Gluten free home brewing

A forum to discuss anything related to making gluten-free versions of those brews that would otherwise be off limits to coeliacs.
Post Reply
mpw1992

Gluten free home brewing

Post by mpw1992 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:11 pm

I used to home brew from kits but last November was diagnosed with Coeliac disease (Gluten intollerant). The main issue I have with this is that I can no longer drink 'normal' real ale. I have sourced some Gluten free (GF) bottled beers, some of which are OK but expensive.

I know that an extract substitute is available in the USA called White Sorghum Syrup but I can't find a supplier in the UK and I suspect that the import costs would be prohibitive. Does anyone on this forum know of a UK supplier? I would be very grateful!

User avatar
Jim
Site Admin
Posts: 9672
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:00 pm
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:23 pm

There's threads on here somewhere about GF brewing. Just stick 'gluten' into the search box (top right, just under the green navigation buttons), and quite a few different ones come up.

My wife is also Coeliac, but prefers wine anyway (she has one of the GF bottled beers from Sainsburys when she does fancy a beer).

And welcome to the forum. :D
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

JBK on Facebook
JBK on Twitter
JBK Newsletter Archive!

oldbloke
Under the Table
Posts: 1329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:29 am
Location: Todmorden, Wet Yorks

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by oldbloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Search for "Duncan Incapable", "Four Star", and "Red Diesel"
The latter two are ersatz ales by Duncan that really work well despite the weird and wonderful ingredients list.
If you fancy trying to malt some millet and making ale from that instead of barley, search for my name and/or Millet - it does make a fairly good ale.

Rookie
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2808
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA, USA

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by Rookie » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:15 pm

If you can find buckwheat honey you may want to consider adding a bit of that. To me it tastes a lot like malt extract.
I've seen sorgum extract in the organc section of a supermarket; some folks use that to brew G F beer.
I'm just here for the beer.

oldbloke
Under the Table
Posts: 1329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:29 am
Location: Todmorden, Wet Yorks

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by oldbloke » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Rookie wrote:If you can find buckwheat honey you may want to consider adding a bit of that. To me it tastes a lot like malt extract.
I've seen sorgum extract in the organc section of a supermarket; some folks use that to brew G F beer.
The tip on buckwheat honey sounds good.
As I understand it the trouble with sorghum is that it tastes of sorghum

mpw1992

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by mpw1992 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:28 pm

I'm delighted to say that my local home brew shop (happy brewer, Bedford) now stock a GF kit. I found out just after posting my original message on Friday! The range is called 'Gone with the Wheat', consisting of the USA style larger currently fermenting in my garage (3kg kit), a Czech style pilsner and a strawberry fruit beer. I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for the suggestions.

Rookie
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2808
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA, USA

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by Rookie » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:51 pm

oldbloke wrote:
Rookie wrote:If you can find buckwheat honey you may want to consider adding a bit of that. To me it tastes a lot like malt extract.
I've seen sorgum extract in the organc section of a supermarket; some folks use that to brew G F beer.
The tip on buckwheat honey sounds good.
As I understand it the trouble with sorghum is that it tastes of sorghum
I've never tasted sorghum, but perhaps a small amount would add complexity without overpowering the brew.
I'm just here for the beer.

Rookie
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2808
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA, USA

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by Rookie » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:09 pm

Rookie wrote:If you can find buckwheat honey you may want to consider adding a bit of that. To me it tastes a lot like malt extract.
I've seen sorgum extract in the organc section of a supermarket; some folks use that to brew G F beer.
Got my latest copy of Zymurgy a couple of hours after I posted this. There's an article on G F brewing that mentions buckwheat honey.
Sometimes I do know what I'm talking about. :)
I'm just here for the beer.

shuggie159

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by shuggie159 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:09 pm

MPW1992
Certainly don't just give up and assume you can't drink beer.
About 10% of the population are estimated to be GI.
I am, my mother was, my sister is, and so is one of my son's. But it affected us all rather differently.
It's not like black and white. You are or you arn't. There are many shades of grey.
The way it was explained to me is that it actually is a condition where you have a pourous stomach lining, where proteins leach through the stomach wall and are identified as pathogens by your imune system. The extent of the leaching, and severity of the immune system response determines your sensitivity, and indeed the symptoms you then feel.
Most coeliacs are intollerent to wheat and barley proteins, but not oats. But don't assume you can eat oats!
It's rather difficult to check since a blood test is only indicative, AFAIA a full biopsy is required.
The usual symptoms are stomach pain, bloating, and loosish bowels.
It really depends how much of a pedant you are.
Try GF and no oats for 6 weeks and then slowly start reintroducing foods to your regime.
For me, I'm lucky, oats seem OK and so does beer.
You will often make mistakes. It's not terminal just a set back. Learn what your body can handle.
FWIW a few weeks ago my son and I went for a GI pizza. 16" the full monty. It was great! Trouble was when we came to pay it wasn't! Two and a half days later I felt really uncomfortable. Stomach pain etc. but it quickly past. (It was nearly worth it)
The lesson for me... be really good... make a mistake (a big one)... and then identify your body's response. Armed with that info, be really good again and then see what beer does to you. For me, I can tollerate it. I'm lucky.
I think you would be really unlucky to be unlucky!
I find propa meat and two veg is the quickest way to settle my tummy back to normal.
I suppose everybody's different.
I hope I've helped.
Hugh

User avatar
Aleman
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6100
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:56 am
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancashire, UK

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by Aleman » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:56 pm

Remember that golden ales / lagers generally have lower levels of gluten anyway . . .There are some that naturally fall into the 'gluten free' labelling system (< 20ppm gluten IIRC). My wife was diagnosed with coeliac disease 15 years ago now, and is generally quite intolerant to anything with Gluten in it. However, she had her first GF homebrew last month. I have started using a product called ClarityFerm which is a very specific enzyme that Chops the end amino acid off the gluten (and other protien molecules / fragments with the same amino acid) fragment, which changes it's structure and means it no longer elicits the allergic reaction.

As Hugh says it's not something that you can predict, but you can brew a Low Gluten beer with ClarityFerm and even my fairly sensitive coeliac can drink it with no ill effects. Unfortunately it is one of those, try in small doses, then gradually increase the dose before you can determin if it is going to affect you

Rob at The Malt Miller Sells ClarityFerm

oldbloke
Under the Table
Posts: 1329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:29 am
Location: Todmorden, Wet Yorks

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by oldbloke » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:29 pm

Another vote for ClarityFerm here.
If The Maltmiller is out of stock (as he was when I wanted some) you might try BrewUK (I think it was)
I did a Geordie Mild kit + ClarityFerm and my wife had her first barley-based ale for 8 years, no reaction (except pleasure).

But if you want to try stuff - get some millet, malt it, roast it, brew with that. Very very close to the taste of barley.

oldbloke
Under the Table
Posts: 1329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:29 am
Location: Todmorden, Wet Yorks

Re: Gluten free home brewing

Post by oldbloke » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:40 pm

oldbloke wrote:
Rookie wrote:If you can find buckwheat honey you may want to consider adding a bit of that. To me it tastes a lot like malt extract.
I've seen sorgum extract in the organc section of a supermarket; some folks use that to brew G F beer.
The tip on buckwheat honey sounds good.
As I understand it the trouble with sorghum is that it tastes of sorghum
Having recently finished my stock of sorghum-based lager and mild, I can confirm the problem with sorghum is it tastes of sorghum. Aging helps, but it never quite goes away.
I bet they don't malt and roast the sorghum to make that syrup, they should try it!
It does make something drinkable though, and the syrup is now available from various online homebrew shops, alone or as part of a kit

Post Reply