Gluten free From November 2014 newsletter

Producing gluten–free beer

We were asked to produce a gluten-free beer that is suitable for coeliacs using a novel raw material, the African grain Teff. It is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, where it is mainly used to make injera flatbread.

The challenge

The challenge in this project was that the grain is less than 1 mm in diameter, which made it difficult to handle, and malting and brewing methods had to be adapted to cope with this.

The Teff was malted in our pilot maltings. Water uptake during steeping was very rapid because of the small size of the grain. In the pilot brewery a 100% Teff grist was used to produce a beer. The grain size meant that it had to be milled finely. This resulted in some processing problems, and the collected wort was cloudy, but we succeeded in producing a beer with an initial gravity of 1.039.

Its aroma and flavour was predominantly malty, with sweet cream toffee, caramel, biscuit and vanilla notes. These combined with subtle notes of mango and other fruits, including citrus, with some grainy and worty notes also detected.

Given its distinctive natural flavours, our Teff beer could be used as an adjunct with other grains.

Contact: Ed Wray
+44(0)1737 824245

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