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Milk stout and lactose intolerance

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Yellowirenut

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poured myself a beutifull glass of Left Hand Milk Stout last night. Was better than i could have imagined. In reading the bottle I found an ingredients list....contains lactose.
I have what I describe as a medium lactose intolerance.
Ice cream will make me sick as a dog but I am ok if butter is used in cooking.
Yogurt and hard cheeses contain very little lactose because the bacterias feed on it. I was wondering if the same was true in beers. Is the lactose converted by the yeast into something "harmless"?

I did take a dairy pill with the milk stout just in case.
 

sloose

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Lactose is an unfermentable sugar... My wife suffers from an intolerance to lactose and I'd imagine she'd have issues with a milk stout but age doesn't drink beer. More for me!
 

Revvy

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It's one of those things that we talk about repeatedly, but no one knows. I haven't even seen anecdotal evidence from folks reporting issues. Maybe if you hadn't taken your pill we'd have more info. For all we know the alcoholic environment does something to buffer the lactose in people's system, or the presence of yeast. We who brew talk about this....and I think most lactose intolerant brewers probably avoid it. But I really wonder how many folks who are lactose intolerant drink beers like Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, and never notice or have any issues.

Conversely some folks who are and who brew, may just think what they're having after drinking something with it is "Yeast farts" that we all get from time to time, not realize they ARE having a lactose intolerence issue.....

It's sort of like the dogs and hops argument....there's very little actually evidence, and even only a few anecdotal ones that get repeated, and of course no one's going to go out of their way to test it on their dogs. So we just really don't know.

Even googling it, you new discussions on lactose intolerence forums...but just speculation.

I think it would be great is serious study on this topic were done...We need to find a few GI docs and Researchers who are homebrewers to actually to some studies.
 

PAjwPhilly

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I am lactose intolerant and have had problems drinking milk stouts.

My local brewpub made a milk stout recently that made me leave. But on the same note, I have drank a milk stout or two out of a bottle and have not had problems. I chalk it up to chance. I am pretty intolerant, but I can still handle a little here and there. It just depends on the amount of lactose they use and how much lactase you have.
 

Revvy

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I am lactose intolerant and have had problems drinking milk stouts.

My local brewpub made a milk stout recently that made me leave. But on the same note, I have drank a milk stout or two out of a bottle and have not had problems. I chalk it up to chance. I am pretty intolerant, but I can still handle a little here and there. It just depends on the amount of lactose they use and how much lactase you have.
Finally! I mean I hate to put an exclamation point on that, and I'm sorry for it. But you are the first who's mentioned it.

I'm trying to figure out if any of the researchers here at the medschool have done any work on anything close to this that I could bounce some things off of them.

I was thinking the same as you, that different beers use different amounts. I've used a couple ounces to at least a whole pound at one time or another. I wonder if there's a minimum tolerance level in folks. And I wonder how much lactose in normally present in like an 8 ounce glass of milk as opposed to the concentrations in beer. Also how concentrated is the powder we use as opposed to what's normally present in dairy.
 

PastorofMuppets

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I cannot drink most milk stouts.
I am intolerant for sure. All humans should be. We are the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammal.
My parents never gave me milk and I avoided most dairy growing up, except for the aforementioned hard cheeses.
 
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Yellowirenut

Yellowirenut

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Interesting replies...
Maybe next time I have a Sunday afternoon I know I am staying home I will experiment.
Pain and a stinky bathroom all in the name of knowledge.
 

Anelda

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I cannot drink most milk stouts.
I am intolerant for sure. All humans should be. We are the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammal.
My parents never gave me milk and I avoided most dairy growing up, except for the aforementioned hard cheeses.
:off: Perhaps all humans should be lactose intolerant, but we aren't. Hell, almost all Dutch and Swedish people are lactose tolerant and the further you move away from the Scandinavian countries, the higher prevalence of lactose intolerance. There are also SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism aka 'mutation') found in different East African populations that are completely different than the Northern European SNPs that allow for lactose tolerance.

Why? Probably because of huge selective pressure. Being able to digest lactose gives more energy and is another source of water for times of drought and famine.

By weight, though, lactose makes up 2-8% of milk, butter is 0.6% lactose and cheeses vary anywhere from 0.1% to 3% and probably higher in some cheeses. How much lactose is found in milk stouts probably varies. What comes in question is how much or at what concentration does lactose have to be at before it causes gastointestinal upset.

I'm assuming the powder you purchase is 100% lactose as I can purchase D-Lactose-monohydrate (has an added water attached to it to make it easier to dissolve) from Fisher Scientific. You could easily determine the % of lactose present in your homebrewed beer by weight.

As far as some lactose intolerant individuals that are able to drink milk stouts, there was a study done where individuals that consumed Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast strain without b-galactasidose much like our beloved brewer's yeast, increased human lactase activity. Perhaps those individuals with a mild to moderate lactose intolerance that can drink milk stouts benefit from the yeast in the beer?
 

Nightshade

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I am making a stout with lactose and am a lactard as well. I have done some tasters of it in process and had no issues, but when it's done I am going to have a pint and will report back with results....I may be posting from the bathroom so no pics will be offered.
 

Rambuck

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Digging up an old thread..... but I am also mildly lactose intolerant. I was given a bottle of Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout a few months ago and had no affects from it. A friend asked me to make a clone, so I did. Well, 2 days ago I pulled the first pint from my keg. Woke up in the middle of the night......
Not being sure it was the milk stout or something else (and being that the brew was delicous and I'm hard headed), I decided to try it again last night. I wasn't 1/2 thru the 2nd pint and that was that. Damn tasty brew, but will have to use caution.....
FWIW, I used 1 lb of Lactose in the recipe.
 
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Yellowirenut

Yellowirenut

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Thanks for posting your results from your..um..experiment.

Sorry you are getting ill effects on your home-brew. I am curious if Left hand pasteurizes there beer and that may have en effect on the lactose? Could that change the chemical chain in the sugars? Or are they using something other than the lactose we use?
 
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