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Old 01-24-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default The great E. coli debate

MOD EDIT: Split from another thread.


One of the worst pathogens you could ever have in your brew is Escherichia Coli.(Ecoli) Found in ALL human feces. This is an anaerobic bacteria, and if found in your brew this is not only dangerous IT CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS ILLNESS AND/OR DEATH. Because we brew in an anaerobic environment(lack of O2) this pathogen will feel right at home in our fermenters.

The take home message from this is, make sure you wash your hands well after using the bathroom.(Even if all you did was touch the doorknob and sink handles to wash your hands.)

...AND NEVER STORE USE/STORE ANY OF YOUR CARBOYS/EQUIPMENT IN AN UNSANITARY ENVIRONMENT.

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Old 01-24-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
THIS IS NO JOKE!!![/SIZE]

One of the worst pathogens you could ever have in your brew is Escherichia Coli.(Ecoli) Found in ALL human feces. This is an anaerobic bacteria, and if found in your brew this is not only dangerous IT CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS ILLNESS AND/OR DEATH. Because we brew in an anaerobic environment(lack of O2) this pathogen will feel right at home in our fermenters.

The take home message from this is, make sure you wash your hands well after using the bathroom.(Even if all you did was touch the doorknob and sink handles to wash your hands.)

...AND NEVER STORE USE/STORE ANY OF YOUR CARBOYS/EQUIPMENT IN AN UNSANITARY ENVIRONMENT.
You CANNOT get E. Coli poisoning from beer. The pH is too low and the alcohol kills off the microbes. NO KNOWN PATHOGENS CAN SURVIVE IN BEER. or any other fermented beverage, for that matter.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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You CANNOT get E. Coli poisoning from beer. The pH is too low and the alcohol kills off the microbes. NO KNOWN PATHOGENS CAN SURVIVE IN BEER. or any other fermented beverage, for that matter.
Except for Cooties, of course.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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You CANNOT get E. Coli poisoning from beer. The pH is too low and the alcohol kills off the microbes. NO KNOWN PATHOGENS CAN SURVIVE IN BEER. or any other fermented beverage, for that matter.

haha, this made me laugh
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:28 AM   #5
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You CANNOT get E. Coli poisoning from beer. The pH is too low and the alcohol kills off the microbes. NO KNOWN PATHOGENS CAN SURVIVE IN BEER. or any other fermented beverage, for that matter.
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Originally Posted by smmcdermott View Post
haha, this made me laugh

smmcdermott, I'll presume you're laughing at the top statement. His entry IS as silly as saying the earth is flat.


I'm glad this topic came up.(again) Someone needed to dispel some of the foolish misconceptions about beer.

The notion that bacteria(e.coli) can't grow in beer is a total fallacy and a complete misconception.

Without getting all 'brainy' on you, I'll try to state this in the simplest terms I know how.

You state: "The pH is too low" in beer to grow e.coli.

WRONG!

FACT:
-e.coli lives in the bowel.
-Highly acidic stomach contents empty into the bowel where the e.coli not only survives, but thrives.


Conclusion: e.coli CAN live in acidic conditions. (A much more acidic environment than beer.) If it couldn't, you'd eventually die after your first good case of diarrhea.



You state: "The alcohol kills off the microbes."

WRONG!

Unless you're talking about percentages of 90% or more, (Enough to overcome the bacterial load presented. Which I'm certain you're not.)

FACT:
-e.coli is in the gut.
-When you drink beer,(or any other alcoholic beverage) alcohol ends up in the bowel and is absorbed by the gut.


Conclusion: Do I have to spell it out, or are you catching on?

How many hundreds(perhaps thousands) of post are there presenting anecdotal evidence demonstrated by pictorial exhibits that PROVE pathogens can grow in beer???

If there was "no risk of infection in beer", as you state, then we are all very well practiced in the art of futility by sanitizing our equipment and putting a lid/airlock on our fermenters.(I'll presume you don't, since your confident pathogens can't grow in beer.)

...and if you don't believe me, read this...
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080627223327AASQGQs

PS: Did you ever wonder how Apple Cider Vinegar(Acetic ACID) was discovered/made???

Why are there no other "Beer Authorities" speaking up about this important topic?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:23 AM   #6
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smmcdermott, I'll presume you're laughing at the top statement. His entry IS as silly as saying the earth is flat.


I'm glad this topic came up.(again) Someone needed to dispel some of the foolish misconceptions about beer.

The notion that bacteria(e.coli) can't grow in beer is a total fallacy and a complete misconception.

Without getting all 'brainy' on you, I'll try to state this in the simplest terms I know how.
You indeed, are a funny one. I'll give you that maybe some E. coli can live in young beer, but fermented beer is pushing it. 4-10% ethanol is not even close to physiological conditions. Even if they did take over, the beer would stink and you wouldn't want to drink it. However, if you wanted to drink it anyway, what you fail to mention is that E. coli is not typically an enteropathogen. That is the rare case (see O157:H7 strain). In fact, there are more than 10 times as many bacterial cells in the body (gut and skin) than there are human cells. These bacteria are, in fact, considered to be our first line of defense against pathogenic species of bacteria. I will not idly stand by while you malign our most gracious and gutwrenching gatekeepers!!

If you'd like to have some E.coli sensitivity training, you might check out this information packed website:
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/stec_gi.html


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Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
...and if you don't believe me, read this...
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080627223327AASQGQs

Why are there no other "Beer Authorities" speaking up about this important topic?
Yahoo answers, really? All I have to say is How is babby formed?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:51 AM   #7
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Apple Cider vinegar is made with acetobacter, not e. coli.

While I'm not able to comment on e. coli itself what I've generally seen is that nothing pathogenic can grow in beer. There are multiple strains of e. coli, not all of which are pathogens. Among other sources, Scientific American confirms that no pathogens grow in beer.

For instance, e. coli O157:H7 has only spread via uncooked meat, consumption of contaminated sprouts, lettuce, salami, unpasteurized milk, swimming in or drinking sewage contaminated water, and fecal-oral transmission.

However, it's also been shown that when e. coli O157:H7 is exposed to wine it gets inactivated within 60 minutes.

Many of the articles on beer are behind subscription walls, but abstracts appear to indicate that e. coli is inactivated after one to two hours of contact. Positive factors for killing e. coli include having melanodins in the beer and more than .3 mg/ml of hops.

If you could cite some sources (aside from the Yahoo! link which requires a login) I'd be interested to read what you've found. What I see is that pathogenic e. coli can't survive in beer or wine

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DonutBrew View Post
You indeed, are a funny one. I'll give you that maybe some E. coli can live in young beer, but fermented beer is pushing it. 4-10% ethanol is not even close to physiological conditions. Even if they did take over, the beer would stink and you wouldn't want to drink it. However, if you wanted to drink it anyway, what you fail to mention is that E. coli is not typically an enteropathogen. That is the rare case (see O157:H7 strain). In fact, there are more than 10 times as many bacterial cells in the body (gut and skin) than there are human cells. These bacteria are, in fact, considered to be our first line of defense against pathogenic species of bacteria. I will not idly stand by while you malign our most gracious and gutwrenching gatekeepers!!

If you'd like to have some E.coli sensitivity training, you might check out this information packed website:
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/stec_gi.html




Yahoo answers, really? All I have to say is How is babby formed?
Your attempt to thrall me with your acumen has failed.

Point #1: When you drink 4-10% alcohol beer on an empty stomach,(which I'm sure you've done) guess what... It enters the bowel at the same percentage. It only becomes a "Physiological level" after it has been absorbed and diluted with the rest of your bodily fluids, thus reducing the percentages to much less. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE GUT, NOT PHYSIOLOGICAL LEVELS!

Point #2: The statement made by me is that bacteria can grow in beer. The potential for a 'bad bug' is always a possibility. Are you going to role the dice and hope that the serotype found in your beer isn't the virulent type that leads to your demise? Do you not watch the news and hear of people dying of lettuce inoculated with e.coli??

To answer your question: I love e.coli, just when it is in my gut not my beer.

You sound brave, so you should stop defending your beer from pathogens. (virulent or not)

Point #3: The Yahoo answers was just to give a real world example. You retort with a yahoo answers page written by CLEARLY poorly educated people, really?

Maybe this will drive that point home better...

Prove it to yourself: Take a small amount of YOUR beer and a small amount of YOUR feces,(or your pet's) and place both in a sterile container. Store at room temperature. In a couple weeks, report back to us with your results...
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:17 AM   #9
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Default Thank you for proving my point!

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Apple Cider vinegar is made with acetobacter.
A bacteria, no?
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
smmcdermott, I'll presume you're laughing at the top statement. His entry IS as silly as saying the earth is flat.


I'm glad this topic came up.(again) Someone needed to dispel some of the foolish misconceptions about beer.

The notion that bacteria(e.coli) can't grow in beer is a total fallacy and a complete misconception.
E. coli are not the only bacteria. Lactobacillus, for example, do grow very well in wort, and are the most alcohol tolerant of the bacteria.

Quote:
Without getting all 'brainy' on you, I'll try to state this in the simplest terms I know how.
Hit me with the brains! I have a PhD.

Quote:
You state: "The pH is too low" in beer to grow e.coli.

WRONG!

FACT:
-e.coli lives in the bowel.
-Highly acidic stomach contents empty into the bowel where the e.coli not only survives, but thrives.

Conclusion: e.coli CAN live in acidic conditions. (A much more acidic environment than beer.) If it couldn't, you'd eventually die after your first good case of diarrhea.[/COLOR]
Not quite. E. coli live in the GI tract. The stomach acids get pretty much neutralized by bile juices. However, E. coli can live at pH 4 ish. While we mash at about pH 5.2, beer itself gets even lower, below 4, IIRC. So, very hard for even E. coli to grow.


Quote:
You state: "The alcohol kills off the microbes."

WRONG!

Unless you're talking about percentages of 90% or more, (Enough to overcome the bacterial load presented. Which I'm certain you're not.)

FACT:
-e.coli is in the gut.
-When you drink beer,(or any other alcoholic beverage) alcohol ends up in the bowel and is absorbed by the gut.
Not quite right again. E. coli, under optimal conditions, can handle ethanol concentrations up to 6% by volume. But the GI tract, by the time the beer you drink gets to the bugs, is not 6% ABV.

Still, beer is not a favorable enviroment. The pH is very low, which will stress the organisms. Add hop oils and other factors, and it is certainly not optimal for E. coli growth. I think the science says that, basically, E. coli do not grow in wort.

Quote:
Conclusion: Do I have to spell it out, or are you catching on?

How many hundreds(perhaps thousands) of post are there presenting anecdotal evidence demonstrated by pictorial exhibits that PROVE pathogens can grow in beer???

If there was "no risk of infection in beer", as you state, then we are all very well practiced in the art of futility by sanitizing our equipment and putting a lid/airlock on our fermenters.(I'll presume you don't, since your confident pathogens can't grow in beer.)
But by pathogens we mean organisms that are pathogenic to humans. Not just "bacteria that can cause an infection in beer". Lactobacilli grow very well in wort. They infect the wort and sour it. But they are not pathogenic to humans. They do not cause disease. Do you see the difference?


Read this:

Quote:
Beer has been recognized for hundreds of years as a safe beverage. It is hard to spoil and has a remarkable microbiological stability. The reason is that beer is an unfavorable medium for many microorganisms due to the presence of ethanol (0.5–10% w/w), hop bitter compounds (approximately 17–55 ppm of iso-α-acids), the high content of carbondioxide (approximately 0.5% w/w), the low pH (3.8–4.7), the extremely reduced content of oxygen (<0.1 ppm) and the presence of only traces of nutritive substances such as glucose, maltose and maltotriose. These latter carbon sources have been substrates for brewing yeast during fermentation. As a result, pathogens such as Salmonellae typhimurium and Staphylococcus aureus do not grow or survive in beer [Bunker, 1955. H.J. Bunker, The survival of pathogenic bacteria in beer. In: Proc. Eur. Brew. Conv. Baden-Baden, Elsevier Publishing Company, Houston (1955), pp. 330–341.Bunker, 1955].

However, in spite of these unfavorable features, a few microorganisms still manage to grow in beer. These, so-called beer spoilage microorganisms, can cause an increase of turbidity and unpleasant sensory changes of beer. Needless to say that these changes can affect negatively not only the quality of final product but also the financial gain of the brewing companies.

A number of microorganisms have been reported to be beer spoilage microorganisms, among which both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as so-called wild yeasts. Gram-positive beer spoilage bacteria include lactic acid bacteria belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. They are recognized as the most hazardous bacteria for breweries since these organisms are responsible for approximately 70% of the microbial beer-spoilage incidents [Back, 1994]. The second group of beer spoilage bacteria is Gram-negative bacteria of the genera Pectinatus and Megasphaera. The roles of these strictly anaerobic bacteria in beer spoilage have increased since the improved technology in modern breweries has resulted in significant reduction of oxygen content in the final products. Wild yeasts do cause less serious spoilage problem than bacteria but are considered a serious nuisance to brewers because of the difficulty to discriminate them from brewing yeasts.

[My bold]
link



Quote:
...and if you don't believe me, read this...
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080627223327AASQGQs
This goes to a Yahoo Business page. Maybe not what you meant?

Quote:
PS: Did you ever wonder how Apple Cider Vinegar(Acetic ACID) was discovered/made???

Why are there no other "Beer Authorities" speaking up about this important topic?
So, do you consider yourself a beer authority?

Beer is safe. Humans have been drinking beer for ages, before we understood yeast and pathogenic bacteria. For a long time beer was actually safer than water, as the process of boiling the wort and fermenting it removed the bad microrganisms.

Please don't scare people unnecessarily. Beer is safe!
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