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Author Topic: Guinness + fish bones?
chris lee
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Here's one I've heard that got more steam with the Dropkick Murphy's song good rats. According to the legend, Guinness originally didn't taste so good when it was brewed (and it was in a covered barrel), but then all of a sudden it was delicious (and still is!) - it turned out when the barrels were emptied, rat bones were found - someone must have left the lids off, and rats jumped in - the legend goes on that since consumers wouldn't go for rat bones that today Guinness uses fish bones instead, making it one of the few non-vegitarian beers...anyone know anything about this myth?
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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Many beers are not vegetarian. Guinness says they're only not veggie because of the use of isinglass (which is derived from fish, but is used for clarification, not for taste). I've certainly heard of cider being brewed with a leg of meat in it in the distant past; this website indicates that is not true, or at least, not any more.

Edited for a clarification clarification!

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Beer is generally just malted barley, hops, water, and yeast (finings aren't counted since they're removed). Sometimes non-barley malted grains (wheat, oats, rye, wheat, corn, or sorghum) are used plus herbs or fruit for flavouring. Sugar is sometimes added to make the beer stronger or to carbonate the beer.

The liquid to be made into beer, the wort, is made by malting and mashing. Malting is soaking the grain in a little water, permitting it to germinate, and drying it in a kiln. For certain beers, like Guiness, the malted grain is roasted. The malted grain is then crushed and then mashed, or heated in water at various temperatures. The liquid, now wort, is extracted into the container where it will be fermented (or become beer).

Wine and cider are generally fruit juices, water, and yeast (finings again aren't counted). Some wines (particularly vermouth) have herbs added for taste. Red wines are soaked in their skins and stems for colour and taste (all grape juice is white out of the grape). With the exception of hopping (adding hops to beer) and usually carbonation, fruit juices (called must) continue along the same processes to become wine or cider as wort does to become beer.

Wort and must are put into a container called a fermenter where yeast is added to become beer, wine, cider, etc. Fermenters are nearly always sealed to keep oxygen out as oxygen will ruin the drink (sherry is an exception). A device called a fermentation lock allows air to escape from the fermenter but not to enter. The fermentation lock is generally placed on all containers in which the drink is poured until it is put into a barrel (for bulk aging), bottle, or can. Guiness is one of the few beers to be aged in a wooden cask (a process called vatting).

Historically, if fermentation was stuck (the yeast did start converting the sugars to ethanol), a piece of meat would be added to the vessel to get it started. This worked due to the nitrogen in the meat. Cider made this way was called "scrumpy". I'm sure this is the origins of the rat story. The modern remedy for stuck fermentation is to mix water and sugar, warm it up, and add yeast.

Beer and wine are racked off after fermentation is complete. Racking is the process of allowing the liquid to sit so that gravity pulls any heavier substances down to the bottom and then siphoning liquid out of a container, leaving behind the lees (anything solid left at the bottom, along with the dregs of the liquid). Generally, there is a racking after fermetation, to get the liquid off the lees (generally yeast and bits of barley, grapes or whatever plus sometimes insects, which are common in natural foods) and then another after fining the liquid. Often there are other rackings to remove other impurities.

Fining is the process of added a substance that attracts solid matter suspendde in the liquid to form a clump that will settle at the bottom of the container. The most common fining agents are bentonite and isinglass. Bentonite is a type of clay, so it is vegetarian. Isinglass is made from fish, so that is where the story originates. Fining agents are removed by racking and filtering, but trace amounts of the fining agents are left.

Less commong fining agents include carragean. Historically, other substances have been used besides bentonite and isinglass, such as egg yolks and ox blood. These are generally not used any more, due to heath concerns.

Guiness is not a vegetarian beer (big page) because it uses isinglass. (Note that that page has a major error on it -- it assumes all finings are animal products, which is not true.)

And that was, I'm sure, more than you wanted to know.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Two N's in 'Guinness' Jase'

[Wink] I jest, good post.

...just wanted to add that myself and friends are descending upon the West coast of Clare, Eire, next month and the Guinness in these parts is manna from heaven itself [Smile]

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
Two N's in 'Guinness' Jase'

Not when I say it! (And how'd ya know I wrote my name like that? [Razz] )

I think the extra N ended up in benotnite (which I managed to catch each time).

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
...just wanted to add that myself and friends are descending upon the West coast of Clare, Eire, next month and the Guinness in these parts is manna from heaven itself [Smile]

IIRC, that's pretty much all there is to do in Clare? This is probably heresy, but the main things I look forward to when I end up in Ireland are going to Boots and Topshop. And milk.

Ana

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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You mean you don't have Chemists, cheap ladies boutiques and milk in NYC? [Wink]

Gonna hit the beach Ana' - surf, sand, pubs, and maybe a bit of mountain-biking - sounds like plenty to do to me [Smile]

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Anwndur
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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We used to dissolve a tablespoon of Bovril in Guinness, which would have definitely made it non-vegetarian (though it would make no difference these days, since the Marmitisation of Bovril).

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Honey, I know you've been to the US- you didn't notice how icky our milk is, comparatively?

I guess I'm pointing out that I can never appreciate the beauty of the countryside or anything because of the novelty of different stores. Sadly, one of my major favorites is actually M&S!

I'm guessing you didn't mean actual surfing, but is it true that surfing in Ireland is both super dangerous and super desireable? I grew up in a place that was heavily surfing-oriented, and I remember it being highly revered but feared as a surfing destination. Something about rocks?

Ana, the cultureless cretin.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I must admit to not drinking any milk in the US, at least none that I can remember - the cheapness of your beer means that i'm seldom drinking much else other than beer when i'm over [Wink]

I did mean surfing - Lahinch in Clare is a popular destination, and rolling Atlantic breakers mean it's quite safe, ideal for surf-jessies like myself - i'm sure Ireland has it's badlands too, I know for a fact that Wales and Cornwall have plenty of extreme surfing...I like Ireland's west coast because the water is so warm [Wink]

 -

To clarify - I know M&S etc are decent enough stores, but what is it they offer that you can't pick up in NY?

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Crotcheted thongs?

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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They have really interesting ready-made food and I like their black cotton panties.

Close, Chloe! [lol]

How do you get your board over there? (Nice pic by the way- the patented Jay Tea smirk...)

Ana

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Kitsune26
The First USA Noel


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Jay Tea- Le Rawr.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Ah yes, Mars and Sparks do indeed do some good food, and they do good pants for blokes too [Wink]

As I mentioned, Clare is popular with surfers so there are places to rent boards, though I wouldn't rent a suit - ewww [Smile]

Kitsune26
[Wink]

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Whyever not? [Wink]

Ana

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Gavida
Deck the Malls


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I once heard that Guinness used lambs meat in brewing their beer. But I actually saw this as a myth.

Speaking about beer....
Here in germany beer is still brewed in regards to the purity requirement (Reinheitsgebot).

From Wikipedia:
The Reinheitsgebot (literally "purity requirement") is a regulation that originated in the city of Ingolstadt in the duchy of Bavaria in 1516, concerning standards for the sale and composition of beer. It is thought to be the oldest food-hygiene regulation still in use.
/from Wikipedia
Here is a link for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinheitsgebot

Some breweries claim to only brew following the Reinheitsgebot when they actually do not.
Some very small breweries on the other hand do and all I can say is: "yummy" [Smile]

Gavida

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Blimey, Jay Tea - you really ARE Danny the dealer...
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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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The purveyor of rare herbs and prescribed chemicals is back...will you ever be set free? [lol]

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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Holy crap Jay, You are seriously going to surf in Ireland wearing a "Shortie"???

Nutcase! Gimme a hood gloves boots and winter suit all year round!

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Hans Off:
Holy crap Jay, You are seriously going to surf in Ireland wearing a "Shortie"???

Nutcase! Gimme a hood gloves boots and winter suit all year round!

Water'll be about 17 degrees, so no need for full cover, besides, i've got a good layer of blubber on the go! [Wink]

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