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Pete’s Pint Pot.

Hoop’-la Department.

This is the small print where I deny everything and refuse to take any responsibility for anything. Any opinions given should not be taken as facts & any facts given should not be taken as opinions. As an extra precaution all the really small print is in white text, this is copyrighted .

E. & O. E.

Copyright www.petespintpot.co.uk  2008. First published 17 October 2008, last updated  20 December 2017.

Pete’s Pint Pot is dedicated to the home production & sensible drinking of beer, wine, cider & meads plus a little bit of china painting & a few bits of photograph tampering.

If you are affected by any of the articles on this site or any of the issues raised in them, I truly feel very sorry for you.

Finally the sanity clause: As Chico Marx

famously said to brother Groucho,

  “Everybody knows there ain't no

     Sanity Clause!”


Some pages may contain music!

Do not enter this site if you are allergic to nuts!

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Good Health!

À votre santé,

Je via sano,

Slainte Mhath!  بصحتك, За вас, Na zdravje! לחיים,  L'Chaim!


#Home #elfn

ELF 'N' SAFETY (An additional disclaimer.)

If you pour hot water over yourself, drop a 3Kg (or any other size) tin of extract on your foot, end up with a tin opener stuck in one of your bodies orifices then don’t blame me, ring a firm of ambulance chasers, contact details can be obtained by diligently watching “daytime TV” on any commercial channel.

Milk & Alcohol performed by Dr. Feelgood, written by Nick Lowe & John Mayo in 1978.


            h ere in the U. K. we all know about the Government guidelines regarding the safe drinking of alcohol & the “unit” system but the general feeling is that these figures are really arbitrary, just “plucked out of the air”. What is certain is the fact that excessive drinking, like eating etc., can cause serious health problems & even lead to a premature death. I personally think that the guidelines should be regarded as err .... guidelines & that getting drunk should be avoided, along with “binge” drinking & saving all your “units” for a Saturday night! I also think that getting agreeably merry on the odd occasion is very good for the spirit (especially during these seriously worrying times) & not too bad on the body. Moderation!

A few random facts (?) & figures:-

The seven calories obtained from each gram (approx. 1.26ml) of alcohol we consume gives us energy but no nutrition.

A (UK) unit of alcohol is 10ml or about 8g & it takes the liver about one hour to process this amount.

Just to confuse things, during February 2009 it was announced that red wine, which was previously good for us when drunk sensibly, is now bad for us, like the humble egg it is a terrible Jekyll & Hyde substance! I know the “scientists” & the “Government” get it in the neck for these things but, in all honesty they should be telling the truth as they know it. They probably do but our “media” love to twist things around, miss important facts out or just view one part of the evidence in isolation. A prime example of this has been chocolate, how many times have you heard people mocking reports of chocolate being good/bad for you depending on which month it is? Chocolate, like alcohol, is probably good for you if taken in moderation, but the stuff they eat in the UK (“milk” chocolate) or the USA (Hershey's) is not chocolate, proper chocolate has at least 70% cocoa, like they famously make in Belgium (don’t forget their beers or even their lace).


Gluten consists of the proteins gliadin & glutenin & is mostly found in wheat, barley & rye. Gluten intolerance is a general term that includes all kinds of sensitivity to gluten, including celiac (or coeliac) sufferers. Gluten causes the immune system to produce antibodies that attack the delicate bowel lining & is found in beers as they are made from malted barley, some contain wheat.

Gluten-free beer recipe.


An un-fermentable sugar that occurs naturally in milk. Sufferers of lactic intolerance are unable to digest lactose properly, resulting in various unpleasant side effects. Lactose is not the same as lactic acid. Some beers such as sweet stouts & may contain lactose.


(Sugar) Diabetes is a medical condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high as the body cannot regulate it properly. The problem is caused by the lack insulin which breaks down the carbohydrates. Glucose comes from the digestion of carbohydrates from our food & drink, it is also produced by the liver. Sufferers of this condition should really be fully aware of what they are eating & drinking, at this site we are obviously mostly concerned with the latter.

A few definitions:-

INSULIN: A vital hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose enter cells to be used as an energy source, any excess is stored the in the liver & muscles as glycogen, ready to be released back into the blood stream as glucose when required.

CARBOHYDRATE: Commonly called “carbs”, carbohydrates are a type of food that includes sugars & starches, they are organic compounds consisting solely of carbon, hydrogen & oxygen. Carbohydrates come from many different sources including starchy foods like bread, & potatoes, fruit, dairy products, sugar & sweet foods. Alcohol is sometimes grouped with carbohydrates but our bodies treat them differently, using the calories from alcohol first for energy, then carbohydrates or fats. One gram of alcohol provides the body with 7 calories, one gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories.

It was once thought that “simple” carbohydrates like sugar were easily released into the blood thus aggravating the problem & the more “complex” carbohydrates were less of a problem as they were released much more slowly. The “simple” & “complex” refers to the sugars chemical structure. It is the rise in blood glucose that causes the problem & this comes from sugars with a high glycemic index or GI, glucose has a “high” GI (over 70) with a figure of 100 it is the base of the GI system, sucrose is 64 & classed as “moderate” (50-70) & fructose at 22 is “low” (<50).

Simple sugars such as sucrose & dextrose (forms of glucose), fructose & maltose are converted into alcohol during fermentation (sucrose is converted into glucose & fructose with the same formula at the start of fermentation.).

Homebrew is generally much better for diabetes sufferers than commercial beers which sometimes have sweetening sugars added post fermentation (some “dry” ciders such as Bulmer’s “Blackthorne” have sugar & chemical sweeteners added!) .

Malt is about 75% simple sugars which are readily fermentable & converted to alcohol. The other 25% are more complex sugars, which remain in the beer & will, digested by the body & released during digestion.

Replacing any sugar in the recipe with malt will therefore not benefit a diabetic as it will not decrease the amount of simple sugars in the beer which are fermented anyway, but will increase the amount of complex sugars that a diabetic's body needs to cope with digestion. This may not be a problem as they are released at a slower rate. A diabetic is better to use a dry enzyme, which will further reduce the complex sugars in the beer & convert them to simple sugars so the yeast can convert them to alcohol.

In short, Home brew or naturally fermented beer with no added sugar post fermentation is generally better for diabetics than is commercial beer. Sugar used in the fermentation will all be converted to alcohol & will not remain in the finished beer. Replacing sugar with malt will not benefit the diabetic. It is also worth noting that diabetics should be careful about the amount of alcohol that they consume, as it also a form of energy.


On the 5th March 2009 Dr. Alan Foulis, a Glaswegian pathologist announced that a common virus may be the trigger for the development of many cases of diabetes, particularly in children. He & colleagues from the south west-based Peninsula Medical School & the University of Brighton believe that this may lead to a cure for the condition. A separate study by researchers at Cambridge University has found four mutations in a gene which reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.


Wine, hopefully,  is not such a problem if you make six bottles (4.5 litres) at a time. Beer, on the other hand, is problematic as generally much larger quantities are involved.

One suggestion for making beer kits is to split the kit into two & use separate fermenting bins but this method tends to cause more problems than it solves, especially if the recipe calls for sugar. However most 3Kg kits require no added sugar & come in two tins (1.5Kg each), it is perfectly feasible to use one can & all of the yeast, to make 11.5 litres & use the leftovers to make a second batch.

The Brewferm range includes kits to make 9-12 litres of  specialist ales & lagers, they are much easier to handle than the normal 23 litres.

An obvious to fill a fermenter (in situ) to the required level water with is to use a clean, sterilised bucket or hose (the latter could be messy).

You may wish to avoid resting the beer in a separate clean bin, this saves a lot of hard work & lifting. A “BYO Magazine” article survey suggests that no harm will come to your beer after leaving your beer on the sediment for a few weeks (as long as it well covered).

Another simple solution to home brewing is to get a friendly neighbour to do any lifting for you. Show your appreciation by offering them a bottle of the finished product. (You should ideally select a teetotal neighbour!)



Please note that the emphasis here is biased towards home brewing/wine making etc., any comments for beer & wine can also be applied to ciders & meads. Common sense should dictate that diabetes sufferers, & non-sufferers, should drink proportionally less of higher alcohol drinks.

Always use “table” or “granulated” sugar (sucrose) for brewing/wine making etc. as it is 100% fermentable.


Low alcohol beers are allegedly best, say less than 3.5% so aim for a starting gravity below 1030 & a finished gravity below 1004 is acceptable. Choose a suitable style, say lager, light ale or bitter or even a mild but go easy on any coloured malts (crystal, black malts etc.).

A slightly higher proportion of sugar than normal will help lower the carbohydrates in the finished beer but it will also “thin” the beer, malts are about 75% fermentable, sugar is normally 100%. Adding one saccharin tablet or similar to every 5 litres of beer will help reduce the thinness of the beer & remove some of the “dryness”.

Replace any brewing/invert sugars with 80% of their weight of cane sugar which is 100% fermentable.

If mashing beer use a fairly low temperature of about 55-57°C as it gives a better extraction rate. Adding one teaspoon of citric acid to the mash of a 23-25 litre brew will also help.

Use a high efficiency yeast to convert more of the sugars into alcohol (that could make a good advertising slogan).

Yeast nutrient will help ensure a good fermentation as would a “touch” of citric acid, say ¼ teaspoon per 23-25 litres.

If you wish to brew a recipe that uses brewing/invert sugar etc that are not 100% fermentable it may be prudent to replace this with 80% of its weight of cane sugar.

Avoid beers such as sweet stouts which may contain un-fermentable lactose.

Try to ferment at a steady temperature, within the quoted range for the yeast.

Use dry beer enzymes (amylase) when brewing your own beer.

The YoBrew Recipe Calculators  (“Beer Kit Calc’s Etc.” page & also the YoBrew Spring 2012 magazine) show how home brewed drinks can be made less alcoholic by evaporating off  some of the alcohol. It must be noted that whilst the calories from the alcohol are reduce, the carbohydrates will remain the same as wall as the flavour (in the YoBrew Spring magazine David Barrow did tests which, subjectively, proved to be the case).

Don’t forget that any sugars (apart from priming) omitted from recipes will reduce the calories from the alcohol but not the carbohydrates.


Low alcohol wines are best, say less than 10% so aim for a starting gravity below 1070.

Ferment to dryness, if a sweeter wine is required use an artificial sweetener.

Replace any invert sugars with 80% of its weight of cane sugar which is 100% fermentable.

Avoid the stronger flavoured & vegetable wines as they can add too much carbohydrate, parsnips & potatoes are the worst.

Two days before adding the yeast, add a crushed Campden tablet & a double dose of pectic enzyme to help break down the fruit to release all the sugars.

Use slightly more yeast nutrient than usual to ensure a complete fermentation (FG <995).

Activate the yeast before adding to the must will help ensure a good fermentation.

Low alcohol wines will not keep as long as normal wines but they should keep O. K. for about a year but avoid the temptation of adding extra Campden tablets as this could cause problems for the drinker.

If you must use a stabiliser ensure fermentation is complete before adding.

Try to ferment at a steady temperature, within the quoted range for the yeast.

My “Grapple 2” (grape & apple juice) wine should be O. K., just omit the “Summer Fruits” & reduce the sugar to 400g or less.

Commercial sweet wines should be avoided, even the lower alcohol ones as they were possibly made sweet by stopping the fermentation early.


As far as I know there are no beer kits available in the UK specifically for diabetes sufferers since John Bull unfortunately ceased trading although one or two cans may still be available in some home brew shops.

There are some very good 1.8Kg beer kits available that use about 1Kg of sugar, I estimate that these will typically make 23 litres beer of around 4.5% with a total of say 150 calories per 500ml glass, 13 of these calories or 3.5g “carbs”come from un-fermentable sugars. If the kit is made using only say 250g of sugar the resulting beer will be around the 3% mark with only about 100 calories, again 13 of these are from un-fermentable sugars. Increasing the volume to 25 litres & the sugar will produce a similar strength beer with slightly less flavour & less calories (about 97 with 12 or 3.2g “carbs” coming from the un-fermentable sugars).

Commercial “low carb” beers tend to be around 4% ABV & every 500ml containing around 135-140 calories & 3-4g “carbs”


Again, as far as I know there are no wine kits available in the UK for diabetes sufferers.

To produce a kit wine that is more suitable for a diabetes suffer it is better to buy one of the cheaper kits that need additional sugar. Such a dry wine kit would typically make six 750ml litres of wine with the addition of 225g sugar, an OG of about 1077 would give 11% ABV, each bottle would have around 525 calories (88 per 125ml glass) from the alcohol & virtually no “carbs”.

Reducing the additional sugar to 150g would produce a wine with an OG of about 1070 & 10% ABV & now with 81 calories per glass.

Good Health!

Just few of the many expressions used around the World by drinkers for “good health” or something similar. I cannot vouch for their accuracy/spelling/pronunciation but I do hope they are not rude! Please forgive me for any errors or omissions.















Latin America



New Zealand











Gesondheid (To good health)

بصحتك (To health)

See Netherlands & France. (My Kwak glass stand has “Op uw gezondheid” & “Avoltre santé” printed on it.)

Saúde (to your health)

Je via sano (to your health)

Kippis Terveydeksi (to your health)

À votre santé (to your health)

(Ireland) Sláinte (to your health)

(Scotland) Slaandjivaa (to your health)

Prost (for beer) or Zum Wohl (for wine) (to your health)

L'chaim (Le'chaim) (To life)

(Be) salam ati (to your health)

לחיים or L'Chaim! (To Life!)

Salute (To health) or "Cin cin" or "Cent'anni" (A hundred years [of good health/luck])

Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo

Prosit (may it be good, i.e., for you) or Sanitas bona (to your health)

Na zdravje! or На здравје (to your health).

Kia ora (Māori  “Be well”)

Proost or Gezondheid (to your health)

Mabuhay ("Long life")

Saude (to your health)

За вас (To you)

Slainte Mhath! (Good Health). The response is Slainte Mhor! (Great Health)

Ziveli, pronounced 'zjee-ve-lee', means “Let's live long!”

Na zdravje (to your health)

Maisha marefu (good life or cheers) ( Afya! Vifijo! )

Sagliginiza (to your health)

Oogy wawa

Annual 2015