Re: Stinky paper and beer

From: Ryuji Suzuki ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 12/15/04-01:58:52 AM Z
Message-id: <>

From: Judy Seigel <>
Subject: Stinky paper and beer
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 02:08:04 -0500 (EST)

> I thought of this reading an article in today's (that's Tuesday's) NY
> Times Science section... a discussion of beer making, in which the water
> is apparently an extreme variable -- the pH, the minerals, and other local
> and seasonal variations. Some of them, by the way, ending in "aldehyde" --
> or maybe that was the stuff that got formed by the combinations...
> whichever, I was struck by the info that these variations could make
> stinky beer. There was a bunch of other info about how beer makers cope
> (mostly additives) and about the effects that has on beer flavor and
> taste. (No I'm not planning on making beer in the near future, but somehow
> read the article while drinking my tea.)

I thought about making my own beer several times in the past but
thanks to advice from my economist friend I decided it would not be a
wise action. So I don't know about biochemistry of beer making. She
recommended me to become a perfume chemist or a silver gelatin
emulsion maker. (BTW making a good perfume is a complete crap shoot,
based on what I heard.)

But aldehydes occur in a variety of situations because they are made
by oxidation of alcohols. It is a factor in sensory quality of a lot
of alcoholic beverages as well, together with acid esters of alcohols
and higher alcohols (amyl-, butyl-, etc.-alchol). Get a bottle of
decent whisk(e)y, have a sip, fill a couple of centimeters deep in a
tasting glass, and let it oxidize for a few hours... you'll know. (I
can usually tell just by the nose --- that's a good proof that my
olfactory bulb is not damaged by my favorite glutaraldehyde. Indeed,
my taste buds are fine as well. They keep regenerating every other
week anyway.)

Aldehydes are intermediates of making vinegar from wine by acetic acid
bacteria. They are also made in the body in the process of breaking
down alcohol (an intermediate to ketones).

Tip for good life: keep your alcholic beverages at a low temperature
(like 10-15C) and do not expose them to oxygen.

Ryuji Suzuki
A silver gelatin printer drinking wines from the country named
after silver, the country which was later found to have no silver.
Received on Wed Dec 15 01:59:22 2004

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