Removing Glycerin: A Trick to make your Indian beer taste like Bud

Why do Indian Beers taste bad? I have had this question buzzing in the back of my mind for quite a long time. Till now I believe that all my friends and colleagues think we Indians just don’t know to make Beer. Like how hard is it?Indian-Beer

In my Tharavadu (Ancestral home), I have drunk pure Toddy made from the sap of a Coconut or Palm Tree. Believe me this light alcoholic drink can blow away all the products of UB group currently in the market. You might have heard of Fenny and other Indian Locally Brewed delights. So with the rich history and wealth of knowledge for creating alcoholic drinks, why do we still suck at making Beer. I got a small tip from my friend Rohit Sakhwalkar (Sakhu) during my recent visit to Gurgaon. A million thanks to him for making not just my day but the whole drinking career ahead :D.

Why do Indian Beers taste bad? The answer is some organic compound which behaves like Glycerin. This is the reason why there is a bitter aftertaste. Yes, Glycerin exists in the alcoholic state as Glycerol. My mother who is a whiz at Organic Chemistry had given me some insight into this molecule. Due to its higher molecular weight and inductive effect of the Hydrogen atoms, Glycerol is less soluble than Ethanol in water. So after a bit of google search and poking around beer forums, I was convinced that this was the culprit behind the bad tase. Glycerin is added to beer as a preservative. As you know Indian climate is close to being ideal for beer storage. But all major sources of information like Wikipedia denies this fact. They also says that pure glycerine is sweet in taste. And that Glycerine is a major constituent of Bio Diesel which is gonna run the vehicles in the future. So basically it is gonna run both man and machine alike.

So with the help of Rohit’s tip, I tried his method of separation of the contaminent from Beer. Here are the steps and photographs of the same

Step By Step: Removal of Glycerin from BeerRemoving-Glycerrine

  1. Get a Glass/tumbler of water.
  2. Open the bottle of beer slowly so as to create less turbulence.
  3. Cover the mouth of the beer with your thumb and slowly turn it upside down with mouth inside the water. This is the trickiest part, ensure you do not shake the bottle and cause the dissolved Carbon Dioxide to effervesce. The reason will be clear below.
  4. As soon as the bottle is upside down you will see thick yellow colored liquid coming out. Which I believe is the organic compound mixed with  the colouring agents in the beer.
  5. Keep it there for some time. Maybe a min or two. I kept it for over 5 mins. Hoping to drain out the stuff completely losing some beer in the process.
  6. Put it back and enjoy the amazing taste of what is actually Beer. Yes my friend that is how Beer tastes like. If it doesnt taste close to Budweiser beer :P, you might have done something seriously wrong. I even feel that Carlsberg is de-glycerinified Kalyani beer, Who knows!. I dont care as long my b rew tastes awesome.

Take look at the only video I found online talking about this. I couldnt take one myself for my camera wasn’t distinguishing the colors
Video showing the removal of Glycerine from beer

Get ready for some geek funda. The science (or atleast my hypothesis) behind this method.

When you put a bottle upside down, the atmospheric pressure is pushing the water in the tumbler, the low pressure created inside the top of the bottle is causing the liquid not to fall down into the tumbler. So at equilibrium, the liquid inside the beer + water starts to settle down based on its density. Glycerine(or whatever Organic compound  being denser than water settles down into the glass of water, Water from the tumbler will go into the beer bottle(but not much, if you dont shake the bottle). If the Carbon Dioxide had started effervescing, the gas content inside the beer bottle would have started increasing, this would have caused the beer to flow into the glass due to increasing air pressure.

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43 responses to this post.

  1. hmmm

    well i will definately try it sumtime , and i hope it will improve the test of kingfisher :(

    Reply

  2. Posted by Royal Stag on July 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Is the 1st pic taken at home as well? btw, Charity begins at home ;)

    Reply

  3. Posted by Royal Stag on July 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    But Glycerine DOES taste sweet, cloyingly sweet

    Reply

    • Posted by Jadda on July 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

      This one looks like a cool thing to try out :) I am gonna try this out in the “lab” heh heh..

      Reply

  4. good and nice post,thanks for your sharing friend!!!

    Reply

  5. Posted by himangshu on July 22, 2009 at 5:51 am

    now i kno why i hate beer. me hating any food is unthinkable

    Reply

  6. Posted by charles on October 25, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Is glycerine a animal product?.
    There’s a new beer “TUBOURG” launched in goa which claims to have no glycerine in it and hence has a vegeterian sign on it. your comment on this

    Reply

  7. Posted by Royal Stag on December 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Bud tastes sadder than most Indian beer. Make it taste like something else Chimp :)

    Reply

  8. Posted by Bzzzk ! on March 4, 2010 at 6:41 am

    yea dude ive always complained of finding some “bad” UB..but havent had the problem with “most” KFs..i always thought UB is cheaper so it sucked .. but fuck, this is like emlightenment..I am a true beer fan and this is my Moksha :) (a tad much but what’s life without good beer, eh fellas?)

    Reply

  9. Posted by Dave on March 8, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I tried this with Kingfisher Lager, and it worked. The beer did not taste very good to start with, and after getting rid of the glycern, it tasted like water. Try drinking Flying Horse, it tastes good as is, and you don’t need a bucket of water.

    Reply

  10. [...] Indian cuisine may be amazing, even awe inspiring, but Kingfisher is no winner in its category with that unhealthy glycerine additive. The “Worst Beer in the World” award has to go to Morocco for Flag Especial: foul, expensive [...]

    Reply

  11. Posted by shekhar on July 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    well, thanx mate …… i tried this trick with “GODFATHER” I.E a typical indian beer and tastes real bad . but after trying this trick it got so got i felt like it isn’t an indian beer………….. a thousand thanx man , u made my drinking career :)

    Reply

  12. Posted by pankaj on February 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

    two things
    a) u drink kf strong and think y it tastes bad?!! all strong beers in India taste terrible.KF regular on the other hand has a very good taste and almost all of my friends from various part of the world and endorsed it.
    b)y wud anyone want their beer to taste like bud! its one of the worst tasting beer in the world,a fact backed up by everyone i know who have tasted it and also according to almost all beer websites!

    as for this experiment…it look interesting enuf to try it atleast once :)

    Reply

    • Posted by generalmartok on February 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      totally agree. I guess most of they guys that have posted here and also the owner of this thread should have no opinion on beer at all. If they think ‘a typically Indian beer’ is KF strong or castle lager or ‘godfather’ they have no clue what they are talking about. And even UB export is not such a bad tasting beer. Ever since coming to Germany, I have tried a LOT of beers ( not just lagers but also pilsners, schwarz, bockbiers, doppelbocks, hefeweizen etc. ) and after staying here drinking the German pilsners most of the time, after more than a years gap I got a chance to drink KF premium again. It still tasted great! These guys should try the KF premium or other good Indian beers like Kalyani black label, or Golden Eagle lager etc before saying Indian beer tastes bad! Who would ever want any beer to taste like Bud ? Sorry for the long response but as an Indian I am offended :-)
      Cheers !

      Reply

  13. Posted by Avinash on February 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Budweiser is such terrible beer, it cant be compared with Kishfisher. Try Kishfisher Premium , lot of people here in Boston like it. Its a fact America beer and American Cigarretes sucks!! I love German beer “warsteiner”.

    Reply

  14. Hi,

    We came across your post and would like to make one factual clarification – There is no Glycerine that is added to our beer. There is a video that is doing the rounds too with similar misinformation, the only reason why one can see the beer flow separately in the water is because of the difference in relative density. Glycerine, even if it was added to a liquid, is water soluble and will not separate out like how it is shown in the video.

    To reiterate, none of the beers from the Kingfisher stable have Glycerine added to them.

    Cheers,

    –Team Kingfisher

    Reply

    • Posted by Karl Krauss on February 13, 2013 at 7:18 am

      But why your beer does not taste in any way like a beer should do then? i AM A BAVARIAN from Germany. That is not beer. That is a thing! Sorry, but evrybody says so too. For sure the Dr. who owns that thing, knows too: Makes much thing-money so he can drink german beer nicely onboard of his 3 private airbuses. If I may say so. I may say so!

      Reply

  15. Hi,

    We came across your post and would like to make one factual clarification – There is no Glycerine that is added to our beer. There is a video that is doing the rounds too with similar misinformation, the only reason why one can see the beer flow separately in the water is because of the difference in relative density. Glycerine, even if added to a liquid, is water soluble and will not separate out like how it is shown in the video.

    To reiterate, none of the beers from the Kingfisher stable have Glycerine added to them.

    Cheers,

    –Team Kingfisher

    Reply

  16. Posted by don on February 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Fine. But then what is that is mixing with the water if it is not glycerin? Any other chemical?

    PS: I drink KF ;)

    Reply

  17. Posted by ABHISHEK PATHAK on April 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    This all fake I have never ever seen adding glycerine in beer.. in whole two year of experience

    what ever shown above is all suck. this color in pic is natural malt color this settles down because it contain some unfermentable sugar of higher molecular weight like dextrins present in wort which can not be convert to alcohol by yeast..

    Reply

  18. Posted by chris on May 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    just thought I’d clarify a few things:

    1. No way there is glycerin in those beers, you are removing impurities developed in a brewing process that is probably using corn products rather than actual barley, therefore you are left unprocessed sugars and oils which DO settle to the bottom and can be gravity filtered as you have demonstrated. Coors does this to all there beer as do most macro brewers since they are all also using similiarly crap ingredients.

    2. Budweisier is not made in america, nor is it “american beer” in any sense of the term. INBEV bought out Anheuser-Busch in 2009 making it join the ranks of the other adjunct macro-”breweries” such as heineken and miller/coors

    3. America makes the best beer in the world, currently the biggest american brewery is in boston and it is called boston brewing company (Sam Adams). There are MANY others widely available in the states and (I hope) available abroad. currently 1,753 breweries operate the highest total since the late-1800s. My favorite is Founders Brewing Company.

    I would recommend a visit to http://www.beeradvocate.com or http://www.ratebeer.com

    If your beer is less than 5.5% ABV or is a “light lager” then it is not beer, just a sad excuse for an alcoholic beverage. Get yourself a good strong indian pale ale, stout (imperial would be better), or hefewiezen made with good ingredients at a craft brewery and you will quickly realize that putting good taste and budweiser in the same sentence is a complete joke. Light lagers were specifically designed not to have any taste, that is to taste like water not like beer. If someone gave me a free bud here in the states I’d pour it out before I’d drink that trash.

    Some info about american beer: http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/facts

    Reply

  19. Posted by govind on May 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    how to make strong beer at home as same as fingfisher strong.

    Reply

  20. Posted by sivart Bastardaton on June 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

    this is the dumbest thing ever… the yellow crap in the cup is beer!

    Reply

  21. Posted by Alok on September 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve been drinking KF premium for over 8 year now and i’ve always been a great fan of UB brew. My last few times have not been very pleasent, I endup getting a bad headache the next morning. subsequently, I have changed over to tuborg and it works just fine with me. is this very subjective or anyone else who has felt the same?

    Reply

    • Posted by ihap_zone on April 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Yep … headaches after 1+ day. Consistent and repeatable – and no – its not a hangover. Felts like some chemical c*ap in the beer

      Reply

  22. but doesnt budweiser taste like piss ?

    Reply

  23. we seriously need good beer man!

    Reply

  24. Posted by Aj on November 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Pure Glycerin/Glycerine is a sweet almost see through liquid (oil). If it is pure then I can guarantee that, wait a second ::::puts a drop on his tongue…. damn that is so sweet::::.

    For a little insight, Glycerin/Glycerine is a sweet oil that is not sugar, honey, etc but a fatty acid – please ask your mum and if she tells you otherwise buy a bottle of it and test your theory and tell your mum to check her taste buds.

    For more information on its medical background…… look into your bathroom and chanes are it is containing multiple forms of it.

    Almost everything is made from it that is benefiacial/ or you enjoy it, such as beer, cakes, shampoo, soap, medicine, Bio-Diesel, etc.

    Reply

  25. Amazing issues here. I’m very satisfied to look your post. Thank you so much and I am taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    Reply

  26. Why on earth would you want beer to taste like Bud?…you may like to know that someone once sent samples of both Bud & Coors to the laboratory…..after a few days the results came back – “Both horses have diabetes”!

    Reply

  27. Posted by rahul on December 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    But why do you need the water? You might as well hold it upside down for 2 mins and lets a little liquid drain. That should do the trick.

    Reply

  28. Posted by Rajesh on December 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    this thread is very informative abt beers and stuff, can someone pls tel which is the best brand of beer commonly available in India, unadulterated.

    Reply

  29. Posted by John Kater on April 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Great question, great follow through. Sorry, wrong conclusion.

    A couple of things wrong with your premise; glycerine isn’t a preservative, it’s actually a common ingredient in microbial growth media. Additionally, the amount of glycerin soluble in a 95:5 water:ethanol solution would still be completely soluble if additional water were added, as the dissolved glycerin would be proportionally diluted.

    “Indian climate is ideal for beer storage”. Really? which part of India and why? Ideal beer storage is someplace with a very stable combination of cool temperature, darkness and moderate humidity. That fact that “India’s climate is ideal for beer storage” is absent from Wikipedia because it’s not, in fact, a fact.

    So why do Indian beers suck? The aforementioned climate. Both the ingredients used to make it and the beers are transported unprotected through extremes and wild variations of temperature and humidity, leading to oxidation and skunking. The thick yellow sludge you discovered is a complex of proteins and tannins. These occur at all stages of the brewing process. In the mash, it’s called teig material. In the kettle, it’s called trub. One of the purposes of lagering beer is to allow this complex to form and precipitate out before filtration. Ideally, filtration occurs at near freezing to force a haze formation to strip out more prior to packaging.

    The protein residues and tannins are structured in such a way that charged portions of the molecular structures attract the molecules together. If in proximity long enough a covalent bond will form. When this happens repeatedly, polymers form that are insoluble and precipitate out of solution. “Chill haze” is this same complex. the colder the beer, the less active the molecules, the more likely the proteins and tannins are able to bond covalently. Some of these bonds are reversible if insufficient polymerization occurs. Chemical oxidation affects the component molecules to make them more hydrophobic and more likely to aggregate, so temperature swings lead to more haze formation and eventually to insoluble sludge. This stuff is bitter because tannins and oxidized protein residues are bitter.

    It can also be indicative of insufficient lagering. Phillip Morris bought Miller about the time cigarette advertising was banned on US television. They started advertising heavily, (especially Lite beer). Anheuser Busch had cash to answer the ad blitz, Schlitz didn’t. To free cash for advertizing, they cut costs in production by shortening lagering time (4 fewer days of refrigeration of a huge beer tank saves money). Schlitz ran ads saying “Go for the Gusto!” about the time this beer hit the market. The shortened lagering time resulted in precipitated sludge in the cans, which was promptly referred to jokingly as “Gusto”. Schlitz never recovered.

    So, to summarize, Indian beer sucks BECAUSE of the climate, and that wasn’t glycerin you extracted, it was Gusto.

    There is a new brewing enzyme available (aspergillus derived) that selectively breaks the protein residues at a certain amino acid residue, the one that tends to bind the tannins. This effectively makes the beer precipitation and haze proof even in warmer climates by restricting the polymerization potential of the haze.

    Having said that, I applaud your out-of-the-box thinking and having the willingness to investigate your theories, that makes you one in a thousand. Kudos! Keep asking questions, they always start the best conversations, and occasionally lead to unexpected answers.

    Cheers!

    Reply

  30. [...] found this answer at http://techdigger.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/removing-glycerin-a-trick-to-make-your-indian-beer-taste-… posted by John Kater "Great question, great follow through. Sorry, wrong conclusion. A [...]

    Reply

  31. Posted by Varun M on December 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I have tried it many times and this simple process definitely improves the taste of Indian beers. Try it with KF n you ll be amazed at the results

    Reply

  32. Great Article
    Thanks for the Information

    Reply

  33. […] and the bug like maneuvering of autos below us. Daīthi shows me his party trick of draining the Kingfisher of Glycerine. Yes, it’s crazy. Because of the Indian climate, beer makers started putting in Glycerin as a […]

    Reply

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