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Old 02-20-2013, 11:26 PM   #1
BobbiLynn
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Default How my brews landed me in the ER

I know it seems like I've been having a lot of problems with my brews lately, but I have been trying new things, changing my techniques plus brewing a lot lately. When I used to just brew the same old extract kits over and over, I never had any problems, but it got boring.

So I switched to all grain about a month and a half ago, been brewing like crazy. Also have been very eager to give them a try to see how they compare to extract kits with some steeped grains. So not fermenting long enough, bottling too soon. And seems like they are taking forever to clear up so I've started racking to secondaries to speed things along. This has given me access the very young beer(racking in just 5-7 days in some cases). And of course I must "taste" it. Not sure at what point tasting it becomes drinking it. Since I've been home alone most of the time, wasn't really worried about the, um, flatulence. Figured that was the worst it could do to me.

But then I got this sore throat about a week ago, felt swollen and even a little difficult to breath at one point. Completely lost my voice. I know I should have gone straight to the doctor, or maybe even to the ER, but just took benadryl and ibuprofen instead. It seemed like the sore throat was related to the beer, so laid off the beer for a couple days, sore throat seemed to be getting better. Then got back to trying out my latest brews, and "tasting" the half-fermented ones, no problems for a couple days. Then after a day of heavy "tasting", sore throat was back with a vengeance and my whole mouth and tongue even felt sore and a little swollen. Looked in the mirror last night and noticed a bunch of little red bumps in my mouth. So I figured this morning, I'd go straight to the doctor, even if I had to go to the walk-in clinic and wait.

But I didn't make it to morning and ended up in the ER. Got to the point where I felt like I could barely breath. I told them I thought I might be allergic to beer. Which was my worst fear. They swabbed my mouth and back in my throat area. Turns out I had oral candidiasis and they suspected also esophageal candidiasis. More commonly known as thrush. Since I am otherwise perfectly healthy, besides being under a great deal of stress lately, they think it was directly related to the drinking the yeasty beer. So they sent me home with some pills to take for 14 days and told no beer, no wine, no bread until after treatment is complete. They said the pills should clear it right up but keep taking them for the whole 14 days. Oh, and no more yeasty beer, ever.

So, no more tasting for me until the beer is completely finished. Also going to at least double the times in the fermenters and bottles. And looks like it'll be a while before I'll be doing any beer drinking. This really sucks, but won't stop me from brewing.

I don't know how much yeasty beer it is okay to drink, but I do know that "quite a bit" can be way too much. From now on for me, I'm going to completely stay away from tasting unfinished beer. I'll get to taste it when it's finished, patience. According to the ER doctor, drinking too much yeasty beer can cause thrush and he thinks that's exactly how I got it. Also said it can be dangerous when it gets in your esophagus. So let my experience be a warning.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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Dang Bobbi. Who would have thought it. I was wondering where you were

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:32 PM   #3
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Whoa, I always hear patience is key, but I had no idea!

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:36 PM   #4
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I just looked on this site and saw where people are saying this is impossible since it's a whole different strain, so wondering now if I should have posted this. But I don't see how it could be unrelated to the brews. Of course the doctor was not familiar with homebrewing, but he thought it was the brew too.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 PM   #5
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Just glad you are feeling better.

Now that I got that out of the way STAY OUT OF THE FERMENTERS YOUNG LADY.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #6
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I've had thrush 3 times. All of them before I began homebrewing. I have thought about this possibility. Try cold crashing your beer in secondary to drop the yeast out faster.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
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You...Can't...Get....Candida.....from...beer...yea st
THEY ARE NOT IN THE SAME FAMILY. It doesn't matter if the beer is unfermented or fully fermented.

I put a lot of information on the forum to "debunk" or help clear up this misconception, it's a totally different strain.

Here, and here and here.

Here's a summary from one of the links I've posted-

Quote:
The yeast that is used for baking and beer making (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) has nothing to do with the yeast that causes yeast infections (Candida albicans). The two have no more in common than a house cat would have with a tiger - they`re both cats, but their ability to do harm is very different.
Because ignorance can be a dangerous thing....
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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my guess is that it wasn't caused by the beer but was exacerbated by either the alcohol or the sugar (esp if the beers weren't finished) which could help the encourage growth of the Candida

were you on antibiotics at all recently? that can throw the balance of organisms in your body off as well

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #9
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I'm a pharmD candidate, and thrush is definitely not caused by the yeast /fungus we use for brewing. Many people are carriers of the yeast that is causative of oral candidiasis, and it's possible that drinking premature beer could have triggered an infection. You can eat yeasty bread and what not but don't drink any form of alcohol while on the med, I'm assuming metronidazole, as you will regret it I guarantee. I wouldn't worry about drinking beer in the future being a problem, I would likely suffer from symptoms much worse than thrush if I had to give up beer.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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The closest relationship is that the maltose in beer in some cases can feed a PRE-EXISTING candida infection. They candida bacteria can eat maltose like beer yeast can. But the yeast in beer has nothing to do with giving you candida.

Beer can also aggravate nail fungus, jock itch, and skin rashes.

Gstrong and Terrapin beat me to it.

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