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RE: [new_distillers] Urea & nutrients

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  • Tony & Elle Ackland
    Ok, I ve found a bit more out about the effect of Urea (a fertilizer, not urine ... but there is some urea in urine ....). See :
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 27, 2000
      Ok, I've found a bit more out about the effect of Urea (a fertilizer, not
      urine ... but there is some urea in urine ....). See :

      http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/fc0488ur.html
      http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/CONSUMER/CON00193.html

      In summary ... if you use urea as a yeast nutrient, it can end up in
      producing some urethane (also known as ethyl carbamate), which in certain
      concentrations can cause cancer. The recommended limit for urethane is
      about 125 ppb (parts per billion); typically it is present in levels like
      that. Many US producers are therefore volunterily trying to reduce the
      amount present, either by not adding urea as a fertilizer to the grain
      crops, not using it as a yeast nutrient, and finding better strains of
      yeast that can deal to it. So all in all, probably best to avoid using
      urea as a nutrient for drinking alcohol.

      From the first link ...
      Some factors influencing urethane production in alcoholic beverages, such
      as the weather, are beyond human control. Others, however, can be modified.
      For instance, some wine makers used to add a substance called urea to
      stimulate fermentation. However, when urea combines with the alcohol
      produced during fermentation, it can produce urethane. Now all the major
      U.S. wineries that had used urea have eliminated it from the manufacturing
      process. Similarly, manufacturers are experimenting with different baking
      conditions for sherry to try to reduce levels of urethane. (Sherry is baked
      to enhance its flavor.) And bourbon manufacturers have found that modifying
      the distillation process can result in lower levels of urethane by removing
      more of the chemical during distillation
      Among the more widely marketed distilled spirits tested by the agencies
      (and by industry), bourbons generally contained the highest levels of
      urethane. Many bourbons contained up to several hundred parts per billion
      (ppb). According to Curtis Coker of the division of regulatory guidance in
      the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, "It appears that the
      distillation conditions, such as temperature. needed to produce the
      characteristic flavor of bourbons result in levels of urethane
      significantly higher than those found in some other distilled spirits, such
      as vodka, which are distilled under significantly different conditions."
      Vodka and gin have shown negligible amounts, if any, of urethane. Levels of
      the chemical in plum and cherry brandies varied from 200 to 12,000 ppb;
      dessert wines, such as cream sherries, contained from less than 4 ppb to
      several hundred ppb; and table wines had levels generally from zero to 25
      ppb.
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