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Joewillyflop

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My brother and his wife are deeply involved with beer making. I visited them this past weekend and sampled some exceptional home brews. I would like some imput on an idea my brother and I came up with for a very special brew. So here is the question......

Would it be illegal to use the ashes of someone (cremation) to brew beer? I know this sounds sort of morbid but we believe it would perpetuate the soul of the deceased into his/her family and friends. We do believe that by making a beer with the ashes, that person becomes a part of the drinkers and is forever with us.

We would, of course, inform any friends/family of what we did before any drinking would occur. My family is behind us but maybe not all of our friends. So we would give them the choice.

Tell me what you think. We are not crackpots and we truly believe that this is a good idea.

Thanks
 

Scott

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I'm not sure of the exact answer to your question. But you could start by checking with someone who is familiar with state laws and federal laws. It might fall under "estate and will planning" as a section of law...but that's just a guess.

Welcome to the forum. Interesting first post you entered with....
 

BarleyWater

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Of all the random weird threads that I could have stumbled upon...

Zobiebrau anyone?
 

Yankeehillbrewer

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Well there, Joe, Whatever blows your hair back...

Since you wouldn't be selling said beer to the general public, I don't think you have a problem, but I can't say that it would be a good idea.

This is an assumption, but I would imagine said person passed recently? I would let this idea sit for a few months or longer then re-visit it when you're not quite so emotional. If I'm waaaay off base here I apologize.

Maybe honor that person with a slick name for the beer?
 

DanVader

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That is a little different, and not really something I would want to do, (or drink) but it sounds like a cool way to honor someone you care about. +1 on a warning, I'd be fairly annoyed at finding out after the fact. Might want some good labeling or controlled storage, it'd be a pisser to accidentely drink the last "grampa"
 

jmiracle

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As a practical matter...have you ever seen cremains (the ashes of a cremated person)? Not to be gross or anything but...there tend to be various-sized chunks of bone in there, and the ashes themselves are gritty, black, and heavy-not a light powder by any means. I can't imagine a way that you could even add it to be beer where it wouldn't just precipitate back out, unless maybe you're talking about adding a pinch to the batch as kind of a symbolic gesture? Because that would probably be fine.

EDIT: As far as I know (law student at the end of first year) there's no trouble you can get into for doing stuff with cremains unless obviously you steal them or whatever.
 

cactusgarrett

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If someone is willing to do this, i have a hard time believing they're going to care whether it's legal or not.
 

Joos

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I make a cream stout called Larry Allen stout in memory of one of my fallen friends.Theres no chunks of him in there,but everyone toasts with one on the anniversary of his death.Not trying to be insencitive,But you don't need a part of the dead person to honor them.That is what cannibals in the amazon do.
 

chris1979

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cant be any legal issues but why just why. grandpa sure made a good beer.
 

conpewter

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I think you are fine legally. If it is something that you would like to do and your family is behind you I suppose go for it. Otherwise brew something strong that you can dedicate to your family member and open up one a year on their birthday or something to celebrate their life.
 

davesrose

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OK...my 2 cents......I can't imagine ashes as an ingredient to beer. My family still has my grandpa's ashes....and I'm thinking I'll push for getting his and my grandma's ashes spread when she has past. I just can't imagine any beer that would even taste alright with my grandpa's ashes in it. It's pretty aweful tasting carbon fibers. IMO, it's better to think of a spot that is the best for your relative. My grandpa was a pathologist at a hospital in CT. His department still remembers him and recently published a cookbook that's dedicated to him. I think it's a better memory to him to scatter his ashes at a plackard in an area that he contributed to/ then just drinking his remains. But that's my ideals/morals. In the very least, I can't see how there would be any legality against drinking your family member's remains....it's just a personal moral issue.
 

SkewedBrewing

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Like you said in your post:

We are not crackpots and we truly believe that this is a good idea.
If you think its a good idea then why ask people on a forum? As a lot of people said, there are most likely no legal issues with this and it comes down to an individuals beliefs and morals.

What one person may see as cannibalism, or something like that, another may not. Also, most of the responses stating that there are other ways to honor the deceased are, IMHO, a good way to do so.

When it comes down to it, honoring someone is about remembering them and keeping their memory alive.
 

TheSmithsEra

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Well there, Joe, Whatever blows your hair back...

This is an assumption, but I would imagine said person passed recently? I would let this idea sit for a few months or longer then re-visit it when you're not quite so emotional. If I'm waaaay off base here I apologize.

Maybe honor that person with a slick name for the beer?
+5 ?

I would also think that although it may seem like honoring the person by drinking the beer, wouldn't it be dishonoring that its getting pi$$ed out later?
 

Fuzzymittenbrewing

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As a practical matter...have you ever seen cremains (the ashes of a cremated person)? Not to be gross or anything but...there tend to be various-sized chunks of bone in there, and the ashes themselves are gritty, black, and heavy-not a light powder by any means. I can't imagine a way that you could even add it to be beer where it wouldn't just precipitate back out, unless maybe you're talking about adding a pinch to the batch as kind of a symbolic gesture? Because that would probably be fine.

EDIT: As far as I know (law student at the end of first year) there's no trouble you can get into for doing stuff with cremains unless obviously you steal them or whatever.
This. Any of this ash you add in is just going to settle to the bottom with the rest of the trub. Why wouldn't you just make a big beer like a quad or barley wine to open on the anniversary a year later. (Sans ashes)
 

Braufessor

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Well, technically, EVERY beer we drink has the "recycled" remains of dead humans and all kinds of dead things in it. The water that is here today, is the same water that has been here for eons.... so it has made its way through many a bladder in that time. Likewise for the carbon that makes up living things.... it is not "new" carbon. It is carbon that has been in other living things.

Can you brew with it? Sure. Put it in the mash, or the boil, or "dry hop" with it. Some of it will settle out, but some of the molecules in it will make their way into the beer and remain. Personally, I think it will probably taste terrible - if you want to see what it might taste like - make a fire, burn some wood, collect ashes and add to a beer - that is what it will taste like.

Another thought as a way to do something similar...... Plant some hops .... maybe even barley, or other beer ingredients. Fertilize the plants with the ashes. As many molecules will make there way into the hops and on into your beer as will make their way into the beer by just dumping it in. That way your beer will taste good, and your annual hops harvest from your plant can continue to pass on the "soul" of your loved one. Just think of the hops as a middle man to make the "soul" taste better.

If you are just interested in "consuming" the ash, you can just put it in a beer and drink it down.... My biggest objection to it, is it seems like it would just taste terrible and ruin some potentially good beer. I like the hops fertilizer idea myself. Just another take on it.
 

Zamial

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+5 ?

I would also think that although it may seem like honoring the person by drinking the beer, wouldn't it be dishonoring that its getting pi$$ed out later?
The necromancer of the year award goes to...
 

TheSmithsEra

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Lol the 3rd reply is from 2009 , still a very cool thread. I wonder how the beer came out
 
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