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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: DrewG on July 24, 2012, 03:49:49 PM

Title: Headache City
Post by: DrewG on July 24, 2012, 03:49:49 PM
I go to a brewpub from time to time that has some pretty good beers, one even took an award recently. Thing is, every time I drink there, without fail, I wake up with crushing headaches the next morning. It's a bit of a drive so I limit myself to 3 pints (not even remotely in hangover territory for me) and I'm not the only person who has noticed the headaches. 

I understand fusel alcohols can cause headaches, but I don't detect any solventy, or hot alcohol off flavors. No off flavors of any sort come to think of it.

Any ideas what might cause this?

Title: Headache City
Post by: majorvices on July 24, 2012, 04:11:29 PM
The only thing I can think of is they ferment warm to push the beers to completion faster.  A lot of breweries and brew pubs do this. Perhaps they cover the solventy notes with hops and other flavors or perhaps the notes are subtle. Hard to say for certain what it may be.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: micsager on July 24, 2012, 04:22:04 PM
I have no clue, but there is one beer from a brewery close to me that gives me headaches every time I drink a few.  It's a scotch ale, and not really my favorite style.  But, whenever I have it from this particular brewery, I wake up with a headache.  None of my friends ahve any problem. 
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: redbeerman on July 24, 2012, 04:23:28 PM
There is a beer from a brewery in St. Louis that gives me a headache if I drink more than one. ;)
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: euge on July 24, 2012, 04:41:34 PM
You do not need to detect the fusels for them to be there and work their evil magic. :(
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: erockrph on July 24, 2012, 04:52:32 PM
There is a beer from a brewery in St. Louis that gives me a headache if I drink more than one. ;)

That's funny, there's one from Milwaukee that does the same to me...
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: EHall on July 24, 2012, 05:00:22 PM
I've found that pretty much any beer with rice in it can give me a headache. Perhaps you have an allergy to one of their ingredients they use?
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: tschmidlin on July 25, 2012, 07:27:20 AM
My wife gets headaches whenever she drinks beers from Bridgeport Brewing, with the exception of a Belgian beer they used to do - I suspect it is something their yeast throws, because she doesn't have problems with other breweries beers.  But it's possible that it was the fermentation temp and the Belgian strain doesn't produce the same stuff at the higher temp.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: gordonstrong on July 25, 2012, 12:52:00 PM
I've found the headaches from fusels come on quickly, within 10 minutes typically, of drinking. And they seem to hit me mostly in the temples.  Is that the kind of headache you get?  I've stopped judging Belgian homebrew flights because too many people seem to think this is a desirable character  >:(

If you aren't sure of the cause, you can try to preempt them by drinking lots of water and taking ibuprofin and mega vitamin B complex before you go to bed.  Many times headaches are simple dehydration.  Ibuprofin helps with the headaches and vitamin B helps your liver break down the alcohol.  This is basically my NHC Survival Guide.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: mabrungard on July 25, 2012, 12:55:11 PM
A brew pub here in Indy that specializes in Belgian styles gives me headaches everytime I have some of their beers.  They are tasty, but I could do without the side effect.  I do not typically pick up fusel, hot, or alcoholic notes in those beers, but they must be there.
Title: Headache City
Post by: majorvices on July 25, 2012, 01:41:21 PM
along with what Tom is saying, my wife get's itchy (her skin, just in case someone wants to put an innuendo in there ;) ) after she drinks a particular Belgian Strain. I wonder if this is not something similar to what is happening in your (DrewG's) case.

Fusels never bother me until the next day, though. I never have experienced a head ache as quickly as Gordon as mentioned.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: gmac on July 25, 2012, 01:45:38 PM
Worst headache I've ever had - Granite City Brewpub in Sioux Falls, SD.  Had two IPA's and woke up in the middle of the night with a splitting headache.  It was before I knew about fusels etc but I'm betting that's what it was.  Otherwise, I've only ever had the "over-indulgence" headache.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: DrewG on July 25, 2012, 01:49:29 PM
Quote
I've found the headaches from fusels come on quickly, within 10 minutes typically, of drinking. And they seem to hit me mostly in the temples.  Is that the kind of headache you get? 

Those are exactly the kind I get, although never that quickly. I follow the vitamin B, water and Ibuprofen regiment too, and it certainly helps. 

I know they have a cold room for the fermentors (plastic drums) but I'm positive there is no temp control on the fermentors (such as they are) themselves.

Quote
I wonder if this is not something similar to what is happening in your (DrewG's) case.

I don't have any food allergies, and it doesn't seem to matter which beers I drink there, which made me think it might be process related. That and the fact that other people are experiencing the same headaches. Then again, anything's possible
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: euge on July 25, 2012, 03:21:50 PM
Please do not take Ibuprofen after drinking. Water and B-complex and something sugary before bed will work. Alcohol is already hard on the liver- you don't want to throw Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or Aspirin on top of alcohol habitually or you may end up regretting it.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: phillamb168 on July 25, 2012, 03:41:42 PM
Please do not take Ibuprofen after drinking. Water and B-complex and something sugary before bed will work. Alcohol is already hard on the liver- you don't want to throw Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or Aspirin on top of alcohol habitually or you may end up regretting it.

Basically gatorade/powerade, no?
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: gsandel on July 25, 2012, 03:56:02 PM
I read recently that flushed face and itchy skin is a sign of allergy to tannins or something else in beer and red wine...something on grape skins and malt maybe?

I get headaches with certain beers and breweries as well, but I have more problems when I drink later in day or evening in quantities of 3-4 pints....the headache comes on fairly quickly and intensifies with sleep.  When I drink in mid day to mid afternoon, my body processes it better, and if any it is milder pain and subsides usually before bed.

I am thinking that as I age I am transitioning to being a "beer for breakfast only" kind of guy....and then dinner at 3:30p (and I am not that old).
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: euge on July 25, 2012, 04:07:46 PM
Please do not take Ibuprofen after drinking. Water and B-complex and something sugary before bed will work. Alcohol is already hard on the liver- you don't want to throw Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or Aspirin on top of alcohol habitually or you may end up regretting it.

Basically gatorade/powerade, no?

I think that is a good start- especially as an emergency hang-over remedy. Also a shower and something fatty to eat right after you wake. I hear leftover Chinese food works even if you feel like you want to hurl.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: EHall on July 25, 2012, 04:35:07 PM
If you aren't sure of the cause, you can try to preempt them by drinking lots of water and taking ibuprofin and mega vitamin B complex before you go to bed.  Many times headaches are simple dehydration.  Ibuprofin helps with the headaches and vitamin B helps your liver break down the alcohol.  This is basically my NHC Survival Guide.

Actually, you'll do better to replace the ibuprofin with vitamin C and lots of it. Ibuprofin is damaging to the liver. Niacin is the B vitamin you want the most of and vitamins D and E won't hurt either. Plenty of water too.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: Slowbrew on July 25, 2012, 06:35:11 PM
Drinking a couple large glasses of water and eating a banana helps too.  I've heard the potassium helps out somehow but I make no claims to being a chemist (organic or not) so I won't try to explain why it might work.  It has saved me a few times though.

Paul
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: Joe Sr. on July 25, 2012, 07:49:51 PM
If you aren't sure of the cause, you can try to preempt them by drinking lots of water and taking ibuprofin and mega vitamin B complex before you go to bed.  Many times headaches are simple dehydration.  Ibuprofin helps with the headaches and vitamin B helps your liver break down the alcohol.  This is basically my NHC Survival Guide.

Actually, you'll do better to replace the ibuprofin with vitamin C and lots of it. Ibuprofin is damaging to the liver. Niacin is the B vitamin you want the most of and vitamins D and E won't hurt either. Plenty of water too.

It's always been my understanding that acetaminophen is damaging to the liver and ibuprofen is damaging to the stomach lining.  I am not a doctor, however.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: redbeerman on July 25, 2012, 08:14:41 PM
If you aren't sure of the cause, you can try to preempt them by drinking lots of water and taking ibuprofin and mega vitamin B complex before you go to bed.  Many times headaches are simple dehydration.  Ibuprofin helps with the headaches and vitamin B helps your liver break down the alcohol.  This is basically my NHC Survival Guide.

Actually, you'll do better to replace the ibuprofin with vitamin C and lots of it. Ibuprofin is damaging to the liver. Niacin is the B vitamin you want the most of and vitamins D and E won't hurt either. Plenty of water too.

It's always been my understanding that acetaminophen is damaging to the liver and ibuprofen is damaging to the stomach lining and kidneys.  I am not a doctor, however.

Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: seajellie on July 25, 2012, 11:47:31 PM
How sanitary are their lines? There could be all sorts of stuff growing in the lines that gives you the headache. Two of the worst "hangovers" I have ever had came after drinking just one pint, of a beer that I have had before at other venues. I can think only that the beer lines were improperly cleaned.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: majorvices on July 26, 2012, 01:29:23 AM
ibuprofen is less toxic to the liver than acetomenophen (or however you spell it). I think as long as you don't take it every night and as long as you drink moderately mostly you will be perfectly fine, even if you get sloppy drunk every once in a while and take it.

And I am a doctor ... of love, baby.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: majorvices on July 26, 2012, 01:31:05 AM
How sanitary are their lines? There could be all sorts of stuff growing in the lines that gives you the headache. Two of the worst "hangovers" I have ever had came after drinking just one pint, of a beer that I have had before at other venues. I can think only that the beer lines were improperly cleaned.

very good point!
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: Joe Sr. on July 26, 2012, 02:24:32 PM
How sanitary are their lines? There could be all sorts of stuff growing in the lines that gives you the headache. Two of the worst "hangovers" I have ever had came after drinking just one pint, of a beer that I have had before at other venues. I can think only that the beer lines were improperly cleaned.

very good point!

I agree completely.  The worst headaches I've ever gotten are from drinking a couple cups of Miller at a Blackhawk's game (yes, I've done this repeatedly).  The only thing I could think was that the weird backpacks the servers wear to give you draft beer in the stands were probably just filthy.

So, I started only buying beer at the concession stand.  Same deal.  I just don't think they clean their lines.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: Delo on July 26, 2012, 02:34:31 PM
I agree completely.  The worst headaches I've ever gotten are from drinking a couple cups of Miller at a Blackhawk's game (yes, I've done this repeatedly). .

That's funny. The worst headaches I've ever gotten were from drinking beers at a Rangers game and realizing that I paid at least $60 for crappy beer. (and I've done this repeatedly too.)
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: Slowbrew on July 26, 2012, 02:48:19 PM
Dirty lines will cause this.  My own beers out of keg freezer were giving me killer headaches until last week.  I realized I had not cleaned the lines in, let's just say awhile.  I cleaned everything up and no more problems.  Even a sort of sour flavor I hadn't really noticed is now absent.  It's on my calendar now so I don't forget again. ::)

Paul
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: erockrph on July 26, 2012, 03:25:20 PM
I agree completely.  The worst headaches I've ever gotten are from drinking a couple cups of Miller at a Blackhawk's game (yes, I've done this repeatedly). .

That's funny. The worst headaches I've ever gotten were from drinking beers at a Rangers game and realizing that I paid at least $60 for crappy beer. (and I've done this repeatedly too.)

I must just be lucky up here in New England. At all the stadiums around here the typical BMC swill averages about $8 a draft, but there's always decent craft beer available, and usually for just $0.25-$0.50 more than the garbage beer. Bud for $8.50 vs. Harpoon IPA for $8.75 - that's a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: DrewG on July 26, 2012, 03:35:58 PM
Quote
How sanitary are their lines? There could be all sorts of stuff growing in the lines that gives you the headache.

A good question, and one I don't have an answer to. Certainly possible.

One other thing I noticed is they ferment in 55 gallon plastic barrels. No idea what effect (if any) that would have.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: nateo on July 26, 2012, 04:37:28 PM
One other thing I noticed is they ferment in 55 gallon plastic barrels. No idea what effect (if any) that would have.

Plastic barrels are cheap and easy, but they're disposable. Plastic is more likely to harbor bacteria because it's harder to clean than stainless. On a short time-scale it doesn't really matter, but over a long enough period it could matter.

I've always thought fermenting in disposable/recyclable food-grade sanitary plastic bags would be a great idea. I think that's how they make insulin in pharma labs. 
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: morticaixavier on July 26, 2012, 05:06:24 PM
Sure is alot of editing going on in this thread...

?? there havn't been any edits
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: gmac on July 26, 2012, 06:45:58 PM
disposable/recyclable food-grade sanitary plastic bags would be a great idea. I think that's how they make insulin in pharma labs.

Thats how the two U-brews near my place do it.  15 gal batches in clear plastic bags. 
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: positiverpr on July 28, 2012, 09:59:28 PM
this is fascinating stuff! no need to worry about liver damage with ibuprofen and alcohol at any reasonably combined level(bleeding from a stomach ulcer would be a bigger worry, especially if over-indulging). tylenol and alcohol would be the real concern. i have also gotten 2 of my worst migraines at rangers games(both several years ago) and one at a saints game(i rarely get migraines and all three happened within 1 hr- also all three involved budweiser). so that gets me to wondering(mostly about trace wood residuals as a migraine trigger). also the contaminated line thing is somethinhg that i've never thought about. there is some research to be done but dont look at me - i'm only an m.d. ;)
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: positiverpr on July 28, 2012, 10:01:14 PM
sorry to follow myself up but after thinking about it briefly the most logical answer would be acetaldehyde right? budweiser... local brewpub rushing beer and covering it up with other flavors.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: euge on July 28, 2012, 11:01:53 PM
disposable/recyclable food-grade sanitary plastic bags would be a great idea. I think that's how they make insulin in pharma labs.

Thats how the two U-brews near my place do it.  15 gal batches in clear plastic bags.

Where do you find such food-grade bags?
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: deepsouth on July 28, 2012, 11:57:53 PM
my wife found a bottle of my third homebrew, a belgian saison, and we drank it and i ended up with a headache.  for some reason, some belgian beers do the same to me, but i haven't paid close enough attention before to be able to pick out which.
Title: Re: Headache City
Post by: deanocamino on July 29, 2012, 11:36:55 AM
I dont get very many headaches unless I really tie one on... however it never fails that my wife gets them every morning after she drinks home brew whether it is mine or someone elses.