Low Gluten in Beer

test the gluten content of your beer

Kirin Nodogoshi Nama (のどごし生)

Kirin Nodogoshi Nama (のどごし生)

kirinnodogoshinama-can

The Japanese government taxes beer very heavily. The tax rate of is based on the percent of alcohol which is generated from malt fermentation. To get around these taxes, Japanese breweries first created happoshu (literally “sparkling liquor”), then the new (or third) genre, neither of which can technically be called beer.

They don’t taste quite like beer, (maybe a bit sweeter, more like American malt liquor), but they are very popular in Japanese homes because they are much cheaper than beer (about US$6 per six-pack, vs. $10 for real beer) Nodogoshi is kirinnodogoshinama-ingredientsthe top-selling new-genre “beer” in Japan, and from reading the ingredients, there doesn’t appear to be any gluten-containing ingredients in Nodogoshi. It has found its way onto quite a few Japanese gluten-free blogs for this reason. Unfortunately, very few bars sell the cheaper variants, only the more expensive beers like Asahi Super Dry, Kirin Ichiban, etc. But after asking politely and explaining my “allergy,” several small places have let me bring my own drinks in.

Beer: Nodogoshi Nama (のどごし生)
Producer: Kirin
Originating country: Japan
Brewing location: Japan
Can size: 350ml
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: (translated from the Kirin website): hops, sugar, soybean protein, yeast extract
Miscellaneous: There are several varieties of Nodogoshi. This version, Nama, is the original version, the most popular, and the only one which does not list malt or barley in the ingredients.

Test kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

Test result: There is no indication of the kirinnodogoshinama-canandresultpresence of gluten. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area (T) to indicate the presence of gluten. There is no visible spot, so this test is negative. The pink spot on the right test area (C) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly, and all reagents are active. Even though the detection limit in this kit is very low (1-2 ppm) and the test is negative, please note this result does not constitute medical advice – please see Steffen’s facts page.

Coopers Lager Gluten Test

Test done by Adam:

…this time Coopers Lager.  Obviously another Coopers from my home town/city of Adelaide.

I have been waiting some time now for contact from Coopers about their gluten content of all of their beers, but I guess I couldn’t wait any longer.  So I tested it myself.

It’s an okay beer, I just need to have it in the right style of glass to really judge its true flavour and character.  I often try beers in different glass styles to find the best one.

Beer: Coopers Lager
Producer: Coopers Brewery
Originating country: Australia
Brewing location: Australia
Bottle size: 375 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 4.8%
Ingredients: not stated on label
Miscellaneous: Thanks for test, Adam!

Coopers Lager Gluten Test Coopers Lager Gluten Test Coopers Lager Gluten Test

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

Adam tested with a threshold of 20 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 20 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though this test is negative please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

Coopers Lager Gluten Test

Kirin Ichiban Shibori (キリン一番搾り)

Kirin Ichiban Shibori (キリン一番搾り, or “first pressing”) is probably the second most ubiquitous beer in Japan, behind Asahi kirinichibanbottleSuper Dry.  You can find it in restaurants, bars, at festivals, etc. all over Japan. It tastes much better, too… as I recall. My favorite karaoke place offers both in bottles, as well as Ichiban Shibori on tap. It’s no coincidence that those are two of the first beers I tested! Thanks to Shidax for donating a sample for testing.

Beer: Ichiban Shibori (キリン一番搾り)
Producer: Kirin
Originating country: Japan
Brewing location: Japan
Bottle size: 500ml
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: (not listed on this bottle; translated from the Kirin website): malt, hops
Miscellaneous: Although a bottle is pictured, I tested Kirin Ichiban Shibori draft.

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

Test result: There is a clearly visible pink spot on the left side of the testing area (T), which is an indication of the presence of gluten. The pink spot on the right test area (C) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has kirinichiban-testresultbeen performed correctly, and all reagents are active. The gluten content of the sample can be estimated according to the intensity of the pink test spot. Imutest has assured me that this test does detect hordein (the barley gluten), and is actually more sensitive to hordein than to gliadin, the wheat gluten.

Kirin Ichiban Shibori seems to have a relatively high gluten content compared to other Japanese lagers I’ve tested, so although it’s one of my favorites, I think I’ll continue to look for other options.

DAB Export Gluten Test

Tested by Adam. Short statement from him about the beer:

Good beer.  Try it if you haven’t before.

Beer: DAB Export
Producer: Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei
Originating country: Germany
Brewing location: Germany
Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: not stated on label but water, malted barley and hops according to internet research
Miscellaneous: Thanks for the test, Adam!

DAB Export Gluten Test DAB Export Gluten Test

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

Adam tested with a threshold of 20 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 20 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though this test is negative please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

DAB Export Gluten Test

Stockade Duel Hoppy Lager Gluten Test

This test was provided by Adam.

… I went shopping for a different type of beer.  This one looked interesting as it mentioned how hoppy it is, as hops seem to be very popular in the beer community at the moment with everybody seeming to love highly hopped ales.  The smell/aroma of this beer is wonderful, so fruity, but the taste is average.  I’d try it again, in different style glasses, but probably wouldn’t buy it by the box.

Beer: Duel Hoppy Lager
Producer: Stockade Brew Co
Originating country: Australia
Brewing location: Australia
Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 4.7%
Ingredients: not stated on label
Miscellaneous: Thanks for test, Adam!

Duel Hoppy Lager Gluten Test Duel Hoppy Lager Gluten Test

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

Adam tested with a threshold of 20 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 20 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though this test is negative please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

Duel Hoppy Lager Gluten Test

Which Spanish beer do you want me to test next?

I tested a number of Spanish beers already – Ambar Especial just last year, the Canarian Dorada and the gluten free labelled Estrella Daura Damm which I tested positive, though. This time I give the regular Estrella Damm a chance, beside the famous San Miguel from Madrid and another beer from Barcelona with increasing sales called Moritz and named after the founder Louis Moritz Trautmann.

Poll closed on 30/04.

Which Spanish beer do you want me to test next?

  • San Miguel Especial (50%, 71 Votes)
  • Estrella Damm (41%, 59 Votes)
  • Moritz (9%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 143

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spanish_beer_poll1

Asahi Super Dry (Japan)

Asahi Super Dry (アサヒスーパードライ)asahisuperdry-bottle

Asahi Super Dry is Japan’s top-selling beer domestically (and probably internationally, too). It is everywhere in Japan. It’s not my beer of choice, but I tested it because I thought it had the best chance of any of the Japanese macrobrews to have a low gluten content, since its ingredients include rice and corn.

Beer: Asahi Super Dry (アサヒスーパードライ)
Producer: Asahi
Originating country: Japan
Brewing location: Japan
Bottle size: 500ml
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: (translated from the bottle): barley, hops, rice, corn, starch (not sure what kind — it just says “starch”)asahisuperdry-ingredients
Miscellaneous: In December 2015, Steffen posted test results for an Asahi Super Dry that was brewed in the UK (and labeled “Product of CZ”). The following test is for a bottle of Asahi Super Dry that was purchased and tested in Japan.

Test kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

Test result: There is a faint, but visible, pink spot on the left side of the testing area, which is an indication of the presence of gluten. The pink spot on the right test area (C) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly, and all reagents are active.

asahisuperdryT2-testresult

Note: Out of curiosity, I sent these photos to Imutest, asking if they could estimate the gluten content.  They first pointed out that the test isn’t designed to be quantitativeasahisuperdryT2-resultandcan, but then estimated that “your photo would suggest a value slightly below 10ppm if it was a regular food sample, which means that it is probably less than 1ppm for beer provided you used the recommended protocol of eliminating the extraction step and adding the beer directly…”

Imutest has been quite helpful, and I’ve ordered five more testing kits.

Steinlager Pure Gluten Test

Test provided by Adam:

I tested the New Zealand beer Steinlager (sounds more German than New Zealand!).  Anyway all I know about Steinlager is that it has been around for a long time and is marketed as being very “clean and pure”.  On pouring it has a great head and is easy to drink too.

Beer: Steinlager Pure
Producer: Lion Nathan
Originating country: New Zealand
Brewing location: New Zealand
Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast
Miscellaneous: Thanks for the tests, Adam!

Steinlager Gluten Test Steinlager Gluten Test

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

Adam tested with a threshold of 20 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 20 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though this test is negative please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

Steinlager Gluten Test

Asahi Dry Zero

asahidryzero-can    asahidryzero-ingredients

Asahi Dry Zero is a non-alcoholic (alcohol-free) “beer” that is made without a wort. Basically, that means it isn’t brewed… I think. It’s more like a soda, I suppose. That being said, when poured into a glass, it looks and smells a lot like beer. As far as taste goes, it’s one of the better non-alcoholic beers I’ve had.

Asahi claims that Dry Zero is the best-selling non-alcoholic beer in Japan. Neither barley nor wheat is listed in the ingredients, so I’ve been drinking it for the last few months under the assumption that it’s gluten-free.

Beer: Asahi Dry Zero
Producer: Asahi
Originating country: Japan
Brewing location: Japan
Can size: 350ml
Alcohol by volume: 0.00%
Ingredients: (translated from the Asahi website): dietary fiber, soybean peptide, hop, fragrance, acidulant, caramel color, antioxidant (vitamin C), sweetener (acesulfame K)
Miscellaneous: I usually add about 15-20ml of 190-proof grain alcohol (Spirytus Rektyfikowany or Everclear) per can when I drink Dry Zero, to more closely simulate real beer.

Test kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area (T) to indicate the presence of gluten. But this test is negative. The pink spot on the right test area (C) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly, and all reagents are active. Even though the detection limit in this kit is very low (1-2 ppm) and the test is negative, please note this result does not constitute medical advice – please see Steffen’s facts page.

asahidryzeroresultasahidryzerobottleandresult

I conducted two tests.  The first time was with a can of Asahi Dry Zero, using the extraction solution provided with the kit.  No gluten was detected.  I wanted to be absolutely sure, so I contacted the people at Imutest, who told me that the test would be more sensitive without the extraction solution, so I ran the test again, this time with the bottled version, bypassing the extraction solution and adding the beer directly to the diluent solution.  That’s why you see both a can and a bottle in the pictures.  The results were negative (no gluten detected) in both tests.  Also, Peter at Imutest was quite helpful (and patient) when I had questions about the testing process.

 

Kingfisher Gluten Test

I am currently in India and just tested the most famous Indian beer Kingfisher Premium Lager. It contains rice beside barley so I assumed already that it will be low in gluten. But it contains some other ingredients like sugar and syrup which is not really in accordance with German Beer Law. But it’s India so it’s OK like the beer itself. An everyday beer with sweet taste best enjoyed very cold.

Beer: Kingfisher Premium Lager
Producer: United Breweries Group
Originating country: India
Brewing location: India
Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: water, malted barley, sugar, rice/maize/millet/corn syrup, ethyl alcohol (generated in the process), hops and yeast
Miscellaneous:

Kingfisher Gluten Test Kingfisher Gluten Test

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

I tested with a threshold of 5 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 5 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Please don’t take any of my test results as a medical advice – see my facts page.

Kingfisher Gluten Test

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