Author Topic: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration  (Read 2069 times)

Offline denny

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Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« on: April 14, 2013, 01:39:04 PM »

Similar to the arsenic in apple juice craziness that hit the media a while back, beer is now getting its arsenic inspection.

Mehmet Coelhan, a researcher at the Technical University of Munich, reported that nearly 360 beers tested in Germany had some trace amounts of arsenic. And while
arsenic is a natural substance that seems to pop up in water and apple juice, a few of those beers were found to have more than 25 parts per billion of arsenic. The standard for drinking water in the States? Ten parts per billion.

NPR reports that the source of arsenic seems to be the filtering process, which uses diatomaceous earth that contains iron and other metals. "The levels shouldn't be alarming, because it's the kind of thing you see in dust or air," Roger Boulton, a professor at University of California, Davis, told NPR.

The same filtration process, NPR notes, is also used for wine, and while there seems to be no taste appeal for filtering wine or beer, there is definite visual appeal in a clear, cold brew, or a crisp glass of white wine.

There aren't many other options for filtration, NPR notes, as other methods affect the taste of the brews and wines more so than diatomaceous earth. And while this means maybe we should all try some cloudy brews, let's note that the same arsenic scare occured with apple juice, to no avail. While studies found 10 percent of apple juice to contain more arsenic than drinking water standards, the FDA claimed that "a risk to public health does not exist for apple juice. Unlike drinking water, the levels routinely found in apple juice are either not detectable or occur at very low levels."
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 02:32:08 PM »
Ao when someone says "name your poison" I will say beer.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Offline nateo

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 06:50:41 PM »
Oh good. I was worried beer might contain poison, but luckily it only contains ethanol.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 04:59:46 AM »
Another reason not to filter beer.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 05:21:57 AM »
The only difference between poison and medicine is dose.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 04:25:25 AM »
The only difference between poison and medicine is dose.

^ Brewery slogan.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 09:40:31 AM »
The one thing that is noted in the study is the type of Kieselguhr used for filtering. Not all Kieselguhr media contains arsenic. So understanding/qualifying the filtering media is necessary in an effort to mitigate the potential for leaching arsenic during the filtration process.

In light of the awareness of this issue, it might be in the best interests of breweries utilizing this filtering technique to consider changing their filtering process altogether. 
Ron Price

Offline In The Sand

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Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 08:11:48 PM »

Similar to the arsenic in apple juice craziness that hit the media a while back, beer is now getting its arsenic inspection.

Mehmet Coelhan, a researcher at the Technical University of Munich, reported that nearly 360 beers tested in Germany had some trace amounts of arsenic. And while
arsenic is a natural substance that seems to pop up in water and apple juice, a few of those beers were found to have more than 25 parts per billion of arsenic. The standard for drinking water in the States? Ten parts per billion.

NPR reports that the source of arsenic seems to be the filtering process, which uses diatomaceous earth that contains iron and other metals. "The levels shouldn't be alarming, because it's the kind of thing you see in dust or air," Roger Boulton, a professor at University of California, Davis, told NPR.

The same filtration process, NPR notes, is also used for wine, and while there seems to be no taste appeal for filtering wine or beer, there is definite visual appeal in a clear, cold brew, or a crisp glass of white wine.

There aren't many other options for filtration, NPR notes, as other methods affect the taste of the brews and wines more so than diatomaceous earth. And while this means maybe we should all try some cloudy brews, let's note that the same arsenic scare occured with apple juice, to no avail. While studies found 10 percent of apple juice to contain more arsenic than drinking water standards, the FDA claimed that "a risk to public health does not exist for apple juice. Unlike drinking water, the levels routinely found in apple juice are either not detectable or occur at very low levels."

Was it organic or inorganic arsenic that was found in the beer? Inorganic is the one you have to worry about.
Trey W.

Offline denny

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Arsenic in beer caused by filtration
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 08:41:24 PM »
Everything I know about it is in the post.
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