Is Soju Gluten Free? Let’s Find Out!

Is Soju Gluten Free? Let’s Find Out!

What Is Soju?

Soju is one of Korea’s favorite beverages, often referred to as Korean vodka. If you think an alcoholic drink is only wine or safe gluten free beer, then you’ve probably never tried soju.

This beverage has been around since before the 1800s, and it’s now incredibly popular in Asia.

One of the biggest differences between soju and other liquors is that it contains less alcohol—typically 40% instead of 80%.

The rest of its content consists mostly of rice, water, sugar, yeast, and various herbs. The color comes from red ginseng extract.

If you are interested in knowing more about this, then keep on reading this article.

Is it gluten free?

Soju, the ever-popular Korean drink is gluten free. In fact, the drink is made from rice! Soju tasting notes are of distilled rice wine.

Soju is gluten free and people don’t need to worry that they are in contact with gluten in any way when they are consuming Soju.

Some varieties are sweeter, and some varieties are drier. What makes it soju gluten free is the fact that they never use wheat or soybean gluten when making the drink.

The alcohol percentage used in Soju is rice wine. Rice wine contains little to no gluten.

This can make the bottle a little dodgy to read because of how they use a certain symbol to show gluten free status.

However, this symbol is a wheat-based symbol, and the drink is made from rice. Some people have said that the soju can taste a little wheat.

If you want to find out whether something is gluten free, always check the ingredient list. Ingredients typically include cornstarch, barley malt, sorghum syrup, and rice flour.

What are the ingredients in soju?

Soju is a popular Korean beverage made from fermented rice wine called makgeolli.

The main ingredient is sorghum, sorghum, which gives it a sweet taste; however, other ingredients include water, salt, sugar, and yeast.

There are two types of soju:

  • Japanese style, which has less alcohol rates and is often served chilled;
  • Korean style, which has higher percent alcohol and is usually served hot.

What goes into Soju production?

Soju production starts by harvesting barley from September.

1. The barley needs to be dry and free of mould.

2. Next, the barley is put into a large basket and hung from a pole. It then needs to be spread evenly and the dew is taken off the top.

3. The barley then needs to be dried under the sun before being chopped up into rice-sized grains. The naturally gluten free grain is then put through a large sieve to separate the type of grain solids from the husks.

4. Next, a char of fire is used to toast the gluten containing grains to make them plumper and softer.

5. The rice grains are then placed into a kiln to be dried again. The kiln needs to be kept between 130-140 Celsius (266-284 Fahrenheit) for 6-8 minutes.

6. This step converts the barley into rice wine. The rice wine is then put into a vat and then distillation process.

7. The Soju is then put into buckets and left for maturation. The maturation process can take up to three years before it is fit to be consumed.

Is Liquor Gluten-Free?

Alcohol contains gluten, which means that some alcoholic beverages contain traces of gluten.

However, alcohol itself doesn’t cause any symptoms for celiac disease sufferers, although some regular beer may contain barley malt and other ingredients that were processed at the same location as wheat products.

Some liquor brands are labeled “gluten-free” when they contain barley malt extract. If you want to be 100% sure that your alcohol is free of gluten, read the label.

Another option is to purchase from an off-premise distributor who may know what they’re doing. Or better yet, go wine tasting at your favorite local winery!

Last words

Soju is a clear distilled liquor typically made from rice. It is the best-selling liquor in South Korea, consumed during the country’s hottest months of the year.

Soju gluten free is made with rice wine with no wheat or barley, making it suitable for those with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. 

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