Today I am brewing a gluten-free Belgian dubbel; Freesong. Gluten-free beers are all over the place these days. Many people are gluten intolerant, and some people just want to cut gluten out of their diets for other reasons. I was researching gluten-free brewing and realized that the techniques are well-suited to making Belgian beers. Instead of using specialty malts for flavor, many gluten-free brewers use candi syrup, which I use for my classic dubbel, Heartsong. My thoughts are that a dubbel should translate pretty well into a gluten-free beer.
There are only two ingredients to this beer: sorghum syrup and dark brown candi syrup. Sorghum is used in lieu of barley and provides the bulk of the fermentables. The candi syrup provides raisin and plum flavors, and keeps the final product light and drinkable.
Gluten-free beer means using gluten-free yeast. That means that using my Belgian yeast of choice, the Westmalle strain, is not possible. Instead I’ll be using Safbrew T-58. T-58 is the same yeast used by Pannepot, a Belgian brewery that produces some of the most highly regarded beers in the world. I’ve used it before in my Belgian pale ale, which is fortunate because it can be a tricky yeast to work with.