Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:01 PM
Written by Dr Rodney Ford
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
The gluten content of alcoholic drinks will depend upon the primary source of the beverage and how much it has been distilled. And of course, the gluten content will also depend upon any additives.
Gluten-free alcohol includes those made from grapes and berries: wine, champagne, brandy, rum, tequila, sherry and port.
Many spirits and liquors are made from fermentation of grains: wheat, rye and barley. But the distillation process removes just about all of the gluten proteins. However, residual amounts of gluten will add to the flavour. So such drinks must be suspect.
Avoid Beer! The basic ingredients of beer are water, malt, hops, and yeast. This is brewed with malt (from barley) which contains gluten. Beer is a fermented, hop flavoured, malt sugared, liquid. The major variation in beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process. Gluten proteins remain in the beer. There are some gluten-free beers now available.
Generally, there are insignificant amounts of gluten in distilled alcohols. However, those who are super-sensitive to gluten do report bad reactions to these grain-based spirits. So – if you experience a gluten-tummy or gluten-brain from a new drink, then be suspicious.
Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:19 PM
In Canada and the United States, most experts consider distilled alcohol to be gluten-free, regardless of the original source of the mash. It is believed that the gluten does not pass through the process of distillation. Others disagree, and do not consider alcohol safe if the original source is a gluten-containing grain. Personally, I am in the first group, that is, I do believe that distilled alcohol is safe.
A similar controversy exists about vinegar. Most experts consider, and most celiacs accept, that distilled vinegar is safe. This includes all vinegar of all sources, except that specifically labelled as "malt vinegar." Malt vinegar is not distilled and is derived from barley.
There are many alcoholic beverages that are not derived from grain sources with gluten.
Beer is usually made from barley malt, and is forbidden. There are a few exceptions. Search for beer on this site to find information. Where I live, the only gluten-free beer available is La Messagere, made by a microbrewery in Quebec.
Rum is not made from grains that contain gluten. Smirnoff vodka is made from corn. There are others, but I don't recall specifics--search this board for "alcohol" for more.
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)
Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator
Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:48 PM
A work colleague forwarded me a link regarding gluten in red wine which was worrying and could explain a lot, Does anyone think this is possible?
I'll paste the article over:
Nancy says: “I understand that wine is gluten-free but I've noticed that recently I've been having gluten poisoning reactions to some wines. I'm very strict with my gluten-free diet and have been on it for over a year. However, I am very sensitive to gluten and can start feeling the neurological affects within 45 minutes.”
“Recently, after drinking some wine with a gluten-free dinner at home, I began to react. I began to research wine and how it is made along with the barrels. I found that the traditional method of barrel making is to seal the inside of them with a wheat flour paste. I found at least 5 sites that all said the same thing and they were proud of using "all organic materials". I also found a vineyard that specifically indicated that they only used barrels without flour paste.”
“Also, the Discovery Channel had a show on barrel making and said the same thing about the flour paste. If this is the case (that many barrels get treated with flour paste), then isn't it possible to get glutenated by wine?”
Posted 23 May 2007 - 09:37 AM
As far as vodka goes - Chopin is distilled from potatoes. It's a bit pricey for mixing with tonic or juices, but it makes a tasty martini.
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