What is it?
Since early 2015, all of our beers have been fermented with White Labs Clarity Ferm. Among other things, Clarity Ferm has the effect of reducing the gluten content of beers.
The official wording that the Federal Government agency that regulates beer allows us to use in conjunction with the product is:
Crafted to remove gluten. (1) The product was made from a grain that contains gluten. (2) There is currently no valid test to verify the gluten content of fermented products. (3) The finished product may contain gluten.
Since beginning using Clarity Ferm in our beers, we have had 5 batches tested for gluten content by an independent third party. Four of the five beers tested were fermented with Clarity Ferm, and they all tested below 10 ppm gluten. The fifth beer was fermented without Clarity Ferm and was sent as a control. It tested above 10 ppm, as expected.
We make no guarantees about the gluten content of our beers. As the federal warning states, there is some doubt as to whether the current tests for gluten in fermented products are accurate. Consume at your own risk.
We do not currently test every batch of beer for gluten content, because at our current size it is cost prohibitive. We are currently seeking a cost effective mechanism for testing every batch, and once we begin testing every batch we will post results on our web site, along with date codes.
Why do we use it?
Our motives for reducing the gluten content in our beers are perhaps a little selfish. In late 2014, Kristin (one of the owners of Odd13) was advised by a doctor to pursue a low FODMAP diet because of persistent stomach pain. She's not coeliac, but it turns out that gluten is one of the many foods that upset her stomach.
If Kristin gave up beer, Ryan (her husband and co-owner) would be broken hearted, so he immediately started thinking about how to solve the problem. Luckily he had heard of Clarity Ferm through a variety of channels in the several years previous. After one small-scale experiment, Odd13 went for it and brewed a full 10 barrels of Mama Koliakos.
How do I identify which Odd13 beers have Clarity Ferm?
If you are looking at a can, it's easy. Starting in 2015, our date codes are formatted something like "Best By 150727". That's YYMMDD, which in the example above would mean July 27th, 2015. All cans with a best by date of of 15O601 or later have been fermented with Clarity Ferm.
Bottles fermented with Clarity Ferm are equally easy to identify. If the label is white all the way around the border, it was fermented with Clarity Ferm. If there are black bars on the left and right sides, it was not fermented with Clarity Ferm. Here is an example: