Welcome to Ashley’s Brewniverse! We asked Ashley what are some of her favorite recipes, equipment or just anything she uses when brewing, oh and if you could name your brew space what would it be?

Thus, Ashley’s Brewniverse was born! Just like the big bang, only with beer. 

That's Ashley for those who don't Know

If you have called us, chatted with us, emailed us, been our Facebook group or watched our Brew Talk with Mr. Beer episodes then you can appreciate the knowledge that Ashley has about brewing. She is super passionate about hops and healthy brewing. She was the driving force behind all our Gluten Free Recipes and a few others that we have on the site. Overall, she is just an extremely knowledgeable brewer and a nice person!

Okay, enough of this, let’s board our rocket ship and get ready to take off into Ashley’s Brewniverse! Let the countdown commence, 5,4,3,2,1 Blast Off!

 

Vacation IPA

Grapefruit Crush Pale ale

   

I love my IPA’s! I’m extremely proud of this recipe. Great bitterness from simcoe hops in the boil, this IPA rounds out nicely with a late, juicy addition of azaaca hops.

I don’t know about you but I LOVE grapefruit when it’s hot. Bursting with fresh citrus. Citra and cascade hops work together to enhance the grapefruit notes in this beer. If you’re looking for something cold and refreshing to enjoy by the pool, this is your pony!

Acushla Red Ale

Mocha-Choca Oatmeal Stout

A smooth but refreshing red with mild malty notes and a pleasant hop character. Just like it’s name, this beer is sure to be your darling!

When it comes to gluten free beer, stouts are hard to find. This dark and delicious stout uses oats, coffee beans and cocoa nibs, to provide a silky mouthfeel and wonderful, rich flavor. I’m proud of this one too, it’s my favorite “brunch” beer! Coffee and chocolate, and beer… what more could you ask for?

 

  

Hydrometer and Sample Tube

Brewing Thermometer

 

Unlike beers containing gluten, Gluten free beers can be a little more difficult to judge when they are “done”. Because there’s less visible activity and more residual sweetness from fermentables like candy syrup, I like to combine my “taste test” with a hydrometer reading for maximum accuracy.

One of my favorite basic brewing tools, I love using this thermometer to monitor the temperature of both my steeping grains and my boil. Easy to sanitize too, since it’s metal!

  

BrewMax 2G Fermenter

My all-time personal favorite fermenter is the Brewmax. I love the wide mouth design which makes it so easy to work with. I especially love using the Brewmax with my Gluten free brews because they are clear. Gluten free beer tends to not produce as much visual activity (krausen), so I find it extremely helpful to be able to see what’s actually happening below the surface. The design also makes cleanup a snap!

 

 

  

 

 

740ml PET Bottles

I find this size of bottle to be my personal favorite. They carbonate beautifully and make for a great serving size, especially for sharing! Even when I am bottling in glass, I still always fill at least one PET to bottle to monitor my carbonation levels

 

 

Swing Top Bottles

I love both the functionality and the look of these bottles. I especially prefer them for stouts and seasonal beers. These also happen to be my favorites bottles for gifting my brews in!

 

 

 

 

Fast Rack and Tray 

If you are anything like me, you don’t like to fumble on bottling day. This fast rack and tray make it so easy to clean your bottles and place them upside down, to drain in a sanitary way.

 

 

 

 

Carbonation Drops

Sure, you can use table sugar, but carbonation drops make bottle conditioning so easy and VERY quick. I also love having the peace of mind of opening a fresh pack of carb drops, knowing I do not have to worry about the potential of infection.

 

 

 

 

 

Booster

Booster is a 100% corn derived, Gluten free product. Because it is only 65% fermentable, the portion that does not ferment, contributes to more body and mouthfeel within your beer as well as a boost in alcohol. Because gluten free brewing extracts lack the additional proteins and starches of their gluten filled counterparts, they can be thinner and lack the same level of body. Booster can help to aid this.

 

 

 

 

Cacao Nibs

Extract based options for gluten free malts tend to be rather limited. I often like to add additional flavorings such as cacoa nibs to make up for malts that would usually impart chocolate notes into a gluten containing beer. I usually add them to the late stages of fermentation in my Stouts, porters and browns.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Orange

Dried, sweet orange is a great ingredient to add to “wheat style” beers. Combined with a wheat beer style yeast, sweet orange will help to impart and enhance the fruity, candy like esters found in wheat styles… Without the wheat!

 

 

 

 

Oak Chips

Oak chips are another wonderful tool for imparting great flavor into all beer but can be especially handy in adding more flavor into your Gluten free brews, especially after being soaked in bourbon!

 

 

 

 

 

Candi Syrups

When it comes to Gluten free brewing, liquid Belgium Candy syrup is a secret weapon. It does much of the heavy lifting for SRM (color), ABV, body and even adds some “malty” flavor. The candy syrup is derived from beet sugar and is gluten free.

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit 

When it comes to adding fruit, I prefer frozen fruit. It’s clean, maintains more of its flavor than canned counterparts and releases far less pectin into your beer which helps to maintain clarity.

 

 

 

  

Oats

For my recipes that require oats in the steep, I recommend purchasing Quaker brand Gluten free quick oats. Oats are technically gluten free however they are often cross contaminated with wheat grains through growing and processing. By purchasing certified gluten free oats, you can rest easy knowing contamination will not be an issue. I have found gluten free quick oats to also toast well and replicate brewer’s oat flakes, beautifully.

 

 

 

  

Yeast

Some yeasts seem to better in Gluten free wort than others. These are the yeasts that I have had the most luck with when it comes to making good, gluten free beer. Because they are dry, they are also gluten free. It is important to consider this when producing gluten free beer. The few that I would recommend to use are Nottingham, WB-06, T-58 and Belle Saison

 

 

 

 

It’s estimated that about 30% of the world’s population carry the genetic susceptibility for Celiac disease. Out of those individuals whose genes express, it’s fair to assume that at least a few of them really miss their beer! Besides celiac disease, there are other reasons a person may avoid gluten, including other autoimmune disorders that gluten can exacerbate. Aside from celiac and gluten intolerance, beer produced with sorghum (the primary fermentable used in our GF recipes) is typically naturally lower in carbohydrates and because it lacks the protein gluten and a lot of the starches of traditional malts, it causes less bloat. These recipes are a labor of love for me. I have personally been diagnosed as a celiac for 15 years, and on top of that I am a consummate beer lover. My hope is to bring those looking to avoid gluten, great tasting beers that are easy and consistent to produce. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

Avoiding hop creep in your GF beer

Hey I love butter, but not when it shows up in my beer. In my experience I have found that if you rush your heavily hopped, gluten free beers, this is a flavor you could encounter. I recommend pulling off a sample of your beer into a clean, sanitized jar and place it in the refrigerator, overnight. In the morning, taste your sample and if you detect a strong flavor of butterscotch or butter, allow your beer to remain in the fermenter for 4 more days before performing the taste test again.

Sanitation!

Protecting yourself and your fellow enjoyers from cross contamination

As with ANY brewing process sanitation is KEY, contaminated equipment means contaminated beer so clean, clean, clean.

If you are producing this beer for someone who is has celiac disease, it is important to use a clean, dedicated fermenter. If you use a fermenter that has previously been used to brew gluten containing beer, you may be introducing unwanted gluten into your finished product.

Increasing the body/mouthfeel of your GF beer

Boiling Sorghum Extract and Candy Sugar

Gluten free beer has a bit of “thin” reputation. This why many of our recipes contain Maltodextrin. You can increase or reduce your maltodextrin to tailor your body and mouth feel to your preferences. I do not recommend exceeding 6 ounces by weight in a typical Mr. beer sized batch.

Don’t worry, both fermentables are “un-hopped” so they boil beautifully, though it is a good idea to stir them to avoid any scorching.

Providing your yeast with extra nutrients

DAP

Sometimes, Gluten free wort can lack the nutrient profile of gluten containing wort. A great way to bolster the health of your yeast is to add an old or expired packet of yeast at the start of a 60 minute boil. This dead, boil killed yeast, provides a great source of food for your viable, active yeast.

DAP stands for Diamonium Phosphate. This is a well known yeast nutrient that can easily be added to your boil and helps your yeast to maintain it’s health.

Why do I have to add enzymes to my steeping grains?

Still Think You Taste Sweetness?

Gluten free grains do not carry any enzyme activity. This means that the starches present in your grain don’t have any enzymes to help convert them to sugar that yeast can eat. To remedy this problem, we add amalayse enzyme to our steep process. Using enzymes helps your yeast to their job more efficiently and also aids in protecting the shelf life of your beer.

In some of my recipes that contain Candy syrup, a hint of residual sweetness can remain. This can sometimes make it tough to determine if it’s time to bottle or not. That’s where considering your fermentation duration (has it been at least 14 days?) and your hydrometer reading.