Gluten-Free Beer : Brew Your Own at HomeI'm not sure how many readers of the Gluten Free Blog are home-brewing aficionados (especially given how most beer-brewing would require glutenous ingredients like Barley Malt, Wheat, and the like), but in case any of you Celiac Disease sufferers are beer brewers of past, you may be interested in knowing you can purchase gluten-free beer brewing supplies now.
Gluten-Free Beer Ingredients and Brewing Supplies / EquipmentA friend of mine, who happens to make some really great homemade beers (a lager he produced years back prior to my gluten-free days was a favorite of mine), pointed me to some information about gluten-free sorghum syrup and related brewing supplies that he recently encountered in a brewers newsletter (at the time of this writing, Williams Brewing is selling the GF sorghum syrup). And, from the information (currently) at their link, I found all sorts of detail about the product(s), including the following which I have quoted here:
From Briess Malting - Gluten-Free Brewing Supplies, this gluten free malt extract substitute syrup is made from white sorghum, and is ideal when formulating gluten free or low gluten beers. It has the same fermentability as malt extract, which means if you use 6 pounds in 5 gallons, you will typically get a starting gravity of 1.040 and a finishing gravity of 1.018 to 1.012 depending on yeast used and other factors.All this talk of specific-gravity and such... It sounds rather like a chemistry experiment! But, I'm sure it could be an experiment worth giving a try if you have the talent, equipment, or desire to try to be the next great gluten-free beer producer!
It has a lighter body and drier flavor than malt extract, and makes a thin and crisp beer on its own. Or add sugar or honey to enhance the character to your liking. Keep in mind that liquid yeast is grown on malt extract, so dry yeast (grown on molasses) is your best choice for a very low gluten or gluten free beer. See this manufacturers pdf for more information. This is Briesweet White Sorghum 45 DE High Maltose Syrup.
I presume this it the same type of Sorghum syrup Anheuser Busch (AB) uses in their "RedBridge" beer (which, is actually quite good for gluten-free beer). And, that's what most GF beers like Bard's Tale, New Grist, and others probably use as well. Thus, it seems quite possible that producing a wonderful home brewed gluten free beer is within reach now.
Now if I am really lucky, maybe I can coax my friend into giving it a try. He definitely has the skill to produce a great artisan specialty brew using normal (gluten-containing ingredients), and I'll bet he could do the same with gluten free ingredients as well. At worst case, I'm sure I could get his help/advice on how to do it myself if needed. Actually, the true "worst case" scenario is that I simply go to the nearest store that carries AB RedBridge and pick up a 6-pack.
Gluten-Free Beer TopicsSome related links to other Gluten-Free beer discussions here on the Gluten-Free Blog:
- Give me a ‘B’ for Bard’s Beer! (Gluten-Free Beer Review)
- AB Redbridge Gluten-Free Beer Review
- Sprecher Shakparo Gluten-Free Beer Review 2
- Sprecher Shakparo Gluten-Free Beer Review 1
- Gluten Free Beer comparison
Happy GF brewing to anyone that chooses to gives it a try!