Buckwheat Brown Ale

A while back on Homebrew Talk, I read a post where a guy claimed that the combination of brown rice syrup and buckwheat honey made a perfect “malt” base for gluten free beers. I finally got around to trying it out myself.  The beer that resulted is pretty tasty. It has been too long since I had a “brown ale” so I can’t really remember how they taste but this is good. I found it pairs especially well with some cheese and salami/pepperoni–something spicy.

Here is the recipe:


  • 2lb Sorghum Syrup
  • 2lb Rice Syrup Solids
  • 1lb 8oz of Brown Sugar
  • 13oz Buckwheat Honey


  • 1oz of Fuggles @60 minutes
  • .75oz of East Kent Goldings @ 15 minutes
  • .25oz of East Kent Goldings @5 minutes


  • 8oz maltodextrine

I think I used S-05 in this batch, I didn’t record it in my notes. Let go for approximately 2 weeks and then bottle with appropriate priming sugar.

This is the result:


I was disappointed in the color–but that is pretty much my only problem with this beer. It isn’t very “brown.” I had counted on the Buckwheat honey adding a lot of color, it is very dark, but it seems to have settled out. Certainly it cleared up nicely.  Cheers!

Dry-Hopped Cider

Currently, there seems to be a bit of a rage when it comes to adding hops to your cider. The way the hops are added is a technique known as “dry-hopping.” Dry-hopping is when you add the hops to your brew post-boil.  I first made a dry-hopped cider about a year ago and loved it. Since then, it has become a regular in my line-up of brews. The first batch I made was a 3 gallon batch. For whatever reason, I keep making 3 gallon batches of this instead of upping it to 5 gallons. I guess I am a creature of habit. Here is my 3 gallon recipe for dry-hopped cider.

  • 3 gallons of apple juice or cider poured into the fermenting bucket.
  • 2lbs of sugar (I usually use dark sugar).
  • Yeast (S-04, S-05 or Nottingham). I ALWAYS use ale yeast for my cider.
  • 1oz hops

After it ferments for 2 weeks I add 1oz of hops. Yes, 1 oz of hops. I initially started out with .5oz but kept increasing it and I have found 1oz for 3 gallons is just perfect. Every time I have made this I use cascade hops. Let that go another week, then remove the hops, transfer to bottling bucket and bottle. I don’t add any priming sugar. This makes it slightly carbonated, dry with a strong apple-grass flavor that is wonderful.

I just made a batch of this and will be trying out Hallertau hops as an experiment to see how it tastes and what difference it impacts from my normal use of cascade hops.