From the HBD Archive
Subject: Nitrosamines
Date: 1989-07-12 19:58:02 GMT

Bob Swanson inquired:

>One of the questions in my mind is whether
>these same "shortcut" techniques are used
>by the makers of real ale in Britain. It is assumed
>that such techniques are common in the tank farms of
>mass consumption brews, including lager.

>For this forum, the question would be:
>Do we home brewers have any control over the
>generation of nitrosamines in our brews? I am

Presumably, if the nitrosamines are generated during the roasting process,
they will not be present in lagers.

I too, recall discussion of these chemicals in dark beers some time back.
In fact, one amusing incident occurred in a bar about 5 years ago. I
stepped up to the bar and ordered a Black Hook Porter. An extremely
inebriated fellow stood holding onto the bar with one hand and his
glass of light ale in the other. He looked at my Black Hook and blubbered:
"Ah n-n-n-ever t-t-t-touch t-t-he st-st-uff!" "What?" I asked.
"N-N-N-N-itrosamines!" he said. I figured he was some kind of biochem
grad student crackpot and didn't pay any further attention to it until
just now. I think nitrosamines are worth being concerned over, but they
won't keep me from drinking home brew.

I DO think one should be concerned about the brands and types of
extracts. I have read that some of the hopped extracts use hop extract
obtained through the use of nasty chemicals like benzene. It might be
advisable to stay away from hopped extracts.

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