The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Malting Gluten-free Grains - Part 2



From left to right:

  1. Light-Roasted White Quinoa
    Malting Time: 2 days soak, 2 days malt*
    Roasting: 6 hours in dehydrator at 155 F
    Color: 3 SRM
    Smell: Sour, buttery, sweet (like kettle corn)
    Taste: Light, fresh, like horchata without cinnamon

  2. Caramel Toasted White Quinoa
    Malting Time: 2 days soak, 2 days malt*
    Roasting: 1 hour in oven at 350 F
    Color: 15 SRM
    Smell: Sour, wort-like
    Taste: Light/Medium toasted, sour, no caramel notes

  3. Light-Roasted Buckwheat
    Malting Time: 2 days soak, 2 days malt
    Roasting: 6 hours in dehydrator at 155 F
    Color: 1 SRM
    Smell: Earthy, nutty
    Taste: Nutty, dirt, smooth

  4. Caramel Toasted Buckwheat
    Malting Time: 2 days soak, 2 days malt
    Roasting: 1.5 hours in oven at 350 F
    Color: 12 SRM
    Smell: Sweet (sweeter than Quinoa), nutty
    Taste: Roasted Nuts, lingering nuttiness,

  5. Caramel Toasted Amaranth
    Malting Time: 2 days soak, 2 days malt
    Roasting: 1 hour in oven at 350 F
    Color: 10 SRM
    Smell: strong nuttiness, wort-like
    Taste: Smooth, light nuttiness,
Verdict:
Buckwheat doesn't really seem like that great of a grain for beer unless you're making something strong and want a nutty flavor.
Quinoa has a lot of cold break, but the flavors are somewhat resembling wort.
Amaranth is second only to millet in wort-likeness, should make a good base, but the grain is a bit expensive and rare, so likely will just be a fun addition for awhile. One problem that may arise is that since since the grain is so small the grains may slip right out of the grain bag.

*Quinoa soured slightly in the malt, likely explains a large chunk of the sour flavors. Recommend 1 day soak and then remove water and rinse 2x daily for 2-3 days.

6 comments:

Jesse said...

This is a very helpful post. I appreciate all your research. I will learn from those experiments as I embark on my own. If I figure out how to get in touch with you I will let you know the out come of my own experiments.

Matt Walliser said...

Excellent posts. I'm just getting into home brew and have plans to pursue gluten free brewing.
Have you done any more recipe refinements lately?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's been a few years since this post. Any updates on how your Gluten Free brewing is going? Any new recommendations on grains or the malting process? I'm new to brewing and miss good beer!
Thanks for your excellent posts.

Otis said...

Honestly I've been a bit lazy with the GF brewing.

Had a couple of good recipies, but sadly the computer with BrewSmith got hosed, so I lost all my notes.

Best tip I can really give you is this:
1. Use Sorghum & Brown Rice Extract at a 2 to 1 ratio as the base. This mimics pale malt extract reasonably well.
2. Assume that Sorghum has the attenuation or regular malt extract (about 75%), but that brown rice syrup is about 90% attenuation. This means that you will need to add about 2-3oz of maltodextrin per pound of brown rice extract.
3. Combine 1 & 2 above and you find the ratio of sorghum to brown rice to maltodextrin to be about 10 to 5 to 1 to get the right profile for beer.
4. Once you get your base right feel free to add other things as needed for whatever recipe or style you want.
5. Malting is a huge pain though. I've kind of gotten away from it, and likely won't pick it up again unless I can get a washer-dryer combo, and modify the controller with a custom controller that can handle all the rinsing, temps, drying, kilning, etc. automatically. It's just too manual of a process to be viable for regular use.
So if I were you I would just use the GF base ratio as described above, and just roast/toast any additional grains you want for adding better flavor.

Or you can cheat...

Another thing you can look into is White Labs' Clarity Ferm WLN4000. Not saying this is an answer for everybody, but the results I've seen are really really promising IFF you aren't extremely sensitive to gluten. You can read up more on it being used in Gluten-Free Beers here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/lazy-mans-gf-beer-187412/

Long story short, if you're making a barley-based beer this stuff appears to break apart any detectable traces of gluten.

Kieran O'Neill said...

Did you let the grains rest in a paper bag after roasting? One thing people on HBT seem to say is that you should let them sit for a week or two to off-gas some bad flavours. I wonder if that might not explain the slight sourness of the quinoa?

Anyway, I've got a pound of sprouted quinoa getting ready to roast right now, to add as a flavouring grain to an extract brew. Thanks for posting your experiments, they've been incredibly helpful.

Otis said...

@Kieran

Per the post:

*Quinoa soured slightly in the malt, likely explains a large chunk of the sour flavors. Recommend 1 day soak and then remove water and rinse 2x daily for 2-3 days.