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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 2, 2003 * Homebrew Hangover Myths < Previous Next >

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Jim Keaveney (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Somebody brought this up in another thread and I thought it warranted a seperate discussion since we haven't talked about this in awhile as far as I recall.

Every once in a while, I will have someone tell me that they got the worst hangover in their life after a night of drinking my homebrew. I can usually attribute the hangover to factors such as:
1. they normally drink light beer and i have 5 beers on tap ranging from 5% to 10% abv.
2. they drink at the same or higher rate because there are 5 taps staring them in the face and, after all, it is good stuff.
3. after they get a good buzz, I sometimes see these characters doing shots.
4. I have never heard anyone who is a frequent homebrew or even craftbrew drinker claim an unusual hangover because of homebrew - they know they earned it.

I am interested in hearing others thoughts/ experience with this. Also, there is the myth that one should drink only one type/brand of beer to avoid the nasty hangover. I have noticed a lot of people who believe this.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim,
I am one of those people that can get a huge headache from one A-B product, but can drink a half case of Coors without a problem. As for homebrew, I rarely ever get any sort of headache or hangover from drinking homebrew. I believe that one of the advantages of homebrew is the lack of a hangover. However, I do have one beer that I brew that can give me a nasty headache like Bud. When I brew my strong golden ale with chimay yeast, I generally end up with a beer that I can only drink 2 of in a night because of the alcohol content and possibly fussels or some other magical headache compound.

-Doug
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is some anecdotal evidence that fusels contribute to headaches. Some styles, especially those fermented at higher temperatures, have higher levels of fusels, certainly much more than light lagers. I have also heard that sweeter beverages with more residual sugars cause worse hangovers. Most homebrews tend to finish sweeter (i.e. at a higher F.G.) than the standard light lagers.

Mostly, however, you are correct; it's simply that drinking more beers and more alcohol cause worse hangovers.

My opinion is that those who claim to experience headaches with certain A-B beers may be hypersensitive to the Saaz hops used for finishing. I strongly suspect they would also get headaches when drinking Pilsner Urquell.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have also heard that the acetaldehyde in Bud, being a precursor of formaldehyde, can be responsible for hangovers. I have no idea if that's accurate or even possible. I know that I used to get massive headaches from even 1 or 2 Buds. That's never happened with PU or other Saaz hopped beers, so personally I don't buy that theory.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My DC RyePA gives me a pounding headache within a few hours of drinking one or two 16 oz glasses. This has happened 3 seperate times and I'm begining to not want one for fear of the headache (sorry Denny - I don't know what I did wrong). To bad too because it is a good tasting beer with great clarity and head retention. It is the only homebrew beer that does that to me. Others who drink it have no adverse reaction aside from the usual intoxicating effects.

PTA
 

big earl (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>"acetaldehyde in Bud"

??????

i've never tasted it in Bud, I find Bud to be the "cleanest" of all BMC type beers-- I've tasted it in Coors, Miller and Yuenging products but not in Bud

I think the Bud headache myth and the Homebrew hangover myth to be very similar.....and both unfounded (yes I am saying, it's just in your imagination, unless you have an abnormal body chemistry)
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess you shoot my theory in the head, Denny. Are there other beers with noticeable acetaldehyde that give you headaches?
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>(yes I am saying, it's just in your imagination, unless you have an abnormal body chemistry)

Then my imagination hurts like hell the next day. Why can't I imagine I have something better like 9% body fat instead of a headache? The first time I concede it could be something else. The second time too. But 3 seperate times, I start to wonder?

I taste no acetaldehyde (which I am very sensitive to) in the RyePA.

PTA
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Papazian actually has a section devoted to the theory that homebrews actually have LESS hang-over due to the increased yeast content and Vitamin B content to oppose some of the lactic acid (I think...I'll have to go back and read that section again). So, I assume it is more a factor of how MUCH alcohol they are drinking. Yes, you certainly should get more hangover from a 9% ABV homebrew than a 3.5% ABV A-B product...shrug.

Not sure what PTA is having problems with on the Rye IPA, I have not noticed it myself yet, but Hoody actually mentioned something VERY similar when he first kegged the Rye IPA. REALLY noticeable headaches. Think he has seen them drop off quite a bit after a month mellowing time in the kegs...shrug.

-Jeff
 

David Woods (63.95.170.150)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok' I'll jump in here. I get a little headache from bud, but a screamin' headache from "bud dry". Why? I have no idea, but the dryer the taste, bud dry, white wine, ect, the worse my hangover.

And I do think body chem. has something to do with it. If someone walks be me in a shopping mall with some odd cologne or perfume, I will get an instant headache!! Also happens when my wife drags me into one of those fancy candle stores. Smells awful!!!

Wierd body chem, or maybe just wierd!

David
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA, I guess it's cause you're a wimp! :) Actaully, I have no idea why it has that effect on you. My only guess would be that the hops are triggering some kind of "hay fever" type of reaction??? Dunno.

BE, I'm really surprised you can't teaste the acetaldehyde in Bud...it's pretty prominent. We did Bud for our BJCP classes, so it's one I've tried pretty recently. It's been so long since I've had any other NAIL that I couldn't comment.

Bill, I can't recall any others at the moment.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By the way, acetaldehyde is a precursor to both ethanol (much more common in terms of fermentation) and formaldehyde. To my knowledge the level of formaldehyde in beer is so low as to be virtually undetectable. I'm sure this is the case for any of A-B's beers despite a level of acetaldehyde (admittedly faint) that I usually notice.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe the headache compound found in A-B products is a matter of body chemistry. After all, I know many people that can and do drink many buds over the course of an evening with no hangover and others like me that will have a raging headache with 1. Bill P. once mentioned something about alergies to saaz, but I am not sure they even put hops in bud and I am big on saaz for my pilsners so I don't think it is an alergy to saaz. But I bet it is a bad reaction to something else in the beer.

I use to go to the local brew pub here in West Palm Beach (Hops) until one morning I woke up with a headache just like the kind I use to get with bud. There was no difference in the amount I drank and the varieties I drank, so I figured something must have gone wrong in their process.

BTW, my buddy had the same headache after that night and he also has issues with Bud and headaches.

-Doug
 

Jim Keaveney (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Jeff, I actually photocopied that 2 page chapter from charlie p.'s book and taped it to my chest freezer at the last big party. i wrote a little warning underneath about the alcohol content of some of the beers (abv of each was posted)

uh, oh, might have been a copyright infringement.
 

LouisianaGeorge (134.163.253.126)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't get a headache from my homebrew, but then I don't overindulge. Two or three pints is all I normally drink. It's important that I feel my best in the morning since I'm a New Orleanian and must put on a three-piece suit before leaving the house. ;)

I was told years ago that if you drink a large glass of water before going to bed on a night that you've had too many, that it will minimize the headache the next morning. It had something to do with preventing dehydration. It seems to work, becaue I had some nights back when I was in college that I really tested the theory.
 

Jim Keaveney (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

if i am going to "sample" (12-16oz) several beers in one night, i try to drink a glass of water between each. this is definitely helpful, tho you will need more trips to the wrangler's room.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I only drink water as an ingredient.

PTA
 

big earl (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I saw TV commercials for an anti-hangover supplement called "Chaser"

I rarely have these problems, 6+ beers is a quiet night for me, yesturday I had 12 beers (mostly IPA's with an Imp. Stout thrown in, this morn. I felt fine) (us Polocks gots hard heads)
 

tim roth (216.180.208.60)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA - I think we can work out some kind of a trade for some of that DC RyePA. I hate to have you feel all that pain by yourself. Cheers, Tim
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a new "hangover prevention" pill that is out called RU-21. It states on the label that it is an acetaldehyde blocker http://www.ru-21direct.com/?OVRAW=ru-21&OVKEY=21%20ru&OVMTC=standard The claim is that this compound was develeoped by the Russians to prevent their agents from getting drunk. They still got drunk but noticed they did not have hangovers.

My opinion is that hangovers are caused by dehydration and the leaching out of vitamin B by alcohol. Homebrew should help prevent this since yeast is high in B-12.

When I know I am going to have more than a couple beers I normally take vitamin B-12 and Milk Thistle during the day. This seems to help as well.
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.145)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I always blame all of my hangover headaches on smoking too many cigs while drinking. Don't know why but I always smoke twice as many while drinking.
 

Russ (151.201.227.4)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also love to smoke when I'm drinking beer. For some reason, nothing compliments a few brews like a big, fat cigar.

As for hangovers, I can say that I never got one from homebrew, and I'm normally the biggest hangover wimp there is...
 

Joe Verona (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 02:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found Chaser not that effective. Dosage is like 2 pills at the start of a binge and an additional pill every couple of hours or so. At about a dollar a pill, it can get costly during a big night when you would most likely to take them.

I found a product called "Liverite" at the health food store that does just as well if not better. Take 2 before, and 2 when you hit the sack. It boosts the liver's function to process alcohol. At around $15 for 50 tablets, it's worth it.

Have not tried RU 21. Sounds like it should work. Any feedback?
 

matt_dinges (64.154.123.191)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Scott J-
Have you read Beyerlein's book "Drink As Much As You Want and Live Longer"?

He talks at length about hangovers and how to help/reduce them...Milk thistle is mentioned.

Nobody has mentioned the fact that HB is typically not filtered and contains a lot more "stuff" than your typical macro...like yeast for one...while it is a good source of B-vitamins, which help the body deal with alcohol, I think it can also give a person "trouble" if they are not accustomed to consuming real beers.

I've had discussion with my non-beergeek friends about this, as they claim my beer gives them hangovers and shits, while I claim I seem to have no real affects given "moderate+" intake.

I think overindulgence will give you a hangover almost guarenteed, no matter what your beverage. And cigarettes don't help me one bit either...so I wonder why I only smoke when I drink? Seems to be almost de-evolution...
 

Skotrat (194.39.131.40)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Now,

Cures/avoiding hangovers:

1. Do not drink too much
2. Never ever mix liquor with beer or other liquors
3. Do not drink too much
4. Binge drinking is bad UMKAY?
5. Do not drink too much
6. Start with ale stay with ale
7. Do not drink too much
8. Mead will put a serious hurt on you
9. Do not drink too much
10. Start with lager stay with lager

Interestingly enough I have found that since I was a small child that AB products (BUD) give me an instant headache. Long before I knew that there was good beer or swill.

I find that the B vitamins in homebrew and non filtered beers definitely give me gas but never have given me the S H I T S. Some would argue that pretty much everything gives me gas... This may or may not be true. I have also found that the B vitamins in unfiltered brews definitely help my head from pounding the next day.

I am also not a heavyweight in the drinking category. I have not drank hard liquor on a regular basis in well over 10 years. I was also never a mixed drink drinker. I am a 1-4 pint a day beer drinker however. Pacing is everything. 1-4 pints over say a 6 hour period is far less abusive on your head the next day than if you pound 6 pints in an hour and then crash. I am far too old to wish to suffer the pains of a hangover. They seem to last forever when they do happen.

If I am out with friends having a few or if I am home and entertaining I always finish the night with a couple tall glasses of water, B vitamins and some aspirin (never ever tylenol or ibuprophin (sp?)).

Homebrew almost never hurts my head.

On another note: I think that HomeBrewers/Beer Geeks are far more discerning than that of the average "Joe Six Pack". We brewers/geeks are usually in my opinion drinking beer because we like it and enjoy it. Not always for the massive buzz that your average "High Fiving Mother F*cker" swilling down a 30 pack at the tailgate party is looking for. That I would believe is what sets us apart from those average guys. If you are used to slamming 6-30 4.5% Coors and then try to slam 6-30 7% homebrews I can promise you that you are going to put a serious hurting on for the next day. I believe that guys who drink that many beers and do things like "shooters" are not really looking to enjoy the drink. They are just looking to get hammered. A fool and his money are soon partying so to speak.

Although I am not interested in getting hammered everytime I drink or every weekend I do enjoy a good buzz now and again. I also want to enjoy getting there. Somehow, pounding 30 Coors then doing shooters and spending my evening needing to go to the mens room is not my idea of a good buzz.

Yep... I am a beer snob... No ifs ands or buts about it.

C'ya!

-Scott
 

Beerboy (81.136.163.57)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hangovers and shits!!! ha ha ha

I find San Miquell give me a terrible headache and my homebrew and any real ale I drink doesn't (unless i seriously overindulge). I put it down to the preservatives and antioxidants they put in them. When I was last in spain I noticed that all their lagers contain these additives. I steer clear of them now.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> 2. Never ever mix liquor with beer or other
> liquors

*I* have personally never had issue with this. All in all it's quantity for me.

> 4. Binge drinking is bad UMKAY?
Depends on how you define it.

> 8. Mead will put a serious hurt on you

Heh. That's the truth. It is kinda funny watching someone try a sparkling mead (melomel) for the first time. You can warn them all you want - they still end up on the couch at 9:00 pm.

> Pacing is everything.

Agreed. It really isn't any fun to cram a night's worth of partying into 2 hours. Occasionally I actually will switch to manhattans because while they are pretty much all booze it takes me quite a while to finish (sippin drink). Sometimes beer just goes down WAY too easily.
 

danny roy (142.166.244.40)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 02:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Moosehead came out with a lager in a green bottle a few years back.I liked it but it gave me the hiccups everytime I drank more than 2.My HB only gave me a big head once.So it seems obvious that HB must be good for us.

Beers everybody!
 

Norty (68.119.21.56)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 07:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, mead is dangerous. Just keep me away from pool tables after a night of homebrew and strawberry mead...

Norty

Isn't gas a great side effect of drinking? I think so. Nothing like dropping a s s in one of your coworker's office and shutting the door and waiting for him to show up. BOOM!
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The absolute worst hangover of my life came after New Year's Eve 1999-2000. Alternated BW and mead all night. The next morning, I literally crawled out of my bedroom, and I had to go back and come back out 3 times before I was able to sit upright.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 02:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's funny Denny...mine was exactly one year later. I was alternating between champagne and mead. I was actually coherent until 4am when I decided to go to bed. I ended up being one huge pile of broken.

Problem was I couldn't blame it one 'dirty beer lines' or anything like that.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A little mead (half a 750 ml bottle or so) is a wonderful thing. The historical reputation of mead as an aphrodisiac is not without foundation. However, drinking a lot of mead is a nasty, hurtful experience you will not soon forget, try as you will.
 

Paul Hayslett (64.252.34.35)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have become massively more careful about moderating my intake since my kids became old enough to walk into my bedroom by themselves. Not that I used to get hangovers often, maybe once every couple of years.

But there is a world of difference between being in pain in a quiet room and being in pain with a 3 year old sitting on your chest saying, "Daddy!! Wake up!! I want breakfast!!" over and over again. Did that once; never, ever again.
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.140)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man this mead talk is dredging up some painful memories. Early 90's, Boulder Brew Club, mead tasting. Never had it before (and now never again). She doesn't like it, and hey, it's just a small sample, so why not finish them both off? 15 or so different meads later I attempt to bike home by riding through the neighbors' yards. At least that was funny; nothing else after that was (depending on who you ask).

"Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again… He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision -- he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: " 'The horror! The horror!'--JC

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