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Diabetic friendly beer trials and AE disscusion.

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Zamial

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Hello,
I have seen this topic come up from time to time with no real evidence to prove things one way or another, I hope this thread will help someone else out as well as me and mine. I do understand that beer/sugar + substitutes do not effect ALL diabetics the same, as such I am not responsible for YOUR health.

HISTORY:
Last year my wife was diagnosed with diabetes. She is able to control it for now with diet and exercise. Part of this diet, she decided after multiple blood tests, that beer was causing her to have large sugar spikes. She loves craft beer and has had VERY few since then. She now drinks Jones Zilch Pomegranate and vodka on the rocks.

I researched and read up on some older tests done with diabetics and alternate sugars as well as held very in-depth technical questions with a nutritionist about different sugars, sugar substitutes and how these effect both diabetics and non-diabetics alike normally. (I was a PITA I am sure.)

Time elapses and I find myself reading on how to convert grains like corn without the use of barley using an enzyme found in saliva (I believe it is called chicha or something similar) A few recipes later and I find a brewer that uses Amylase Enzyme or AE which is very similar to the enzyme in saliva that breaks apart long chain sugars into simple, fermentable sugars.

I have read that Beano is NOT the same as AE and will never stop breaking the sugar chain where AE will eventually stop. I also discovered that AE becomes "inert" or is destroyed in the boil. For my purposes I have decided to use only AE.

MY PLAN:
I plan to use AE in a lower gravity beer. Starting gravity of about 1.046 as an example. Then add AE into my standard mash and into the runnings and allow the runnings to "rest" while the next runnings are collected, I will refer to this as an AE rest. (I batch sparge ;) ) I let the last runnings rest as well for 30 minutes.

I drew up some conclusions and approached my wife with the idea of making a diabetic friendly beer. She was excited and has volunteered to take blood readings when she tries these beers with a "low carb food intake day" as if we were planning to have some drinks & fun that day.

The 1st 2 beers I have already brewed and are being carbed up now. The wife is very excited to try these beers.

The 1st beer is an "Irish Stout" nothing fancy but I thought I would attempt to counter the effects of the AE with a little Lactose. While "not to style typically" I only added a very small amount of Lactose and it seems to have done pretty well at "back sweetening" the stout to where it seems normal. It also adds a tiny bit of creaminess to it which I am hoping will make it seem like it was closer to being on a nitro tap. :D IMO it does not taste or resemble what I would call a "Milk Stout". Lactose in studies does not seem to raise blood sugar levels.

The 2nd beer is my "end of the year IPA" you know the one where you throw in all sorts of hop remnants and such. I was going to back sweeten this one with Xylitol but it really does not need it. Xylitol is Sugar Alcohol and can be eaten by diabetics, many sugar-free candy is made this way. This is my "ace in the hole" so to speak. When I create a beer that is "to dry" I will back sweeten with either of these 2 sugar substitutes or even a combo of them.

The warm flat samples were no joke and I am not be able to tell the difference from a non-diabetic friendly counterpart, at least at this point.

THE WAIT/TALK:
I will report back either after this weekend or the next, depending on when she wants to try it. (I will be having some on this weekend to see if it is carbed up.) FWIW I also force carb in kegs for this.

I am now planning future brews with the AE rest in mind. I am thinking about a Pilsner malt, Aramis hop, French Saison yeast SMaSH. Instead of adding in table sugar the AE should do the same but be better for me and my wife???

I do not think I would try a RIS this way but I think there are many styles that could really benefit from this.

Any thoughts??? Anyone else ever try this? or use AE in this way?
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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Okay, so here's the big kicker for you:

How do you prevent your wife's body from metabolizing the alcohol into sugar? ;)
The way I understand it (and I can be WAY off here) is that there is sugars that are absorbed into the blood stream, there is carbs and there is calories, these are not the same thing but can overlap.

Alcohol, like vodka, is mostly calories with a low to no carbs or sugars. The "bad guy" in beer is the residual sugars left behind that do not ferment. This is why I am breaking apart some of these sugars, then back sweetening with things that are industry diabetic sweeteners.

Another part "diabetic friendly" NOT "diet" is another clue/key. The reality is that no beer is really good for a diabetic but these should be "better" than the average beer that is available.

My goal is not to allow the wife to get bombed on beer, rather to allow to intake some. She has tiny sips of mine and is filled with jealousy when sampling mine, she tells me so. My wife never really drank tons of beer in a sitting. I think at most she would have 5-7 an evening. If you are the type of drinker that has more than this, this may not be the ticket either. Think how your world would be living with a craft beer enthusiast/home brewer and you get to have soda and vodka... I imagine I would do just about anything to be able to have 1 or 2 beers in an evening vs. none at all. ;)
 

SaltyTX

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Alcohol isn't the problem for a diabetic, it is the quickly metabolized sugar as indicated. That's why they can eat fibrous carbs (fruit, some whole grain bread, veggies)

I know many diabetics who suffer no ill effects from drinking too much red wine. White wine though, bad bad bad.

I will say some of those "diabetic friendly" sweetners will taste like crap as I am sure you've tried. This will be a big hurdle, IMO
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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I will say some of those "diabetic friendly" sweetners will taste like crap as I am sure you've tried. This will be a big hurdle, IMO
This is why I am using Xylitol. It seems to be the least offensive. Also remember that I am not trying to make the beer to be perceptibly sweet, I am only adding in small amounts in hopes to regain some of the flavors lost to the AE breaking down sugars that would have otherwise not been fermented.
 

Reno_eNVy

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Have you tried truvia? Best non-sugar for baking, by far.
 

Rbeckett

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Zamial,
I am very interested in your results and youre wife sugar readings. I am suffering from Kidney failure so I have to control all liquids, lower my phosphor and potasion and watch my diet closer than some diabetics. Please post up your results.
Bob
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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I 1st will post up some tasting notes. I gave this to home brew club members and they said it was "to style" and very good. They did not think it was "diabetic" in anyway. My neighbors also had some and they think Beck's is a great beer...they also really enjoyed it...and we drank LOTS of it... (It should be noted that there LOTS of other beer was available but we all barley touched it.)

The wife had a low carb day as planned, she took her blood and for drinking as much and as long as she did her blood never went over 95 on her glucometer. She took a reading before, during the evening, at the end of the evening and this morning.

I think this is a "success" by every measurable way.
 

gstrawn

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This is very cool. Being a student of pharmacy diabetes is a very important disease to me. I think your ideas are great. Alcohol is not metabolized to sugar in any way and therefore does not affect blood glucose levels. Should anyone want to attempt something similar, the amylase enzyme you use is present in the mash and is the process you're promoting by doing a mash. So if you mashed long and low uou would get similar results as using the enzyme, although adding enzyme with speed up the process.

The biggest hurdle would be finding slowly metabolized sugars to replace sugars are fermented out, and it sounds like you've done it. Awesome job. If its good it's good and it sounds like this is a great way to allow your wife a few beers. Very cool
 

scrambledegg81

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Suppose I'll throw my 2 centavos in:

I've been a Type 1 since I was 5 (now 30), and for the last 20 years, I've been on an insulin pump. I shared the same concerns over BG levels that you and your wife do when I initially became interested in this whole "non-Budweiser beer" world, but over time, I've realized that it doesn't play much of, if any, role in how my BG levels are affected.

Granted, the insulin pump probably plays a role somewhere in this equation, but as far as I know, good control and general knowledge about what you eat/drink translates into more flexibility in what you can consume. I've noticed that lower gravity stuff tends to have less of an effect, whereas higher percentages have a greater impact (but again, the insulin pump helps out there), so I'm taking an educated guess in saying that higher gravity (which, in essence, means higher starch & sugar content) mean a larger spike in BG readings.

I haven't looked myself, but the nutritional value for most commercial & craft brews must be available somewhere online. It would take a bit of planning, but as long as your wife is able to cover for what she drinks (i.e. less food or increasing her meds slightly), you might be able to find a happy middle ground.

I've also read quite a bit about Type 2's using insulin pumps at very low levels to compensate for what their bodies produce, so that might be another avenue to check out. PM me for more info about pumps if you want to! Trying not to toot my own horn, but I've basically spent most of my life witnessing the "evolution" of insulin pumps over the last 20 years, so I'm pretty well-versed in all thing pump related. :)
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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Well, FWIW the wife is NOT on insulin and is supposed to only take 1 pill of metformin a day. I do not think she has even been taking the pill for a few weeks now, I will ask her in the AM. We are doing well by controlling this without meds IMO. We are both dropping weight at a slow, steady and safe rate.

We did see a commercial beer chart and even Bud (which we both now strongly dislike) has to much residual maltose in it. I also understand that beer affects people differently (in relation to diabetics)

I also agree that paying very close attention to food intake has a direct impact on BG levels.
 

KCBrew

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I am a third year Medical student. My advice is to get her into/find saison or sour styles that she would like. Adding lactose to a alpha amylase beer is counter productive.

On the other hand, any beer finishing under 1.005 would be great. Also you can get fruit flavors in there with almost no residual sugar.

Just remember: dry, dry, dry. Low FG.
 

ChessRockwell

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My advice is to get her into/find saison or sour styles that she would like.
That's exactly what I was going to say... Super dry saison style beers should have very little residual sugar to affect your blood glucose. Not to mention they're amazing!

Lactose in studies does not seem to raise blood sugar levels.
Are you sure about this? My daughter has been a type 1 since she was 7 months old (very rare to show up that early). I remember from the day she was diagnosed the only way we could control her blood sugar was giving insulin to get it down (obviously) or milk to raise it if it was too low. I'm fairly sure the only sugar in milk is lactose, and this definitely raised her blood sugar quite reliably. Not as quickly as simpler sugars but that's mostly due to the higher fat and protein content of milk, which slows down absorption of sugars.

Was your first results to the irish stout with the lactose added? And it didn't raise blood sugar noticeably?
 

Dawnhulio

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Here's a chart that gives a good 'general' idea of the carb content of various beers. Note that a large share of them have as low as 2 grams, up to the Guinness packing 17 grams.

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art14302.asp

This site lists some of the higher carb beers, a good share of these are around 14-16 grams per serving, and for any of us counting carbs and/or using an 'exchange' program, these beers carry as much sugar content as, say, a piece of fruit or slice of bread = increased glucose readings. Boo!

http://www.battlediabetes.com/beer-and-diabetes

And of course depending on the individual the effect of just a few carbs from a serving may or may not drastically increase the blood glucose... myself am Type 1 with an insulin pump (going on 34 years). Never had much change in glucose readings with one serving of lower-carb beer, but more than one does require some insulin to cover. All that said I am certainly:mug: intrigued by these experiments
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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Sorry, I have not responded sooner, I have been busy.

I am a third year Medical student. My advice is to get her into/find saison or sour styles that she would like. Adding lactose to a alpha amylase beer is counter productive.
The AE is denatured in the boil. Lactose is added after the fact. It works just fine...

That's exactly what I was going to say... Super dry saison style beers should have very little residual sugar to affect your blood glucose. Not to mention they're amazing!
We have a: french saison, IPA, Pear Kolsh and some of the Irish stout left. So the style range can be huge. The main thing IMO is that the final beer be around 5% ABV or less.

Are you sure about this? Was your first results to the irish stout with the lactose added? And it didn't raise blood sugar noticeably?
I have read medical studies that lactose did not raise blood sugar levels is normal people, healthy diabetics and it SELDOM raised the sugar in obese diabetics. If you go back to my OP I had a HUGE disclaimer that basically read: I am not a medical anything and YMMV. What worked for my wife may not work the same in everyone.

All that said I am certainly:mug: intrigued by these experiments
Thanks for the charts. The wife and I do not drink daily we are binge drinkers as is the case with 90% of Wisconsinites. She will probably never have just one. The other side is my wife is VERY picky when it comes to beers. She has recently had a lupilin shift and is enjoying IPAs.

And now for the update on the wife. Her diet and exercise plan has been working! She has been of the meds for over a month now. Lost 28 pounds since we found out and her A1C is back in normal range. Please note this is with a NO sugar diet and she needs to continue down this path or everything will be undone.

Since we both have the same diet, I am also down 2 pant sizes... :ban:

I also made Yoopers Kahlua recipe with decaf coffee and Splenda. Now the wife can have shots / chicky coffee drinks when she wants one!

Anyone attempting this please remember YMMV, test in small portions first. I wish you all the best of health and luck.
:mug:
 

onthedot

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My homebrew shop has alpha amalyese enzyme and endo amalyese enzyme... what's the difference??? Which one should I get?
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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I use the alpha.

I have been having good luck with this ever since.

Good Luck!
 

onthedot

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Great, that is what I will use then :) I've shared this with the diabetic in my life and we are very excited to see if it has a similar effect on her

I have a few more questions:

Can you detail your process a bit more - such as amounts of AE used and how you know how much of the fake sugar to use?

Do you add X amount of AE to the mash at the beginning of mash, in addition the to the boil pot after collecting first runnings? Then, brew on as usually and eyeball the amount of sugar based on the residual sweetness (or lack thereof) you taste when you move the beer for bottling?

Do you mash at a certain temp range (high or low?) or just stick with whatever the recipe calls for?
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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Can you detail your process a bit more - such as amounts of AE used and how you know how much of the fake sugar to use?
I have only used the lactose in the stout. None of the other beers seem to require it. I always carb it up and see if I think or she thinks it needed some. They are just slightly dry. IMHO in a low abv beer it is a nice addition to the mouthfeel.

Do you add X amount of AE to the mash at the beginning of mash, in addition the to the boil pot after collecting first runnings? Then, brew on as usually and eyeball the amount of sugar based on the residual sweetness (or lack thereof) you taste when you move the beer for bottling?
I add in 2 tsp to the mash then mash for 60-90min. I then drain the 1st runnings and stir in 1 tsp to that and let it sit while the second runnings are mashing. I then collect those runnings adding another tsp to them and let them sit while I mash out. I will add 1 last tsp to the entire pre-boil wort and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. I normally let the 2nd and mash out water sit in the MLT for 30-60 minutes. I understand it is not necessary, it is how I brew. Boiling will denature the enzymes.

Do you mash at a certain temp range (high or low?) or just stick with whatever the recipe calls for?
I try to ferment for what the beer calls for. I let ALL my beers sit on the yeast for 3 weeks before I even think about messing with it.
 

onthedot

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Thanks for the detailed usage! I will be sure to update this in a month or two once we see how it affects the sugar #s!
 

Seedly

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My homebrew shop has alpha amalyese enzyme and endo amalyese enzyme... what's the difference??? Which one should I get?
Sorry for digging up the old post but the question was never answered. Endoamylase is another name for alpha amylase the same as Exoamylase is another name for beta amylase. Dunno why your LHBS has the same product twice, unless its different brands.
 
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Zamial

Zamial

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I was wondering how this would work out for a full blown type 1 diabetic?
I have no idea. If you know someone that is all I can say is try it and watch the blood glucose levels. This may or may not work for everyone the same...
 

onthedot

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I am testing this on a Type 1 Diabetic.

Our preliminary tests were alright...

We only added 1/2 tsp to the mash.

Beer tasted a little different... cidery... but I'm not sure that was caused by the addition of the enzyme. Her sugars were not as affected as they would be drinking a regular homebrew, but we did not measure in the most scientific way.

She is getting outfitted with a contiguous glucose monitor. The next time I brew I will document more thoroughly the effects it had on her, and increase the enzyme amount.
 

PseudoChef

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I think it will vary from Type I to Type I. My gf is a Type I on a pump and my beer rarely affects her. Bread doesn't affect her that much, but pasta leads to huge spikes for some reason. She checks herself about 10 times a day and is very on top of things most of the time.
 

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