Are hops gluten free is something that beer lovers who are getting started with a gluten-free diet start to wonder about. Alternatively, if you find that you can no longer consume gluten, you might be wondering if beer is still on the table due to hops.
In this post, we will answer different questions about hops, especially the most common one, are hops gluten free? We’ll also look at what hops are used for and what makes a beer gluten-free, so continue reading below to know more.
Are Hops Really Gluten Free?
Yes, hops are really gluten free. There is no gluten in hops because they are flowers from plants and not grains. Gluten can be only found in the wheat family of grains, so it is clear that hops are gluten free.
If you are on a gluten free diet, you might be wondering whether you can drink beer with hops. Even if hops are gluten free, you should consider the other ingredients used to brew beer.
The gluten in most beers is obtained from the grains used in the brewing process. Hops create the aromatic nature and bitterness that is found in beer. Also, it is historically used as a folk remedy for anxiety and sleeplessness, so there is no beer without hops.
What Are Hops Used For?
Hops are used for making beer. The lupulin inside the flower pod of hops is what creates the aromas, flavors, and bitterness in beers. Without it, beers will only be grainy and malty. Brewers usually use hops in different ways and extract oils with various heat levels to make flavors.
Hops are primarily used as an agent for stability, bittering, and flavoring in beer. Whenever beers have floral, citrus, and fruity notes in the flavor and aroma, it is because of the hops. Hops can also be used in herbal medicine and other types of beverages.
Hops in beer are good for your body because they are used for insomnia, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It also has different nutrients that improve the digestive system, reduce the impact of ulcers, relax and soothe muscles, treat headaches, and treat menstrual cramps.
When it comes to your hair and skin, hops also offer different benefits. It is used in different cosmetic products aside from being the main ingredient in beer. Hops are a reliable source of antioxidants that protect your skin and hair.
– Important Facts About Hops
Important facts about hops include its rich history in brewing because it is a versatile plant.
Some of the interesting facts you should know about hops include:
- Hops are perennials, and they can survive for up to 20 seasons.
- It has antimicrobial properties that cause the beer to last longer.
- It dates back to the year 859 CE when it was cultivated in Freising, Germany.
- Hops feature bines, which can reach up to 20 feet when it is a growing season.
- The lupulus in the hops’ plants is obtained from a Latin name called “small wolf” because hops end up strangling other plants.
- In Kent, England, hops are considered a county flower.
- It is easy to grow your own hops. If you are a homebrewer, you can start growing your hops to use in your recipes.
- Hops can be used to reduce the effects of anxiety and insomnia.
Are Hops a Grain?
Hops are not a grain but are flowers belonging to the Cannabaceae family, and this is not related to any of the cereal grains that contain gluten. The stems and leaves on hop plants are not used for anything — the flower, which is a hop cone, is used for brewing.
When the hop cone sprouts, it contains a gland called lupulin, and this contains the oils and acids that add flavor and aroma to the hops. After the hops are harvested, they are dried into a fine yellow powder and used in brewing beers. They can be added during or after the brewing depending on the type of beer being made.
Due to the popularity of flavor imparted by hops, IPAs have become very popular. These are India Pale Ales and are made with a lot of hops. These beers were made with a lot of hops to preserve them during long journeys, but now, it is used for the flavor.
If you want to drink beer but are worried about the gluten, you don’t have to worry about the hops because they are not a grain. But you can enjoy a hoppy flavor by having a gluten-free beer instead.
What Makes a Beer Gluten Free?
A beer is gluten-free when it does not contain any wheat or malted barley, or any other gluten-containing grains. Most beers are not gluten-free because they are made with malted barley. Also, the brewing process of beer retains the gluten, unlike distilled beverages which extract the gluten.
If you want to drink a beer but cannot consume hops, you need to check the ingredients. Look out for beer that is made with sorghum, buckwheat, or rice, which are gluten-free grains. Regardless of the malts, the beer will always have hops. Some of these beers also go through a process to reduce their gluten content, making it suitable for those with Celiac disease.
When buying beer, you can easily find one that is gluten-free by either checking the ingredients or checking for a gluten-free label. You can look out for gluten-friendly beers at different craft breweries or make yours. You can use your own hops but will have to change the malts.
Most yeast used in brewing beer is gluten-free, but some of them are not. If you are using brewer’s yeast, they are made with gluten from the barley that is used in making beer. If you are planning to make a gluten free beer, you should use dry yeast instead.
How Gluten Is Removed From Beer?
Gluten is removed from beer by adding an enzyme while brewing. This is used to make gluten-reduced beers. The enzyme is used to break up the gluten, making it safe for those with Celiac disease. Some of these enzymes include Clarity Ferm and Brewers Clarex.
– Types of Alcohol With a Lot of Gluten
Alcoholic beverages with a lot of barley malts are the ones that have the most gluten.
Beers and malted beverages, sake and rice wine, flavored wine coolers, hard cider, and hard lemonade that are made with malts contain gluten.
What Beer Is Good for Those With Gluten Sensitivity?
The beer that is good for those with gluten sensitivity is the one that is not made with malts. For instance, the Redbridge Lager, made by Anheuser-Busch, is an ideal beer for those that are gluten intolerant. Check the bottle or can for the gluten-free tag.
If you’re wondering if are hops gluten-free, you should keep in mind that you don’t have to worry about gluten from this source.
In our article, we have explained that gluten is obtained from other ingredients, but here’s a summary:
- Hops are gluten-free because they are plants and not made from wheat.
- Hops are used to brew beer and add flavor, aroma, and bitterness to the beer.
- A beer is gluten-free when it is made with gluten-free grains like rice, sorghum, or buckwheat.
You can make your gluten-free beer by yourself with any hops you want, as long as you check the malts and yeast used in making it. There are also gluten-free beers for sale from your favorite brewing company.