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Old 01-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
Sebeer
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Default Sharing equipment between GF and non-GF beers

Hello-

I was just curious if it's OK to share the same primary fermenter between my normal all grain beers and my gluten-free beers. Will there be any residual gluten from letting a normal beer ferment in the bucket and then sanitizing it and using it with a gluten free batch?

Thank you kindly
Sebastian

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Old 01-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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It depends.

Most people allergic to gluten with any significance will feel more reassured that theres no chance of cross contamination when using equipment dedicated to a gluten free process.

However, it's true that if the items were absolutely clean, it would be safe. It's just a matter of if it IS absolutely clean.

If any residual gluten manages to hang around then it becomes a cross contamination issue. Though it should be diluted down past a manageable level, it's still there and there's a chance that there could be a gluten reaction.

The biggest issues are tubing, connections etc. The buckets and carboys tend to be the safer areas.

It comes down to what the gluten people in your life require and feel comfortable with.

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Primary: Sake
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Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
Bottled: Infected Mead, Dry Hard ciders, Accidental Sorghumwine, various unnamed.

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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The only equipment I don't share is my mill.

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Old 01-17-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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Sebastian,

Over the past decade my wife and I have found that she can become ill from the use of certain kitchen equipment that is difficult to clean. Colanders, basting brushes, and wooden utensils, for example, have been problematic.

Personally, I'm using dedicated GF brewing equipment to be safe. However, I would be comfortable using exceptionally well cleaned buckets and carboys. I would not risk tubing or strainers due to the difficulty in removing all particles of gluten.

Whichever way you go, the best policy is a full disclosure of your equipment and procedures to the person with the gluten allergy so they can make an informed decision regarding the risk.

Good luck.

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Old 01-17-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. My primary fermenter is a plastic bucket that's been used probably a dozen times for beer. When I am done my normal brewing (not talking about GF beer), I will let the bucket sit with "Oxyclean" overnight. Then when it comes time to add the wort after the boil, I will sanitize again.

So the bucket I used for my GF beer was oxycleane'd, sat in my basement for a month, and then sanitized with no-rinse sanitizer immediately before the wort went in (but I rinsed out the sanitizer solution anyway)

Do you see this being an issue? I'll let the crowd know about the procedure... maybe give them a few ounces and see how it goes.

As for the tubing, I will most certainly use new tube/siphon for this beer from now on, and any other GF drinks I make.

Thanks again
Seb

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
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But what about the other materials?
(Personally, I see the bucket as the least of any issues since it doesn't have crevices or indents or anything that's difficult to clean.)
A non porous spoon may be ok, however wood isn't since it absorbs.

Like it was said a mill is pretty difficult to clean, let alone try to juggle between allergen and non-allergen.

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Primary: Sake
Secondary: GF Czech Lager
Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
Bottled: Infected Mead, Dry Hard ciders, Accidental Sorghumwine, various unnamed.

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Old 01-18-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebeer View Post
So the bucket I used for my GF beer was oxycleane'd, sat in my basement for a month, and then sanitized with no-rinse sanitizer immediately before the wort went in (but I rinsed out the sanitizer solution anyway)

Do you see this being an issue?
It's hard to say, Seb. I'm not an expert on cleaning products - so hopefully someone who is can jump in on this. If, as KevinM said, you don't have any defects or ridges within the bucket that can hide any residual beer/traub, and your cleaning procedures were thorough, it's probably fine. But, as he also cautions, there are many other places that gluten can hide during the brewing process.

When my wife was first diagnosed, many friends invited us over to try cooking gluten free for her. She got sick often. Those people meant well and cleaned as they normally did, but they just didn't understand the levels of cleanliness necessary nor did they sufficiently protect against cross-contamination.

One of the challenges with gluten allergies is that people's sensitivity to the allergen is quite variable. The FDA considers less than 20ppm gluten to be gluten free. However, studies have found some individuals were sensitive to contamination below that level. If you truly want to know if you fall under the 20ppm level, you can buy test strips from ezgluten.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebeer View Post
I'll let the crowd know about the procedure... maybe give them a few ounces and see how it goes.
I think that's the way to go. Let them decide whether to take the risk. If some don't, they'll probably still appreciate the gesture and might even offer to help out for the next brew day. Beer and pizza are two of the biggest things Celiacs miss. There are some good GF pizza's out there, but not much good GF beer! (Lui Lui in Nashua and Lebanon NH makes great GF pizza...).
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
But what about the other materials?
(Personally, I see the bucket as the least of any issues since it doesn't have crevices or indents or anything that's difficult to clean.)
A non porous spoon may be ok, however wood isn't since it absorbs.

Like it was said a mill is pretty difficult to clean, let alone try to juggle between allergen and non-allergen.
Thanks for all the replies everyone. For this batch, the only shared equipment was the primary fermenter. I used Sorghum extract from a jar in my ~3.5gal stainless pot on the stove with a stainless spoon, and fermented with dry yeast. This batch has yet to touch any tubing yet or funnels, strainers, mash tun, other vessels etc.

On a quick side note about pizza.. I found this recipe and plan on trying it with my girlfriend soon :-)
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust - My New Recipe

Thanks again. I plan on getting some new tubing today and transferring it over to a glass carboy after sitting for ~5 weeks in the primary.

Seb
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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if you use plastic primary fermenting bucket it is slightly porous. If you rack right into a glass carboy then that is less porous and less likely to hold onto the glutens from regular beer. I dont brew regular barely beer so this isnt an issue for me, but I can see how it can be an issue.

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Old 02-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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beer stone= glutenous

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