Sunday, November 25, 2012

#25 - Gluten Free Beer [Extract]

I'm helping a friend out with this one as he is living with a guy who is a coeliac.  This guy has been restricted to drinking spirits and soft drinks most of their life as it is generally quite difficult to find gluten free beer in Ireland. The background for the recipe originated in this thread on homebrewtalk with one of the users being very helpful in terms of providing advice on ingredients and techniques.
Steeping Buckwheat
The malted buckwheat was crushed coarsely in the grain mill, and added approximately 550g each to 3 large muslin bags which were then steeped in 15L of water which was previously heated to 71 degrees C. This temperature was held for 2 hours (I don't know if the full 2 hours are really necessary) to allow the flavour from the buckwheat to infuse into the beer. I cannot stress enough to use large muslin bags, they became enormous when they absorbed the water! I don't know the enzyme content of buckwheat and but an iodine test indicated the presence of starch at the end of the steeping. This means that the contribution of buckwheat could not be relied upon for fermentable sugar contributions. (This is why the recipe has 900g of honey rather than 450g to boost the gravity).

After 2 hours, removed the grain and allowed them to drain into the pot. I didn't bother sparging as the buckwheat had coagulated in the bags which would not allow any water though them. Boiling water was then added to the pot to bring the level to 15L. Once the water was boiling, the pot was taken off the heat so that the honey and sugar could be added without scorching. Once these ingredients were added and dissolved, the pot was returned to the stove and brought to a rolling boil.  

Upon starting the timer with 60 minutes the first hop addition was added with subsequent hop additions at 30 minutes, Irish moss at 10 and the final hop addition at 5 minutes.  All hop additions were added in muslin bags to make draining the wort easier after the boil. The wort was cooled quickly to 24 degrees C with an immersion chiller and transferred to the fermenter though a sieve. I topped the fermenter to bring the level to 14L, I didn't want to dilute it any further.  I didn't have time to make a starter so the vial of WLP400 was pitched directly into the fermenter, it started fermenting after 12 hours. 

As I deleted all the other equipment in Beersmith I wasn't able to figure out how to add new equipment so I just made the recipe using the recipe builder on BrewersFriend. Without going into detail I far prefer Beersmith and wouldn't use an online recipe builder again... I will put up more information on how the beer turned out after it has been bottled and kegged. The post boil gravity was 1050 and I expect it to ferment quite low due to the amount of honey and sugar used. This is the full recipe:

 Title: Gluten Free Beer  
 Author: Homebrew Talk  
 Brew Method: Extract  
 Style Name: Specialty Beer  
 Boil Time: 60 min  
 Batch Size: 13 liters (fermentor volume)  
 Boil Size: 11 liters  
 Efficiency: 35% (steeping grains only)  
 No Chill: 20 minute extended hop boil time  
 Original Gravity: 1.068 (1053 Excluding Buckwheat)  
 Final Gravity: 1.016  
 ABV (standard): 6.83% (5.4% Excluding Buckwheat)  
 IBU (tinseth): 63.45  
 SRM (morey): 9.79  
 900 g - Honey (24.7%)  
 1 kg - Brown Sugar (27.4%)  
 50 g - Molasses (1.4%)  
 1.7 kg - Malted Buckwheat (46.6%)  
 30 g - East Kent Goldings (AA 6) for 60 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil  
 30 g - Hallertau (AA 5.2) for 30 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil  
 30 g - East Kent Goldings (AA 5) for 5 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil  
 1 tsp - Irish Moss, Time: 10 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil  
 White Labs - Belgian Wit Ale Yeast WLP400  
 Starter: No  
 Form: Liquid  
 Attenuation (avg): 76%  
 Flocculation: Low-Med  
 Optimum Temperature: 19.44 C - 23.33 C  

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