Pictured: BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup – via Bell’s Brewery General Store
A notable percentage of people have some motivation to reduce or completely eliminate gluten intake. Reasons vary from dietary choice to gluten sensitivity to serious auto-immune diseases like Celiac Disease. Gluten sensitive people may still want to enjoy a fermented beverage and possibly a homebrewed one. This post aims to pull together some of the gluten free and gluten reduced homebrewing resources that are available.
If you’re gluten sensitive, but not a homebrewer, consider starting. Your local choices may be limited or non-existent. Homebrewing gives you the ability and freedom to make what you want.
Gluten Free Home Brewing – dedicated GF homebrew shop. Before getting into specific ingredients, kits and sources, I will bring GFHB to your attention. GFHB is the only dedicated gluten free homebrew shop that I’m aware of. They carry malted grains from both Eckert Malting and Grouse Malting Company including varieties of millet, buckwheat and malted rice in addition to a lot of other ingredients, recipe kits, how-to articles and recipe kits. They also carry a great selection of enzymes, including newer options that haven’t been easily accessible to homebrewers. If you’re wanting to brew GF all grain, you’re going to want to check out GFHB.
Gluten Free and Gluten Reduced Recipe Kits
- MoreBeer has a great selection of Gluten Free and Low Gluten Kits and Ingredients. The lineup includes Belgian Candi Sugars, Maltodextrin, DRE – Dried Rice Extract, Honey, Sorghum and Gluten Free and Low Gluten Homebrew Recipe Kits – Light Ale, Amber Ale, Honey Ale, American Pale Ale, American Red Ale and Dark Ale
- Brewer’s Best Gluten Free Ale @ Amazon | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery
- Adventures in Homebrewing’s Gluten Free Pale Ale – Pine and Citrus Flavors from Cascade Hops
- Craft a Brew Gluten Free Amber Ale – small batch, includes equipment
Gluten Free and Low Gluten Friendly Ingredients
Note: Links to landing pages, searches and product pages contained in this post may include or refer to items that contain gluten. Always read descriptions and packaging and consult the manufacturer and your Doctor if in doubt.
- Sorghum Syrup @ AIH | Amazon | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations | love2brew | MoreBeer
- Rice Syrup Solids @ AIH | Amazon | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations | MoreBeer | William’s Brewing
- Honey @ AIH | Amazon | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations | MoreBeer (Wildflower – Orange Blossom)
- Maltodextrin – Add body and mouthfeel – AIH | Amazon | Great Fermentations | love2brew | MoreBeer
- Sugars Including Candi @ AIH | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations | love2brew | MoreBeer | William’s Brewing
- Other Fermentables – Agave, Brown Rice Syrup, Maple Syrup, Turbinado Sugar – Amazon Searches
- Bell’s Brewery General Store generally – did you see what I did there? 🙂 – has very good prices on White Sorghum Syrup and Candi Sugars
- Sinamar – commercial quality coloring agent used to add color. 4 oz adds 16 SRM to a 5 gallons @ love2brew | William’s Brewing
- Amg-300L, Liquid Exo-Alpha Amylase – Amylase Enzyme. If you’re going to attempt an all grain gluten free brew using alternative malts, you may very well need some enzymatic assistance.
- Hops @ – AIH | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations | love2brew | MoreBeer | William’s Brewing
- Other fermented drink options… Hard Cider MoreBeer, Wine [AIH (free shipping to most US Addresses) | Beer & Wine Hobby | William’s Brewing] and Mead [MoreBeer] are possible options.
Liquid yeast is generally cultured in a barley malt based solution. When that’s the case, liquid yeast will contain some level of gluten.
White Labs FAQ says that their yeast is low in gluten. Below the European standard to be considered Gluten Free (20 PPM) and that after fermentation of gluten free ingredients such as sorghum that drops to 2 PPM. Update: Gluten Free Watchdog has conducted gluten content tests on White Labs Yeast. They claim to have found gluten content well above 20 parts per million. See: Gluten Content of White Labs Liquid Yeast
Dry yeast is generally cultured on non grain substrates. For example Fermentis, manufacturer of US-05 says “We do not dose any Gluten in our products because in our factories the raw materials of our yeasts are Gluten Free.” Read their Q and A to check and verify up to the minute info from Fermentis.
William’s Brewing has generally great pricing and selection on Dry Yeast.
Books, Magazines, Articles and Community
- Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book: 52 Seasonal Recipes for Small Batches – includes recipes for four gluten free beers
- Great Taste Without Gluten April-May 2015 issue of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine
- The Gluten Free Home Brewing Handbook & Brewing Journal
- Home-Brewed Gluten-Free Beer: Make More Than 75 Craft Beer Recipes
- Gluten-Free Brews: The Guide to Gluten-Free Beer [Kindle]
- Hordein Protein Allergy Analysis and Articles from MoreBeer
- BYO Gluten-Free Brewing Article
- About BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup Mild grain-like flavor, no unpleasant aftertaste like red sorghum syrup, 1:1 malt extract substitute, sufficient proteins and amino acids for 100% extract brewing.
- Zero Tolerance Homebrew Club – A first of it’s kind AHA registered homebrew club exclusively devoted to gluten free brewing. This club is based in Portland, Oregon, however I would encourage you to connect with them even if you don’t live in the area. They make club meetings available in audio format. Portland is a leader in good beer and that seems to be true for gluten free brewing as well as they have multiple GF breweries and now the world’s first GF-centric homebrew club.
Important: Before you employ Clarity Ferm to brew a beer for someone with gluten intolerance, please take tote that there is debate as to whether these techniques produce beers that are safe for people who have Celiac Disease. Check out this Q and A on the Gluten Free Watchdog for more info. In my opinion, evidence is inconclusive and it’s my recommendation that those with Celiac Disease refrain from drinking gluten reduced or gluten removed beers.
Description via White Labs… “Clarity Ferm significantly reduces the gluten content in beers made with barley and wheat. A Clarity-Ferm treated beer made from barley or wheat usually tests below 20 ppm of gluten, the current international standard for gluten free. White Labs offers gluten testing for beers, this test will allow brewers to know the gluten level of the beers it produces, but brewers are not allowed to use this value on their labels until the FDA completes its validation.” Read the Full Description to check and verify up to the minute info from White Labs.
Also: Check out this Youtube video of Stone Brewing’s Mitch Steele (Brewmaster and author of the book… IPA) talking about Stone Delicious IPA and their use of White Labs Clarity Ferm to reduce gluten.
Tip: The packaging on Clarity Ferm says to store it at room temperature. Since this is an enzyme based product, I wondered what extreme temperatures could do to the product so I asked White Labs. I was told… “Enzymes can be frozen it will not affect the activity at all it will even prolong the shelf-life. In contrast extreme temperature will denature enzymes and permanently deactivate them.” With that in mind, I will store my Clarity Ferm at room temperature or cooler. If you live in a warm area you may also consider stocking up in the Spring before warmer temperatures come into play.
Always read product descriptions. Landing and product pages may include or refer to items that contain gluten. A link to an item or product category page is not an endorsement that the product(s) are suitable for your situation. If you are in doubt about an ingredient or technique, check with the product manufacturer and your Doctor for guidance on what’s best for you.
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