Hangover beer??? :(

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Timo21

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Hey so Im fairly new to brewing but definitely not new to drinking beer. I am a master of drinking, and its not something to necessarily brag about but I do drink just about every night of the week. I rarely EVER get hungover especially from beer but this new batch that I just made, I tried for the first time last night and only had about a six packs worth and felt just the tiniest bit of a hangover this morning and the smallest little bit of a headache which made me ask myself, Can making your beer a certain way, or using certain ingredients cause a hangover easier than other methods? I understand being hungover is largely due to being dehydrated but wine hangovers are different from liquor hangovers which are different from beer hangovers ya know? So what is it REALLY that can cause a bad beer hangover? what ingredients/techniques should we avoid? Since we are all here because we love to drink beer we should know how to avoid feeling like crap after a long night of over indulging... any thoughts?
 

BradleyBrew

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if you ferment to warm you can create excess fusel alcohol... this will easily equate to a massive headache
 

betarhoalphadelta

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if you ferment to warm you can create excess fusel alcohol... this will easily equate to a massive headache
+1

1) Pitch enough yeast.
2) Pitch cool (i.e. at your fermentation temp, maybe even 3-5 degrees below).
3) Control ferment temps.

If you let temps get away from you, your beer will punish you in the morning for your transgression.
 
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Timo21

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I know I let my fermenter get up to 26C/78F a couple of times but held it at 22C/72F for the majority of the time, do you think thats what it was? also, how do you know if you pitch enough yeast? I used the packet that came with my brew kit, seemed to bubble(the airlock that is) and ferment just fine, but would adding just a little extra help or hurt? Also doesnt yeast go dormant under 12C/53F? if thats the case does it hurt the yeast, I mean once the temp rises the yeast should just go right back at doing their job right? what Im wondering is if I use these new 60L barrels filled with water that will hold my fermenters, Do I want to play it on the safeside by keeping it cooler or warmer? in other words what hurts the beer more; letting it get too warm or letting it get too cold and how so?
 
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Timo21

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So yes it says that fermentation at higher temps can cause unwanted Fusel Alcohol but according to Wikipedia they did a study that says Fusel Alcohol had no more significant undesirable health effects (headache, nausea, etc.) than ethanol... (check the attached image for details) Whether they are correct or not, what else could contribute to a hangover in some beers more than others? I have always been told that high sugar content (such as in rum) will cause a nasty hangover, also the same is true with wine. If you enjoy wine like I do then you have probably been there, being hungover from wine is probably the worst... Can adding too much sweet stuff to your recipe make your beer more likely to give the symptoms of a hangover. Does yeast play a role?


The pic didnt quite turn out as planned but here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusel_alcohol

Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 5.34.49 PM.jpg
 

BrettFitz

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Papazian in this 3rd edition of "...Joy of Homebrewing" makes a reference to hangovers and the fermenting process. He wrote that the Kraeusen (the foamy, icky looking sludge that forms on the surface of wort during the first few days of fermentation) includes fusel oils that have an affect on your beer in a couple ways. One, it can settle back down and create unwanted bitter flavors. Two, it contributes to hangovers and headaches.

I don't know this to be true, but I think about it every time I DON'T buy a glass carboy or something that will give me some degree of "blow out," which he says will effectively remove most of the Kraeusen.

Here's another website that discusses them.
http://www.monashscientific.com.au/FuselOils.htm

Might be time to finally get away from the plastic fermenting buckets...
 

Rev2010

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Don't know about the studies and all that, no doubting it per se, but my last hefeweizen I did for my season end (I stop in the summer due to high temps) fermented very high since we had an unusually warm spring. Temps got up to 78 or maybe even a degree or two higher. That beer messed me up! It was only 6.1% alcohol (hit higher efficiency than I expected) but it hit me hard and left me with a headache in the morning. I attribute this to everything I've read that points to fusel alcohols.


Rev.
 

Grippe

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So yes it says that fermentation at higher temps can cause unwanted Fusel Alcohol but according to Wikipedia they did a study that says Fusel Alcohol had no more significant undesirable health effects (headache, nausea, etc.) than ethanol... (check the attached image for details) Whether they are correct or not, what else could contribute to a hangover in some beers more than others? I have always been told that high sugar content (such as in rum) will cause a nasty hangover, also the same is true with wine. If you enjoy wine like I do then you have probably been there, being hungover from wine is probably the worst... Can adding too much sweet stuff to your recipe make your beer more likely to give the symptoms of a hangover. Does yeast play a role?
I read that same article as well some time ago. Unfortunately, this is one 'study' that I will have to correlate to the recent study that proclaimed there isn't any evidence of women having "G-Spots".

Fusels = pounding hangover.
 
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Timo21

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Thx for the info guys all good stuff... Rev2010, I see you live in NJ and I know it was an unusual spring but what kind of fermenter do you use? I think we might have had a similar problem that caused the beer to produce those fusel alcohols... BrettFitz put up a link with some amazing info, but how does it apply to the plastic fermenters? I've been thinking about switching to glass carboys just because I like glass more than plastic but does it really make a difference when fermenting? Does it really produce fusel alcohols when a glass carboy wouldnt???
 

Rev2010

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The fermenter material type has no effect on fusel alcohol creation. I use Cooper's fermenters, I started with them and liked them so much I bought a total of 3 and have kept using them all along. I now brew AG and still find them to be my favorite as:

1. They are safe - no worry about cutting myself as others have done with glass carboy accidents
2. They have a good amount of extra headspace and as a result I have never needed a blow off tube even with the most aggressive hefeweizen fermentations
3. They are light and easy to move
4. They are easier to clean
5. They have a built in spigot that I bottle directly from
6. They are mostly opaque, enough that it keeps a bit of light out but with the clear top I can see in. Still, I ferment in my dark (cooler than room temp) hallway as they are by no means light proof.

There are more reasons but I'll stop there. :)


Rev.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Papazian in this 3rd edition of "...Joy of Homebrewing" makes a reference to hangovers and the fermenting process. He wrote that the Kraeusen (the foamy, icky looking sludge that forms on the surface of wort during the first few days of fermentation) includes fusel oils that have an affect on your beer in a couple ways. One, it can settle back down and create unwanted bitter flavors. Two, it contributes to hangovers and headaches.
Not sure I believe that at all. I know *lots* of amazing brewers who brew in vessels that don't allow for the removal/skimming/blowoff of krausen. And none of those beers are hangover-inducers.

I'm inclined to believe it's more due to fermentation byproducts of high temperatures.
 

Rev2010

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Not sure I believe that at all. I know *lots* of amazing brewers who brew in vessels that don't allow for the removal/skimming/blowoff of krausen. And none of those beers are hangover-inducers.

I'm inclined to believe it's more due to fermentation byproducts of high temperatures.
I have to wholeheartedly agree with this. The krausen falls back into *all* my beers and never an issue with hangovers unless the beer ferments a good amount above normal temps.


Rev.
 

jma99

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Funny,

But it seems that the higher gravity of my beer, the more it affects me in the morning.

This almost makes me think that the more alcohol in a beer, the more it hits you.

This may require much more research and experimentation!

:drunk:
 

HumanGarbage

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Here is another vote for high temp fermenting. Only had one beer do this to me and it was way too hot (last summer). Even then it was no where near the hangover I can get from commercial draft sometimes...

I find I will get a hangover if I don't hydrate myself after drinking a bunch. A couple of glasses of water at the end of the evening is all it takes for me.
 

pjcampbell

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I had a wicked splitting headache last night shortly after drinking a homebrew. I pitched plenty and fermented cool, BUT I pitched it warm (say 80F). I can't think of what else could be the problem , but that was awful!

My next batch (in the fermenter) was also pitched warm unfortunately.

Sounds like I need a better way to cool my wort huh?
 

lowlife

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80 is high for most yeasts. Fermentation is the most important thing to do right. Try a swamp cooler if you don't have a chamber or temp controlled environment.
 

pjcampbell

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I am just pitching at 80F. Room temp is around 60-62F in my place and it gets there within a few hours I'd guess.

But, I have no good way to get it down to 60F quickly. I'm doing an ice bath and it only gets down to like 80F.

I'm wondering if I could get it down to 80F with the ice bath, put the wort in the fermenter, but not pitch until it reaches room temp?
 

IffyG

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So yes it says that fermentation at higher temps can cause unwanted Fusel Alcohol but according to Wikipedia they did a study that says Fusel Alcohol had no more significant undesirable health effects (headache, nausea, etc.) than ethanol...
I just skimmed through the primary literature for that claim and it turns out they were force feeding shrews ethanol until them vomited. Adding fusels didn't reduce the amount of ethanol required to induced vomiting.

Since we can't ask a shrew if they have a headache, I'd say it's far from conclusive...
 
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