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Homebrew making me sneeze and throat itch

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mehere

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I'm making my first batch of homebrew from a beer making kit. I was at the last stage where I had to siphon the beer (in a very crude manner using my mouth - not sure how that can be sanitary; I'll have to come up with a better system.) into bottles and tasted the beer. It had an immediate reaction that made my throat itch and I was sneezing for several minutes after. I wonder if this could be a sign that it has been infected with bacteria or unhealthy yeast? It tasted ok. I'm not sure if I want to drink it now. Hubby is brave; he will probably try some.
 

Kotzbrocken

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I had a similar problem with a batch a while ago. My best guess is that either I failed to rinse out all the cleaning solution (I used bleach) or contamination when I bottled it (had a cold at the time). Just take more care with sanitizing everything, it will all turn out well in the end.
 
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mehere

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Do you mean that this batch will turn out ok, or that I'll get the hang of it and subsequent batches will turn out ok?
 

Kotzbrocken

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If you had a reaction to this batch, it may very well be ruined. Let it condition in the bottles for a few weeks and if you still have a reaction, then you did make a mistake somewhere along the line.

Sanitation is both the easiest and most important part of brewing. I've always used the "One step no rinse cleanser" (until I ran out and had to use bleach). You can find it here (or at your local homebrew shop):
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/products.asp?category=270

Also, as far as bottling, a better way than using your mouth to start it would be a "Auto Siphon" and a "bottle filler," found here:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/equip/bottling.asp#Bottle Fillers

Hope I was some help. Don't get discouraged and good luck.
 

Ken Powers

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I have a very slight grain allergy. I still love beer, however. Most of the time I am fine but every once in a while, I run across a recipe (or for that matter, a commercial beer) that causes my sinuses to swell up a little and makes me sneeze. It is possible you have the same problem. If another person tries your beer and has a similar reaction, it may be the beer. If they don't, you might have the same problem I have. However, if you have never experienced this problem before (with a commercial beer for example), ignore my response.
 

Rahbek

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I agree with Ken in the above post; your reactions the beer sound very much like an allergy to me too.

I'm convinced that the reactions wheren't caused by failing to rinse out sanitizing agent; unless of course your are allergic to them, in which case it might be a different matter.

I think that a good way to check it out is to let your husband try, if the beer tastes ok, it probably is ok. If you are still concerned over your recation contact your physician and bring a list of the ingredients in the beer. Have you ever had a similar reaction to commercially produced beer (I take it you havn't?)

Best regards,

Christian rahbek
 
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mehere

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I've never had that reaction to beer. Unrelated, I have that reaction to coffee, but I still drink it.

The other thing was that there was a little scum where the foam line was. I would expect this is normal, is it?

I do have a chemical sensitivety to bleach, but this had some other sanitizing agent. Is there any way to sanotize without leaving the agent in the brew besides bleach?

Yvonne
 

Ken Powers

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mehere said:
I've never had that reaction to beer. Unrelated, I have that reaction to coffee, but I still drink it.

The other thing was that there was a little scum where the foam line was. I would expect this is normal, is it?

I do have a chemical sensitivety to bleach, but this had some other sanitizing agent. Is there any way to sanotize without leaving the agent in the brew besides bleach?

Yvonne
You should try using Iodophor as a sanitizer. It is no rinse, leaves no flavor behind, and eliminates that bleach aroma. I think it is way easier to use.
 
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mehere

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Rahbek, Funny I never remember having an allergic reaction to beer before - then tonite I 'm drinking Penn Pilsner (a local company) and I keep sneezing as I'm drinking it. Still wonder if this is allergy to ingredients or faulty brewing.
 

Ken Powers

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mehere said:
Rahbek, Funny I never remember having an allergic reaction to beer before - then tonite I 'm drinking Penn Pilsner (a local company) and I keep sneezing as I'm drinking it. Still wonder if this is allergy to ingredients or faulty brewing.
I discovered, via my wife, that it is not uncommon at all for adults to develop allergies later in life (say around 30 or so). I have had them for my entire life but she developed them at about 35 years of age and has had some miserable times of the year because of it. I know that people develop food allergies later in life as well (such as shellfish allergies).
 

Michael_Currie

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One of my good friends got really sick. Went to several doctors and no one could figure it out. He got to the point where he made a will up because he thought he was going to die, only in his 30's. Finally a doctor clued him in. He was allergic to a lot of food, mainly beer and he always had a beer with his diner. Had to give it up and I think bread as well among other things.
 
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mehere

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Hmmm, not sure why I was having allergic type reaction to the beer. My homebrew came out fine - after I filtered it and let it sit about 8 days I tried it. The first beer was a little flat, watery and low alcohol content; so I let it sit a few more days, then it turned out much better - less flat, less watery, and about normal alcohol content. It tasted fine and I had no allergic reaction to it. Not sure why the change. Possibly the unfiltered vs filtered beer - or unfinished brewing vs finished brewing?? I've never had trouble with grains that I know of.

On to the next batch... ;)
 

Janx

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A few thoughts:

1) I don't know about allergies...that may be it, but I kinda doubt it.

2) When racking beer, I always taste some. It almost always has some yeast and such swirled into it at that point. Often, it makes my throat scratchy, and is fairly harsh. It always goes away once the beer finishes and settles. Maybe there are compunds in the yeast cake that do this. I know the yeast cake tastes harshly bitter sometimes, so maybe it's hop components.

3) There's nothing in there that will kill you or hurt you even if you have an infection. Let it finish and taste it and don't be afraid (unless you have severe allergies or something ;) Fortunately, beer can't grow salmonella or the like.

4) A cool and cleaner way to rack is this: Fill your racking cane with iodophor solution. You can shove the cane into the other end of the hose so it's a loop until you need it and throw the whole loop into a bucket of sanitizer. When you want to rack, pull the cane out of the hose and hold both ends upward and at even levels so the cane and hose stay completely full. In one smooth motion, shove the cane in the beer to be racked and lower the other end of the hose (I put my thumb over that end as I'm doing this, but I sanitize my thumb ;) ). The sanitizer in the hose will flow downhill and start the siphon. Collect the first few ounces of sanitizer in some container and then switch the hose over to wherever you're racking to once it's just beer coming out. It's really easy and very sanitary.

Janx
 
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