Introducing gluten free malt vinegar

Reginald SmithMalt Vinegar, Uncategorized42 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. /

42 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.

  3. I have spent about two years looking for good information on how to make vinegar, and spent several days reading through your website which has finally answered so many of my questions thank you!

    I do have two questions now how do I subscribe to your blog?
    And I don’t suppose you know how to make gluten free weetabix then? I used to love weetabix, sigh.

    1. Hi, I haven’t set up a subscription feature yet though I will look into it. I don’t know much about weetabix unfortunately.

  4. Do you have an update on when you’ll have a new supply ready? I’m very interested but Amazon is out of stock.

    1. I hopefully will have some by early summer since I need to get new materials for a larger batch. I will inform you when it is ready.

  5. Hello from France,
    i’m an Irish man living in France but working for the German company Heinrich Frings.
    I’m their agent for UK, Eire, Scandinavia and Israel.

    I spotted your website some years ago and was impressed with the detailed knowledge. Now I see your book The Eternal Condiment has arrived, I’ve just ordered it.. You have certainly done some research. There are still some gaps in the industry knowledge for vinegar and a great big hole in terms of information. At the UK Vinegar Brewers Federation we are trying to create a vault of vinegar knowledge that we can pass on to the generations to come. When I started in 1993 I wrote to everyone I could find and asked for any papers or books they could share. The product of that letter subject to legal permissions we intend to digitise and place on our website.
    Right now Gluten free malt vinegar is pinging my interest. Did you ever settle on a figure for gluten present in traditionally produced malt vinegar? My wife is gluten intolerant and I have previously thought it so low as not to present a problem.

    At Frings we don’t have this info, because quite frankly malt vinegar is rarely made on our Acetators. The UK is the only large scale producer.


    Joe O’Rourke

  6. Eagerly waiting to try your Gluten Free Vinegar. Is it possible to be notified when it gets back into stock? Can’t wait to have Fish n Chips again with it.

  7. Hi! I just ran across your site looking for gluten free malt vinegar to be able to make my favorite Balti Indian recipes again. Is it in production yet?

  8. Appreciate your thoughtfulness in designing a gluten free malt vinegar, but let me clarify the difference between gluten free and celiac safe. The 20ppm government standard is not based on safety for celiacs, but rather industry convenience. For any celiac with active sensitivity, any gluten at all is dangerous— not only does the immediate dose of gluten cause short-term physical distress, long-term exposure causes lasting and sometimes permanent damage to the intestines and subsequent malnutrition.

    1. Thanks for this information. I am looking for a testing site that can provide that kind of resolution and I will hopefully be able to give a tighter spec on gluten content.

  9. So is it possible to make Malt Vinegar from any types of grains turned in to Malt and then in to Malt Vinegar just like you have done here? I presume that all of the types of grains, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Maize, Millet, Quinoa, Rice, Sorghum, Teff, all work equally well and could be turned in to Malt and then in to Malt Vinegar? Or would you say that there are some grains that can not be used for Malt Vinegar? I would be quite interested in trying to make all sorts of other types! I think Rice Malt Vinegar would be an interesting one to try as i know i have seen other Malt products made from Rice so i presume that a Rice Malt Vinegar should be possible!

    1. You are correct, any kinds of grains that have been malted and can be fermented to alcohol can be used to make malt vinegar. Our own gluten free malt vinegar uses millet and buckwheat. As long as you can get at least 4.5% ABV, it should make a regular strength vinegar just fine.

  10. My wife has Celiac Disease, I would love to know when your product is available. She has been missing malt vinegar for years

    1. It should be back soon. The holiday demand kept us from re-launching but it is my first priority for 2021.

  11. I use millet flour all the time (in conjunction with garbanzo flour) for gravies and general thickening. Millet adds that deep, almost nutty flavor. The fact that you’re using a blend of millet and buckwheat makes a lot of sense. I would imagine sorghum–because it tends to ferment sour–would also be a good consideration.

    Amazon is out of your GF malt vinegar. How can I get a sample to try?

    1. Hi, I am moving into full production in the next couple of weeks and I will let you know when the first batch is ready.

  12. Just found your product. Can’t wait for a new batch to be available to try the gluten free malt vinegar!!!

  13. I found your site while searching for a gluten free malt vinegar substitute. My late maternal grandmother introduced me to malt vinegar on fish and chips and I was the only grandchild who shared her preference for it. After finding I had to go gluten free due to immune system issues, I’ve missed malt vinegar and the memories of grandmother that come with it.
    I’m excited to try yours. If possible, please notify me when it is available.
    I am interested in making a batch for myself, is the process for GF malt vinegar covered in your book?

  14. Can I be notified when the gluten free vinegar will be available again. I need some fish and chips in my life!!

    1. It’s back and should be in stock continuously. If you are in Canada I will contact you to see if I can arrange something.

  15. When will this be back in stock on Amazon! I am gluten free and never knew this existed and I absolutely loved malt vinegar on a ton of things!

  16. I would be Intetested in trying yout gluten free malt vinegar. I read a study on an INH site that 10% malt vinegar was found to aleviate Type A flu virus. I find this very interesting g. I am celiac and have asthma, viruses potentiate asthma attacks for me. I would love to try this vinegar .

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