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Old 07-23-2010, 04:11 PM   #11
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Most gluten test kits available to consumers like us will NOT accurately measure the gluten content in beer. Tests such as EZ Gluten are not designed to look for barley-based hordeins in alcoholic liquids made from fermented cereal grains (aka beer).
Thanks for the tip about the tests not doing well with Barley. From what I understand though, Barley-based hordeins are not as caustic as Wheat-based ones, so the test might still yield real-world results. If only we could make some celiac mice this would be a lot easier to figure out.

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There are many gluten-free beers in Europe made from barley, with the gluten removed through a variety of processes. You can find them in Germany, Finland, England, and Spain, just to name a few places.
Brewers Clarex is one of the methods chosen by a couple of these brands of beer for eliminating gluten proteins. Since it is now available to the public via White Labs, I chose to share the info for those interested.


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Old 07-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #12
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It depends how you define "caustic." Celiac studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals have shown that barley hordeins do cause a Celiac response, just as wheat gliadins/glutenins do. However, it is also true that barley hordeins are broken down much more during the brewing process than wheat gluten. One study I read in a brewing science journal found the level of gluten in wheat beers to be roughly 1,000 times greater than in barley beers. I still think it's a slippery slope to use the wrong gluten test for checking ppm levels in beer. For someone who is truly sensitive, you're not going to get an accurate measurement, and would basically be playing gluten roulette. I've seen enough research to strongly suggest that certain barley beers can safely be made gluten-free, but I'm waiting for scientists to develop the appropriate test to definitively confirm it (they're getting close). While I'm tempted to do a little "sampling" with what I'd consider to be the "safest" beers, I'm willing to gamble with my own health, since I'm pretty sensitive to gluten.

And yes, it's definitely newsworthy to share that Clarex is now available via White Labs. Good stuff!



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Old 07-26-2010, 05:53 AM   #13
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this is really exciting, thanks for the link. hopefully it works out, cant wait for the results

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:56 AM   #14
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oh, and so ive been looking up gluten free/low gluten stuff tonight, does anyone have a link of gluten levels in certain beer types, and what levels are typically enough to cause a reaction in various peoples sensitivity levels

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Old 07-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #15
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Hi Fred... Gluten levels in different beers can vary widely depending on a number of factors: the particular types of barley used, is it a wheat beer (y or n?), the ratio of barley to gluten-free adjuncts like rice or corn, the use of Brewers Clarex or other clarifying agents to remove protein (including prolonged cold storage to precipitate the gluten out), etc. In general, from least to most gluten, the beers go: alcohol-free, lagers, stouts, wheat beers. Bud Light and Coors Light, for better or worse, are good examples of barley beers that are quite possibly naturally gluten-free (below 20ppm threshold). Curiously, I've even read a study that compared 7 beers (3 lagers and 4 ales, as I recall), including 1 gluten-free beer. Only one beer tested as gluten-free...and it wasn't the GF brew! It was a barley beer! Researchers attributed the result to gluten cross-contamination of the GF beer, but it also showed the potential for certain barley beers to be naturally GF.

Cheers, Pete

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Old 07-26-2010, 05:16 PM   #16
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  1. This enzyme breaks down proteins in the beer, gluten just happens to be one of them.
Be warned that the enzyme also appears to break down the proteins that bring body and mouth feel to the party. I recently used Clarity-Ferm in an Oatmeal Stout with > 10% oats in the mash. . . My celiac friend wanted to "go big or go home", as he put it. After fermenting and carbing, it had the body of a glass of watered-down Natty-Light. And you can forget about any head retention. I added 12 oz malto and to help with both. But it is still pretty thin. Though on the bright side, it does seem to work. My buddy can drink it without spending the next day on the can. I will probably only use it in lighter styled beers from here on out.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:01 AM   #17
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Sounds kinda useless to add Clarity-Ferm if it kills the body of the beer, just saying it sounds more like a step backwards to me.

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Old 07-27-2010, 02:03 PM   #18
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Clayton, what's horrible is the lack of awareness about gluten-related conditions in many parts of the U.S., and the millions of Americans with undiagnosed Celiac Disease. They face serious health consequences. Those of us on this forum - whether for Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, whatever - know that we have to be gluten-free, and as a result, we live happy, healthy lives. Which includes brewing and drinking tasty GF beer. Also, for what it's worth, I too enjoy baking, and make stellar versions of breads, waffles, cakes, cookies, etc. Even without gluten.

Cheers, Pete

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Old 07-27-2010, 02:09 PM   #19
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Clayton, what's horrible is the lack of awareness about gluten-related conditions in many parts of the U.S., and the millions of Americans with undiagnosed Celiac Disease. They face serious health consequences. Those of us on this forum - whether for Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, whatever - know that we have to be gluten-free, and as a result, we live happy, healthy lives. Which includes brewing and drinking tasty GF beer. Also, for what it's worth, I too enjoy baking, and make stellar versions of breads, waffles, cakes, cookies, etc. Even without gluten.

Cheers, Pete
Well said sir.

While I have no intolerance issues with gluten myself, my girlfriend IS celiac so this weighs heavily with me. I haven't found it so hard to make the food I am used to eating gluten free and in some cases I think it is better and much healthier but I do miss the ease of going to a bar and picking a random beer- but hey, that's why I homebrew now.

Keep up the good work fellas!
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #20
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Well said sir.

While I have no intolerance issues with gluten myself, my girlfriend IS celiac so this weighs heavily with me. I haven't found it so hard to make the food I am used to eating gluten free and in some cases I think it is better and much healthier but I do miss the ease of going to a bar and picking a random beer- but hey, that's why I homebrew now.

Keep up the good work fellas!
Yeah, it is really quite easy. I find the only food I miss and is somewhat difficult to make is pizza, and even then I have a recipe in development that turned out pretty well.

I grew up with a Mom and Sister who had celiacs, and then last year moved in with my GF who has celiacs. I had never really been a fan of baked goods or desserts in general, I use beer in its place. Everything else is fairly easily replaceable. Except for beer, I am gluten free for the most part by choice, and I barely notice.


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