Against the Grain - A Gluten Free Beer Recipe

by Connor Creighton February 03, 2017 6 min read

Against the Grain - A Gluten Free Beer Recipe

An easy to make gluten-free beer that actually tastes good.

Gluten sensitivity and allergies are something that has become very common over the last few years. By far the biggest downside of this (in our opinion) is that those affected can’t drink beer!!!

Our plan was to try and see if we could make a tasty gluten free beer, and I think we may be onto something. Here is an easy to make gluten free beer recipe that everyone can enjoy.

Total Size: 5 Gallons (19L)

Alcohol %: 5.5

Ingredients:Against the Grain Recipe sheet, this is a gluten free recipe

All of these ingredients can be purchased in store, or on our online shop (once it is live)

6.6lbs of Briess White Sorghum Liquid Malt Extract

1oz Cascade (60 min)

0.5oz Centennial (60 min)

0.5oz Cascade (10 min)

0,5oz Centennial (5min)

1.5oz Cascade (0 minutes)

2.0oz Cascade (Dry Hop)White Sorghum Gluten Free LME Can be used to make gluten free beer

Total Hops: Cascade -> 4.5oz, Centennial -> 1oz

1 tsp of Irish Moss (final 15 minutes of boil)

1 Sachet (11.5g) of US-05 Yeast

200g of Dextrose


Equipment Needed:

All of the equipment can be purchased in store, or on our online shop (once it is live)Photo of the equipment needed to make Against the Grain, a gluten free beer


5-8 gallon brewpot

23-27L Fermenting Pail or 6 gallon carboy

5 gallon carboy (semi optional)

Metal stirring spoon


#6.5 Bung and 3 piece airlock

Siphon tubingThese are the amber growlers we used to make the Gluten free beer against the grain

Auto siphon

Filling tube

Bottles/growlers/keg to bottle into

*Optional* Wort Chiller



The biggest difficulty with gluten free beers is that every grain that goes into regular beer production cannot be used. We have to use substitutes like buck wheat or white sorghum. These are admirable fill ins,  but they don’t have the same depth of flavour and variety that malted barley does. In order to produce something with lots of flavour we decided to amp up the hops. This is very much a hoppy, IPA style beer.


First, a couple of notes on oxygen and cleanliness. 

While beer is a delicious beverage, it is very prone to spoiling in the process of producing it. Beer spoils mostly due to two reasons. Oxygen and bacterial infections. Bacterial infections occur mostly when some form of bacteria gets into a beer post boil, this can be limited by sterilizing all of the equipment used in the production of beer. We recommend using Starsan for this. Our favourite method is to mix 1/4 tsp of Starsan with 500ml of water in a spray bottle. Now you have a no-rinse sanitizer that you can spray on your equipment.

Oxygen is the other culprit that can really hurt a beer. The early stages of fermentation is a violent process, it is important to have airspace in the vessel that is being fermented. The fermentation itself will create a layer of carbon that will prevent oxygen from getting to the beer. Having the lid sealed tightly on the fermenter also maintains this. When moving beer to secondary, it is important to minimize airspace. Secondary is a calm fermentation and can be safely stored up to the lid.Lastly, try to avoid stirring or agitating your beer after adding yeast.

The success of your beer depends in large part in staying clean and preventing exposure to oxygen.

The Boil

  1. Bring 3-5 gallons (12-20L) of water to a boil in your brewpot. Make sure you leave two gallons of space between the water and the top of the pot, you do not want it to boil over! We will be adding water to the brew at the end to top it up anyways.
  2. Add both containers of the White Sorghum LME to the boiling water. Add the syrupy liquid slowly and be sure to stir constantly with your spoon. You do not want it to burn on the bottom of the pot!
    1. Make sure you get every last bit of syrup out of the containers.
  3. Bring the pot back to a rolling boil
  4. Now it is hop time! We are going to add hops according to a very exact hop schedule. The longer hops are boiled the more bitterness they impart. We want to be careful not to let them boil too long so we will be very closely following this hop schedule. You can either choose to pour the hops directly into the brewpot, or you can put them inside a nylon or muslin bag which will keep the wort cleaner. 
    1. The total boil is 60 minutes
    2. Once you have a rolling boil add 1oz Cascade, 0.5oz Centennial and start a timer for 60 minutes.
    3. 45 minutes into the boil (or with 15 minutes left) add 1 tsp of Irish Moss into the pot, and if you are using a wort chiller, place that in the brewpot.
    4. 50 minutes into the boil (or with 10 minutes left) add 0.5oz Cascade into the pot
    5. With 5 minutes remaining add 0.5oz of Centennial, and 1.5oz of Cascade
    6. When the timer ends take the pot off of heat and cool down the wort as quick as possible

The Fermentation

The next set of instructions are practically universal for all homebrewing.

  1. Ways to cool down the hot wort?
    1. A wort chiller is the best bet. It runs cold water from your sink through metal pipes and can typically cool down a hot wort in 30 minutes. We sell them at our shop, and is something we have really enjoyed using for our homebrewing.
    2. Putting the brewpot in an ice-bath in your sink.
    3. If it is cold outside, placing the brewpot outside (with the lid on, we do not want anything getting inside)
    4. Topping up with cold water to get up to a volume of 5 gallons (20L)
    5. However you go about it, just remember. After this point we are sterilizing everything that touches the beer. This includes all equipment.
  2. Once the beer has been chilled to 25°c it is time to move it into your fermenter.
  3. Pour the beer through a colander into your fermentation pail to ensure that all hop residue is left behind. If you put hops in a muslin/nylon bag you should still do this step you will just have a lot less debris to deal with.
  4. Take a hydrometer reading and write it down. It should be around 1055.
  5. Pitch the yeast! Open up the package of US-05 and pour it in.
  6. firmly close the lid on the pail, insert the bung and airlock into the hole.
    1. Make sure the airlock has water in the chamber up to the line
  7. Make sure the fermenter is in a room within the temperature range of the US-05 Yeast (18-25°c)
    1. Now the beer is fermenting! Let it sit for a week before checking in on it. Opening the lid and inspecting will do nothing but harm so leave it alone!

Dry Hopping and Bottling

  1. After a week, open the lid and take a hydrometer reading. If it is at 1015 or lower your beer is essentially finished fermenting. We expect this recipe to go down to 1010, but the bulk of the fermentation is done.
  2. Transfer the beer into your 5 gallon glass carboy via the Auto Siphon.
    1. Add the 2oz of Cascade hops for dry hopping. The best bet is to put the hops in a muslin bag, but they can be tossed in loose, there will just be more debris at the next racking.
    2. Put the glass carboy somewhere colder. A basement, cold cellar, fridge, garage are all good places to put it.
      1. Why do we suggest this? A colder temperature will help clarify the beer, and cleaner beer generally is better tasting beer. 
    3. Let it sit for a week
  3. Now it is time to bottle!
  4. Prepare your bottles/growlers by sterilizing with Starsan.
  5. Prepare a priming solution
    1. This is what will carbonate the beer
    2. 200 grams of dextrose mixed with 300ml of boiling water
  6. Rack the beer into the fermentation pail, this will now be known as our bottling bucket
    1. Why do we do this? There is going to be sediment and debris in the carboy that we do not want getting in the bottles. The best way to avoid that is to do a clean rack into a clean vessel and bottle from that vessel
  7. Mix in the priming solution and stir VERY gently. Oxygen is a big concern here, we do not want to agitate the beer.
  8. Attaching the filling tube to your tubing and get the siphon started.
  9. Fill all the bottles, and cap them
    1. Pro Tip: Have at least one bottle be plastic. This way you can squeeze the outside after bottling and when it is rock hard you know that it has carbonated.
  10. Let them sit for two weeks.
  11. Before serving, chill in the fridge to get cold (unless you like warm beer :O)
  12. Enjoy!

Finished GLuten Free Beer Made at KJ Urban Winery


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