Blinded by Science: Healthier Brews Ahead?

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February 12, 2016 by fhsteinbart

kefir water

Water based Kefir fermentation in a one gallon glass jug.

In my never ending search for that perfect pint, I stumbled across this little tidbit of research into alternative yeast fermentations. While we fully embrace the notion of using many malts and several hops in the production of beer, we rarely use more than one yeast to ferment that bitter concoction into out favorite libation. One researcher is using a wild species of yeast garnered from of all things — wasps! While the yeast was very alcohol tolerant, it had an acidic character that made the beer taste more like a sour beer. While other wild yeasts that were tried yielded flavors reminiscent of honey. Then again you have researchers in Brazil feeding “Kefir beer” to rats. That’s right, beer fermented with Kefir granules to make that buttermilk like drink from milk! At any rate, these researchers discovered that the beer made with these Kefir granules produced a beverage that was significantly better at reducing gastrointestinal inflammation than other treatment regimens or placebo as treated in lab rats.. The researchers split up the rats into six groups, with eight rats each, and gave them one of the following: kefir beer, kefir, regular beer, water, alcohol, or an anti-inflammatory drug. They found that the kefir, kefir beer, and regular beer all reduced the induced inflammation. However, when the researchers compared the effects of the two beers, they found that the kefir beer reduced the inflammation by about 48 percent, whereas the regular beer reduced it by just 28 percent. I think that we should assist these researchers by making out own kefir beer and having a regular batch of beer for comparison. We sell Kefir granules at F. H. Steinbart Co. in two forms: one is milk based, the other water based. I think that the milk base would make for an interesting milk stout, while just about any other style would work with the water based granules. Look towards the blog for a recipe I’ll post using Kefir granules to make a healthier brew than that ever made before! Cheers!




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