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is it so bizarre?

Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades

How do you like your beers served to you?

Give me a new glass every time. I hear that the dishwasher rinse that they use is good for your teeth.
4
11%
Donâ??t replace my glass. I like my beer to taste like the brewer intended, or as close to it as possible. And itâ??s more efficient.
14
39%
I don't care, just give me a beer.
18
50%
 
Total votes : 36

Postby lysander » Thu May 11, 2006 2:07 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
lysander wrote:
Ok, I've heard the "if there's alcohol in it, it must be a freaking antiseptic" argument ad naseum. If that's the case, you'd drink your beer after I spit in it, right?

Sure, if it's on the house. But don't expect a tip.
This is not the answer I was expecting. I'll give you that point.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I certainly never used the word "antispetic", now did I... Straw Man etc.
True, you never explicitly said antiseptic, you just implied that the alcohol would sterilize the beer.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I'm just sayin' this is yet another example of the human mind's utter inability to accurately assess risk. The risk of getting sick from a spigot seems exceedingly small compared to all the other sources of dank in the average bar and yes, that includes the hands of the bartender who has been touching money all night, one of the most disgusting, germ-ridden things on the planet.
Ok, I'll kind of give you that one too. There's lots of dirty things in a bar, but few of those things make their ways into my beer, unless the bartender takes the head off by stirring the beer with fingers.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
lysander wrote:
No, germs grow just fine in beer. I've seen proof.

You have?
Please elaborate, oh cryptic one.

No problem. Take a tap beer, set it somewhere for a few days, and see if there's any fuzzy stuff growing in it. I have, it does. I haven't done any petri dish experiments yet, but I'd wager that beer does not prohibit bacterial or fungal growth in any measurable form. I would be interested to find out for sure, though.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 11, 2006 2:10 pm

You didn't read Chuck's post before replying to mine, did ya, lysander?

Mold is not germs and it probably won't make you sick except maybe in the "ewww gross, I feel a little queasy" sorta way. And there's already fungus in beer (again, it's called yeast.)

But thanks for playing.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Thu May 11, 2006 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby doddles » Thu May 11, 2006 2:10 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:As a one-time, now butt-lazy home brewer, I can tell you that the de facto definitive resource on the subject claims there are no pathogens that can survive in even the lightest of brews. If you're unscrupulous about cleaning your bottles, you can get mold growth, which might be extremely distasteful, but it's not going to cause more than a sour face and turn of the stomach, which is not the same as infection.


Which is the reason why the addage "take me to a place where the water's not fit to drink" is such a good one. As long as there's beer, no worries.

As for my glass preferences, I don't really care, although on a boiling summer day, having beer in a frosted glass from the fridge is pretty damn good.
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Postby Crow » Thu May 11, 2006 2:26 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:As a one-time, now butt-lazy home brewer, I can tell you that the de facto definitive resource on the subject claims there are no pathogens that can survive in even the lightest of brews.


Papazian, I presume?
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 11, 2006 2:26 pm

It's also worth noting that the method of "cleaning" glasses in many bars on a busy night (a quick dip in some soapy/bleachy water followed by an equally short plunge into "clean" water, which is rarely drained and changed) doesn't exactly encourage me to want to prefer a "clean" glass to simply re-using the same one. Germs may not be a big concern of mine, but "hint of bleach" isn't exactly what makes beer appealing, nor is the ever-increasing likelihood when swapping glasses every beer that the "clean" one will arrive with lipstick caked to the rim.
Now that's icky.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu May 11, 2006 2:29 pm

Crow wrote:
Chuck_Schick wrote:I can tell you that the de facto definitive resource on the subject claims there are no pathogens that can survive in even the lightest of brews.

Papazian, I presume?

The one and only.
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Postby shelly » Thu May 11, 2006 2:35 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You didn't read Chuck's post before replying to mine, did ya, lysander?

Mold is not germs and it probably won't make you sick except maybe in the "ewww gross, I feel a little queasy" sorta way. And there's already fungus in beer (again, it's called yeast.)

But thanks for playing.


Actually, molds are microbes and plenty of fungal species can cause serious disease in people.

The term "germs" is practically meaningless in biological terms, but if you mean pathogens (microbes that make you sick) then fungi, viruses, bacteria, protozoa and a host of other microbial species can be "germs". Most microbes however, are not pathogenic and are not "germs" in that sense.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 11, 2006 3:09 pm

shelly wrote:Actually, molds are microbes and plenty of fungal species can cause serious disease in people.

Of course, you are correct. I apologize for my attempted over-simplification which resulted in my misstatement. Further, Shelly's definition (or rather lack of a definition) for "germs" is entirely correct. Shelly could have gone even further and pointed out that my differentiation between mold and fungi is meaningless - mold is fungus.

My point was that what folks generally refer to as the "germs" that are gonna make you sick - bacteria and viruses - are not the same as those that will cause mold to grow in your beer. And the mold that does grow in your beer, like most of the ones you're likely to find in your kitchen, may look disgusting, but they're generally harmless. My Dad routinely grossed me out when I was growing up by lopping off the moldy parts of cheese, popping them in his mouth and then declaring there was now no reason for me not to eat the remainder. That said, he would never have licked the hands of a bartender after they'd worked a shift. After all, that's just disgusting.

So ... my apologies to lysander for my inaccurate dismissal, but I think even shelly will agree with me that the risk of getting sick from a beer-dipped spigot is pretty close to nil.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu May 11, 2006 3:24 pm

shelly wrote:Actually, molds are microbes and plenty of fungal species can cause serious disease in people.

Actually there are a couple of known species of mold that are considered microbes--slime molds and water molds. Technically, I suppose fungi is a micro in the cellular sense, but my point was that anything Lysander was seeing in his beer was not bacterial or viral, nor was it pathogenic. Incidentally slime and water molds are not really true molds and are no longer considered fungi due to their ability to move (rather than spread, mind you). Neither is pathogenic to humans, though they have been known to be detrimental to crops and water molds can cause disease in fish. Neither of these is going to make it into your beer glass.

True there are many molds that can proliferate in damn areas of your home or wherever and can cause serious health problems, but again, these aren't going to thrive in your beer, though they'll render it virtually undrinkable.

Again, there are no known pathogens that can survive the alcohol and hop content of beer. The sort of mold we're talking here is more like the sort you'll find on an old loaf of bread. Not pleasant to ingest, but essentially harmless otherwise.
Last edited by Chuck_Schick on Thu May 11, 2006 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lysander » Thu May 11, 2006 3:27 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You didn't read Chuck's post before replying to mine, did ya, lysander?

Mold is not germs and it probably won't make you sick except maybe in the "ewww gross, I feel a little queasy" sorta way. And there's already fungus in beer (again, it's called yeast.)


Ok, I'll admit that I didn't read Chuck's post before I replied, rather I clicked Reply and took my time posting. Some good points are made, but I haven't come across the research regarding microbial growth in solutions with beer-level alcohol content. For the record, I misused "germs" to mean any and all microbial growth. And I didn't discriminate between harmless ones and pathogens; I took the fungus to be equally as hardy as the common cold virus. *Oh, and in the time that I typed this, both shelly, Prof. Wagstaff, and Chuck Schick posted on this topic.

I will stand by the cleaning methods you described as "a quick dip in some soapy/bleachy water followed by an equally short plunge into "clean" water, which is rarely drained and changed" but is actually a three sink process going from scrubbing in soapy water with brushes to rinsing in clean water to a final swishing in sanitizing solution with a 100ppm concentration of chlorine (or some similar sterilizing stuff, 'active chlorine'? i've never been a pool boy)

If I had solid proof that a 4% concentration of alcohol killed germs, I would be able to relax decades of germ-angst. A reward would be due.
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Postby The Big Cheese » Thu May 11, 2006 3:28 pm

Speaking of mold spreading and microbiotic movement and so on, has any one noticed the latest buzzword around Washinton? It's "tropism."

I first noticed it in one of Dowd's columns, and now I see it all over the place.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu May 11, 2006 3:33 pm

lysander wrote:If I had solid proof that a 4% concentration of alcohol killed germs, I would be able to relax decades of germ-angst. A reward would be due.

Well, you have to bear in mind that alcohol is not the only factor in deterring bacterial or viral propagation. Hops have plenty to do with making the environment hostile to these critters, not to mention that bacteria and viruses are very particular to the medium on which and temperature at which they thrive, which is why Petri dishes come in all "flavors" (forgive the term) of media and are cultured in differing controlled environments depending on what bacterium or virus you're trying to culture. Bottom line is the relatively simple ingredient list in beer, coupled with the alcohol and acidity of the hops extracts don't cut it for these critters.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 11, 2006 3:50 pm

lysander wrote: For the record, I misused "germs" to mean any and all microbial growth.

Well, since everyone but shelly misused the term "germs," I'd say no big deal. We've all since been taken to school on that count. That's why I prefer to think of "mistakes" as "learning opportunities."*

lysander wrote: I will stand by the cleaning methods you described as "a quick dip in some soapy/bleachy water followed by an equally short plunge into "clean" water, which is rarely drained and changed" but is actually a three sink process going from scrubbing in soapy water with brushes to rinsing in clean water to a final swishing in sanitizing solution with a 100ppm concentration of chlorine

Well, that's not what I described, now is it? I mean, if you're using a 3-sink method with chlorine at the end, that's actually pretty different, isn't it?
Are you suggesting that no bars are guilty of the method I've described? Or that every bar has three sinks? 'Cuz I've seen it with my own eyes and tasted the leftover soap and/or bleach with my own mouth. (That said, I've never seen anyone use a brush on a beer glass behind a bar - where do you work with such high standards? Has anyone else ever witnessed this behavior?)

*Note that this sentence was more sickening than anything you might find in a glass of beer.
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Postby small cheese » Thu May 11, 2006 4:40 pm

The brushes (four of them) are spinning under the water and they scrub the inside and the outside of the glass at the same time. It's a quick push down, swirl a bit, pull up action, and it cleans the bartender's hands, too. Kind of.

Most bars (I think) have this system if they don't have a dishwasher that does everything automatically. I've worked with both, and I prefer the brushes. They will actually get rid of lipstick.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 11, 2006 4:42 pm

Thanks, cheese!
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