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Old 11-14-2007, 05:39 PM   #1
landhoney
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Default Source for information on why beer can't be harmful

I know that nothing can grow in homebrew beer that can cause serious health concerns, but my dad( after seeing a picture of the pellicle on my flanders) wants to know why. I told it has to do with pH/abv/etc. but I was looking for an online credible source stating the " how and why " homebrew is not ever toxic. I did some searching but google is not turning up anything credible/explaining, I'm sure I'm just searching with the wrong words, any help?

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Old 11-14-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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This is just an abstract, but it should make the point:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14623377&d opt=AbstractPlus

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Hop compounds, mainly iso-alpha-acids in beer, have antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. They act as ionophores which dissipate the pH gradient across the cytoplasmic membrane and reduce the proton motive force (pmf). Consequently, the pmf-dependent nutrient uptake is hampered, resulting in cell death.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
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Remember, though, the AA% on lots of hops for those sour beers that Landhoney loves is pretty close to 0%. I'm pretty sure there's another element to the hops that adds preservative qualities.

No technical information to provide, though, sorry!

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Old 11-14-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Remember, though, the AA% on lots of hops for those sour beers that Landhoney loves is pretty close to 0%. I'm pretty sure there's another element to the hops that adds preservative qualities.

No technical information to provide, though, sorry!
I thought for sure you'd know bird! Yeah, I don't think the hops are it - after reading that article it seems they were talking about beer spoiling(flavor,etc.) organisms - not organisms that could cause health concerns. The search continues, thanks for the info though mrk.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #5
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http://www.sls.hw.ac.uk/staffDetails.php?staff_id=57
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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It certainly has been discussed enough that "no known human pathogens can exist in beer," but how they came to that conclusion (other than LOTS of trial and error.... ), I don't know...

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Old 11-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Remember, though, the AA% on lots of hops for those sour beers that Landhoney loves is pretty close to 0%. I'm pretty sure there's another element to the hops that adds preservative qualities.

No technical information to provide, though, sorry!
I was just thinking about that. Very good point. Let me see what else I can find....

Without a specific reference, I'll say that wort, especially low-hopped wort, does make a perfect medium for any microorganism to grow, not just Lactobacillus spp. and Pedicoccus spp and brewer's yeasts. That is, should you happen to be cooking some bugers and some ground meat falls into your fermenter before you pitch, you better believe that fermenter would be flooding with E. coli if you let it sit.

When you brew an all-bacto sour beer under sanitary conditions, the pitching rate of your "good" bacteria (and I use that term "good" lightly ) significantly outweighs potential contamination from other nasties. If you assume that any potential bacteria in the wort, good or bad, have a similar doubling rate, then over a given period of time you will have many, many orders of magnitude more Lactobacillus or Pedicoccus cells than whatever the harmful microorganisms are. As the fixed number of nutrients are used up at a greater rate by the "good" bacteria, their numbers increase more rapidly, inhibiting the growth of the others, as does the alcohol content in the beer, also inhibiting pathogenic growth.

I wouldn't say homebrew is "not ever" toxic, but under sanitary conditions and proper pitching rates it shouldn't be.

But I'll keep looking for an article....unless four years of biology/microbiology/biochemistry lectures, labs, and research is a credible enough source for your father .
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Last edited by mrkristofo; 11-14-2007 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:09 PM   #8
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Because God makes things that are good for you taste good.

Honey can't spoil-natural resistance.

Just tell him it's because of 'FM'---F***ing Magic!

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Old 11-14-2007, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
I read that staff detail page orfy, I didn't see anything to factually prove harmful organisms can't grow in beer.

Also, I'm not just talking about sour beers, the mantra I've heard is that ANY homebrew can't make you sick because Staff/Salmonilla/e.coli/etc. etc. can't grown in beer. Why is that?

mrk, I'd be happy to trust. So what you're saying is that once alcohol is produced it will kill the e.coli(or whatever)? That makes sense and seems reasonable. So, if your beer has over 1% ABV it has to be safe? Or something along those lines?
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:20 PM   #10
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It's somewhat paradoxical that something one could see would trigger your father's reaction. The stuff we're ultimately talking about is invisible to the eye.

People love sausage but might not if they saw the process.

Still it's a good question.

Ranks right up there with:
* Why drying/salting/ smoking meat works.
* Cooling fish with lemon juice.
* and so on.

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