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Thread: Salt (NaCl) in beer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    grand Rapids
    Posts
    49

    Salt (NaCl) in beer

    I had a guy come in to my pub who's doctor instructed him to stop drinking beer it would lower his bp. OK, I have added NaCl to a stout but have never used it in any other beer. I can not give this guy an answer ABOUT THE LEVELS OF SODIUM in major brewery beers and have never read about them adding salt to inhance flavor. Any NaCl in my beer would have to come from water or malt. Neither of these products has hich lavels of sodium and to the best of my knowledge, brewer's yeast dosen't play a role. So what's up with this doctor telling him to stay away from beer? This guys bp has gone down after he stopped drinking one of the major brands. Secondly, another guy to me his urologist told him to stay away from draft beer. Now what the hell is going on? I realize that most of the diognostic work done for doctors is on the big guys stuff, but there is no differeance between bottle and draft is there? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    5
    Drinking any alcohol raises your blood pressure, it's a fact. Well, when moderation is not followed. This guy probably told his doctor he was a beer drinker. If he told his doctor he was a whiskey or wine drinker he would have told him to stop those as well. As for the draft beer ?????????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Posts
    42

    Don't necessarily trust the "authorities"

    Let's not forget that doctors are merely "practicing" the "art" of medicine, even in today's advanced technological age.

    Even though they may know a great deal of details about nutrition, medication, etc., they don't have a real solid understanding of the complexities of the whole.

    Most doctors rely on studies that they've barely had time to review, studies many of which have yet to be confirmed by repeated testing. Chances are that the doctor in question was simply misinformed on the question of draft v. bottled beer.

    Let's not forget our history. It wasn't so long ago that doctors prescribed leeches to drain your blood as a cure for certain diseases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    618
    The important thing to remember is that the negative effects of beer (alcohol) are always in studies of heavy drinkers and positive effects are in studies of moderation. Perhaps the guy was chugging too much. Two Beers a day keep the Dr's away!!
    Rebelo, Good responce but I just have to point out your own prejudice and over simplification.... Recent practice has found those leaches are great. When applied after surgery they can greatly reduce swelling and bruising. Also modern use of maggots has been found to save limbs/lives by removing of dead tissue and avoiding gang-green.
    Americans tend also to have a all or nothing attitude. Things are either good or bad, all the grayness is scary. So people love to generalize but life is complex!
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dexter, MI USA
    Posts
    203
    Hey John,

    Malting and Brewing Science lists a very wide range of sodium levels in tested beers. From quite low to quite high (9 to over 200 mg/l if memory serves). Sources can be water, malt, hops, etc. Yeast metabolism also plays a role in final sodium levels. 200 mg/l would be less than 100 mg per 16 oz pint. I'm not a physician, but in the overall diet equation, I'd say that's not too much. Just cut out the pork rinds!

    If your restaurant uses an ion exchange softener, and you also use that water to brew, your sodium level could be quite high. (depending upon raw water composition, of course. It's been a while, and I can't remember what Grand Rapids H2O is like.)

    The only real way to know for sure would be to have your beers checked. How much would that guy drink? Would it pay for the tests?

    As for the draft thing, I have heard anecdotal accounts that would suggest that high consumption of unfiltered, unpasteurized daft beer can lead to a higher incidence of mild bladder / urinary track irritation and infections. I would guess that "dirty" beer lines, etc., could also play a role. One of my regulars at a past brewery was so sensitive to molds, he would go into anaphylactic shock if he drank draft beer from unclean lines. So he stuck to pasteurized bottled beer. No problems. (other than being stuck drinking dead, cooked beer!)

    See you,
    Ron
    Last edited by Greenbrewmonkey; 05-24-2005 at 04:16 AM. Reason: wrong ml/l

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Shanghai, P.R. China
    Posts
    158
    Typical Sodium content for light lager beers is in the range of 15-170 ppm with an average content of 58 ppm. Ales may range from 40-230 ppm but once you get above 150 ppm the salinity is noticed so 150 ppm is often mentioned as the upper limit for finished product.

    Data taken from Brewing by Briggs, Boulton, Brookes and Stevens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dexter, MI USA
    Posts
    203
    Boy, the web is neat.

    I checked their respective web sites. AB says all brands contain roughly 9 mg per 12 oz serving, and Miller has a spiffy chart listing all their brands. They range from 3 to over 100 mg per 12 oz serving. (http://www.millerbrewing.com/brandsB.../nutrition.asp)

    Cool.
    Aloha,
    Ron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dexter, MI USA
    Posts
    203
    Whoops! Ever loose your car in a crowded lot? Apparently I was on level five yesterday, while my car must have been up near eight.

    Upon returning home from the brewery I dusted off "the book". The real numbers I should have given are 9-230 mg/l. Which makes a whole lot more sense when you think about it.

    Look before you leap, someday I'll learn...but I guess not today.

    Aloha,
    Ron

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