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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Swollen airway after crushing grain
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default Swollen airway after crushing grain

Anyone experience this? Whenever I crush grain at my LHBS with their electric mill I notice my airway and throat are swollen and my breathing is slightly restricted. Maybe an allergy to pulverized barley dust. It goes away after an hour or so, certainly not enough to make me stop AG brewing or mailorder only.

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Old 01-23-2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by maxam View Post
Anyone experience this? Whenever I crush grain at my LHBS with their electric mill I notice my airway and throat are swollen and my breathing is slightly restricted. Maybe an allergy to pulverized barley dust. It goes away after an hour or so, certainly not enough to make me stop AG brewing or mailorder only.
That doesn't sound good man.. Any way you can wait outside the room while they crush for you?...
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:11 AM   #3
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Fortunately not had that happen, although I sometimes will sneeze a lot after the crush. Crushing at home lets you malt condition which eliminates most of the dust. Ask your LHBS to crush the grains for you, so you don't drop dead on the floor, which can be messy!

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Old 01-23-2011, 03:18 AM   #4
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I was just at my LHBS today and the dude behind the counter told me that the same thing happens to him...he has to have another employee mill the grains for him when someone asks...he just doesn't do it anymore.

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Old 01-23-2011, 03:41 AM   #5
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It's obviously an allergic reaction and one that should be taken very seriously. You could get a mask to wear when you are dealing with crushed grains... like a painters mask. If you had a noticeable airway constriction in the presence of the grain milling dust, you should be very careful. That is a rather 'severe' reaction to happen in such a short time. Too much of the allergen could make the reaction increase in intensity and you could find yourself choking. If you are intent on taking that risk, I would recommend carrying an epinephrine pen like the ones for bee sting reactions with you.

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:01 AM   #6
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It sounds like you're experiencing an allergic reaction. Better get that checked out and take any necessary precautions; there may be another grain that you are even more allergic to that you haven't encountered... yet.

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:25 AM   #7
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Yup, I've been 'choked-up' by barley dust. Be careful. I'd wear a mask if in doubt...

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:29 AM   #8
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It is an allergic-type reaction, but not the type where an epi pen would be needed. Those are anaphylactic reactions, this is just a sensitivity to the dust which is irratating your airways. I'm not saying that it is something that you dont have to worry about, but just wear a mask and you should be good to go.

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:51 AM   #9
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"Allergic-type reaction????" Uh, no...THIS IS AN ALLERGIC REACTION if the OP truly is having tracheal swelling and mild dyspnea. Don't screw around with this, wear a mask at the very least. You should have your LHBS grind your grain for you or wear a mask and take a Benadryl before you grind your grain. Allergic reactions can and do progress with repeated exposure. You may not need an Epi Pen now, but you may in the future. Stop repeatedly needlessly exposing yourself to known allergens and just have someone else grind your grains.

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Old 01-23-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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Not sure if it's an allergic reaction, but my breathing is affected a bit when I crush my grains if I breath the dust in. I always attributed it to having that crap in my lungs, but who knows. I just pull my shirt up over my nose while crushing and all is well.

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