Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July Meeting - The Future of Zero Tolerance

The meeting topic for this month will be determining a path for club outreach.  Though we hold local meetings that draw 6-12 people, we have an online community of over 200 people and growing.

I am devoting this meeting to allow the online community to help answer 2 important questions:

1. What do you want from the club?
2. What is the best way for Zero Tolerance to deliver that to you?

We will be using Zoom teleconferencing tool for this meeting.

There are free software installations available.

The meeting invite can be found here:

Date: Sunday July 29th
Time: 2pm - 3pm (Pacific Daylight Time)
Physical Location: Ground Breaker Brewing

Meeting Playback Here:


Monday, July 9, 2018

All-Grain Gluten-Free Brew Day: End Game IPA

I wanted to provide a quick how-to that shows my process for brewing all-grain gluten-free beer. We see some questions on the Zero Tolerance Facebook page that I am hoping this tutorial will help answer.

This is by no means the only way to brew all-grain gluten-free beer. Ed Golden joked with me and Bob Keifer at HomebrewCon that if you asked the three of us about our process, you would get five different answers. This is just the process I have been finding the most success with lately, though I am sure I will try to make some process improvements in coming batches.

End Game IPA in its completed form from a previous effort.

The Beer:
End Game IPA is a big, hoppy, pale beer with a gimmicky name. All the hops come at the "End" and their names (Galaxy, Amarillo, Mosaic and Ekuanot) spell out "Game." The beer is delicious and costs a fortune to brew because of the absurd hop bill and our inherently expensive gluten-free malt. But I have brewed it three times now with some solid feedback including a 38 score at NHC in the American IPA category (21.A) and some positive reviews at HomebrewCon.

The Oregon State Fair is coming up and I am totally out of homebrew, so I decided this would be a good one to brew right now.

10 lb - Pale Millet Malt (Grouse)
3 lb - Pale Rice Malt (Eckert)
1 lb - Munich Millet (Grouse)
.75 lb - Crystal Millet Malt 10L (Grouse)
1 lb - Blonde 0L Belgian Candi Sugar

2 ml - CO2 Hop Extract (60 min)

1 oz - Galaxy Hops (5 min)
1 oz - Amarillo Hops (5 min)
.5 oz - Mosaic Cryo Hops (5 min)
.5 oz - Ekuanot Cryo Hops (5 min)

1 oz - Galaxy Hops (Whirlpool 30 min)
1 oz - Amarillo Hops (Whirlpool 30 min)
.5 oz - Mosaic Cryo Hops (Whirlpool 30 min)
.5 oz - Ekuanot Cryo Hops (Whirlpool 30 min)

I will also end up dry hopping the hell out of the beer once primary fermentation is coming to a close.

All of the hops.

The hops in this one are weird and exotic. I just happen to have a lot of the weird ones from blog pieces and HomebrewCon.  If you go to one of these conventions, you will see that hops are passed out like free candy. YHC was handing out Cryo Hops like they weren't allowed to take them back home after the convention.  If you have trouble sourcing Cryo hops, just use the same hop in pellets and double to quantity. As far as the CO2 extract goes, I got some for a blog piece I wrote and I have started using it almost exclusively for bittering. Brewing GF beer is too expensive for me to sacrifice volume to hop absorption on a bittering charge. CO2 extract is reasonably priced and can be found at Yakima Valley Hops.

The Grist - After Milling on my MM3 Malt Muncher Mill
 The Mash:

The ingredients in the grist all came from the good people at Gluten Free Homebrewing. I will shout them out every chance I get. If it weren't for Brian and Alissa, I would still be spending all my time fighting against sorghum instead of doing the thing I love... brewing all-grain beer.

Recently, I have been toying with a reverse step mash. I go in very hot, around 180-185f and spend about 20-30 minutes there. The idea is that this hot rest for that time period should gelatinize the starches and get them in to solution more readily for conversion. A second infusion of cold water takes me down to the saccrification rest range (150f-165f) where I convert them to sugar. Since trying this method, I have had great efficiency in the neighborhood of 80-82%. The downside to this, of course, is that I absolutely murder the enzymes in the first infusion. It is necessary to add back amylase enzymes when using this process, unless you decant some of the wort at lower temperature rest on the way to 185f to preserve the malt's inherent enzymes.

In this batch, I spent :30+ minutes at 180f, mixing thoroughly.  I then added a few quarts of water to get the temperature down to 164f.  I added my enzymes and let it sit for 2 hours.  The 2 hour mash time is more a reflection of my lifestyle than anything else. I have 3 kids and the saccrification rest is usually time for me to go into Dad Mode. That could mean a Little League game, trip to the Beaverton Farmer's Market, or a day at the park. Could this rest be shorter? I may not find that out before all three of mine are in college.

Saccrification Rest

It is at this rest that I added 25ml each:
SEBAmyl BAL 100
SEBAmyl L Endo-Alpha Amylase Enzyme

The potential drawback here may be the lack of a protein rest. Though this beer is able to pass an iodine test and came in at 82% efficiency, the wort never fully cleared for me. It looked milky even after 30 min of recirculating and some additional time in the kettle with some Termamyl Endo-Alpha Amylase Enzyme at 130-150.  It does settle out well and I am hoping I can leave the insoluble stuff behind with the trub after fermentation. Maybe I didn't get the starches to gelatinize quite well enough? Maybe I milled to much flour? Still some things to figure out here. But that's the name of this game.

Step mashing something I am still working on, but is a challenge for me as a cooler masher.  I love the cooler for temperature stability, which is great for a single infusion. But it is pretty rigid about moving around for step mashing.

Luckily this is an IPA and people don't care much about clarity (especially right now).  However, I did do this same process with a blonde ale for HomebrewCon and it was the clearest wort I have seen in my GF experience. So, still research to be done for me here, but this one was cloudier than I'd like to see.

Recirculating to get a clear wort.
Though it never fully cleared, the wort passes an iodine test.

After mashing for about 2 hours, I began to recirculate the mash using my pump. I did this in an effort to lauter and clarify the wort.  Even though it never did look completely clear, I tested for gravity and starch and decided it was time to sparge. Mash pH was 5.42.

I fly sparge as slowly as my pump will allow me. It usually takes me about 45 min to 1 hour to run out into the kettle. As you can tell, we are looking at a pretty long brew day here. That's why I often run errands throughout.

Pre-boil gravity came in around 1.055 and I knew I was on track. I boiled, added hops, chilled as normal.  Once the wort was cold, I added 1 min of O2 and pitched 2 pkgs of US-05. I did not rehydrate the yeast. There was a lot of conversation at HomebrewCon with John Palmer and the people at Fermentis. There was basically no conclusion that rehydrating US-05 provides much benefit and I was too tired to add another step to my process. I've always been apprehensive about rehydrating the yeast as it adds another point at which the yeast may become contaminated. This will probably continue to be a "when I feel like it" part of my process.

The wort looks worse than it is.

It passes iodine test despite the cloudiness.

And I hit my SG at >82% 

The plan here is to ferment at 65f until it is about 50% complete and begin raising the temp about 1-2f per day from there, until hitting 72f.  I will dry hop heavily and in two doses as it nears the end of fermentation. My typical dry hop is to hop once at 5 days before crashing, then again at 3 days before crashing. The idea here is to add complexity without spending a lot of time sitting on the hops.

These guys are gonna work wonders in the fermentor.

I will update this post once I have completed the post-brew day activities. I have high hopes for this beer despite the cloudy appearance of the wort. And if anyone has suggestions on how to address that, I am all ears. I'd love to know why the wort remained turbid despite tasting sweet and passing iodine.

UPDATE: 7/13

User Jmath on Homebrewtalk was kind enough to point out to me that I have been misusing Termamyl. I was not using it during the gelatinization rest as it is intended.  I will be brewing Dad's Red Ale on 7/14 and using Termamyl during my hot rest. I will document the effect and note it on the blog. Thanks Jmath for the "heads-up"

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Zero Tolerance Represents Gluten-Free Homebrewing at HomebrewCon

Last week was a very big week for the gluten-free homebrewing community on the national stage. Zero Tolerance Gluten Free Homebrew Club sent a three brewer delegation to HomebrewCon in Portland, OR. The club was on a mission to spread the word about gluten-free beer to the 3,200+ attendees.

Bob delivers his seminar at HomebrewCon2018
Photo: American Homebrewers Association
Zero Tolerance member and GFHB regular Bob Keifer presented a seminar titled Gluten-Free Homebrewing: No Barley Wheat or Rye in which he provided a cursory overview of brewing gluten-free beer while serving four distinctly different beers to highlight different GF brewing techniques. Included in the tasting were a Saison (cereal-mash), Stout (all-grain), Smoked Porter (partial-mash) and an Experimental Hop Pale Ale (extract).  The beers were all part of the May 26th group brew Bob organized in Portland with JP Bierly of Bierly Brewing and Dan Mcintosh-Tolle of Moonshrimp.

Zero Tolerance opened the festivities by leading off the Social Club on the first day of the convention and were met with a warm welcome. 

The Zero Tolerance power trio at Social Club
Thirsty and curious attendees flocked to the Social Club to sample Zero Tolerances offerings. On tap were a solid variety of beers from Ed Golden and Joe Morris. Ed brewed up his famous Hefelinsen (a Hefeweizen-style beer that uses lentils in lieu of wheat) and a stunningly clean Helles Lager.  Joe brewed up his Dad’s Red Ale (Best of Show: First Annual PNW Gluten-Free Homebrew Competition), a basic Blonde ale, and an 8% ABV IPA featuring Galaxy, Amarillo, Mosaic and Ekuanot hops.  All five beers were well-received and drew a steady and deep line for over 2 and a half hours.

Zero Tolerance didn't use a big booth build
to stand out on Club Night, having the only GF beers
set them apart from the other clubs.
The highlight of HomebrewCon is always Club Night and Zero Tolerance rose to the occasion. With a bare bones booth featuring all 11 of the beers prepared for the conference (the previously-mentioned nine, plus two darker offerings from Ed), the booth was mobbed from start to finish. The reception was overwhelmingly positive. Some real heavy hitters in the homebrew community came by the booth and gave glowing reviews of the beers.

The festivities ended in a familiar place, the club's home in the brewery at Ground Breaker Brewing. It was time to kick back, relax and share some of that beer with who appreciate it most: The gluten-free community. 

The Blowoff Party was a perfect chance to blow off some steam,
kick back, and share those delicious beers with friends, family and
a few lucky patrons.

A lot of homebrewers' old, negative preconceptions about gluten-free beer were erased last week. Zero Tolerance showed up ready to change the narrative about gluten-free beer among homebrewers and did so on a national stage. Six months ago, Zero Tolerance wasn't even a club, but if HomebrewCon is any indication, this is a worthy endeavor.

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