Sunday, April 22, 2012

#58: Sorghum Pale Ale

Decided I needed to brew today, but didn't have time to invest in a full AG.  A friend had wanted to do a sorghum brew but has never gotten back with a time, so I decided to use the sorghum extract I had bought for that purpose to do a straight up sorghum pale ale similar in nature to the Briess recipe they offer on their website.  I had Columbus on hand, so I subbed for their Cascades, and I'm using S-33 instead of their Nottingham.  I also threw in a bag of Booster that I had laying about.  I originally intended to steep some gluten-free items (oatmeal and the like), but decided to do this one straight up and save the experimenting for the next go.  So, a simple SMASH-ish go-round and the first brew day since January.  Really need to get back into the swing this spring/summer...

EDIT:  Well, that was an interesting brew day for everything that didn't involve brewing.  First, I had been missing my volumes on the low side, and while trying to adjust, I ended up coming in a bit high this time.  No worries, though it may lead to a mess in a day or two when we krausen up.   Recipe adjusted above.

But now for the non-brewing...  while I was transferring the wort to the fermenter, our backyard gate apparently broke and our dog got loose.  She was easily recovered (the boys saw it happen and called her back almost immediately), but in the melee, I am certain that I did not aerate well enough.  I did, however, pitch an entire pack of S-33 instead of the half pack I intended, so hopefully that will make up for it.  I also gave it a late stir after pitching, so I'll likely be good.

The other non-brewing catastrophe is that my free lagering fridge that has been so handy (it sat right at 50 at its lowest setting, so it was perfect for lagers) looks like it gave up the ghost.  The good news for today is that I did an ale and the fridge is sitting pretty at 62 or so.  The bad news is that I just picked up some lager yeast for a new lager I intended to do today (until time got away) and had postponed until next weekend.  I guess that gives me a week to find a new solution or to get some ale yeast.

So...  Dog recovered, fence repaired, beer in (non-working) fermenting fridge.  I guess it all turned out OK...

EDIT:  Hit 1.021 in four days.  Primary seems to have settled down.  Gonna let this sit for another couple of weeks before I can bottle, but hydro pull tasted quite promising...

Sorghum Pale Ale                                            
American Pale Ale

Type: Extract Date: 4/22/2012
Batch Size: 2.75 gal
Boil Size: 3.02 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.30 lb BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup 45DE (3.0 SRM) Extract 80.29 %
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 29.0 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (5 min) Hops 9.5 IBU
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.81 lb Booster (0.0 SRM) Sugar 19.71 %
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.30 %
Bitterness: 37.4 IBU Est Calories: 246 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.6 SRM

                     First pour pic...


  1. Good luck. I am not a fan of Sorghum, but if you are making this for someone who reacts badly to gluten, they will love you for going through the effort.

    One thing that I have noticed with my Gluten-free beer is that my Gluten-free syrup (mine was brown rice instead of sorghum) does not attenuate very well. I am curious to see if you find the same thing with yours.

  2. Here's what I'm using...

    They claim that it is highly fermentable, and it's going crazy right now at 60 degrees, so I'm hopeful. Interesting that it's not getting a high krausen thus far (which is good, considering the overfill), but there is a mess of activity in there.

  3. I hope this was not supose to be Gluten Free?

    Mr. Beer booster contains Gluten and anyone with full Celiac (Not just intolerance) should not drink stuff made with booster.

  4. Good info, but fortunately I have neither full Celiac or intolerance, so I'm good. Had I made this with my friend (which was the original intent) I would have left the booster out, but since I made it for me I went ahead with it...

  5. Shep, you were correct. I only got about 60% attenuation. Still have hopes for a nice session ale. Taste at bottling was quite good...

  6. First taste... two weeks in the bottle. Decent carbonation. Cloudy. Aroma is citrus, as is flavor. Good bitter. A nice hopped-up pale. Success!