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Sorghum beer – Umqombothi “my version”

August 4, 2011

I have been thinking about Umqombothi! Maybe a little strange to admit that but I have been thinking about develop my own recipes. The whole idea is to make a recipe that could be used without any thermometers, that is in a traditional way. Some basic facts before I go on. Water temp between 10-15 degrees C (tap water or spring water) and 37 degrees C is possible to feel with your fingers. Mixing boiling water and spring water 50-50 gives you a temp between 60-65 degrees, and so on. It is all about math plus minus a couple of degrees.

I am aiming to do the whole process in one single mash and then one fermentation. I am thinking about doing a second fermentation adding some fruit making it a fruitbeer but we will see about that later on. The tap water in Cape Town is crap water when it comes to brewing so I will use good spring water from the hill side of the Table mountain.

The mash
Mix 4 litres of cold water with 2 litre of boiling water. Stir in 1 kg of Maize meal and 4 kg of Sorghum malt. Leave for 30 minutes.
*I would like to make this acid rest (just under 37 C) for 30 minutes to lower the ph level a bit in order to help the fermentation process.

Add 2 litres of boiling water and leave for 60 minutes.
*The saccharification rest (around 65 degrees) for 60 minutes is to create some fermentable sugars.

The boil
Bring the mixture to boil and boil (rolling) it for 60-70 minutes.
* I really want it to boil because i want to get rid of as much DMS as possible.

The fermentation
Pour the mixture into a large basin and leave it to cool. When it reach room temperature, shake it really well and leave it in a warm place to ferment. It is ready after about 3 days. Taste it and decide yourself.

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