Hello thirsty beer drinkers! I’m Eric Diehl, and am very happy to have recently joined the Grouse Malting family. I look forward to providing craft breweries with a great gluten-free alternative to malted barley. Part of my responsibilities is to support malt production. I’ll also be assisting in the R&D brewing of tasty beverage recipes utilizing the many different grains, malts, and roasts Grouse offers. I’ve been reminded of a few grain & beer details since starting here and am thrilled to share them with you.
The 3 most popular grains used in beer brewing are barley, wheat, and rye. Unfortunately, they all have that tricky gluten protein that can make the imbibing of beer remarkably unenjoyable for a growing portion of society (as if hangovers weren’t bad enough). Fear not gluten-intolerants! Hope is not lost! After my first round of tasting the gluten-free beers our local homebrewer customers share with us, and participating in an R&D brew, myself, I’m now a believer!
Sorghum and rice syrup have been a long-standing source of sugar that can be used to make beer without gluten. Unfortunately, these syrups add little flavor or complexity to beer and the final product most often lacks body and a true beer sensation. Another popular option has been to use a combination of syrups, nuts, honey, candy sugars, and a plethora of other ingredients to replicate a barley beer. Some of these results have been promising. However, gluten-freecraft malt provides the perfect opportunity to take taste and body to the next level.
Millet and buckwheat malt are emerging as clear contenders for ingredients in the craft beer world. Millet has a suitable hull, protecting all that goodness employed in the brewing and fermentation process. These hulls also assist in lautering process, making it possible to use techniques established by traditional malted barley brewing when brewing up a gluten-free beer. Both millet and buckwheat are capable of developing the enzymes and nutrients needed for healthy alcohol fermentation. In addition, buckwheat and millet malt can then be roasted to create different malt styles – base, roasted, and specialty malts – to brew the whole range of present day beer styles.
This is our passion at Grouse Malting and Roasting Company: to improve the existing non-traditional malts available so that everyone can enjoy the exciting revolution and evolution of beer that is transpiring in America today. I challenge you to taste the difference for yourself.