Ghostfish Brewing Company Brewhouse

Gluten-Free Homebrewing #1: Basics

This is the first in a series of posts by our brewmaster, Igliashon Jones, on gluten-free homebrewing.

Like most brewers today, I started out homebrewing, and owe much of my current brewing knowledge to the homebrewing community–especially the gluten-free forum at homebrewtalk.com, where I still occasionally participate.  In the interest of giving back to the community that nurtured me, I intend to share a homebrew recipe every month until I run out of recipes to share.  These won’t be beers that are in production or development here at Ghostfish, since we are still a very, very young brewery and need to protect our “trade secrets” until we are firmly established.  However, they WILL be beers that I’ve brewed in the past and thoroughly enjoyed, and which I’m confident are better than almost any GF beer you can buy at the store.  Some of them will be familiar to anyone who’s followed my old blog, or my posts on homebrewtalk, but some of them have never been shared before.  All of them will be appropriate for novice homebrewers, and can be made with ingredients readily found at the larger online homebrew shops.  That means they will be extract-based, with the occasional addition of non-malted steeping grains.

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Why We Don’t “De-Glutenize”

Being a dedicated gluten-free brewery, we at Ghostfish tend to face a certain stigma. Simply put, many drinkers, brewers, and general beer aficionados tend to view anything brewed without barley as “not beer”, and many will dismiss out-of-hand a beer like ours without even trying it, simply because of the ingredients. It’s not helping our cause that there are now a few breweries putting out beer made from barley and claiming that it is safe for those with gluten intolerance. Never mind that neither the TTB nor the FDA allows them to explicitly make this claim on the packaging; these companies have found ways to skirt that through clever marketing and merchandising, and have led many consumers to believe that truly safe beer can be made from malted barley. This has led some people to wonder why we’re “mucking about” with exotic malted grains instead of jumping on the “de-glutenized” bandwagon. This post should lay such questions to rest.

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