Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 358: Gluten Free Ale

This'd be another example of "the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." Excepting, perhaps, just how well my plans were laid. In my position as royal consort to the Queen of Beer, I have sampled many a gluten free "beer." The quotes are because some of the samples just flat-out didn't qualify as beer. I've had a few decent ones, ones that I've actually ordered multiple pints of- My buddy Doug periodically makes a "CPA," or Celiac Pale Ale, that is quite nice. The Belipago at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe is also quite a good beer. And the Green's beers are perhaps the most impressive of all. So naturally, finding out that my friend Terry, and possibly his brother Brian are experiencing gluten intolerance, I felt the need to reinvent the wheel.

So far, I think the new wheel may have some flat spots.

I had this idea to use sorghum syrup from Briess as the base, and augment it with a small amount of oats, half of which I toasted in the oven. I also planned to continue the oatmeal cookie theme by harnessing the curranty nature of Nugget and Goldings hops. The oat part was predicated on using a powdered amylase enzyme to convert the starchy oats into a sugary solution. This is where I didn't plan things out so well- the powdered amylase doesn't seem to be up to the task. I tried a wide range of temperatures over about 12 hours, and got a moderately sweet pot of oatmeal. Before I jettisoned the oats entirely, I had gooped up around 10 pots and strainers of various size and shape here at Chez Cicerone. (Nothing new....) Thus the entire fermentable part of the wort came from the sorghum syrup with a bit of dark candi sugar syrup for a little bit of color. I ended up going with Goldings, Goldings, and Goldings for the three hop additions, to a calculated 40 BU. The very dependable and neutral 1056 was given the job of fermenting.

By itself, the extract syrup resembles and tastes like pale malt extract. The wort was definitely a bit different than a malt based one, though I couldn't put my finger on a suitable descriptor(s) to explain in what way(s.)

Here's where we're at:

We'll see how we do. If this one doesn't do the trick, we'll figure out how to get the job done. The goal is not, "pretty good for gluten free," but "I'll have another!"

1 comment:

  1. Bob (AABG) made a tasty gluten free Saison for RatFest. It will be on again on a Wednesday night in March at The Corner, if you want fo give it a taste.
    Dave may know WHICH Wednesday.