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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Do American Beers Have Sulfites?
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:41 AM   #1
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Default Do American Beers Have Sulfites?

Just yesterday I was in conversation with a guy who likes to educate people and likes to be right. I left quickly.... But before I could he made the statement that "most all American beers" have sulfites while pointing to my Alaskan Winter bottle.

I generally don't believe much of what this fine gentleman says and am inclined not to believe this statement either but I thought I'd ask here.

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Old 01-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert per se... But after I understand how to make wine. I thought sulfur compounds such as sulfite, sulfide are coming from sanitizers such as campden tablet to kill the yeasties (good, bad, wild...) It can also be produced naturally from grape and other fruits used in wine during fermentation.

For American beer (with malt, corn, rice, etc), I doubt there are any sulfite unless you intentionally introduced into the solution to kill the yeast....


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Old 01-09-2009, 02:27 PM   #3
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IIRC packaged food and beverages that contain sulfites in excess of 10ppm or higher have to contain that info on the label...can't recall ever seeing that on a commercial beer label.

FDA Consumer--Sulfites: Safe for Most, Dangerous for Some
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewt00l View Post
Written by a Papazian


Maybe some do to stop fermentation, but I doubt it's common, easier just to chill the yeast and put them to sleep. It's found in the wine world though.

Even if they're treating the brewing water with potassium/sodium metabisulfite because of chlorine/chloramines the reaction results in chloride, sulfate and/or ammonium ions... Though most probably filter anyways...

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Old 01-10-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SPLASTiK View Post
Written by a Papazian
Ha! I didn't even notice that!
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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IIRC most major breweries do not add chemical preservatives to their beer
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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It's a preservative, and most commercial brewers pasteurize I think. He's talking out his @ss.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l View Post
IIRC packaged food and beverages that contain sulfites in excess of 10ppm or higher have to contain that info on the label...can't recall ever seeing that on a commercial beer label.

FDA Consumer--Sulfites: Safe for Most, Dangerous for Some
However alcohol doesn't have to follow FDA labeling rules, otherwise commercial beers would have to carry calorie, carbohydrate and other nutritional info. Alcohol has to be labeled in accordance with BATF guidelines not FDA, or at least that is the way I understand it.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by camiller View Post
However alcohol doesn't have to follow FDA labeling rules, otherwise commercial beers would have to carry calorie, carbohydrate and other nutritional info. Alcohol has to be labeled in accordance with BATF guidelines not FDA, or at least that is the way I understand it.
I've read in the past that sulfites is one exception to that (at least in the context of wine). I'd be curious to know if that's the case.

Edit: digging around the TTB site, I found:

The TTB has sulfite waivers on their site and
http://www.ttb.gov/ssd/sulfite_waiver.shtml

Reference to OMB No. 1513-0084:
http://www.ttb.gov/forms/notices/03-14709.htm
OMB Number: 1513-0084.
Abstract: In accordance with our consumer protection
responsibilities, as mandated by law, TTB requires label disclosure
statements on all alcoholic beverage products released from U.S.
bottling premises or customs custody that contain 10 parts per million
or more of sulfites. Sulfiting agents have been shown to produce
allergic-type responses in humans, particularly asthmatics, and the
presence of these ingredients in alcohol beverages may have serious
health implications for those who are intolerant of sulfites.
Disclosure of sulfites on labels of alcohol beverages will minimize
their exposure to these ingredients.



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