Updated: Gluten Free and Gluten Reduced Homebrewing Resources

2-IMG_1807__75089_zoomPictured: BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup

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.

Clarity Ferm Available at MoreBeer · AIH · Bell’s Brewery | Great Fermentations · Amazon · love2brew

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.

Note 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.

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.   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

Gluten Free and Low Gluten Friendly Ingredients

Note: Landing and product pages may include or refer to items that contain gluten.  Always read descriptions and packaging and consult the manufacturer and your Doctor if in doubt.


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.  Read the FAQ to check and verify up to the minute info from White Labs.

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 “All Fermentis dry brewing yeasts are grown on non grain substrates and as such are certified gluten free.”  Read the FAQ to check and verify up to the minute info from Fermentis.

Fermentis/Safale Ale Yeasts @ AmazonAIH | Beer & Wine Hobby | Bell’s Brewery | eBay (sometimes a good source for bulk US-05 buys) | Great Fermentations | love2brew | MoreBeer

Books, Magazines and Articles

Other Tools and Resources

  • White Labs Beer Analysis Sample Kit – The Beer Analysis Sample Kit checks for alcohol by volume and IBUs, with users being able to purchase a multitude of other testing options including diacetyl, alcohol, gluten, bacteria and wild yeast. Additional tests for purchase on Yeastman.com include color analysis, SO2, bacteria and wild yeast, and diacetyl.
  • GlutenTox – at home test to detect the presence of gluten in foods.  Adjustable sensitivity (either 5ppm or 20ppm).  No special equipment required.  Note: there appears to be some debate as to whether these types of tests work well with fermented and enzyme treated samples.
  • NIma Portable Gluten Sensor from 6SensorLabs – “Designed in San Francisco by a team from MIT, Stanford, Google, and Nike. Nima brings together the best in chemistry, engineering, and design.”  Note: there appears to be some debate as to whether these types of tests work well with fermented and enzyme treated samples.

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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