Gluten free beer guidance

As mentioned in the write up from September’s meeting January’s theme will be a technical challenge; brew a gluten free beer.

So the first place you might think of heading is some sort of protease to add to your Russian Imperial Stout brewed with about 20kg of malted barley. We’ll not so fast, that won’t cut it. There are important rules as someone choosing a gluten free beer is doing so for a reason.

So Ed has been good enough to write the rules for us. So get your recipe development hats on because I am expecting some exciting tasty brews following this guidance and a little innovation.

The ingredients below that contain gluten and so should be avoided ahead of GF beer week in January 2023:

• Barley

• Wheat

• Rye

• Triticale

• Spelt

• Oats is a controversial one as it contains proteins that mimic gluten. If you do use oats, they need to be labelled gluten free as normal oats are commonly processed alongside Barley and Wheat and so are often contaminated with gluten

Ingredients you can use:

Malted millet (quite expensive):

Hamstead brewing centre for sorghum LME:

Rice flakes:

Corn flakes:

Commonly used unmalted grains to add flavour, yeast nutrients, colour and head retention properites. These will need to be cooked prior to mashing in order to gelatinise the starch:

• Split quinoa

• Lentils

• Teff

• Amaranth

• Buckwheat (yes it is GF despite the name!)

Exogenous enzymes help a lot with extraction, this is the one I’ve found works best:

As you can imagine, brewing with high adjunct % and small grains can cause a stuck mash so don’t be shy with the rice hulls:

GF grains/adjuncts are typically low in FAN as well so I would recommend using yeast nutrient. 

The Zero Tolerance Home club on Facebook contains a wealth of information… The US are a lot further ahead than we are and have access to many types of malts (e.g. rice, buckwheat and millet) and enzymes so it’s important to factor this in when looking at recipes.

If you’re not on Facebook then you can access the ‘wiki’ page directly from the Zero Tolerance Homebrew club here. This has recipes and info on fermentables:

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.



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