Kit Review: SmashBox Gluten Free Amarillo Pale Ale Extract Beer Kit










As a forum member at I was offered the opportunity to review a Gluten Free Extract kit, supplied by BrewSmarter a Irish online homebrew supplier.

Gluten Free?

Although this is a review for a Gluten Free product, this is only a review of the beer that is produced, from beer drinkers perspective and a judgement based on aroma, flavour and appearance. Although we can’t thoroughly evaluate the suitability of this product, we do hope that this is helpful and offers those with coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis a route into a great hobby, and ultimately, unlimited access to beer they can drink.  Saying that, the kit is certified Gluten Free with the following declaration:

Allergen Declaration: Gluten Free (the LME contains less than 20 ppm, less than 3 ppm in the beer when made up to 20 litres)



Kit Contents.

The kit is supplied with  a hop bag for dry-hopping, and the following ingredients:

  • Two 1.5Kg tins of Gluten Free Malt Extract
  • 500g of Candi Sugar
  • Amarillo hop pellets (20g @ 60 mins, 30g @ 15 mins and 50g for dry-hopping).
  • A sachet of California Lager Yeast.

To produce a beer that has:

IBU: 35
EBC: 16 to 22
Target Original Gravity: 1.050
Target Final Gravity: 1.008
Target ABV: 6.0%


Instructions were also supplied that detail two methods, based on different equipment profiles.

(A) Traditional method: That requires a 25+ L pot for full volume boil and a wort chiller.


(B) Brew In A Pot Method: Requiring a 10L stock pot for boiling, with extra water added to FV for cooling and making up the desired volume.

Both sets of instructions can be found here, and I elected to do option A.


The Beer

Brewers Observations: This kit produces a good beer and does not display anything negative in aroma or flavour that could be directly attributed to the removal of Gluten. As a purely personal choice, if I was to brew this again I would remove some of the sugar from the recipe to reduce the ABV to 5% and supplement the dry-hop addition to a rate of 5g/L. This extra hop punch would, to my palate, bring the beer closer to style for an APA and counter a very slight roasty flavour to the malt, that I found distracted from the hops, as is.

The resultant beer was also taken to a Homebrew club meeting and rated by a panel of 7 homebrewers giving the following scores out of 5 (Representation of Style, was judged on the assumption that this is an American Pale Ale as it uses US hops and Yeast Strain).

  • Aroma – 3.2
  • Flavour – 3.4
  • Mouthfeel – 3.7
  • Appearance – 4.2
  • Representation of Style – 3.4
  • Overall Impression – 3.4

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