Gluten free* brews - the experiment

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mofox1

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In the name of doing a good deed for a mate, I've run a vague hand wavey type experiment.

The aim?
Provide said mate with gluten free beer that was made with barley malt, not raided from the wife's stash of the latest health super-food products.

The ingredient in the spotlight?
Clarity Ferm by White Labs. *Note this product does not claim to make beer 100% gluten free, so don't go thinking it's safe for those who have severe gluten allergies.

Brew day:
I'll spare most of the details, not because they're not relevant, but because I either can't remember or don't want to consult my log book.

It's a LME based brew 75% barley & 25% wheat for the extracts, heavy on the crystal (12% total) and hopped to 45 IBU with Cascade & Citra, using the Cascade more for bittering, Citra for aroma & dry hopping. White labs WLP008 East Coast Ale for yeast.

After doling out equal amounts of wort into two fermenters, one was dosed with the Clarity Ferm. Both were fermented at 19deg for a week before dry hopping & being bumped up to 22deg to finish. CC'd for almost a week and bottled.

The result:
It's beer and it's tastes good. The dosed beer was given the thumbs up by my mate, and suffered no adverse (gluten related) effects. He declined to verify he's still allergic to the non-dosed batch.

I felt the dosed beer was missing some of the "full" mouth feel that I was expecting from a crystal heavy beer. There was less aroma from the dry hops than the non-dosed beer. Again, none of which my mate was complaining about.

But wait, there's more... Clarity Ferm was originally intended to make beer clearer, the gluten thing sounds like a lucky side effect. So here it is:
med_gallery_34854_1209_143350.jpg


It's pretty obvious which one has been dosed. But the *really* interesting effect it had was on head retention. The dosed beer didn't hold a good head for very long, whereas the non-dosed one kept a good 3-4mm head the whole time.

Experiemental errors: Probably heaps. There was a slight OG difference between the two so I probably added more water to one fermenter than the other (different shapes). The dosed one was the lower OG, so this could account for all the taste differences. Fairly sure it shouldn't have affected the head retention that much though.

Verdict: Mate can now drink beer. He pretty effing happy.
 

wobbly

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Without getting into the whole Williamswarn bashing Sh-t they have done some laboratory testing of there beer kits and process to determine the level of Gluten remaining in the finished beer before and after clarification using their Colloidal Silicon Dioxide solution

Evidently the Gluten in barley is called "Hordein" and the Colloidal Silicon Dioxide reacts with the "Hordein" and removes it

I have attached a copy of the Lab test results which show the level of "Hordein" prior to clarification being 13ppm where as after clarification it was less than the detectable limit of the equipment at <5ppm

The standard in NZ to be classified as "Gluten Free" is <10ppm gluten content

The suggestion is to brew a beer and use colloidal silicon dioxide to clarify and then have you celiac (or gluten intolerant) friend try say 50mls and see if they experience any adverse effects and if not increase to say 100mls and so on

View attachment WW Gluten Free Lab Results.pdf
 

pat_00

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From what I've read that's right, you add it with the yeast and it magically unglutenicises the beer. Or something.

I have some clarity ferm and am trying it in a batch tomorrow.

Although I am doing this brew for 2 family members who 'think' they may be gluten intolerant, so the results could be as good as a placebo.
 

Tahoose

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I have one of these tests underway for a guy at work at the moment..

Only bottled last week so will wait for another couple of weeks before I give him the beers.

Didn't do a side by side, just used the clarity ferm, if he says it's all good then I'll be happy.
 

Moad

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Yeah I've been looking at brewing some for a guy at work (we have a kegerator in the office). Another mate is celiac as well so not sure if this will cut it. From a quick read it looks like we don't know alot about the varying forms of intolerance so it might be a bit of "luck of the draw" on whether there are side effects or not.
 

Tahoose

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There is another conversation on the forum about clarity ferm, where another member says that his coeliac friend has been able to have a few of his beers without issue.

I'm not willing to call this gluten free, but my coeliac friend is willing to give it a try and understands the risks. At the end the day it's his health and he knows his tolerance.
 

philmud

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Yeah, it seems like some people with CD can handle beers made with this stuff, but not everyone. I plan in using this for a Christmas brew. My Dad is coeliac and will probably have a beer anyway & make himself crook. I figure he's better off with a clarity-ferm beer!
 

klangers

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Interesting stuff. Does anyone know where to get some of this clarity ferm? Does it need to be added prior to fermentation or can it work on green beer?
 

mofox1

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Full Pint stocks it... anyone else that deals with a bunch of WL products might too.

Just add it straight to the fermenter when you add the yeast. One 5ml vial for up to 25L, and was about about $6 IIRC.

Also works to clear up the beer, funnily enough.
 

philmud

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Bought a couple of vials from FP. Going to brew a kölsch this week & use one. It does need to be added prior to fermentation. Unsure why, but it may be that the turbulence of attenuative fermentation incorporates the clarity ferm properly.
 

mofox1

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Prince Imperial said:
Bought a couple of vials from FP. Going to brew a kölsch this week & use one. It does need to be added prior to fermentation. Unsure why, but it may be that the turbulence of attenuative fermentation incorporates the clarity ferm properly.
I was wondering the same thing - like "could you add it to a keg of commerical beer?". Possibly the presence of alcohol denatures the enzyme before it can do it's magic.
 

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