Orange Blossom CeliAle

by kmosullivan

Orange Blossom CeliAle A while back, I decided to try my hand at brewing a gluten-free beer.  Having never had a sorghum-based beer, it was a bit of a shot-in-the-dark. Nonetheless, I drew up a pretty simple recipe, in the hopes of making something light and refreshing.  Here are some tasting notes, by way of follow-up:

OG: 1.055
FG:  1.007
ABV: 6.3%

Appearance: A very clear beer, with a brilliant white head on it.  As I understand it, head retention for sorghum beers is pretty much nil —  I found that to be my experience as well.

Smell: Very light on the nose, with no hop aroma. If anything, a little bit of the coriander.

Taste: This beer could easily be called “The Lemondrop.”  I used way too much coriander for the recipe, which dominates the pallet.  I do get a fair amount of the sorghum (what I perceive as a sort of mineral-y flavor) as the coriander subsides. Having never had a commercial example of the style prior to brewing, I was not prepared for this flavor, which I think is something that grows on you — It is not a bad flavor per se, but simply a flavor that one does not encounter in most beer.  The dominance of the spices helps to mask the sorghum a bit, which is I suppose an unintended benefit.  Lastly, the late addition of honey did not add much in the way of flavor; however, it did serve to dry out the beer, giving it a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel.

Notes: Having had a number of these over the course of several weeks, I will say that I have come around to the sorghum flavor.  I had the opportunity to try Dogfish Head’s G-F offering, Tweason’ale, and found (much to my surprise) that I quite enjoyed it. And while I would not go out of my way to brew or drink gluten-free beers, I think all-in-all this beer was a success.  In the next round, I would definitely ease off the spices, maybe use a yeast with a bit more character, and play around with hop combinations. As a variation on the recipe, I would consider adding cranberries, which I think would add a nice, complementing tartness.