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Old 06-16-1999, 05:44 PM
I've heard there are Trinitrates in beer at a level way beyond what is allowed in Bacon for instance. Beers made with steam heat as opposed to direct heat do not possess these nitrates though. Any truth to this?
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Old 06-18-1999, 07:38 AM
Where is BeerUser? This is right up his alley.
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Old 07-01-1999, 08:10 AM
Steam processesd beer? You must be refering to "steam lager" beer. The term refers to using lager yeast at a unnaturally high temperature. Anyone who has read the straight dope will realize that yeast is a fungus and couldn't possibly survive anything approaching steam tempature.
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Old 07-01-1999, 08:44 AM
Sorry, my original response may have seemed brash. I forgot that eveone doesn't brew beer. Myself I have been brewing for over 5 years. (my weak credentials) Generally in beer brewing there are two classes of yeast. Top fermenting and bottom fermenting. Top fermenting yeasts are refereed to as ale yeast bottom fermenting yeasts are refered to as lager yeasts. Both impart a specific finish on a beer, but, require certain tempatures to live. Ale yeast, for instance "was" used for high tempature "ales" and Lager yeast for the long celler ferments over winter. With much improved yeast strains I (living in Hawaii) have managed to produce a beerthat fufills both the requirements of an ale but using lager yeast. As for the original question, is malt processed by steam heat any diferent than malt processed by direct heat? You fears are unfounded. Most barley malt is dropped into a huge boiler until it is reduced to a syrup, same stuff used in malted milk balls, bread flouf ect. So I guess the answer to your question is "what the hell are you talking about?" Nitrites are used in pork and wine but beer? and why heat?
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Old 07-01-1999, 02:30 PM
My dad homebrews, so I asked him. Here's his responce:

Steam processed beer is beer using steam coils for heat rather than direct (flame) heat. That includes virtually all commercial beer throughout the world.

Nitrates/Trinitrates in beer is possible. A food chemist might know what is allowed and/or useful in extending the shelf life of beer. If its good for shelf life, the commercial people will use it, whether good for you or not.

Yeast is a yeast (Duh), not a fungus. Neither would survive steam temps at all.

For enlightenment, try rec.crafts.brewing. There are brewers, (commercial, craft and hobby), microbiologists, food chemists and many others there.
-Your Quadell
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Old 07-01-1999, 02:54 PM
Charlie Papazian addresses nitrates in "The Homebrewers Companion" saying ""nitrates themselves do not afect the beermaking process". STeam or diect fire is used to cook the water/grain mix to extract & modify the grains sugars. This "wort" is then cooled to a temp. that yeast can do it's work. Yeast is "pitched" at about 75deg.F It dosen't matter what heat source is used to boil the wort.

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Old 07-01-1999, 07:36 PM
You might want to check out what Cecil said to the guy who asked if Budweiser beer had chicken hearts in it.
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Old 07-02-1999, 12:11 AM
I think I need to clarify my original Question. The nitrates are not an additive nor are they the result of heat on yeast but, as told to me, they are a byproduct of direct heat applied during the malting process. Steam heat does not produce the nitrate byproduct. Cecil's reply to chicken livers in Budwieser implies government has been unsuccessful in requiring U.S. brewers to list ingredients, so we may never know for sure what is in the beer we drink. This scares me so much I think I may need a beer just to calm down.
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Old 07-02-1999, 01:48 AM
Okay, now I have to beg for group memory.
Right after the first study that associated nitrates in beer(a decade ago?)...didn't Coors rip out a TV commercial declairing that there were no nitrates in Coors?
I vaguely recall news stories that the Coors brewing process (that requires them to use refrigerated trucks)did not produce nitrates in their brew.
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Old 07-02-1999, 03:11 AM
Ok, we have clarified the question so let me add some more psuedo-staight dope to see if we can make this more mysterious. Malting is the process where barley grain is allowed to germinate then is checked by roasting. The operation I witnessed covered and entire warehouse floor about 1" deep in dampened barley corn that was turned by a tractor-like device twice a day. After what I recall was 2 1/2 days, it was scooped up and spread on baking sheets and was roasted in a commercial bread oven. I dont see how this could create nitrates and more than baking bread would. The other process mentioned was the process or making wort, the stuff that beer is before it is fermented. Malt is crushed, added to water and either heated by a burner under the kettle or, as stated before, by steam passing through coils in the kettle. (These coils have a twofold use, after the wort is finished, cold water is passed through them to bring it to brewing temp faster)Again doubtfull this process would produce anything not found in your average loaf of bread. So it seems if nitrates are found in beer that it is not as a result of the brewing process but more likely put there as a preservative. Since I make all my own beer I am not worried but curious and am serching for any info on beer additives I can find. Will keep ya posted.
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Old 07-02-1999, 05:52 AM
There are no preservatives even in commercial beer. It is pasteurized to kill remaining yeast. It then has a fairly short shelf life, even pasteurized.
There are no "trinitrates" in food. Perhaps Laurence means triglycerides?The things that have to do with cholesterol and fats. Well, there are no fats in beer, mostly ethanol and some other things that can't be oxidized by the yeast.
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Old 07-03-1999, 01:26 AM
Hmmm, after exaustive, well semi exaustive research I can find no reference to added nitrates in beer. I did find disturbing studies on nitritates in water and regulations that limit them to 18 ppm concentration in beer. No mention was made on which nitrates though and tri-nitrates were not mentioned at all. So this in mind who wants to hear a half baked theory? You do? Good. During the malting phase of production where barley is allowed to partially germinate, a process similar to composting takes place as well. This produces nitrates that when exposed to the high heat of the bottom of the kettle are converted to the dreaded tri-nitrate producing a unaaceptable level of the aforementioned chemical. Though I found no mention of it in all my searching, including several homebrew pages, commercial brewer propaganda pages, and consumer reports study on food additives this is the only way I could logicly find any truth to the question. Like Cecil said in the bud/chicken heart report "they aint tellin". So I guess it is "put up or shut up" any data confirming this chemical presence would be a help. Also after failing to find any trace of the dreaded nitrates in liturature I did a web search on health effects of exposure to exessive tri-nitrates suprise! nothing just data that you shouldn't take viagra whilst on nitrate based heart medication.
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