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Oct 6th, 2007, 09:41 PM
Its main office is based in Sweden, but their UK distributor is in Belfast, ]

thats freaky!!
Im swedish and live in Belfast! :eek:

Oct 6th, 2007, 10:12 PM
You can buy Bentonite here:


They advertise it as an enema :eek: but I'm pretty sure this is the stuff my Dad uses in his winery. I'll ask him next time I see him.

Oct 9th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Is your username a wee pun on that of an existing member?

no sorry and thanks for the other link person,


Oct 13th, 2007, 11:50 AM
are you a brewer or something? Just wondering as beer is one of my favourite pastimes (drinking, very occasionally brewing it and in days gone by, writing about it.)

Any beer that I make - small volumes obviously - is bottle conditioned so you don't have to fine it. Obvioulsy, you have to be very careful about how you pour the stuff into a glass :D

Oct 13th, 2007, 08:42 PM
I don't know about Ratty, but I was a brewer for about 30 years in a 'previous existence' (before I became a vegan).
Finings are added to fermented beer to make the yeast cells flocculate - i.e. stick together into large clumps. These large clumps settle many times more quickly than individual yeast cells, leaving clear beer. (The action is caused by electrical charges on the particles.) Clarification by settling does depend to a large extent on the variety of yeast used; some yeasts will settle fairly quickly at the end of fermentation without any fining at all, whereas others don't completely settle even after many months, and the deposit that does form is easily disturbed.
Of course, cloudy beer is no problem to some consumers; the yeast is in any case very nutritious - surplus yeast from breweries is used to make yeast extracts such as Marmite. The cloudiness is a desired feature of some wheat beers - you may see the word "Hefe" (yeast) in the name of some Geman beers.
However, there is an effect on the appearance and also the taste, and clear beers are more popular. Most German beers (at least for home consumption!) follow the old Bavarian "Reinheitsgebot" (Purity Law) and finings are not permitted. Traditionally, extended periods of cold storage (lagering) are used, allowing the yeast to settle. These days centrifuges are often used to speed things up. By spinning the beer at high speed it is subjected to an artificial gravity much higher than normal, and the distance through which the yeast has to settle is much less.
Isinglass (made from the swim bladder of various species of fish) :eek: is the common finings used in British 'Real Ale' - obviously not acceptable to vegans!
However, there are other finings widely used commercially in beer. The most used are made from seaweed :), and can be highly effective, depending on the recipe, temperature and yeast strain. These are marketed as "Auxiliary Finings". Many British brewers use them just as that, to reduce the amount of yeast in suspension before centrifuging or adding isinglass. However, they can be used on their own, perhaps allowing an extra day or two.
A common problem is that the beer is too 'thick' with yeast when the finings (of any type) are added. Even if most of the yeast has already settled naturally, it gets stirred up when the finings are mixed in. The best way is to decant the beer into another container, leaving most of the sediment behind and to do the fining in this second container.
Before fining, though, the fermentation must have virtually stopped and the beer should be as cold as possible. This is the origin of the 'beer cellar'. Hygiene is also important, or certain types of bacteria (harmless to humans) or 'wild yeasts' can grow in the beer. Apart from affecting the flavour (they may make it sour or vinegary for example), they are reluctant to settle out and so are another cause of cloudiness. You should also avoid getting air into the beer after fermentation had finished.
Good vegan brewing!

Oct 14th, 2007, 03:43 AM
thanks for the info mzee!

i knew german beers were usually not fined, but i had no clue that hefe meant yeast!

must be why its my favorite! :D

Oct 14th, 2007, 04:54 AM
Wow, Mzee, thanks. Learned a lot. So what beers/ales do you recommend? Let me rephrase that. What beer do you think I might be able to buy in an American store or restaurant that you consider at least acceptable and wouldn't laugh at me knowing I drink it. Thanks.

I used to drink Bass (until I found out it's not vegan). I had heard that Grolsch (sp?) was OK but only if in a certain container yet not others. Why on earth would the kind of container dictate the use of a different process making one Grolsch vegan and another not-vegan? :confused:

Oct 14th, 2007, 05:49 PM
Mahk... see Corum's post above - in his experience, because the bottle acts as secondary fermentation vessel, the yeast gets left at the bottom, but if you shake the bottle too much, the yeast gets mixed in with the beer.

Quite a lot of British Real Ales do use non-sturgeon-based finings now. :D

Corum's also been thinking of updating various lists that have been flying about now, especially with the number of microbreweries that have appeared recently.

Oct 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM
http://www.btinternet.com/~p.g.h/vegan_beer_list.htm is a good place to start! :D Most of my favourite breweries - Fullers, Pitfield, Sam Smiths for a start, label their brews as being suitable for vegans - you'll definitely find Sam Smiths and Fullers beers in the US.

Oct 14th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Mahk, I wouldn't laugh at your choice, whatever it was. Due perhaps to the lasting Bavarian influence, there is legislation about beer in a number of countries. In general beer is much more free of additives than many foods and drinks. I was once given a tour around a plant making shandy... The only beers I know of that are not vegan are those that use isinglass finings. In the US I would guess that these would be the ones trying to imitate British-style ales or stouts. Most lagers are OK. The last brewery I worked in got the British contract to brew Miller Genuine Draft under licence, and we never used isinglass in that. There was nothing wrong with the quality of that beer, but it was a bit low in hops for my taste.
As far as I know, the story of Grolsch is that a few years ago they had a fire in their Dutch brewery and they had to totally rebuild the place. They'd already gained export markets which they didn't want to lose. So I believe they did deals to allow their beer to be brewed in other countries. Perhaps they allowed these countries to use materials that were in common use for other beers in those countries, or perhaps they were just too busy with their own problems to worry. In the absence of an explanation from Grolsch themselves, I have to speculate.
In many countries the breweries don't have the equipment to use swing-top bottles, so I would guess that any Grolsch in these bottles would still be coming from Holland and therefore use the original recipe.

Hemlock, unfortunately the number of sturgeon in the world has declined dramatically due to over-exploitation, so most isinglass finings have for many years been made mostly from a number of tropical species. So it could be possible for a brewery to claim that "no sturgeon were killed to make our beer", but not to say anything about other fish!

Corum, I left the industry 7 years ago, so I'm a bit out of touch with more recent developments. I'm delighted to hear from you that these breweries are making vegan beer, but I would be surprised if all the beers made by them are now vegan.

Oct 14th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Thanks, everyone!:)

Dec 10th, 2007, 01:16 AM
I've been told that Kopparbergs pear cider is vegan, has anyone else heard anything different? (LOVE kopparberg, its a shame we dont get all the flavours here, in sweden there are so many more apart from apple and pear..)

I was informed yesterday by a barman that Koppaberg is not vegan. I'm still waiting to receive a reply from the distributors myself, but he works in a veggie/vegan cafe, so I'm inclined to take his word for it.

Jan 20th, 2008, 08:29 AM
I have just read the majority of this thread and OMFG I may well have died if I had drunk some of the beers. (Severe allergy to seafood) I didn't realise Carling wasn't vegan....I have been drinking that since I was vegan. So now it looks like I'm sticking to Carlsberg and Bud (Bud is vegan right?)
What about the cheaper wines that you can buy for £4.99 pretty much anywhere?

Jan 20th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Sainsburys seem to have a few more vegan wines including a couple of organic ones in stock, advice seems to depend on the store but it is on the bottles vegetarian/vegan.

I tend to stick to Co op as there is a small off licence by work and the nice staff in there have taken the time to sticker the shelves with blue spots for the vegan wine so i can nip in and get wine quickly:) they sell fairtrade too.

Im fed up of asking Waitrose for vegan wines - keep saying they will ask head office for a list and dont:rolleyes: but then i should prob email myselves, tescos and asda dont really seem to understand about vegan wine when asked i was told at tescos any vegetarian wine is ok for vegans, same with marks and spencers but im doubtful about that!

I avoid the mainstream wines as just not sure which are ok or not? co op are cheap and cheerful so i stick to those, it really would not hurt wine producers to put veggie/vegan on the bottles or even on their websites but they just dont.

Mr Flibble
Jan 20th, 2008, 09:41 AM
I have googled but cnnot find if Sourzare vegan. Anyone know?x

I contacted them (Jim beam) but got no reply.

Luxardo claim (have contacted them twice from different addresses) that all their drinks are suitable. We've got in our collection:

Sour Apple (http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=4165) - not identical to sourz but nice
Orange Bitters (http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=4164)
Limoncello (http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=1045)

Jan 20th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Emzy - apparently any imported beers are vegan. Europe have different filtering standards of something, which makes them vegan. Anything brewed in the UK is most likely not vegan.
Wine - I go to the co-op. Sainsburys label, look for the organic and taste the difference range (they are the ones that are generally labelled).
Tesco - there is a long list online somewhere. The Ogio (white) is vegan, and nice too :)

Jan 20th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Emzy - apparently any imported beers are vegan. Europe have different filtering standards of something, which makes them vegan. Anything brewed in the UK is most likely not vegan.

That's not really correct.

German beers will be due to the German purity law on brewing. Some German beers are now brewed in the UK - and they insist on them being produced to their strict criteria (thankfully)

Everywhere else has to be investigated.

Stella - all not vegan as use fish finings, Australian beers too - XXXX, Castlemaine etc.

Budweiser is okay.

Guinness etc - all fish.

Jan 20th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Thank goodness Bud is ok! It's the only beer you can buy for a £1 a bottle at my local nightclub!

Jan 20th, 2008, 02:52 PM
Im fed up of asking Waitrose for vegan wines - keep saying they will ask head office for a list and dont:rolleyes: but then i should prob email myselves

You can pull off a list by searching their "Wine Direct" site on the term "vegan", thusly ;) :


However, finding these wines in their stores is another matter. There are about 2 that I keep on buying because I can remember where they are and that they are vegan. They have a special offer on one at the moment BTW, this one

...which in their shops is £3.99 instead of the usual £4.99.

Jan 21st, 2008, 01:51 PM
Hi guys,
If any of you are around the northwest on Saturday why not call in at the Northwest Vegan Festival at Sachas Hotel on Tib Street 11am until 6pm and visit our vegan wine stand?
Hope to see you there!

Jan 30th, 2008, 06:14 PM
My son bought me a bottle of 'Dark Lord' from Morrisons at the weekend. It's the first beer I have ever had which is actually marked as vegan.

I'll be back for more!

Jan 30th, 2008, 07:26 PM
The independent Sam Smiths brewery beers, brewed in Tadcaster (not to be confused with Sam's cousin John Smiths :urgh!: in the same town but owned by Scottish Courage) are Vegan! :D

There are a couple of Sam Smiths pubs in London and the beer is £1.80 a pint! :D

Feb 8th, 2008, 02:56 AM
I've become addicted to making my own ginger beer. It's ridiculously easy and delicious!

All you do is peel a bunch of ginger root and chop it into slivers. Then boil it until it's tender. Then measure an equal weight of sugar, add enough water to dissolve, and boil again. A dark syrup should form. Strain this out and put into a container. Then add it to seltzer water/club soda and voila! Homemade ginger beer!

BONUS: Save the slivered ginger pieces and dip into sugar to make crystallized ginger! Yum!

Feb 8th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Haha, I love the BONUS (save some for me)!

Feb 19th, 2008, 05:46 PM
what about vodka? i love me some vodka