HOMEBREW Digest #5213 Tue 24 July 2007

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  bad hops (Matt)
  Gout?? ("Mike Maag")
  ppt - gout ("-s@adelphia.net")
  pt2 - gout ("-s@adelphia.net")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:53:38 -0700 (PDT) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: bad hops I have a suspicion that I am sometimes getting bad hops from my local homebrew store. Sometimes the hop aroma I expect from a given recipe is just missing. And, especially when I use their Saaz it seems, there is a sticky and unpleasant aspect to the flavor/aroma (not the normal grassiness I percieve in, say, Hennepin) that just feels hop-like. But, I am not certain that hops were really the source of the missing, or sometimes unpleasant, aroma. Obviously a myriad of process variables could have these effects. Further, the shop keeps the hops refrigerated in oxygen barrier bags. On the other hand, sometimes I do achieve excellent hop aroma, and it seems like this is correlated to the use of hops recognized for good storage stability. And on the two occasions when I've been able to use hops from the vault of a well-respected local microbrewery, I had no problems. Despite brewing for a few years now, I don't feel like I've brewed enough to understand the source of this inconsistency. My question for the highly experienced old-hand brewers is this: have your many years of brewing led you to believe that the quality of even apparently well-kept LHBS hops is a significant variable? Am I just generally asking for trouble by attempting to brew with Czech Saaz that have suffered their way through the entire homebrew supply chain? Or are hops almost always pretty good, so that I should stop suspecting outside factors for an inconsistency that's probably my own fault? Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:34:41 -0500 From: "Mike Maag" <mikemaag at comcast.net> Subject: Gout?? Yes, it sounds like you have gout, just like I do (about once every year or 2). Yes, yeast is key. Hefeweizen is bad...but can be made less bad by drinking water. Lots of water. Cherry juice is good. Get CONCENTRATED juice from the health food store and add a shot or two to a beer. I take Colchacine at the first twinge, and it nips it in the bud. Let me know what the Dr. says. Hope this helps Mike Maag in the Shenandoah Valley (Staunton, Va) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 19:40:20 -0400 From: "-s at adelphia.net" <-s@adelphia.net> Subject: ppt - gout Amos Brooks [[my fellow fencer]] and Roger Burns ask about gout, My own thoughts have turned to gout lately. I injured my toe - whacked it really good into a dresser and the pain the next day could easily have passed as a gout symptom (minus the redness). The fact that my younger brother has had bouts of gout since his mid-20s always makes me wary. Fortunately (??) the x-ray shows a chipped bone. So a gout attack is pretty simple. Uric acid build up in your system (intake + production exceeds excretion) and this slightly soluble stuff (~68mg/L at body temp) forms painfil crystals in the joints. The same uric acid excess can result in uric acid kidney stones. The best diagnostic is extracting some synovial fluid from the joint and looking for the light-polarizing properties of the crystals. Urine & blood may be tested for uric acid content as well, but hyperuricemia causes gout in only abt 5% of cases. The primary source of uric acid is from the catabolism of purines, produced and eaten, and your kidneys are involved in the removal of uric acid. Another factor involves diet and dieting. If your blood is more acidic due to ketosis then you are more likely to have a gout attack. Ketosis occurs when your body uses fats as an energy source. This happens on any weight loss diet that is effective and also happens in untreated diabetes (as they cannot process carbohydrates). Conventional treatment for gout include colchicine or indomethicin which assists in uric acid elimination or allopurinal which inhibits uric acid production .... also dietary restriction to prevent further attacks. Aspirin and some related pain-relievers can make the gout symptoms considerably worse. Aspririn, niacin, various antibiotics may either impair renal processing of urates or else increase their production and create more problems. The main reason beer makes gout attacks more probable is reportedly alcohol; tho' some fairly impressive recent studies (2004) show that it's the purines in beer rather than the alcohol. There are anecdotal reports that dark beers are more problematic. Some studies show that regular drinkers experience a rise in blood uric acid levels peaking about 3 hours after drinking. A recent paper indicates that low-fat dairy products, vitamin C and wine are actually protective against gout. Taken in all I think that at the same level of ethanol consumption we have to worry most about beer and least about wine as a cause of gout. (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/350/11/1093) Drinking extra water is a very good idea for obvious reasons. Cherries have some evidence in their favor (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/133/6/1826), Other anecdotal treatments taking activates charcoal orally. I think we can safely ignore charcoal poutice treatments. I wouldn't post much more except that the internet is full of such blatant baloney on the topic. One site claims alcohol is high in purines - such nonsense. Beer contains some purines but not so much (see below). The foods to avoid for their direct purine content are organ meats (liver, brain heart, sweetbreads), certain seafood (anchovies, sardines, mussels, herring, shellfish). Certain vegetables contain enough oxalic acid (possible uric acid) to affect uric acid levels and be troublesome - sorrel (a personal favorite) and spinach among them. Whole grain cereals, wheat germ, and most muscle meats have enough purines to be aware of but not to entirely avoid. I think the rational approach if you have gout is to avoid the problematic organ meats and seafoods. The oxalic green veggies should be watched. Use moderation wrt meat and whole grain. Soy beans are particularly problematic. Brewing yeast have a high level of purines (1.8% by weight) but then again we don't drink much yeast in beer. I'm also disturbed by the medical profession's pronouncements on the matter. Twice recently I've read advice to avoid red meat and game wrt gout - but I find no evidence in favor of this position, not even in the references these papers specificallly cited on the matter. The medical professionals in the US and Europe have an agenda which involves associating saturated fats and cholesterol with everything evil. Whether that is justified or not on a factual basis isn't the issue here; they clearly exaggerate the dangers by inserting red meat on every "avoid" list even when there is good evidence to the contrary. Perhaps I should blame the statin drug mfgrs - but I'm not too keen on conspiracy theories. Let's just say that like Al Gore, they won't let facts interfere with their preconceived conclusions. From the list (below) you'd be better off eating the same mass of beef or venison than chicken breast. (more) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 19:40:40 -0400 From: "-s at adelphia.net" <-s@adelphia.net> Subject: pt2 - gout Fructose (as in high fructose corn syrup in pop) increases purine production. Five apples increase blood level by 35% ! Hypertension and obesity are both related to higher uric acid levels too. The best advise to a gout sufferer would be to give up alcohol; that's wise but not much fun. Moderation especially in the amount of ethanol consumed and gravity of beers made is a more to my taste. A couple session beers are probably a far better choice than those high gravity 8% ABV monsters. Go taste a newcaste brown or a bass again and rediscover how good beers with OG < 12P can be. My recollection is that Kunze pegs wiezens at around 11P - you don't need high gravity for a great flavorful beer. Purine nucleotides ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purine ) include adenine and guanine - the 'A' and the 'G' of the ACGT bases that make up all DNA & RNA. Theobromine and caffeine which appear in cocoa, tea, coffee are also purines, tho' they seem to be converted to methyl-xanthines and excreted in that form. so do not increase uric acid level, Coffee (not tea) consumption seems to reduce uric acid levels. we So all food contain DNA & RNA, and half the bases are purines which are converted to adenine monophosphate and guanine monophosphate (AMP, GMP). We produce AMP & GMP from inositol and ribose too. Before excretion AMP and GMP are converted to Inosine and Guanine respectively where the nitrogen is removed as ammonia and then to xanthine and finally uric acid. There is no avoiding purines, but many foods have lower concentrations. 12 oz (OG 12P) beer ~14mg purines (roughly proportional to OG) 1 gram of brewing yeast ~18mg purines 100gm beef rib (3.5oz) ~120mg 100gm beef sirloin ~110mg 100gm venison haunch ~138mg 100gm shrimp ~147mg 100gm pork fillet ~150mg Chicken (average) ~160mg 100gm chicken breast(3.5oz) ~175mg 100gm lamb (muscle only) ~182mg ** note "muscle only" figures are ~10% higher then "as eaten" figures. 100gm salmon ~170mg 100mg trout ~300mg 100mg sardines ~480mg 100 calfs liver ~480mg Also rye & wheat have about half the purines as barley (~50 vs 100 mg/100gm). 5gal of 12P wort might use 3.5kg of malt so the barley had 3.5+ grams of purine but only ~20% remains in the beer. Brewing yeast contain 1.8% purines so this could explain the rest. Yeah - avoid yeast if you are subject to gout, use more wheat & rye. The puzzle is that 10 beers has only as much purines as half a chicken breast - doesn't matter. Beer but not the ethanol is implicated in studies, and the amt of purines in 2-4 beers is ignorable so it's (IMO) something else. Maybe that "dark beer" anecdote is a clue. -S Return to table of contents
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