Gluten Free Equivalent to Pilsner and Marris Otter

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cryptohomebrew

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I've found this page to be invaluable in my experience brewing GF - GF Malt Table - however, there are no references to Pilsner or Marris Otter like malts.

What has anyone used, or heard of using to replicate Pilsner and Marris Otter malts?
 

glutarded-chris

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I thought Pilsners were typically brewed from pale malts. Not specialized malts. Just pale malt, hops, water with almost no residual alkalinity, lager yeast and slow cold fermentation. The challenge is getting the mix of GF malts that will most closely match the behavior of the barley pale malts. The mix of pale rice, pale millet, pale buckwheat, quinoa, bisquit millet etc. is the key. There will be no specific single GF malt that will replicate the barley equivalents.
 

skleice

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As Chris said, there is no 1-to-1 substitution for the various barley malts, wheat, rye, etc. The flavor will never be exactly the same, but you can still replicate many styles pretty well by blending gf malts.

My opinions:

Biscuit rice 4L - generally my base malt of choice. It is a nice clean, bready flavor that is malty enough to give your brew a backbone, but not too much. However, rice can be more challenging to extract all of the sugars and it needs 2x the amount of recommended yeast nutrient or you will get terrible off flavors.

Pale rice - If you use too much, your beer will taste very sake-ish with a very grainy rice/fruity tanginess. I would not go more than 33% in my grist. I use it paired with 4L if I'm trying to move into a more pilsner malt direction.

Pale millet - easy to work with, but too nutty of a flavor for pale beers IMO (but I'm probably in the minority with that thinking). I don't purchase it anymore.

Munich millet - less nutty and more bready & biscuity than pale millet. The description says toasted and toffee flavors, but I don't really experience that. It is closer to 4L imo.

Vienna millet - I just don't like this malt tbh. To me, it is very toasty and has a weird twangy aftertaste to it (not like the sorghum twang). I'm sure it's great for some styles.


I typically will start with 4L for most pale brews and then blend in pale rice for lighter styles or add in something like caramillet or goldfinch millet for IPA's, NEIPA's, etc. Hope that helps...
 
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cryptohomebrew

cryptohomebrew

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Chris, Skleice, always appreciate your insights and guidance. I need to get out of this 'pale millet or pale rice is the only base malt' mentality. Appreciate knowing that I have been under using yeast nutrient as well.
 
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cryptohomebrew

cryptohomebrew

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Vienna millet - I just don't like this malt tbh. To me, it is very toasty and has a weird twangy aftertaste to it (not like the sorghum twang). I'm sure it's great for some styles.
Curious if you have seen the new grains on GFHB.com? There are a few varities of Vienna now.

 

skleice

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Curious if you have seen the new grains on GFHB.com? There are a few varities of Vienna now.

Yeah. I'm most curious about the caramel buckwheat. I don't usually use buckwheat in anything lighter than a brown ale because it is very earthy, but I'm hoping the caramel buckwheat may work in lighter beers.
 
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