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Thread: Organic Beer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    146

    Organic Beer

    I was hoping someone can point me in the right direction for obtaining information on the organic certification process for beer.

    Thanks
    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    602

    New Brewer

    The latest New Brewer has a great artical on just this!
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15
    The National Organic Program is organized by the USDA. Here is where you can find info about certification on their site:

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm

    I am part owner of an all organic homebrew (and home coffee roast) supply company and might be able to answer some specific quations if you want to ask me directly.

    I also maintain a directory of lots of the organic beers that are available. It is on my website here:

    www.beeractivist.com/drinkbeer.htm

    Cheers,
    Chris
    **Now Available in Bookstores**
    Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer & Save the World

    [url]www.beeractivist.com[/url] - Drink Beer. Save the World.
    [url]www.breworganic.com[/url] - Fine organic and fair trade homebrewing and home coffee roasting supplies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    294
    The above mentioned sources are great. If you first determine who your certifying agency will be, you can contact them for info. Many State agriculture departments are now organic certifiers. I have been through the process and annual re-inspections several times now, please feel free to email me with any specific questions you might have. Good Luck! -Brian

    brewers@blackfootriverbrewing.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    32
    Not to beat the natural carbonation thread to death but do organic beers have to be naturally carbonated?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15
    At slight risk of overstatement, organic beers are in no way different than other beers except that the certified organic ingredients that went into them were grown in accordance with certain standards that help to lessen our negative impacts on soil, water and air.

    In other words, carbonate naturally if you like (personally I do) or pump CO2 or NO2 into it if you like.

    Better Brew for a Better World!

    Cheers,
    Chris O'
    **Now Available in Bookstores**
    Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer & Save the World

    [url]www.beeractivist.com[/url] - Drink Beer. Save the World.
    [url]www.breworganic.com[/url] - Fine organic and fair trade homebrewing and home coffee roasting supplies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    294
    In response to the CO2-organic question. Carbon dioxide (like water) is exempt from the NOP list of ingredients that have to be certified organic in order for a product to be certified. Other important items:

    Irish Moss (carageenan) is approved for use, because it is not available commercially as organic (it is normally wild harvested).

    Yeast is not certified organic and therefore beer cannot be certified as 100% organic at this time (that is what the USDA told us). Our certification was dropped to 95% (from our original intent of 100%) for this reason. It is my understanding that there is a company that is working on organic certification for several strains of (dry) yeast.

    Yeast nutrient is definite NO. Some of the inorganic elements included in most yeast nutrient blends are on the NOP prohibited list. We add some harvested yeast back into the kettle prior to knockout to make up for not being able to use a nutrient.

    Some brewers that are certified organic actually use hops that are not organic, because the certification level is for 95% of dry weight of ingredients. For example, your malt bill will probably make up greater than 95% of the dry weight of ingredients used to make your beer, therefore you can "skip" the organic hops. We don't do it, the ability to certify a beer as organic is not why we make organic beer to begin with. I am not sure about any post-kettle finings as we don't use any anyway. We also don't filter, but I do know that DE filtration is an approved process for certified organic beer. Anyway, there's a basic run down of ingredients (other than malt) for organic beer. Hope it helps!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    In the heart of beer country Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    31

    Organic Beer

    If anyone brews, sells and / or distributes (or somehow connect to) organic brewing ingredients, organic brewers and organic homebrew ingredient kits Please feel free to add your website to our Brewing Organic directory here=

    http://www.fattymattybrewing.com/directory/870.html

    "Its easy to simply choose organic if you already buy organic food for both health and environmental reasons. Organic ingredients are free of chemicals that harm workers, pollute the air and water, destroy habitat, and wreck the soil."

    Matt of Fatty Matty Brewing
    Dodgeville, WI
    Simple Earth Hops - slower. smaller. local.

    Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/simpleearthhops
    Twitter @ http://twitter.com/anotherdesign
    Events @ http://www.simpleearthhops.com
    Sales @ http://hops.goodsie.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    131
    FYI,

    Another good article in the most recent New Brewer about organics.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Posts
    14
    Not to step on Matt's toes, but I'm also putting together an organic beer database (including sustainable brewers, organic beers and misc. specialty beers like gluten free).

    Feel free to email me if you'd like to be added (the database will indicate if a beer's been certified or not, and by whom, so you don't necessarily need to have earcned your certification yet).

    óJess
    jsand [at] roughstockstudios [dot] com

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