Some days, finding a decent quality gluten-free brewage to shop for maybe real work. However, why do the work whereas you’ll be able to create your own beer at home?
Gluten-free brewage is commonly made up of sorghum, however, you’ll be able to use milkshake buckwheat, rice syrup, and a range of hops to make an additional subtle beer. You’ll have to malt the buckwheat (or purchase it) before you brew the beer. The fermentation process takes up to 10 days prior to the addition of priming corn sugar and bottling.
More so, you will need to rest your brew for one week before having a sip of your efforts!
But Why Gluten-free Beer?
People who have protein intolerance (including celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis sufferers) have a hypersensitivity to certain proteins in the grains commonly used to make regular beer, barley, and wheat. The hordein found in barley and the gliadin found in wheat is types of gluten that can trigger symptoms in sufferers of these diseases. Embarking on a gluten-free diet also captures the fact that even one’s beer is gluten-free. Remember, being gluten-free is both a personal and lifestyle decision.
By now, the question: however do I brew gluten-free beer may have popped up in your mind. However is it extremely attainable to brew smart, scratch that…great gluten-free ales and lagers at home? Yes! however, before you dash out to buy your beer making kits, you will need to understand a couple of things.
By now, the question: do I brew gluten-free beer may have popped up in your mind. However is it extremely attainable to brew smart, scratch that…great gluten-free ales and lagers at home? Yes! before you dash out to buy your beer making kits, you will need to understand a couple of things.
Gluten Beer Vs. Gluten-free Beer.
Successful home brewing needs a primary understanding of the production method that in itself is both a creative and a very practical process. It’s necessary to notice that gluten-free beer doesn’t contain barley, wheat, or rye. The presence of any of the earlier listed grains would make your beer a “gluten-full-beer”. White sorghum and rice are the most popular grains for brewing gluten-free beers.
Luckily, almost all home brewing suppliers now sell gluten-free liquid sorghum extract. Gluten-free beer recipes sometimes require the addition of rice syrup or dry corn dextrose which can impact the alcohol content of the finished product.
It’s equally important to understand the vital importance of meticulously cleaning and sanitizing your beer making kits and bottling equipment. The time commitment and patience required to let the fascinating fermentation and carbonation processes reach completion under appropriate conditions should not be downplayed when deciding if home brewing is for you.
Wort and Lagers: The distinction.
Ales and lagers are the two beer styles most often brewed at home. The different characteristics of these beer styles are most times defined by the type of yeast used to ferment “wort.”
Wort, or “green beer” is what beer is called before it ferments, or “attenuates” and develops its alcohol content. Ale yeasts attenuate at higher temperatures and more quickly than lager yeasts. Ales are faster and easier to produce and require from 20 to 28 days to brew, ferment and carbonate.
Lagers are wonderful, crisp, crystal-clear beers. Beers made with lager yeasts require a much longer and cooler fermentation period, including transferring the beer from a “primary” fermentation bucket or carboy to a “secondary” fermentation carboy where the beer further clarifies and conditions. Lagers require a large chunk of investment in equipment set up, time, and of course, a ton of patience.
The Humulus lupulus plant
Ever wondered why beer tastes bitter? Well, read on. Biology made us understand that some plants could be either males or females. Hops read that scripts! Hops are the flower or female seed cone of the Humulus lupulus plant.
Hops have been used since ancient times in the beer-making process to add bitterness, aroma, and flavor to the beer. They are also a potent natural preservative, which allowed ancient beer brewers to ship casks of beer to yonder lands without the fear of the beer going bad.
Each variety of hops imparts its own unique flavor to the beer. Some hops lend floral notes and flavors, others fruity or citrus notes, spicy notes, herbal notes, and evergreen or resinous notes. Deciding on the right hops variety for gluten-free ales and lagers is very important to the ultimate outcome of home-brewed gluten-free beer.
Home Brewing 101
Before attempting to homebrew a gluten-free beer, it is key you learn the fundamentals of homebrewing, select gluten-free ingredients of great quality and invest in (or borrow) at a minimum basic brewing and bottling equipment. Making your own gluten-free beer comes with a feeling of fulfillment that can only be enjoyed by those ready who are ready to homebrew their beer.
Just like every worthwhile endeavor, beer making has its challenges. The main challenge most homebrewers face is the fact that malted versions of gluten-free grains are not commercially available. To overcome this challenge, homebrewers will have to malt their own grain. It is worthy to note that many gluten-free grains are pod less and the malts made from them are low
Just like every worthwhile endeavor, beer making has its challenges. The main challenge most homebrewers face is the fact that malted versions of gluten-free grains are not commercially available. To overcome this challenge, homebrewers will have to malt their own grain. It is worthy to note that many gluten-free grains are pod less and the malts made from them are low in diastatic power. One more thing, the gelatinization temperature of the starches in most gluten-free grains is higher than that of most brewing grains.
Gluten-free beer making is a skill on its own. Craig Belser gave out some very good recommendations(by the way: Belser is co-owner and brewmaster at Bard’s Tale). He opined that your very first consideration when brewing gluten-free beer from grains is using the right grains to make your beer. Well, let us say: right grains equals the right beer.
Sources for gluten-free grains include supermarkets, health food stores or even online. But as a note of genuine caution, please be aware that finding the right grains come at a cost, as you will require a fairly large amount of grain will be required for the process. The good thing is that in the end, you will realize that every sip will certainly be worth the hassle.
The next stop is the malting your grains. Glenn BurnSilver’s recipe comes to the rescue here. So why is malting key in beer brewing? Malting is required to sprout the grains, then dry them. To do this, the home brewer will have to soak the grains in a bucket of water, flush every eight hours or so and aerate the grains during the process.
Belser suggests using a fish tank aerator to get plenty of air circulating. You will have to repeat this process over a couple of days until sprouting occurs in the grains.
Next, using a dehydrator dry the grains. Once dry, the grains can be kilned gently in the oven on minimal heat. (In this case, you will want to heat the grains only as much as a base grain would be, not to the extent that specialty grains such as crystal or darker malts are. However, you may want to separately “roast” a small amount of your homemade malt to a greater degree for color and flavor.).
To get the desired color and flavor characteristics desired in your home brewed beer, You will have to keep a close eye on your grains while sprouting. Sprouting precedes the mashing up process
Yeast as a Starter.
Depending on one’s desired flavor profile, almost any hops can be chosen. But when it comes to yeast, some yeast strains work better than others. By beer brewing experience, Belser noted that ale yeast — English, Irish and American — works best, while Belgian yeast doesn’t react well enough with sorghum or rice. Some lager yeasts can work too.
Yeast usage could be a cause of concern for celiacs. Liquid yeasts are cultured in a medium made partially from barley and will surely contaminate the beer. You can read the last sentence again, it is very, very important that you don’t miss that. Dry yeast is cultivated on beet sugar, cane sugar or molasses and can be pitched directly to the carboy. If you make a yeast starter, it must also be made gluten-free, too.
To use a liquid yeast strain, you would need to plate out the yeast on Petri dishes or slant, then you grow up the culture from a one yeast colony, using molasses or sorghum syrup as your culture media. Easy huh?
The difference is in the taste.
Unlike “regular” beers, gluten-free beers taste differently. A good number of brewers noted that their initial efforts at beer making of a gluten-free beer seem thin and briny. A good number of the African sorghum beers taste sour largely due to “wild” fermentation but sorghum brewage can have a sour edge to it, even when it is fermented with brewers yeast.
When compared to “regular” brewing, the ingredients available for brewing gluten-free beer are limited. So one will have to be very creative in everything he or she knows about brewing when brewing gluten-free beer.
Finally just as earlier cited, when making a gluten-free beer, the beer brewer will need to avoid cross-contamination. If you consider basic brewing hygiene tantamount, double your efforts for this project as even the tiniest amount of gluten can make some celiac sufferers very ill. To curtail this, you will either buy a second grain mill or very thoroughly scrub your present mill.
Another precaution you will need to take is to store and mill your barley malts separately from your gluten-free malts. Change “soft surfaces” in your brewery’s kits such as siphon hoses, airlocks, and rubber stoppers. This step is applicable if you have brewed “glutenous” beers before on your brewery kit.
Another thing, be extra diligent in cleaning carboys, kettles, utensils, funnels and anything else that could come into contact with the beer. Your brewery kit cannot be too clean.
Do you want to make home-brewed gluten-free beer? If you attempt to make some gluten-free beer especially an all-grain brew, you will be venturing into an area of homebrewing that is not well-charted. But unlike the prodigal son, you will make a home run. So while you make your beer, take good notes on your malting sessions, brewing sessions, and beers and be prepared to tweak things a bit.
So the question now is, when are you making your next gluten-free beer?