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Old 06-30-2009, 12:47 AM   #1
cvstrat
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Default Odd allergy question

I read all the allergy threads here, but I still don't know what's up w/a friend of mine. Here's the story.

I have a friend who has always been fond of drinking. We have drank just about every kind of alcohol under the sun and plenty of it. However since I have been homebrewing I have managed to get him into a wider variety of beers. He has never been a fan of any wheat beers, but I finally got him turned on to a few hefes, and we decided to do some sampling to figure out which style I should brew.

Well the last 3 times he has come into town we have sampled my homebrew selection and afterward went to the ale house down the road and drank a variety of hefes. The first time he complained of sore throat and cold-like symptoms the next morning. The second time he complained about a swollen throat, and the other morning he said he woke up having slight trouble breathing noting a significant restriction in his airway.

His immediate comment was that he fears he is allergic to wheat beers. My immediate thought was that he might be allergic to yeast. He made the comment that he has had nights where he polished off 6er of Michelob wheat beers and had no problem. I looked up and sure enough most of their beers are filtered, but their dunkel, which he said he drank a 6 pack of before with no issues, is unfiltered.

The other night we had a HB berryweiss, glass of apfelwein, 2 or 3 SNPA clones, a tall Aventinus (wheat dopplebock and probably the best beer I have ever tasted), a pilsner, milk stout, and vanilla porter. (yes we were wasted). However in all of that we only had two wheat beers.

The other nights were equally as libational but all included something along the lines of a Weihenstephaner, Paulaner, or some other wheat beer, and a few HBs.

I still think it might be a yeast problem because drinking commercial beers alone he has no reaction, but the higher yeast content of HBs combined with the heavy yeast in the wheat beers seems to set him off. Yet I'm still baffled by the 6 pack of Michelob Dunkel that didn't cause any problems. Maybe it's unfiltered but still has a nominal amt of yeast compared to HBs and big glasses of bavarian hefes?

Any ideas?

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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I could be completely wrong here, but I feel like the bigger name commercial beers that say "Unfiltered" (Such as Sam Adams) still seem filtered, but not to the point of their other beers. I had a Magic Hat, Sam Adams, and Flying Dog variety packs last week and noticed quite a difference in each breweries wheat beers.

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:27 AM   #3
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Doesn't really sound like a food allergy, since those would generally be rapid onset.

Could it be that he is allergic to something in your town? Local pollen, local weeds, local dust, etc.

I would suggest sending him home with some homebrews and let him try out one or two at a time in a controlled manner instead of an all night drinking extravaganza.

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:41 AM   #4
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I had an allergy profile done a few years ago as my throat is often red and appears inflamed. I never notice it, no swelling or coughing or stuff like that, but the profile returned a number of mild allergies:

Brewer's yeast
cheese
certain fruits (I can't eat fresh peaches, apple skins, cherries without getting swelling and itching on the lips... not serious but definitely makes me scared when it happens)
Tree and grass pollens
Yada yada

My point here is that allergies are so varied and morph over time that a reaction to a certain substance at some place at some point may not be the same later depending on the individual.

I am not quitting drinking beer or eating cheese.

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:51 AM   #5
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+ 1 roger with control the variables
You need to find the source , narrow it down find out whats causing it. could be anything?

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Old 06-30-2009, 02:10 AM   #6
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I'll bet its the yeast. My girlfriend's dad, and uncles are all allergic to yeast. They can handle filtered beer, but get the exact symptoms after drinking hefeweizens. He had trouble with my beer until I started kegging.

Hefeweizens and Dunkelweizens have MUCH more yeast than even an unfiltered commercial beer. Tell him to stay away from them and he should be fine.

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Old 06-30-2009, 02:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Hefeweizens and Dunkelweizens have MUCH more yeast than even an unfiltered commercial beer. Tell him to stay away from them and he should be fine.
That means more beer for you.

You should recommend that he have an allergy profile done. It doesn't sound serious right now, but it could get worse.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:49 AM   #8
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+1 on the profile. If he woke up feeling like he had a restricted air flow, he definitely needs to see an MD. If nothing else, he can get an eppie pen. Because if ya'll go out and get all suds up and he wakes up and can't breath, it ain't gonna end good. I had a first time reaction to shellfish and spent a couple of days in ICU. They said if I hadn't been so close to a hospital, I probably wouldn't have made it! Make him get checked out. Luck - Dwain

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