Monday, 24 September 2012

Gluten Free Brewing

Article by Andy McDermott

The awareness for Coeliac Disease is heightening. You will notice whilst walking down the aisles of the supermarket, the growing number of products that cater for people with this disease. There are lots of people who are even making the choice to eat gluten free aside from the people who don’t have a choice. In my limited experience, the curse isn’t so much the giving up of food that possibly contains gluten; it is in dealing with people who have a narrow attitude toward the disease. An ill-informed per-son can often view people with Coeliac Disease as being fussy or being difficult.

Fairly recently, Coeliacs who previously enjoyed beer, have found alternatives. There are a few beers on the market that are labelled Gluten Free but more importantly, for home-brewers, there is even an alternative for making beer at home. Read on…

Sorghum syrup successfully mimics the brewing performance of conventional barley based liquid malt extracts because it was developed to provide the proteins and amino acids necessary for yeast nutri-tion, head retention, colour and flavour.

White Sorghum syrup may be used as a 1:1 substitute for light barley based liquid malt extract in any beer recipe and is the only gluten free syrup with the necessary colour, flavour, FAN and fermentability to produce a beer that closely mimics beer made from malted barely.

Other syrups made from tapioca or rice lack the necessary flavour, colour and FAN characteristics to make a full bodied beer and in fact may pose fermentation challenges.

Sorghum liquid malt extract ensures the beer produced from the extract contains less than 5ppm gluten.

So just what is gluten sensitivity?

Gluten can be found in many common cereal grains including barley and wheat. Even consumed in small amounts gluten can trigger serious symptoms in those who suffer from Coeliac disease. Symptoms can range from feeling bloated through to diarrhoea, lethargy, attention-deficit or hyperactivity as well as joint and muscle pain.
If diagnosed the typical response by your doctor will be to not eat or drink any food that contains cereal grains such as bread, pizza and beer. Fortunately this is one time you want your doctor to be wrong. There are a number of quality products, including beer, that are produced to gluten-free standards and are safe to consume if you are gluten intolerant.
Beers that are made using rice, sorghum, buckwheat and corn instead of barley are safe to drink and will help you avoid the symptoms listed above. Some brewers will argue the mashing and fermentation pro-cess converts the proteins in barley into non-harmful amino acids but this simply isn't true.
So avoid any beers which contain large quantities of barley and are not brewed to gluten-free standards if you're unsure. There are a large number of beers available, including home brew kits, that are gluten-free so why take the risk?
It is a fallacy. You can enjoy beer even if you are gluten intolerant!

Andrew Busana’s Gluten Free Beer:

3kg Sorghum extract
450g Molasses
1kg Dextrose
30g Cascade hops
25g Nelson Sauvin hops
1pk Safale US05 dried ale yeast
6g Dry enzyme
1pk Yeast nutrient

Add 1.5kg of sorghum extract & 1kg dextrose to 8lt of water; bring to boil.
Add 15g cascade – 60 min boil (bittering)
Add 15g cascade – 15 min boil (flavouring)
Add 25g nelson sauvin – 0 boil (aroma)
Add remaining 1.5kg sorghum extract
Cool down time - < 30min – (actual 17min used coil emersion cooler)
Fill fermenter – 22lt
Pitch yeast temp less than 30o
Add yeast nutrient & 6g dry enzyme


O.G – 1080
F.G – 1004
AV -10%
Total bitterness– 13.6 IBU’s


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