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Question for TB chemists...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. I was reading in a home brewers thread that a guy was trying to brew a carb-free IPA. Then people started flaming him with things like "alcohol is a carb" and "you don't know your chemistry." Then I thought to myself, alcohol is not a carbohydrate, it's a completely different form of calories by itself. From my memory, I thought that the only 4 ways one can intake calories was protein, fat, carbohydrates, and alcohol. Also, you can drink alcohol on the Atkins diet and still not stop ketosis permanently. Carbs and alcohol act differently on the blood sugar as your body breaks them down differenly, so how can alcohol be a carbohydrate?

    So, am I right or are the others right?
  2. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Inactive

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I thought alcohol was a barbituate. Whether that's a type of carbohydrate or not is beyond my scope of knowledge.
  3. I'm not sure what it's classification is as a drug but I'm pretty sure it's not a carbohydrate, at least by the way it acts on blood sugar.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    What I suggest is looking up the mechanisms for how starches, sugars, and ethanol, are metabolized. That's what matters, not the particular terminology that you use. Also, terms like "carbohydrate" may have their own definitions in nutritional science, and in product labeling, that are different than how they are used in chemistry.
  5. The way they were using it was purely by the scientific definition. From what I've read, this is how it's broken down:

    Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
    Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
    Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
    Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories

    So, to say alcohol is a carbohydrate is totally wrong.
  6. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Alcohol isn't a carbohydrate. It's just alcohol. By itself, it doesn't raise insulin levels in the body, and the metabolism process your body uses to break it down is completely different than carbs.

    That being said, a carb free IPA would be free of all sugar, and would probably taste like piss.
  7. That's exactly what I was thinking but try telling that to a forum full of home brewers.

    Not arguing with that at all.
  8. So, Moosehead beer must be carb free? :bag:

    (Local reference, but some on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. may be familiar with it. Also, those in Quebec and some parts of ON. ) :D

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