My beer gives me a 'worse' hangover. is there anything wrong with it?

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omazing

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i noticed my homemade beer gives me a weird hangover sometimes. so I got to think maybe there is something that i do while brewing that does this. I do your typical homebrews, (i.e. boil 6lbs of DME of pilsner for 60mins + 3G or so of water + 1 bag of hops added at min60) and then ferment it for 2-3 weeks and then bottle it. nothing out of the ordinary. I use S4 yeast.

is there anything i should be experimenting with to see what causes this?
 

IslandLizard

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That! ^

Also, how much do you drink in a "sitting?" Could that have something to do with it?

Although nothing to do with hangovers, there's no need to boil all your DME or for that long. Especially when doing partial volume boils with water top up.
Boil 1/3 to a half, then add the remainder with 5 minutes left in the boil, or at flameout, to merely pasteurize.
 

seatazzz

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Does your homebrew taste a little "boozy"? Sort of a "hot" alcohol taste? That could be it as well. These are known as fusel alcohols, and can give you a nasty hangover. Fusels are mostly caused by too-warm fermentation (which can also cause some other nasty off-flavors). Fusels don't have much to do with the actual ABV of your finished beer, either. Fortunately they tend to fade after a week or two.
 

DBhomebrew

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My understanding is that fusels will not age out, definitely not in a couple weeks. Compared to low OGs, higher OGs can lead to hotter fermentation temps (more likely to produce fusels) unless the beer temp is controlled.
 

Falstaff

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Saisons give me a hangover. As others have said, its probably your temps. I used nottingham once and the temps got away from me. Tasted like a saison. Strong hangover. S04 isnt nottingham, but they are similar, I think.
 

camonick

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i noticed my homemade beer gives me a weird hangover sometimes. so I got to think maybe there is something that i do while brewing that does this. I do your typical homebrews, (i.e. boil 6lbs of DME of pilsner for 60mins + 3G or so of water + 1 bag of hops added at min60) and then ferment it for 2-3 weeks and then bottle it. nothing out of the ordinary. I use S4 yeast.

is there anything i should be experimenting with to see what causes this?

+1 on the fusels. Do you know what your fermentation temps are? Pay close attention to that and try to keep the temperature in the middle of the yeast’s published temp range.
I tried to get my wife’s uncle to drink some of my homebrew years ago and he was really hesitant to try it. He said he had some HB from someone else before and it gave him a wicked headache and he felt like sh!+ the next day. I asked if it tasted “hot” and he said it did. I explained fusels to him then he tried mine and was surprised that it tasted like “regular” beer and it didn’t make his head hurt.
 

bwible

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DME yields roughly 45 points per pound. If you are boiling 6 pounds of DME in 3 gallons of water then you’re at about 1.090 OG. That should make you a beer easily in the 8.5% to almost 9% range. You didn’t say if you’re topping up to 5 gallons or fermenting it as a 3 gallon batch.

If you’re taking gravity readings, check the calibrated temp on your hydrometer. It makes a difference and you have to adjust your readings whether its calibrated at 60 degrees like mine is or some of them are 70 degrees.

I’ve given my beer to people who told me later that they thought my beer seemed stronger. For example a 5% pale ale brewed following the Sierra Nevada recipe. I took gravity readings and I know it wasn’t any stronger. I can’t explain it - maybe because some people are used to adjunct lagers and are not used to all malt beers?
 
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camonick

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I’ve given my beer to people who told me later that they thought my beer seemed stronger. For example a 5% pale ale brewed following the Sierra Nevada recipe.
I think homebrew in general gets a bad rap about somehow being a high ABV beverage by default. When I talk to people about HB I often hear things like “that stuff is like jet fuel”, “one bottle would be way too much for me”, “how can you drink that, isn’t it really strong?” I served some at my brother’s wedding reception a few years ago. After having had just one glass, one lady came to me and was convinced she was plowed from that one drink. I told her it was a 5% beer just like most other well known beers and she just shrugged her shoulders and walked away.
 

PCABrewing

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I think homebrew in general gets a bad rap about somehow being a high ABV beverage by default. When I talk to people about HB I often hear things like “that stuff is like jet fuel”, “one bottle would be way too much for me”
Wow, a taste like JP-8!
Now that would be a flavor profile to avoid :(
 

bwible

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Wow, a taste like JP-8!
Now that would be a flavor profile to avoid :(
I was in the US navy on an old aircraft carrier in the 80s. I think it was jp-5 and it was in our water all the time. We showered with it, it was in the bug juice, one guy got a cake for hs re-enlistment party and the whole cake reeked of it.
 

seatazzz

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In my (mostly uneducated) opinion, I think the myth that HB is "strong" is because it has FLAVAH...for the most part it's more complex in taste than the mass-produced fizzy yellow stuff, which in some people's minds apparently equates to "stronger". I too have had people decline to try my homebrew because of a bad experience somewhere in the past; but once they try it they seem to like it. We can also make ours stronger simply by adding more extract/grain; I fell down that rabbit hole when I first started brewing, with the belief that my beer HAD to be strong to be good. I've got a 4.5% ABV Helles on tap right now that started out meh but after a week is absolutely yummy, and I can enjoy several in a sitting without getting tipsy.
 

bwible

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I have to say - when I had my store, one of the very first questions people always asked when they came in to ask about brewing or making wine was “How do I make it stronger?” Followed by “How strong can you make it?”
 

Rob2010SS

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So not to hijack here but curious what comes from this.

Just brewed an imperial stout on 10/30. OG was 1.113 and FG is 1.035. Fermented 7 gallons with 5 packs of Nottingham at 57F. Let it sit at 57F for 4 days and then started ramping up the temp slowly - approx. 1 - 2 degrees every 12 hours until it got to 70F. We've done imperial stouts before and typically they don't come off as "hot" as this one did. I can't say I've ever tasted a beer with fusels before, but what else could cause this "hot" alcohol sensation other than that?
 

hotbeer

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I can't say I've ever tasted a beer with fusels before, but what else could cause this "hot" alcohol sensation other than that?
I think the alcohol itself would be the "hot" sensation. Try some Everclear (190 proof) or Rum Puncheon (150 proof). That stuff is about as pure an alcohol as you can buy for the purpose of drinking. If you don't think that "hot" tasting, then your taster and mine are way different.
 

Rob2010SS

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I think the alcohol itself would be the "hot" sensation. Try some Everclear (190 proof) or Rum Puncheon (150 proof). That stuff is about as pure an alcohol as you can buy for the purpose of drinking. If you don't think that "hot" tasting, then your taster and mine are way different.
Oh yeah, very familiar with the feeling of everclear or any of those.

So assuming it's just the alcohol content, should mellow with time, correct?
 

hotbeer

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So assuming it's just the alcohol content, should mellow with time, correct?
I don't know. I've never tasted a scotch that I'd refer to as smooth and not hot tasting that wasn't at least 18 to 21 years old. I sure don't want to wait that long to drink my beer.

However alcohol taste must be perceived differently by different people. My friends seem to be happy with 12 year old scotch and to me, I just have to grin and bear it when they gift it to me. After all, like free beer, fee scotch is always good....even though it is hot and harsh tasting.
 

Rob2010SS

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I don't know. I've never tasted a scotch that I'd refer to as smooth and not hot tasting that wasn't at least 18 to 21 years old. I sure don't want to wait that long to drink my beer.

However alcohol taste must be perceived differently by different people. My friends seem to be happy with 12 year old scotch and to me, I just have to grin and bear it when they gift it to me. After all, like free beer, fee scotch is always good....even though it is hot and harsh tasting.
Yeah, I'm with you on that. I'm the same way with Scotch or any hard alcohol for that matter.

Thanks for the input. Was curious what would come back.
 

slayer021175666

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I have had several different occasions. Almost 100% of the time, actually. People will drink my beer at a party or something and later they will say how strong it was in alcohol. They say, it was way too strong. Got me totally hungover. To that I tell them, the beer you drink was 5%. The problem that you had is that it tasted so damn good, you drank over a gallon of it!
Any beer you drink will give you a massive hangover if you drink more of it than you should. In my experience, drinking the normal six pack of HB (or whatever most people have in a sitting) is a FAR easier hangover to deal with than a six pack of commercial beer!
 

TheMadKing

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I'll chime in that I have a pretty severe hangover propensity so I don't get drunk very often anymore and I'm definitely careful and paying attention to how much I drink. I definitely HAVE gotten hangovers from SOME homebrew after having only 2-3 over the course of several hours.

My theory is unhealthy fermentations which produce excessive acetaldehyde and similar aldehyde compounds result in hangovers from lower doses. Many of the symptoms of hangovers are the result of your body converting alcohols into acetaldehyde using liver enzymes. So beers that are higher in acetaldehyde to start with, (it's a common yeast byproduct and probably the most common homebrew flaw) may logically result in faster hangovers than beers which had a cleaner fermentation.
 

Toxxyc

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I think the alcohol itself would be the "hot" sensation. Try some Everclear (190 proof) or Rum Puncheon (150 proof). That stuff is about as pure an alcohol as you can buy for the purpose of drinking. If you don't think that "hot" tasting, then your taster and mine are way different.
No, there's a difference between "hot" and "alcohol". The fusel alcohols, and specifically the alcohols produced under yeast stress, has a specific "hot" taste to it, even when diluted down. Drinking alcohol (ethanol) is supposed to be warm, but not hot. If you buy a good neutral spirit you should know what I'm talking about. Even at 150 proof, it'll be alcoholic and all that, but still smooth, whereas the hotter fusels include stuff even as bad as acetone. These alcohols have a specific "hot" attribute to them, presenting as burning and stinging, even when watered down. The more you stress the yeast, the more you get these fusels.
 

WESBREW

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I would say they are not just hot but harsh as well. I wonder if getting trub and yeast in the finished beer would cause issues. Maybe keg lines need a cleaning, if used
 

HopSing

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Before doing anything to radical, like drinking less (GASP!), I would try different yeasts. I'm betting the experts on the forum are correct and that it is related to fusel. If temp control is not available, perhaps give a Kveik yeast a try. I've tried a few and Lutra by Omega is the best one I've tried so far. It's a bit more expensive vs S-04, but with a little research and a small investment in some pint size mason jars, you can harvest the yeast cake and bring the yeast costs to <$1 per batch in a short period of time.

~HopSing.
 
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