Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association
Homebrew Recipes

Gluten-Free Chestnut Beer

Gluten sensitivity affects about 6 percent of the population, but that doesn’t mean they can’t share a homebrew with you! While the gluten protein is found in the most common brewing grains—barley, wheat and rye—brewers have a few different choices when it comes to brewing with gluten-free fermentables.

This recipe, which uses roasted chestnut chips, was featured in the May/June 2012 issue of Zymurgy magazine, in an article about gluten-free brewing. Author Carolyn Smagalski commented that “Chestnuts have essentially the same nutritional content as malted barley except that the sugars are not as readily available. Amylase breaks down the starches and sugars to a fermentable level.” Expand your brewing horizons and give brewing with chestnuts a shot!

Gluten-Free Chestnut Beer | Specialty Beer


  • For 5 gallons (18.93 L)
    • 5.0 lb (2.27 kg) | roasted, dried chestnut chips
    • 5.0 lb (2.27 kg) | dextrose
    • 1.0 oz (28 g) | Fuggles 5% a.a (30 min)
    • 1.0 oz (28g) | Cascade 6% a.a (steep 30 min)
    • Lallemand Windsor Ale Yeast
    • Amylase powder
    • 1.0 0z (28 g) | 100 bloom type B gelatin (secondary)


    • Original Gravity: 1.049-1.053
    • Final Gravity: 1.012-1.016
    • ABV: 4.8%
    • Boil Time: 60 minutes


    Put about 5 gallons of room temperature water in a pot and add one tablespoon of amylase that has been dissolved in one cup of water per manufacturers directions.

    Place chips in a grain bag and steep in 5 gallons of water for at least 1-2 hours. During this time raise and lower the bag five to six times every hour or so to obtain maximum sugar extraction.

    During the the soaking and extraction process, the chips will absorb and retain about 3-4 quarts of water. At the end of the soak, you should end up with an amber-colored wort with a gravity of 1.016-1.020.

    Remove grain bag and drain thoroughly. Top off to 5 gallons (18.93L).

    Bring wort to a boil.

    Add Fuggles in a hop bag and continue to boil for another 30 minutes.

    Add dextrose and boil for 15 more minutes. At this time the gravity is usually 1.049-1.053.

    Remove from heat and steep Cascade in a hop bag for another 30 minutes. Remove hops and chill to pitching temp.

    Rack to fermenter, pitch,  and ferment at ambient temperatures, usually a little over three days.

    Once fermentation is complete, rack to secondary and add 1 ounce of 100 bloom type B clarifying gelatin as per manufacturers instructions. Mix thoroughly, clarify for three to four days.

    Bottle or keg as usual.

    Note: for a darker brew, roast 1 to 1.5 lb (0.45 to 0.68 kg) of the chestnut chips at 350°F to desired color stirring every 10 minutes.

    *Recipe has been updated to address some discrepancies.