From the HBD Archive
Subject: HB DIG #'s 155 and 158 Reinheitsgebeer, etc.
Date: 1989-05-25 17:39:20 GMT

Wouldn't you know my Mac would break down just as I needed it to
defend myself...

Now look, HB readers, let's once more check my wording again:

>I believe more important than the ingredients are the contents of
>the brewing water and the brewing process. I hold that one reason
>why American beers are so awful is that strict attention is not
>paid to the proper temperature processes during the brewing.
>This leads to nasties developed in the fermentation that come back
>to haunt you after drinking. I also believe that the poor brews
>I had in Germany were a result of sorry water or inexpensive
>brewing practices by certain Brauereis.

Al writes:

>majors). As a matter of fact, the majors use all kinds of
>computer control to make sure their beer comes out very consistent.
>Sloppy brewing practices generally will cause bacterial infections

Darryl Richman writes:

>I believe that you are mistaken on this point. If there is one thing
>that the major American brands have, it is process quality control.
>You can debate all you like about whether you like the product they
>make, but they are world renowned for their consistent ability to make

Now look once more at my statements. I didn't say anything about
consistency, quality control, or bacteria. I said they don't pay
attention to *proper* temperature process. Please refer to Miller's
discussion in The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing on the temperature
process in German brewing vs. the temperature process in US brewing.
He provides a good explanation for the appearance of various chemicals
during different stages of the brewing process as a function of
temperature. The presence of these chemicals is what I attribute
hangovers to, in part.

It is possible to buy really cheap beer in Germany which is so bad,
it makes some of our lagers taste like nectar of the gods. I attributed
this poor quality to shortcuts in the brewing practice, similar to those
mentioned by Miller in his book. Apparently, those German beers were
made in the Reinheitsgebot tradition of ingredients.

Darryl continues:

>Save for man made contaminants in the brewing water, it seems very
>unlikely that the water brings on hangovers. I think you were much
>closer to the mark in discussing fermenting practices; many have
>attributed hangovers to the content of higher alcohols and fusel oils,
>which often result from runaway fermenting temperatures.

Maybe, and maybe not. The citizens of Stuttgart regarded their beer
with greater favoritism than the more southern Bavarian brews
(naturally), and they firmly believed that their beer was made with
the finest ingredients and with the greatest care. None of this
explains why I got such terrible hangovers from drinking relatively
little of their local brews. However, even the residents of
Stuttgart don't drink their water. I can see why--it tasted like
&*#$. I proposed the water quality as a possible reason for the
beer sickness. Sorry. I didn't know speculation was so dangerous.

holos then writes:

>American breweries do, in general, ferment at higher temperatures than
>the Germans--54 degrees instead of 48, say. They also use different
>yeasts and far different ingredients. This adds up to radically different
>beer. But to claim that A-B doesn't pay attention to *any* aspect of
>brewing is laughable.

..and a lot of other comments about Budweiser.

I didn't say anything about Budweiser. If I made you laugh, OK. Look,
I am a relative novice to brewing. There are a lot of things I don't
know. But this I know. I brew excellent home beers. I drink a lot of
them. I have never had even the slightest hint of a hangover from them.
Some commercial beers make me feel awful the next day after relatively
few consumed. My position on this is that it's either the water or
the process. What else could it be?

Sure, the US breweries can make consistent grog. I don't disagree with
that. Who cares about consistency when you are brewing swill? I am
going to stick to my guns on the question of bad beer in the US. I
challenge anyone on this net or anywhere else to come up with a better
explanation for the ill-health effects of US beer, which is outside
of the hypothesis of poor water and/or temperature process which I have
proposed. I've also thought of additives, preservatives, vitamin B
in homebrew, etc., but I can find holes in all those hypotheses.

Hey! This has been fun! Good work, readers. But please, don't wait
until my Mac breaks next time you want to flame.

Now I have a question...

I brewed up a batch of home bitters and got it into the carboy just
before ripping up our kitchen for a remodeling. It's been in the
carboy for about 6 weeks now, at room temp. Should I take it to
a friend's house for bottling, or go ahead and wait another month
to bottle it after the kitchen is finished? What are the hazards?


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