As beer is often made from wheat and barley and these two grains contain gluten, gluten free beer manufacturers need to use substituted grains. The first thing a gluten free beer brewer needs to consider is whether they intend on making a pale or dark lager. The answer to this is that roasting grains for the longest time tends to produce the darkest buy pappy van winkle.
One of the most regular grains people use is buckwheat,You love beer? Why not try Gluten free beer? But first why not find out what exotic grains are used Articles sorghum and millet as the base grain. The other gluten free grains that can be used are; rice, maize, corn, sunflower; amaranth, flax, quinoa, teff, wild rice, soybean, ragi, and rape.
The next consideration is how to perform the starch conversion. In regular beer making, barley is MALTED so that the enzymes convert the starches into fermentable sugars (which then can are distilled and create alcohol). Similarly, gluten free grains need to be malted and typically brewers add amaylase enzymes to the mash to convert the sugars.
Flavour (and so different beer types) are further created by one of three processes: blending gluten free grains together, adding sugars or roasting the grains.
The reason that sugars are added to gluten free grain beer is that they often have less original sugar content than barley. In gluten free beer brewing some of the flavour options (sugars) are provided by the inclusion of: honey, corn sugar, juice, molasses or exotics like Belgian candy sugar.
This will always create a darker colour beer and often a deeper taste. The process involves grinding the gluten free grain of your choice into a powder adding an enzyme tablet, adding your sweetener and water until the mixture becomes a dough, then baking it until it is your required colour darkness. Once this is reached the baked mixture is then broken up and added to the mash.
Creating beer head
The beer head is actually created by the gluten in normal wheat grains. To achieve a head in non gluten beer grains manufacturers need to substitute the gluten protein with something like a soy protein. This can be done by adding tofu to the mash.
Note that gluten free beer can and should still have hops added to it, which will give it the bitter taste.
One large warning on home brewing gluten free beer is that some brewing yeast manufacturers actually culture their product in gluten containing malt – so you should check that the yeast ingredients are certified as being gluten free.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUBSTITUTE GRAINS
Buckwheat is a 2-4 foot plant cultivated unlike most other grains which are grasses. The plant has broad, spreading leaves; it also has lacy white flowers. Major suppliers are Japan and Canada. It has a distinctive nutty flavour that is often used in waffles and breads. It also has high fat content as well as high fibre and protein.
Sorghum: is one of the top five world cereal crops and along with corn (another top five grain) – it is gluten free. Sorghum originates from Africa which is still the global largest producer. It is an extremely drought tolerant grass that in original form grows to 2m tall, though in most countries the dwarf varieties are grown as higher efficiency crops. In the US, like buckwheat, it is usually grown for animal feed. For a beer ingredient the regular grain is used however a sweet sorghum is also grown which is boiled down to create packaged sugar. Regular sorghum is said to taste bland (like wheat) or slightly sweet.
Millet: is a collective term for a variety of grasses that produce small, rounded seeds. The five commercial varieties are: foxtail, browntop, pearl, proso, and barnyard. Millet is popular in Asia where its survival against heat and poor soil make it a major crop. Millet has many vitamins and protein and grows quickly with up to three crops per year. It is pest resistant which lends it to organic farming though there is fungus susceptivity. Millet has a fairly mild nutty flavor, which can be enhanced by lightly toasting.
Maize: is similar to rice, wheat and barley in its genetics, however unlike the other grains it needs is not self sowing because maize kernals are locked inside of the tough husk. It is also one of the few grains created by mankind (genetically engineered). Maize flour comes from ground corn kernels. In South America and the Caribbean. It is said to contain the same taste and texture as regular wheat grains, so it may be an ideal replacement.
Sunflowers seeds are often pressed to create sunflower oil. However the seeds tend to need a commercial de-huller to enable oil to be expressed from them. The seeds yield 40% oil which is 70% polyunsaturated (one of the healthiest seeds around). Without preservatives and other additives used in its extraction process, it is said to have a deliciously yet subtly nutty in flavour.