We are happy to announce our partnership with the great Mighty Axe Hops. They provide local hops to the Minnesota market and beyond. They have a great product to share and we are happy to be aligned with them. Read more about how this partnership will affect you!
Maltwerks has recently outfitted a pull trailer for events. We are proud to have a local company dawn this trailer with some great looking graphics and get it ready for Summer.
Maltwerks is ready to share it’s Brewery in a Bag products at your expo or even. Simply get in touch!
We’re looking forward to having the general public recognize the logo and see that we are active in the community.
Thanks for your support!
Furfuryl Alcohol, as of last year, has made a stark contrast in California’s past and future, for beverage suppliers. New Legislature in California is calling many synthetic coloring agents, carcinogens.
This has made a vast change in the way soda companies are allowed to operate.
Though furfuryl alcohol is a colorless liquid, an aged sample will start to bear an amber color. This is thought to be the connection in the litany of the California legislature that deals exclusively with soda coloring and carcinogens.
In accordance with California's Proposition 65 law, the levels of 4-MEI found in sodas would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.
Both Coke and Pepsi have completely transitioned away from these chemicals.
Research shows a different picture though. Most beverage analysis studies can't draw a significant link between these chemicals and carcinogens. Perhaps there's a different and more natural way to go about these changes.
Malt As A Coloring Agent
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in its rules on color additives for the foods it regulates, says the color additive caramel can be derived from the following food-grade carbohydrates: dextrose, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, starch hydrolysates, and sucrose.
Malt, as many brewers know, is able to impart a great deal of color into our brews. Just try brewing a five gallon batch of an imperial stout, and you'll notice not only the mass quantity contribute to the overall color, but the kinds of dark crystal, and chocolate malts that leave their midnight black imprint.
While gluten-containing ingredients can be used in the production of caramel color, North American companies are now using glucose from corn or sometimes sucrose (table sugar).
When Is Caramel Color Not Gluten-Free?
To trace our steps back a bit and discuss the topic in relation to our last blog post:
Using wheat or barley malt—which is the most common kind of malt—would make a product off-limits to people with celiac disease.
However, registered dietitian and gluten-free diet expert Shelley Case, who is on the medical advisory board of the Celiac Disease Foundation, the Gluten Intolerance Group, and the Canadian Celiac Association, says that gluten-containing ingredients are no longer used to make caramel coloring in North America. Correspondence with major manufacturers of caramel color confirms that indeed seems to be the case.
There are a few instances where food products containing caramel color may use caramel color derived from wheat (or possibly from barley malt). Occasionally, packaged products imported to the U.S. from Australia or (even less commonly) Europe will contain wheat-derived caramel coloring. If this is the case, FDA rules on food allergens require the product to specify the source of the caramel coloring by placing wheat in parentheses following the ingredient name.
Example Ingredients: caramel color (wheat).
This restriction doesn't apply to caramel color from barley malt syrup, but that's a very uncommon ingredient.
It's theoretically possible that a small store (or online outlet) specializing in imports could mistakenly sell a product containing wheat-derived caramel coloring that doesn't follow the FDA rules, but you're highly unlikely to run across a situation like this. The same applies to malt-derived caramel coloring.
Since the FDA doesn't regulate all food and beverages sold in the U.S. In the case of meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, that task falls to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which doesn't require labeling of wheat-derived ingredients. It's possible for you to find a USDA-regulated food item imported from Europe or another region that uses wheat-derived caramel color.
Finally, a third exception: the labeling on alcoholic beverages is voluntary, and those may also use caramel coloring derived from either wheat or malt.
California could very well start offering an organic malt-derived coloring for their soda beverages. The labeling they would have to offer for their gluten-free customers would be another issue in itself. It really becomes a question of marketing. However, malt-based sodas might just make their way into the scene in the near future. Time has yet to tell.
This is a new horizon in brewing developments. Just as many people work a celiac-free diet into their lifestyle, one has to wonder how they survive without the traditional libation, beer.
This is a hard path to go down for many, as American lifestyles often incorporate bread in large quantities. It’s everywhere.
However, for those of us who know someone who suffers from gluten intolerance, it might be time to get the reading glasses out and start studying how to produce a gluten-free brew, just in time for summer.
This path is two-fold.
Gluten-Free vs. Gluten-Reduced
There are two ways to go here, and if you are truly brewing for someone with celiacs disease then the former is the path to take.
Gluten-reduced beer, also labeled as “crafted to remove gluten,” is becoming more common in the commercial realm.
Omission is perhaps the most prominent brewer in this realm, and Stone’s Delicious IPA would pass by any taste test with ease. You'd never know it was crafted for a specific reason like this.
Stone Delicious IPA is also fermented in a manner that breaks down and removes gluten, rendering gluten levels so significantly that the beer qualifies as a “gluten-reduced” ale per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. How is this possible?
Yeast makes for the primary catalyst in this scenario. Clarex, a proprietary yeast developed by White Labs.
When boiled wort (unfermented beer) is transferred to fermentation tanks where yeast is introduced to convert fermentable sugars to alcohol, they then add Clarex, which separates and eliminates the potentially inflammatory nature of the gluten protein chains.
The issue most people see with this path is that Gluten-reduced beer often only gluten-enzyme eliminates or rather simply breaks up the gluten protein chain into tiny, immeasurable parts.
This is the biggest issue with gluten-free beer.
The most important thing to note here is that gluten-free (GF) grains are quite different from traditional brewing grains in terms of aroma, taste, and mouthfeel, so don’t be surprised when your first batch doesn’t taste like the beer you’re used to. It's going to end up being pretty diverse.
Malted gluten-free grains (other than sorghum) are not widely available. So, you’ll either have to malt your own or find a supplier.
Here are a few of the most common GF brewing grains:
Often used as a base for barley-like recipes, sorghum is the most common GF brewing grain. The flavor profile is fairly bland and grainy, and it can produce a subtle metallic or “sour” flavor that is sometimes mistaken for an infection. Sorghum is widely available as a grain and is still one of the only GF grains available in LME form.
Millet is a common component of birdseed, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for the birds. Some of the most popular gluten-free beers are made with millet. Like sorghum, it’s pretty bland but is a bit sweeter. Millet is often used as a substitute for wheat.
Despite its name, buckwheat isn’t related to wheat at all. So brewers shouldn't use it as a substitute for wheat either. It’s not really a substitute for anything due to its strong nutty, nearly bitter flavor profile. Toasted buckwheat can be pretty intense, so use it in moderation, much like a specialty grain, it will serve as a proper adjunct grain in cases where you need a stronger flavor profile, perhaps more suited to imperial stouts that are grain free. Experiment away!
Rice is a very versatile and widely used GF brewing ingredient. While it’s relatively tasteless on its own, rice can be toasted to produce a wide range of flavors that mimic pale malt, caramel, chocolate, and even coffee malts. It's a major ingredient in large scale brewing and is often thought to be used in brews where clarity is a prime objective.
Quinoa isn’t a grain, but it is a grain-like seed that has become very popular in the last few years. Quinoa packs a pleasantly sweet and earthy flavor profile, similar to brewing with oats. It can make a great base to your recipe, but it’s not as common as the previous mentions due to its high price. It might take more of this product to impart it's flavor too.
Gluten Free Brewing and Yeast
While yeast itself does not contain gluten, but many yeast labs grow and/or store their yeast in environments containing gluten. Thus, pitching a liquid, gluten-contaminated yeast into gluten-free wort, is a no-go. Even dry yeast may contain trace amounts of gluten due to the growing environment.
Be sure to check the packaging or manufacturer’s website prior to selecting your yeast. Here are some great GF yeast options:
DanStar – All dry yeast strains are certified GF
Fermentis – All dry yeast strains are certified GF
Wyeast – Certain liquid strains (American Ale II; Bavarian Lager) are certified GF
Many brewers have access to a yeast lab and are able to make these needs known.
As this style of brewing is ever growing and becoming more popular, the technology involved is sure to grow as well. Stay tuned for more updates on this brewing style.
We are happy to be announcing our collaborative event, March 3rd
4 Breweries each brewing a beer featuring Maltwerks ingredients and 4 beer paired appetizers. This is the first event of its kind, and we are excited to do it first. You won't want to miss this!
Meet the participating breweries, meet the maltsters and enjoy the nerd session! Make sure to purchase tickets in advance, they may not be available at the door!
Breweries include Ashby brewing, Tavern Brewing, Perhams own Disgruntled, and Copper Trail brewing.
Check out Ashby Brewing here, they have recently been making waves in their hometown, bringing a local brewery to the community.
Tavern Brewing has been a successful staple of the Detroit Lakes area, making many a traditional beer and doing it well. Their taproom on Detroit Lakes is a local and tourist favorite alike.
Disgruntled Brewing serves the town of Perham, and is a producers of some very good hazy IPAs as well as other local favorites. If you live in the area and are not familiar, it is time to change that!
From Alexandria, we have Copper Trail Brewing that are taking a lot of pride in producing fresh beer on-site and with a purpose.
We look forward to curating this local pair of food and beer, that is sure to impress newcomers to the craft world as well as the experienced.
Tickets are available at The Brew: 124 E Main St, Perham, MN 56573