From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #160 (May 26, 1989)
Date: 1989-05-26 14:32:11 GMT

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

Before I get back to the debate, I'd like to point out that I carefully
phrased my previous reply to indicate that I was expressing my opinion,
and trying to be polite about it. The very last thing I want to do in
this forum is flame. If my comments appear to be flames, I've obviously
failed at this, but it is still my intention not to flame, but discuss.
That's why I use phrases such as "I believe", and when you use them, I
also take it as opinion. From me, you need not defend yourself. It
is your ideas that I'd like to talk about.

"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.

Hmmm, I suffered no ill effects when indulging myself at Stuttgart's
Bad Canstatt Volksfest a few years ago, and I had my fill (perhaps
more ;-). Oh, how the Dinkelacker and Schwabenbrau did flow! Can't
say that I drank the water, though. Perhaps I just don't have anything
to be affected.

"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.

Perhaps there is something in beer itself that you are sensitive to, but
which is masked by the looser control we have over the process. Perhaps
there is a protein that the big boys leave free, because their beer is
so extensively filtered and fined, that is bound up by the tanins that
we just can't remove? You would be right that it is process related,
but it would be hard to pin down what does or does not affect it in the
process. It's definitely hard to say. My experiences tell me that
American premium lagers are fine beers, I just don't care much for the

--Darryl Richman

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