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Old 07-06-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
kmos's Avatar
Apr 2012
Bryan, TX
Posts: 137
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My sister has a number of food allergies, many of which are in line those associated with GF/Celiac. However, in addition to these she is also allergic to things like mushrooms and (she has been told) brewer's yeast. My initial thoughts were that maybe this latter allergy was because a lot of yeasts are propagated in wort, which in turn has ingredients that she is allergic to.

However, it occured to me as I was brewing her her first GF beer that maybe her allergy to Brewer's Yeast has more to do with her allergy to mushrooms -- some sort of fungal connection -- than wort?

Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #2
Mar 2012
Orem, UT
Posts: 962
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Allergies are always, always, always a reaction to protein. You can develop an allergic reaction to probably any kind of protein, but some are fairly common. An actual allergy doc could probably explain why.

Celiac is an auto-immune response caused by a genetic defect. It is not, technically, an allergy. If you do not carry the celiac gene defect, you can never develop celiac disease.

There are other kinds of wheat and other grain sensitivities, but "associated with" is a sciency sounding way of saying that people who complain of A sometimes complain of B.

Allergies are acquired - typically due to exposure of one sort or another. Celiac is a gene that a small number of people have, which is a matter of breeding and luck, and whether that gene is expressed is a matter of luck. Once expressed, there is no evidence that it ever goes away, and unlike allergies there is no exposure treatment that can reduce the sensitivity.

Yeast is a fungus but not closely related to edible mushrooms.

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
Feb 2012
Oakland, CA
Posts: 936
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Who told her she was allergic to brewer's yeast, and what kind of test did they do to determine that? Does she react to wine, cider, or sake? If the allergy is to yeast, then it's possible no non-distilled alcohol will ever be tolerable for her, but if she can tolerate any non-distilled alcoholic beverages, then it's not an allergy to yeast. Many yeasts are propagated without gluten-containing substrates.

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Old 07-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
Dec 2011
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Posts: 479
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Brewer's yeast is not the same as brewing yeast. Brewer's yeast is a nutritional supplement in powder or pills, marketed to "natural food" nuts and hippies, made from dead yeast, not a live microorganism swimming happily in your beer. Could be significant difference there for allergies, especially if the brewer's yeast is bred on gluten rich food.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:55 AM   #5
Jun 2015
Posts: 1

I realize this is an old post, but I found it - so I assume others will.

I have the brewer's yeast allergy (also Baker's yeast). Things I can tolerate; organic "wild yeast" wine (has some s. cerevisiae from the air, but mostly not) and "wild yeast" cider (which anyone can happily make on their countertop). I have not found any other alcoholic beverage that is ok, even distilled ones. Distilled vinegar is ok, I'm guessing because it has a lot less to distill out than say, vodka. I am also allergic to inactive "yeast extract," but not to nutritional yeast, which is genetically almost identical.

I hope this helps someone out there. I think maybe this allergy is more common than people realize, and commonly mistaken for gluten allergy. On that note, I can't eat industrial bread, but real levian or sourdough is usually fine as long as it's from a big bakery (not baked next to baker's yeast bread) Acme and Semifreddi are safe here in CA.

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