Kosher for passover beer?

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

Kosher for passover beer?

Post by jceg316 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:04 pm

As I'm sure some of you know, it's the festival of Passover currently and I was wondering how to make a kosher for Passover beer.

Dietary laws say that for the 8 days of the festival, those observing cannot have of these 5 grains: wheat, barley, oats, spelt and rye. Also a lot of people don't eat rice ether.

Is there a base grain/plant I can use? I have read one interview with an Israeli brewer who is gluten intolerant and uses buckwheat, which also makes it KP. Someone else has suggested qinoa as well. But I have no idea how much sugar these have or whether fermentation would be the same as barley. If the grains aren't too nice or flavourful I'll use lots of hops and make an IPA style.

Anyone made something along these lines before?

User avatar
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Re: Odp: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by zgoda » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:09 pm

Belgian Castle Malting and German Steinbach both make buckwheat malt. I know people use millet and amaranthus to make gluten free beer but none of them I would call tasty.

I'd go with buckwheat, it tastes close to wheat.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by edonald774 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:13 pm

might be b really stupid question but can you have a fermented drink ?
I thought you couldn't have anything that is leven hence the cleaning all the crumbs?


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by jceg316 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:31 pm

Yes you can as plenty of wine is drunk during this festival. I thought there may be an issue with yeast but asking a knowledgeable person on this subject it's fine.

I've done a bit of further research on buckwheat and quinoa and it seems the latter produces a better end product - something much closer to beer in taste and looks than buckwheat, but may be more difficult to brew with. There's a lot of talk of using rice husks to help prevent a stuck mash but I wouldn't be able to use that.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by edonald774 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:29 am

I've passed a link for this thread to my brother. He might be able to help as I'm sure he's made kosher stuff before.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by dreadgerbil » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:01 pm

O.K. I'll try not to get too Talmudic with it all, but here are some of the basics followed by a recipe I have used to make Kosher l'Pesach beer.

First off, the things you don't eat during Passover depend on your own strain of Judaism. So for example, if you're mainly following Sephardic tradition (Spain, Northern Africa sort of region) you only avoid the five grains. (Barley, Wheat, Rye, Oats and Spelt.) If you are following Ashkenazi tradition (Northern and Eastern Europe) then you also avoid Kitniyot, which is basically any grain. (And, if you are being very strict, anything that looks like a grain. So beans, seeds etc.)

While eating leavened grains during the period of Pesach is forbidden, fermentation is not considered to be the same as leavening and as such is ok. Actually, part of the Pesach seder requires drinking a large quantity of wine, so forbidding fermentation would be problematic.
The issue with beer is that leavening may occur pre-fermentation. So theoretically if you could find a way to guarantee that no leavening would take place with any of the grains, you could make normal beer and it'd be ok. Since that can't be done, beer made with non traditional ingredients is best for Pesach.
Now, per Talmud, there are different kinds of beer mentioned.
Shechar, date beer
Pirzuma, barley beer
T'ainy,fig beer
and Asni, berry beer.

Since I go by Sephardi tradition I could theoretically just make any old Gluten Free beer and it would be acceptable. However, I wanted to make been that would be acceptable for some of my other friends who follow Ashkenazi tradition. I'm not a huge fan of fruit based beers because they never really taste like beer to me.
After doing a lot of research I found that you could brew with chestnuts and they provide a flavour and body much closer to a regular beer.

I went with a dark, Scottish Ale style beer, but you could use chestnuts which have not been roasted as darkly and try for an IPA. I know that some brewers are also experimenting with malted sunflower seeds in their brewing and I think that would be a good option for a Kosher l'Pesach beer.

Here's my recipe -

2.5 Lbs Medium roast chestnuts
2.5 Lbs dark roast chestnuts
(OR – 5 Lbs of Medium.)
2 Lbs Rice Flakes or 2.5 Lbs Brown Rice Syrup (If going by Sephardi tradition. If Ashkenazi, substitute treacle or experiment with malted sunflower seeds.)
2 Lbs honey
Amylaze enzyme mix.
0.5 Oz Fuggles @ 30 Mins.
0.5 Oz East Kent Goldings @ 55 Mins.

To Mash – Using Igloo cooler – 3 Gallons of water at 140 or so with Chestnuts suspending in mesh bag.
Add Enzyme Mix.
Add another two Gallons at 170 for a final temp of 165 or so.
Sparge and boil.

Use Danstar Kosher for Passover certified yeast.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by jceg316 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:48 pm

Thanks so much for your detailed answer. My wife's family and most Jews I know are Ashkenazi so rice is out the question. Although as I'm using all my regular equipment none of it will be KP technically speaking, but maybe one day I will invest in a specialist KP setup.

With chestnuts, do they correspond in colour similarly to the colour of malt? For example if I wanted to make a pale ale I should use mostly light chestnuts?


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by dreadgerbil » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am

You are more than welcome.
Yes, the colour balances out about the same as make. I usually buy them already chopped and pre roasted online.
As far as the equipment, you can actually Kasher it in a number of ways before Pesach. Soaking in boiling water or heating in the oven for the equipment which can handle it. Alternatively, soaking it in clean, fresh running water such as a stream is also talmudically acceptable.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by mshergold » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:53 pm

Thanks guys - that's really interesting.


Re: Kosher for passover beer?

Post by BeestonHop » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:39 am

this is a fantastic thread, many thanks

Post Reply