Wyeast Laboratories will soon begin selling two of its most popular yeasts to homebrewers in gluten-free form. The Oregon yeast lab already offers the yeast to commercial brewing companies.
Wyeast 1272 GF American Ale II and Wyeast 2206 GF Bavarian Lager will be sold in Activator Pure Pitchable Yeast packages.
The gluten-free yeast will be offered to home brewers via Wyeast’s quarterly VSS – Very Special Strains – Promotion beginning July 1. The VSS Promotions feature strains of yeast otherwise unavailable to homebrewers. Wyeast expects these gluten free strains to be continued as permanent offerings when this introductory promotion has ended.
Jess Caudill, product and process development microbiologist at Wyeast reports that these strains have performed well in test brews at the lab, and at independent test breweries and labs. Yeast vitality and overall cell count will be comparable to Wyeast’s current popular products.
Due to an increase in celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat and barley allergies, gluten-free products are one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry. While much of the attention has centered on find grains to replace barley and wheat malts – the two most commonly used in brewing – using gluten free yeast is just as important.
Until recently, commercial or homebrewers who want to brew beer free of gluten had to propagate their own yeast in a gluten-free medium.