beer beer beer beer, and Gluten free homebrew!

I have been a busy gardener lately. Lots of tomato canning, tomatillo canning and freezing beans. My eggplants still have a tinge of green around the purple, so to me that means not ripe. I am going to attempt to freeze those some how as they are always all ripe at once. I must have bought a different variety than last year.

I attempted to save some seeds from 5 different heirloom tomatoes for next year and was quite unsuccessful. I ending up creating a moldy fruit fly breeding habitat instead. Last year it worked. I planted the little seeds. They came up and then I fried them in their little green house containers. So I ended up buying plants. I guess I will just buy seeds instead and give it one more go next year. Eventually I want to have a little hoop house for lengthening my season.

I mowed the lawn for what I hope to be the last time of the year. We even had a fire in the wood stove. Now, it is 81F again. Tonight it is our Firkin beer club meeting and we are all meeting at a friend’s house on a lake – a bonfire will certainly be part of the evening as will my new Green’s beers. They are tasty and have a great, true Belgian flavor. The bottles are 16.9 oz and run about $7 in my area. You might think that is a lot, but my boyfriend – who is also a home brewer, buys bombers (22 oz) of specialty beer (I think Stone is his favorite) all the time when he has no home brew around. So, if you appreciated good beer, real ale, before becoming gluten intolerant or Celiac, then this might be the beer for you. If you appreciated Labatt before hand, then New Grist or Red Bridge is for you. I haven’t decided where to place Bard’s Tale. Probably with New Grist and Red Bridge. Ramapo (sorry guys) shouldn’t even be purchased. It was nothing like beer and nothing like what I want to drink. Maybe they were shooting to make a barley wine, but turned left at the wrong spot.

I did make a gluten free beer – actually two. They are still in my basement and still untasted. I will change that right now. I am going to march down there and pour a sample. Clear or not. Please pause for the cause and I will return.

Well, they are tasty if you can get past the bitterness. I used far too many hops for the sorghum to stand up to. The IPA has the right bitterness if it were to have the malt balance, but the balance is lacking. It has a sort of pineapple nose without the sweetness. I could tone it down and make a fine pale ale with some practice. New Grist, Bard’s Tale and Redbridge are all lagers. I am an ale girl.

The porter, well, it has a really nice roasted flavor that deepens the taste, but still no malt to balance the hops I used. It is not as hoppy as the IPA of course. I think I roasted whole GF oats that I shoveled out of my cousin’s storage barn. He raises oats for the chickens they have. I also roasted some rice and millet. I will need to look the recipe up, but we are on the way. Thank you for all the silent thoughts of “she said she was going to post about that beer and still hasn’t done it”. Actually, I think it was finally tasting a good GF beer that motivated me, gave me hope.

This post started out to be one about the perfecting of Vietnamese spring rolls and end of year gardening. It will have to wait. I have perfected them, you will be happy to know, using the dried rice wrappers. Patience and a good fryer are needed.

So, time to work on more beer. I eventually want to brew a spelt beer, since I can now. However I have had difficulty hunting down malted spelt – the key ingredient. I never liked wheat beers (wiessen or weizen or hefe) that much, so if my spelt beers taste like that, I will stick with sorghum.

We did take our mead and cider to Wheatland with us. The mead needs to mellow another year. The hard cider is a bit on the acidic side because I am a lazy brewer and let it sit on the yeast bed for too long. Once it is finished fermenting, ale and cider yeast falls to the bottom of the container. At this point, one should transfer (rack) the beverage to a new container, leaving the yeast behind so you don’t get off flavors (like I did) and to have better clarity (not from drinking said beverage, but to see through it).

Here are the pics from brewing(click through to see the photos):

a whole world awaits….
i’m out

3 thoughts on “beer beer beer beer, and Gluten free homebrew!

  1. Ginger of th South,
    Once I have mine developed I would be happy to share my recipe. Right now it needs a lot of work. However, here is a site that has two recipes: http://byo.com/feature/1589.html Brew Your Own magazine is a well known home brew mag. I probably should have tried one of these for starters, but no, I wanted to be brave and make it up along the way. Of course I can’t drink the stuff now as it is so bitter….

    I leave for Charleston in 3 days, can’t wait. We get to tour a plantation and have dinner at a Gullah restaurant – which I am sure will be a challenge, but they have been warned to have a GF meal. I looked at Fig’s menu and it looks great and if I could eat out two meals, I would eat there, but since I can’t get super fresh shellfish in MI, I am going for the seafood option!

    Ginger of the North

  2. I too brewed some Gluten free beer. I have celiac disease. I agree that Ramapo valley is terrible but I love all the others, especially the Green’s. My 1st gluten free homebrew was fantastic. 6lbs sorghum syrup (purchased at http://www.northernbrewer.com–Briess), 1.5 lbs unmalted dark roasted buckwheat, 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses and 3 oz of hops, 1 oz of oak chips. Beer is fantastic.
    My second batch was 6 lbs sorghum syrup, 1/2 lb lundbergs brown rice syrup, 1lb unmalted dark roasted buckwheat, 1/2 lb unmalted millet grain, 1 cup molasses, 1 cup brown sugar and 3 oz hops., 2 oz oak chips and 3 shots espresso in the secondary fermenter. tastes great post secondary fermentation — I will bottle tomarrow.
    I will start batch #3 next week, 4 lbs sorghum syrup, 1.5 lbs brown rice syrup, 1 lb malted dark roasted buckwheat, 1/2 lb unmalted dark roasted Quinoa, 1/4 lb light roasted millet, 1 cup blackstrap molasses, 1 cup Dark Candi sugar, 6 oz Maltodextrin (made from corn and GF), and 4 oz Lactose (milk sugar), and the Oak chips as well.
    I am interested in your Gluten Free Porter, How did you get it dark? Do you have photos of the Porter. Please email your GF Beer Recipes. thanks, Gerry — Big Rapids, MI.

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