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Sulfites in beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Eriktheipaman, May 6, 2012.

  1. I did a quick search and did not find a definitive or easy to read explanation. I work in a primarily wine department at a grocery store and get the question as to what has the least Sulfites a lot. At least with wine Organic and aged have the least sulfites. From what I understand the problem lies more with it being added for stability?

    Well I had some one ask me about Sulfites in beer and my limited understanding left me with no answers. Can anyone help me out here?
  2. I've never heard of any sulfites in beer. I'm a homebrewer and have never seen it in a recipe either.
  3. My understanding is that there can be sulfites in beer as a by product of fermentation, but have not heard of any brewers who intentionally add them like wine makers.
  4. Beers that contain sulfites must be so labeled, based on the regulation at:

    (6) Declaration of sulfites. The statement “Contains sulfites” or “Contains (a) sulfiting agent(s)” or a statement identifying the specific sulfiting agent where sulfur dioxide or a sulfiting agent is detected at a level of 10 or more parts per million*, measured as total sulfur dioxide."

    The only US beer label I recall ever seeing which noted the beer contained sulfites was decades ago, on a UK "macro" pale ale like John Courage or Red Barrel.

  5. Awesome! This was the answer I was looking for and makes a lot of sense. As said above I believe everything with fermentation has sulfites it's probably just so low it doesn't need to label or really effect anyone.
  6. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (425) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    Suflurs are added to wine to preserve it, as there is no natural preservatives in wine.

    Beer on the other hand, has hops. Delicious, delicious natural preservative hops.
  7. troobie

    troobie Savant (300) California Oct 7, 2006

    I just bought a 12-pack of Steinlager for the first time and right on the back label it states, "Contains sulfites from naturally occurring fermentation." I've never seen a beer label that mentioned sulfites before.
  8. janedoedoe1

    janedoedoe1 Initiate (15) Dec 10, 2012

    Do these American laws apply to imported beer sold in the US? Also, can lambics made with fruit contain sulfites? ... I have no idea why wine has sulfites even before they are added. I don't want to offer a beer to my "sulfite free" friend unless I know that it does not contain sulfites.
  9. TheJames

    TheJames Disciple (65) Vermont Apr 15, 2009