Monday, March 20, 2006

Gluten free beer brewing

What is everyone's opinion on "La messagere" gluten free beer? Is it the only one we can get our hands on?

I'd like to attempt to make something on par with La Messagere at a homebrew shop. I've had one attempt already, but I think the rice syrup I used had gluten in it without them saying so. Otherwise it turned out ok.

So I was wondering if anybody else has attempted this, and if anyone is interested in helping experiment with recipes to make something a little more affordable than the $3 a bottle La Messagere turns out as.

Interested in your thoughts,



Bryan said...

Unrelatedly: does anyone know where to get some good indian "naan" bread? There is a restaurant in Barrie that makes it out of millet and it is fantastic!

Brian said...

Hi Bryan,

I have purchased two six packs of that beer. I thought it was OK, but I had to ask someone else for their opinion, since I hadn't had real beer in such a long time. I thought it was a little expensive, as you say.

I have never attempted any type of homebrew experiment. Is the rice syrup is a replacement for barley malt?

I have no idea where you can get GF naan. I didn't realize that it could be done.

Bryan said...

There are online guides on making GF beer. Essentially, you have to malt buckwheat or some other gluten free grain yourself and grind it, then add rice syrup for sweetness and sugars for conversion into alcohol.

emma's mom said...

I can easily rationalize the cost since I never get to order beer when I am out. Coolers, the other alternative are pretty pricey & sometimes I drink cider but it is pretty sweet. I think it tastes best when you are craving a beer like on dock after a hot day in the sun or after skiing.

I want to go to Barrie for Naan - where is it?

zebby said...

i tried le messagere when i first went gluten free. it reminded me of non micro brewed beer - probably because i still could taste kilkenny and guiness in my head. now that i can't imagine that so much anymore, i will try it again. i'm getting desperate. strongbow and blackthorn ciders are ok but the sweetness irks me sometimes.
i would like to try the millet naan also! millet is so great. same with quinoa. the one thing that i can say is a benefit to all of this is while parts of my diet have been barred - i have been introduced to a plethora of new foods that are fantastic. i do however, want someone to make me a montreal style bagel and a croissant that i can eat.

zebby said...

er - not that kilkenyy or guiness are microbrewed - just that they have some really identifiable taste to them...

Bryan said...

The naan bread is on the corner of dunlop and maple st downtown Barrie. I can't remember what it's current name is but its something like "indian kitchen" or "indian cuisine"

Its on the side thats closest to the water on Dunlop (south) -- be careful, as there are several other indian food restaurants on dunlop -- this is the only one I know of that has gf naan. I'm considering getting them to make me bulk orders of it and freezing them, as I fear they'll go out of business. By all means, try them out!

I bought some equipment for homebrewing, i'm going to try a batch a month probably until i get a decent tasting beer.

I also wonder whether a really dry cider would be ok tasting, as I also get really sick of the sweetness of strongbow --which has a "3" sugar index at the lcbo. Ciders are super easy to homebrew, so this could be another fun experiment.

zebby said...

i'd be interested in knowing how either experiments work out!

Bryan said...

Cider experiment began tonight - about two weeks until end of process -- i'll keep you posted.

I wrote to Lallemand, the leading yeast manufacturer, and they gave me a letter certifying that all their yeast products are gluten free.

emma's mom said...

All of this talk inspired me to write to Fermentations on the danforth about whether they had a gluten free recipe & they promptly replied "we are working on that now- stay tuned!"

Bryan said...

That is excellent news about fermentations!

Maybe we should all ask them so they see there is an interest....

I also emailed the makers of blacktorne cider some time ago:

Dear Mr. Carney,

Further to your enquiry, I can confirm that Blackthorn in Ontario, is
free . A glucose/fructose syrup derived from a wheat base is used in
manufacture, but there is no residual gluten present.


I don't trust when they say that, as technically alot of beers can claim this, too, thanks to filtration processes, but they definitely ruin my gut nicely.

My home made cider is now bottled, couple of weeks until it gets drinkable, the longer the dryer


Becky Noble said...

Just came across this blog, and thought I'd drop a comment with regard to the gluten free beer.

I for one, am pretty happy with "la messagere". Admittedly, it's not dirt cheap, ala Molson, but all in all, when you compare the price to a bottle of "decent" middle of the road...(not even high end) wine, it's really not that bad. I compare it to that, because wine seems to be the default - I'm not into coolers, nor the hard stuff particularly. So I give the beer a thumbs up. It can't possibly compare to a pint of Guiness or something...mmmmm....but it's nice and light, with a hint of ricy sweetness. Sort of like a Corona, perfect for a hot summer day.

It's interesting to see the nutritional content listed right on the bottle. I'd say considerably better for you in that regard, compared to the average beer.

Cheers fellow celiacs!


BTW, as a side my opinion the absolute best gluten free bread out there (by FAR) is made by a small independent company in Ontario "little stream bakery". They make quinoa, rice, buckwheat, rice-raisin....perhaps some others I haven't seen yet. It's unsliced, doesn't crumble, organic ingredients, freezes really well, unleavened...tastes great. Definitely denser than some other GF breads, but miles ahead in terms of taste and texture.

I've been able to find it in health food stores in both Ottawa and Montreal. Not sure about Toronto, but you'd be able to track down retailers through their website.

Anonymous said...

I find le messagere incredibly bland; it tastes like cheap American beer! I still relish the memory of real English ales. Sigh...

I'm definitely interested if Fermentations on the Danforth comes up with something with more taste to it!

I found a link for other GF beers


dorie said...

For those of you interested in a little cider homebrew, I have used these instructions and I found them pretty easy and successful...

they did a follow up post about how the different versions turned out, and they all liked the one where they used lager yeast best. That is what I used and it was pretty good.