By Dante Moroni
Duvel Golden Ale is one of the fews beers that i’ve tested showing <20ppm gluten results. My working theory is leaning towards the secondary fermentation and artisanal yeast strain being why it’s less than 20ppm gluten. I have decided to test this theory using another Belgian beer that uses these techniques, Chimay Premiere.
Chimay is a trappist brewery founded in 1862 in Chimay, Belgium. They make several high quality Belgian beers. I actually went on a tour of this brewery with my family in the spring of 2014! The monastery is quaint and really cool. You can smell the yeast in the air while you’re there.
Chimay Premiere is unfiltered and unpasteurized. The results from the assay were positive, indicating greater than 10ppm gluten. If I were to make a guess from the strip, i’d estimate maybe it’s 30-60ppm gluten. After looking into some of the difference between Duvel and Chimay, I believe that the unfiltered aspect of Chimay is why it’s positive, even though it’s bottle fermented.
I am going to try and get my hands on a bottle of Duvel Single Fermented and if that one is positive while Duvel Secondary Fermented Golden Ale is not, this could help me further investigate the theory that secondary fermentation contributes to lower gluten levels. There is already research showing yeast being able to break down gluten peptides to some extent. Maybe the extra metabolism of the gluten peptides in the bottle is needed to get it below 20ppm.