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10/26/12 05:50 PM  
Gluten Free
Hey Guys-

Anyone ever brew a gluten free beer of any style? I just found out that unfortunately, I have the genetic marker for Celiac and have to eliminate gluten from my diet.

The idea of using sorghum syrup for brewing really disgusts me but I'd be willing to give it a try.

James G
10/26/12 06:21 PM  
Re: Gluten Free
My wife found out she was gluten sensitive so we've tried all the gluten free beers we could find. The sorghum based ones all taste horrible to me, maybe it is something you would get used to. The sorghum + fruit ones are a bit more tolerable.

Widmer makes the brand Omission. They have a pale ale and lager and both are pretty decent. They use the enzyme Brewers Clarex to break down the proteins. I suspect they do a long protein rest and some other techniques to reduce it. Omission has every batch tested and you can view the test results online.

White Labs repackages Brewers Clarex as Clarity Ferm and I've started using it in all my batches. I'm going to keg the first batch using this next week and once conditioned I'll have my wife try it.

Charlie Papazian has written a couple of articles in Zymurgy about using Clarex/Clarity Ferm to reduce gluten.

10/29/12 11:21 AM  
Re: Gluten Free
About two years ago a Dr here in Tucson paid me to create a drinkable gluten free beer since all the commercial examples were not good. It was sorghum based but I used a LOT of Belgian candy syrup (D & D2) to help cover the wretched sorghum flavors and also added orange peel and spices. He liked it but I was not pleased because it still had the slight sorghum sourness tang. Let me know how the Clarity Ferm works out for you.
11/01/12 08:13 PM  
Re: Gluten Free
Thanks guys, I have a lot of research ahead of me.

I understand from initial research that clarex does not produce a gluten free beer, only reduces it. My Doc wants me 100% gluten freen and to be honest, if I can't make something as good as what I have now I simply won't waste the calories on it.

Hey, I love Porto too!

Anyone want to buy a Blichmann Top Tier? :)

11/01/12 10:33 PM  
Re: Gluten Free
Nothing can completely eliminate gluten from a gluten containing beer, but Clarex takes it below the EU standard (e.g. Omission, mentioned above, is generally less than 10ppm). The US standard is (iirc) "none detectable", and we have become very very good at detecting minute amounts of things.

Off topic a bit... I don't mean to pry or offend, but if you're otherwise asymptomatic, why completely eliminate gluten? Many people have genetic markers for celiac disease or gluten intolerance (the latter is as high as 30% in some ethnic populations) and do not develop the corresponding condition.

Of course, if this genetic diagnosis is just a recent step in trying to fix something you've been struggling with, then disregard the above. I'd still give Omission a shot, though- they brew it because the CEO of the Craft Beer Alliance (of which Widmer is a part) is a celiac sufferer who wanted to drink beer that tastes like beer.

11/02/12 07:58 PM  
Re: Gluten Free
Gordon - Great information and I'll keep digging on the gluten free beer issue.

And no offense taken at all and thanks for asking; I have been struggling for quite awhile with issues like heartburn, joint pain, fatigue and other nagging things with modertate to high blood pressure, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. I only have a 1 in 35 chance of developing the disease.

Anyway, the advice from my Doc is to stay away from gluten 100%. She states that I'm in good health overall but I'm on the road to bad things and she's trying to help me jump off the highway before I go too far.

By the way, my Doc is a real beer lover and suffers from Celiac. She's been after me for a couple of years to brew a gluten free beer. I will give the Omission a shot. Thanks again Gordon.

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