Author Topic: Vitamin C in commercial beer  (Read 3359 times)

Offline unclebrazzie

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Vitamin C in commercial beer
« on: March 05, 2015, 09:21:15 AM »
Curiosity compelled me to crack a can of Saint Feuillien the other day.
Regardless of what I thought of the beer (a commercial non-lager Belgian beer in a can! Which didn't completely suck! but which wasn't what I was craving either), I'm intrigued by the ingredients listed on the can.

Water, malted barley, hops, yeast, sugar. Nothing unconventional so far.

Vitamin C though....

The only reason I can think of why one would add ascorbic acid to a beer is to prevent oxidation. Which leads me to wonder why the hell Saint Feuillien would think their beers are so susceptible to oxidation they need a pre-emptive shot of vitamins to cure their beer-scurvy.

A non-CO2-counterpressured cannery maybe?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2015, 12:40:45 PM »
Asorbic acid is a powerful anti-oxidant. If used in low doses it is flavorless and will only minimally effect the pH. I have actually used it in homebrew before on beer I knew got oxidized to prolong the shelf life and it works.

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 12:46:28 PM »
Here's another 2 cents: adding ascorbic acid to prolong the shelf life of a canned beer? Brewer's doing something wrong is what I say.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 01:00:27 PM »
I've seen some of these canning lines in action. The thinking that canning lines don't pick up o2 is a myth, at least on the smaller ones. They may be less impervious to o2 pick up after sealing but many of them have a lot of o2 pick up during the operation. Perhaps it is something with their canning line.

Just speculation on my part. I have considered using asorbic acid to prolong shelf life on my bottled beers but didn't want the label to say it has additives so I shelved it. Kind of like when budweisser experimented with cinnamon in the mash for the same purpose but didn't want to disclose they used cinnamon in their beers.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 01:25:32 PM »
I hear some of the new mobile canning operations have had oxidation problems and they don't have the equipment to check oxygen in the packages beer either. It's flying blind so an antioxidant would be good insurance.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 01:29:20 PM »
Belgium brewers also use coriander often, and that is another antioxidant.
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Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2015, 02:37:26 PM »
I bet if it was coriader they used, they'd stick to the old "Natural flavourings". Or "Spices". Never "Vitamin C" though.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2015, 02:57:23 PM »
Vitamin C is used as an antioxidant in sodas.  Oxidized vitamin C can leave a precipitate.

They could have used cinnamon following Charlie P's recommendation.

Offline fmader

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2015, 03:55:28 PM »
Scurvy prevention.....duh  :P
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2015, 04:02:12 PM »
Belgium brewers also use coriander often, and that is another antioxidant.
Don't forget Vitamin C that comes from citrus peel as well.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2015, 08:01:03 PM »
I use some ascorbic acid in all my IPAs and Pale ales.  It helps them retain that vibrant hop aroma and flavor longer imho.
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Offline denny

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 09:09:43 PM »
I use some ascorbic acid in all my IPAs and Pale ales.  It helps them retain that vibrant hop aroma and flavor longer imho.

This is something I'd like to test and it would be darn easy.  When do you add it, Dan?
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2015, 09:11:30 PM »
I add to the receiving vessel after primary.  Be it "secondary" for dry hopping or the keg.  I add it first and let the transfer mix it in.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2015, 09:23:09 PM »
how much?
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Offline denny

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Re: Vitamin C in commercial beer
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2015, 09:37:33 PM »
how much?

This^^^.  I'm gonna try it with a split batch and then do a blind triangle.
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