Not a Gluten for Punishment

So I am thinking one of the next beers I would like to brew is a gluten-free beer. The challenge I have is crafting a recipe with these abnormal ingredients. Sorghum and Brown Rice Syrups, Buckwheat or spelt. Dry yeast packets (as wet yeast is usual processed with malt), and the hop shortage price increases. Its not going to be easy especially since I want to make a coffee-house porter. Yes, you heard me. I want to make a gluten free porter (without using oats, wheat, or barley). The biggest problem is going to be color. No black patent malts, no chocolate malts, hell, no MALT’s at all. I have some concept ingredients listed below. If you brew, let me know what you think

Recipe ideas:

Sorghum Syrup – hey, we use it at work for Redbridge. Why not try it at home?

Rice Syrup – lighter flavor and helps reduce the tart, harshness of straight sorghum

Malted Buckwheat (Dark Roasted) – this will be the fun part. No one on the planet seems to sell this. I am going to have to make my own malted Buckwheat and then roast it myself too. This is going to be the most intense and complex beer prep so far.

Safale – ale yeast strain prop’d with beet sugar. I am going to need a strong yeast starter for this beer to ferment correctly.

Fuggle, East Kent Goldings, and some Nugget for bitterness.

I want to brew this to prove to the doubters that gluten free doesn’t have to be just “ok” or “I guess if this is all I could drink” This will be the biggest challenge for me until now. I am collecting the ingredients now and hope to brew this in the next several weeks. Wish me luck.

Be Sociable, Share!

5 thoughts on “Not a Gluten for Punishment

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  2. Mike,
    I have thought about it but I will be honest I have zero idea how to use it. What percentage. How would it change the mouthfeel? Can I find sources that are non-sulphurized as to not kill my fermentation? Can I guarantee the molassas is 100% gluten-free and not produced in the same facility as a malt syrup producer. Its a very interesting idea and very colonial. Have you used it before or have any experience with it that might help?


  3. Hi there! I am gluten intolerant and a homebrewer, but have yet to perfect (or try hard at perfecting) a GF beer. I did roast some raw oats (mine were GF) to give mine some darkness, but I think further roasting malted oats might help more. I think I would try caramelizing some sorghum malt or honey next time. I am not that fond of a molasses flavor. Even though I have Celiac, I can eat spelt with no problems and did brew a Spelt IPA that turned out great. We used a lot of amalayse to make sure it converted. I managed to get my hands on some old (5-7 years) malted spelt from Briess and some caramel and roasted spelt too. If you are going to call it gluten free, don’t use the spelt, if you call it wheat free, then you could, but some people will react to spelt (and it creates quite a controversy too!).

    I think brewing a GF ale will be better tasting than the GF beers out there as they are all lagers. I made the mistake of adding enough hops for 5 gallons when I was making an experimental 1.5 gallons, but it still had prospect. Getting the right mouth feel/body is a challenge, along with a way to darken the beer for a porter. Please let me know if you keep experimenting!
    Maybe try caramelizing the rice malt? That would have to give a nice roasty flavor. When you toast rice in a pan, it has a great nuttiness.

    Good luck and I will be happy to taste the final product for you!!


Leave a Reply