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-   -   Additives, and Cancer. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/additives-cancer-174742/)

FungusBrew 04-24-2010 03:32 AM

Additives, and Cancer.

I've just finished doing 6 months of ABVD chemotherapy treatment to slay my Hodgekin's Lymphoma. Obviously now, I look at what's in my vittles and swig a bit differently. A few chemicals I brewed with in the past are making me scratch my head. Not necessarily in a bad way, more or less a questioning one. I'd like to try and "return to the land" in some sense. Eliminate the synthetic from my diet in a nonjudgmental, hippy way :p

Like Campden tablets..I know they're toxic in concentrated samples, but does the potassium metabisulfate break down enough not to affect us? Or is the composition broken down with aging? Or the Potassium Sorbate that follows?

Or even a cleaning agent like Star-san. Has phosphoric acid been shown to be nasty stuff at all?

Guess I'm trying to ask, could you list what "questionable" additives that we use in our beer, and why it seems a little sketchy to you? What I mean by questionable is basically, unnatural.

Oh and FWIW, I'm a firm believer that homebrew contributed to my overall getting better. We're talking homeobrewpathic, and metabrewphysical statures of life. It provided me with something to do around the house when I was down, and was a beautiful escape and tonic when needed most.

And I'm well aware that homebrew is almost completely additive free, it just seems that a few chemicals fall through the cracks in certain situations.


lyacovett 04-24-2010 03:42 AM

Fermcap ... I use it, but I question it at times.
Polyclar as well ... I mean its plastic. I know it is supposed to settle out, but who knows if it really does 100% settle out.

japhroaig 04-24-2010 04:15 AM

Frankly, the alcohol is likely the worst of the bunch. If you want to enjoy homebrew though, and have the least contact with things that may-or-may-not-be-bad, then simply do the following:

* Use water you trust (I have an 80ft well that runs through a softener, it's awesome)
* Brew through stainless steel
* Ferment in glass
* If you don't eat sushi, don't use fining agents. I eat lots of sushi and use lots of fining agents, but both may contain mercury.
* Use heat to kill bad bacteria, and if you can't trust that, don't brew it.
* Brew low alcohol beverages, and enjoy them in moderation (that's probably the most important!!)

I sincerely hope I never have to go through chemo, and I admire anyone that does. Stay happy and have a homebrew :D

japhroaig 04-24-2010 04:18 AM

Oh, and I totally forgot--if you are completely paranoid, kiln your own malt! :D

I saw some pages talking about it many years ago, but don't have any recent. At the very least it could be fun :)

mitch171 04-24-2010 04:40 AM

As for Potassium Metabisulfate, that should fully dissipate into the air as it breaks down. The effect before this has happened I am not sure, but I do know it dissipates rather fully.

FungusBrew 04-25-2010 03:34 AM

You know, for the record, my oncologist gave me the thumbs up for a beer a day. I couldn't handle it directly after chemo, but the next week I savored that brewskie an evening (or two!).

He did mention that there's an associated risk with females and breast cancer though (and obviously liver). I'm not too keen on the statistics, but I know it's awfully low.

Cinci-Brewing 04-25-2010 04:52 AM

I use One Step no rinse, i always rinse with everything regardless.

japhroaig 04-25-2010 05:38 AM

Well, resveratrol (found in red wine) may or may not be good for us--since the studies are still contradictory--so beer or wine made with red grapes and grape skins could potentially be beneficial. I've never actually made a beer with a grape addition, anyone willing to try it out? Even if it doesn't actually have a net positive health gain, it might taste good :)

pnj 04-25-2010 05:09 PM

I suggest changing your diet, if you haven't already. Raw food seems to be tops for optimum health.

FungusBrew 04-26-2010 03:08 AM


Originally Posted by pnj (Post 2025809)
I suggest changing your diet, if you haven't already. Raw food seems to be tops for optimum health.

I'm sure you mean "organic" raw food right? Better yet, maybe I should just forage it myself?

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