gave it a good shot, only thing I added that redbridge dont show up as ingrediants is honey.
I will try a few more. But if anyone has suggestions, I would like to hear them. So who is the beer expert? Drink a redbridge and talk to me.

Kevin
 
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