The first thing I need to do is to figure out what's vegan and what's not. Most beer, in general, is vegan. There are many beers that use animal products in their clarification and filtering processes, but your average home brewer is not going to employ them. (If you're curious about the vegan-friendliness of your favorite mass-produced beers, check out www.barnivore.com.) So far, my home brewery contains two questionable products: BTF Iodophor and Super Grunge Remover (sodium carbonate). My cursory Web research suggests that both of these products are pretty simple chemicals with no obvious animal origin, but I e-mailed the manufacturers for the final word. If they turn out to be non-vegan, I can fall back Five Star Star San. Here's an e-mail exchange I had with the manufacturer:
Hi!To which Jon Herskovits responded via his iPhone:
I'm interested in using your Star San product for home brewing. However, I prefer to use products that are:
100% cruelty free (not tested on animals)
100% free of animal by-products (no animal-derived ingredients of any kind)
Can you confirm that this product meets my criteria?
All the ingredients in star San are on the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. This means they don't need bunny testing. You are good to use all five star products."Bunny testing" sounded a little patronizing, so I thought I would press for more information:
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you very much, Jon, for your response. Could you also respond explicitly to my other question, about whether your products (Star San specifically) contain animal-derived ingredients? (I intend to share this information with readers of my blog, by the way.)To which I finally got a satisfactory, if terse, response:
I really appreciate your time,
No they are not animal derived.Thank you, Jon! I feel bad about pestering him while he's on the go, but it's worth it to move forward with confidence in this long-overdue endeavor.
Sent from my iPhone