Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know a few local beers, like Ayinger Kellerbier, that are not filtered and are turbid when looking through. Those are quite taste, but go the head quickly (meaning light headache, not basic drunkenness). Now, my first batch of cider has fermented. I fermented from mashed fruits, not juice, after filtering through a cloth I arrived at a very turbid fluid. It does not taste like much, the yeast is still settling but it does have this heady qualtity that I know from these non-filtered beers.
So, what makes the brew heady (in lack of a better word) and has it anything to do with the turbidity?

share|improve this question
I highly doubt that the 'turbidity' of beer has any impact on all on the way that the ethanol within it impacts your central nervous system. This sounds like the claims of how "tequila messes me up worse than whiskey!!" Probably these beers are "heady" to you only because you believe that they will be "heady". – Graham Nov 1 '13 at 17:34
or there's some suspended stuff that impacts the way my body metabolizes the ethanol or the turbidity has nothing to do with it and incidentally both processes also produced fusel alcohols. You may be right, I don't know. – mart Nov 2 '13 at 2:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted

From what I can gather, you are wondering if there is a connection between taste, headache-inducing qualities, and cloudiness in both beer and cider.

For beer, one connection could be allowing kraeusen to sink back into the beer during primary fermentation. Kraeusen contains bitter hop resins, which contribute to the taste and can also give you a headache from the fusel oils they contain. I quote from Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy of Home Brewing:

"The kraeusen is topped with a very bitter and brown resinous scum, some of which will adhere to the sides of the fermenter as the kraeusen shortly disappears and falls back into the beer. There is an advantage to the removal of this resin before it falls back into the fermentation: There will be less of a bitter 'bite' to your beer. In the process of removing the bitter resins, 'fusel' oils are also removed. Fusel oils are a by-product of fermentation and contribute to what are often referred to as 'beer headaches.' If the removal of hop resins during the kraeusen stage can be done under sanitary conditions then it is advised to do so."

Also, letting the kraeusen sink back into the brew can make it cloudy, although that is not the sole determining factor.

With cider, I am no expert but as long as you aren't using hops, I don't see any reason why there would be headache-inducing fusel oils. Edit: I retract this statement. It appears as though fusel oil is a by-product of ethanolic fermentations in general. From Papazian's text, I gather that the fusel oils just happen to get caught in the hop resins.

share|improve this answer
I had to downvote unless further explanation is given. Fusels are alcohols, not oils, and have nothing to do with hops. If I'm mistaken, please correct me. – Denny Conn Nov 13 '13 at 16:22
I see from this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusel_alcohol that "fusel oil" is another name for "fusel alcohol", although there is actually no oil involved. I still don't think it's from hops. – Denny Conn Nov 13 '13 at 16:24
Edited, and good catch. – Sam Nov 14 '13 at 22:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.