Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasting Free the Glutens

Well, you might remember that not too long ago I talked about brewing up a #GlutenFree beer. If not, you can look back at the post: Free the Glutens! This past weekend, I tasted a bottle from the batch. My wife also gave it a try. Together, we decided it was good enough to present to the gluten-sensitive mother of the children we took care of over the weekend (for the purposes of this blog post we are going to call her "Gretchen" so I don't have to type "the gluten-sensitive mother of the children we took care of over the weekend" over and over). 

The beer model thought it was really good. I thought it was pretty good. It starts off a little sweeter and perhaps a little fuller in the body than I thought it was going to. I really wish I had taken an FG, because I sort of wonder if I should have let it ferment longer. I do think it is nicely balanced and has a pretty good citrus hop presence. The sweetness combined with the taste of centennial hops give it a little orange flavor, which is quite pleasant in this beer. It does not come across as bitter as an IPA. Naming it an APA was the right call.

There is something very subtle in the after-taste that I cannot quite describe. I am quite sure I would not like more of it in the beer. Neither the Beer Model nor "Gretchen" mentioned it, and as I finished my glass I didn't notice it as much either. I've heard some gluten-free brewers mention a metallic flavor that can develop with gluten-free ingredients. That might be what I'm picking up, although I'm not getting enough to really decide that it is the flavor I taste.

Visually, the beer is a pale orange color with a pretty decent nice white head. The head retention is better than I was expecting it to be. The carbonation on the beer is higher than I expected, but is nice in this beer. I think it helps cut through the upfront sweetness of the beer.

"Gretchen" posted the above picture on my facebook page and said (typed): "I'm happy to be a friend of the Sheppy Brew house. Free The Glutens APA. Delicious. Thx!" I did warn her not to say she liked it if she didn't, so hopefully that compliment is genuine. I still have about half the brown rice syrup, so I will probably make another batch sometime.

You can review the recipe at SheppyBrew.com: Free the Glutens! APA .

So, I guess we will call the Gluten-free experiment a success. As I mentioned last time (and was sure to mention to "Gretchen"), my gluten free beer is probably not 100% safe for seriously sensitive Celiacs. I used malted oats, which should be gluten-free, but was in an environment where cross-contamination was likely. I also used a yeast that was harvested from another batch of beer. I did "wash" the yeast, but I am sure it brought trace amounts of gluten with it as well.

I'm glad "Gretchen" liked the beer.

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