Introducing gluten free malt vinegar

Reginald SmithMalt Vinegar, Uncategorized4 Comments

Gluten free malt vinegar bottle

Gluten Free Malt Vinegar – a new product of Supreme Vinegar

About me and my passion for vinegar

I’m Reggie Smith, owner of Supreme Vinegar LLC, a specialty fruit and wine vinegar manufacturing company in Bensalem, PA just outside of Philadelphia. In the past, I have mainly concentrated on fruit vinegars and mothers of vinegar to help home vinegar hobbyists make better vinegar. However, I have always been interested in vinegar as a whole–its history, chemistry, biology, etc. As part of the research for my new forthcoming book on the history of vinegar, The Eternal Condiment, I learned a lot about the history of malt vinegar, so much I wrote a separate recent article on the history of malt vinegar. Learning about the history of vinegar helped me understand how to make my own, as well as common issues vinegar hobbyists encounter.

Gluten in your vinegar? Say what?

When I started out in vinegar, thinking about glutens was the furthest thing from my mind. Vinegar food safety is all about acidity and no wheat products, nuts, milk, etc. ever touch the process. So when I got my first questions about whether my red wine vinegar was “gluten free” I was puzzled but doing my research I was able to confirm it was. My first realization of the intersection of glutens and vinegar came from a customer complaint about a Chinese vinegar. I distribute several premium vinegars from China, including the famous yet hard-to-find Shanxi vinegars. For those who don’t know the difference between vinegar in China vs. Japan, Japanese vinegar is often rice based while that in China is usually made from mashing various cereals–wheat, sorghum (gluten free), oats as well as other ingredients like herbs or soybeans.

The complaint was a customer had a stomach ache from the vinegar which I was happy to accommodate a return/refund. At first I thought it just disagreed with her. Then reading an article on food analysis, I realized it was quite possible glutens in the vinegar may have upset her. I knew gluten reactions could be bad from a co-worker whose daughter had a near fatal allergic reaction to glutens.

The rise of gluten free vinegar

From there I went into gluten research understanding the basics as well as detection tests such as the R5 Competitive ELISA, etc. Looking into my other vinegars, I realized malt vinegar was the most likely suspect. Knowing its formulation I began wondering how the glutens could be lessened or eliminated and that is where my gluten free homebrewing adventure began. After some research and product testing, I decided on a joint malted buckwheat/malted millet ale for the base to ferment into vinegar. Luckily, my equipment can also be used for mashing. I created a prototype that I am currently testing with customers and on Gluten levels are at most less than 10 ppm according to lab testing (the lowest level measurable) so it will hopefully provide an alternative to those who love malt vinegar for fish & chips or other uses, but can’t stomach the gluten. If anyone is interested, I have limited samples, I just need feedback after trying them. I will likely start planning a full scale production ramp later this year. /

4 Comments on “Introducing gluten free malt vinegar”

  1. I recently made beer vinegar using a local craft-brewed IPA. The vinegar came along in the usual way, but there was very little mother in the jar when we decanted it. We thought the vinegar itself was fairly mild, though definitely vinegar and clearly beer-based – one friend actually identified the beer I used when he tasted the vinegar – but I’m now wondering if I bottled it too soon. I left it almost seven weeks, and it smelled like vinegar, but ….

    1. The timing can depend. Seven weeks is usually enough for a first batch but if the mother formed late and was small it may have fermented slowly. You could leave it alone for another few weeks to see if a mother re-forms. If so, let it go for 3-4 weeks to finish fermentation.

  2. Hi
    Just starting out researching about making vinegars , always have talked about it, my wife leaves quite a bit of red wine she doesn’t like laying around in the fridge , I really like your website. I read about your new malt vinegar. Very interested as finding a good malt vinegar for fish and chips down here isn’t easy. Do you have any more samples of the mall vinegar you are developing? I would love to try some. Be glad to give you feedback.
    Thank you

    1. Hi the gluten free malt vinegar should be back in stock on Amazon this week. The page link is here. I also have a bourbon oak aged malt vinegar that is out of stock but will soon have more available at this link. Let me know what you think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *