Buckwheat Ale

For a while I have been excited about using Indian ingredients in the beer, and hence my current recipes revolve around unique Indian grains, herbs and spices. Like the Sorghum Blonde and the Lemongrass Wheat that I posted  earlier.

How I found my latest ingredient -
While I was on a lookout for indigenous grains I came across Reema Sathe, the owner of Happy Roots.
They are a Non profit organization helping farmers revive local varieties of grains. I immediately realized, that I had hit a jackpot !! 
She showed me a whole catalog of grains, and I chose Buckwheat grown in Maharashtra.

Buckwheat - 

Its called Kuttu in North India where it is commonly used in rural areas. Its hardly used here in Maharastra and down south. Some more reading suggested that Buckwheat is widely used to make low gluten or gluten free beer -

Recipe Development

Since I had never brewed with Buckwheat before, I wanted to see what it contributes to the beer. I wanted buckwheat to stand out. Simplest way to do that is to brew a low IBU beer with no other dominating ingredients. Make a blonde ale.
I prefer using unmalted grains, because I think they give a stronger grain character than the malted versions. But this is just from my own experiments. And then where was I going to malted buckwheat anyways ?


Scaled down recipe for 8 liters -

8L, all-grain OG = 1.050  FG = 1.011 IBU = 17

1.8 Kgs Pilsner Malt
0.5 Kgs Buckwheat

4.5g Columbus ( 60 mins )

Safale US05 3gms

You can lower the IBUs to 13 if you want by reducing the hops.

How to brew 

Follow the brewing process for a cereal mash highlighted in the Sorghum Blonde post.

Ferment the beer at 17C for first 5 days. Gradually raise the temperature to 20C over next 3 days. Ferment for a total of 15 days.
Bottle / keg condition the beer at 18C for another 20 days before drinking.

This beer was unexciting at 15 days of fermentation. It didn't have much character, except the heavy mouthfeel from the buckwheat.
But as the beer conditioned for another three weeks in the bottles, this turned out spectacular.

Tasting Notes

The buckwheat gave it a slick and smooth mouthfeel, and bit of haze.
The beer was definitely heavy bodied, but surprisingly easy drinking. It was obvious that all of this body was from the buckwheat.
But here is the exiting bit. It had a nice fruity aroma !! It also had this light tang as it finished on the tongue.
As a brewer it was super exciting to see that a grain can contribute fruity aroma and tangy after taste without using any funky yeast or hops !!

It was so good, that we brewed a commercial batch at Kimaya Brewing Company
It is now serving at Malaka Spice restaurants in Baner and Koregaon Park.

Stay tuned for more beers made with local ingredients.

Thanks Aaron for the awesome pics !!


  1. Query
    where do u get hops and yeast in Mumbai Pune Bangalore
    all I can get is baker's yeast.

    1. Get stuff here - http://www.indianbrewer.com/p/ingredients.html

  2. @Sapan so you have gone pro?

  3. Awesome.. Waiting for next post..

  4. I really appreciate the fact that you are using Indian, ingredients. I am planning to brew my 1st batch, I will go through your blog before I start my journey.


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