Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Can homebrew be toxic?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-09-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
Eckythump
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Posts: 86
Default Can homebrew be toxic?

Can any of these "baddies" I've heard so much about cause homebrew to be toxic to humans? My understanding is that they just make it taste terrible, but I'm wondering if there is a chance of toxins making it into my homebrew.

I know that improperly made moonshine can cause blindness or worse. I believe this has something to do with the distillation?

__________________
Eckythump is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
Zamial
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 3,183
Liked 168 Times on 149 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

This is a beat to death dead horse. NOTHING, UNDER ANY CONDITIONS where a fermentation happens over 2% ABV, can harm a human in any way.

It may taste worse than anything you have ever put in your mouth but it is safe to drink.

__________________
“I'm not drunk, I'm from Wisconsin.”
We have been out drinking your state since 1848!
Zamial is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
Qhrumphf
Stay Rude, Stay SHARP
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Qhrumphf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 6,443
Liked 1463 Times on 1056 Posts
Likes Given: 618

Default

I don't know the exact chemical reason why, but with hard liquor is has to do with toxic compounds in the "heads" and "tails" during the distillation process. That never happens with beer.

The only thing I could think of would be botulism (as it's not the actual bacteria that's harmful but the toxin that bacteria produces), but unless you're using a bulging can of extract, or improperly canning your own, I don't think it's an issue. And then it's no different than any other canned food- never use a bulging can of anything.

__________________

Up Next: Lamebic, Flanders Red, Malt Liquor, Belgian IPA
Primary: English IPA, Spiced Winter Warmer, Brett. C. Old Ale
Secondary: Sour Stout, Brett C. Wild Bitter
Polypinned: Best Bitter
Bottled: Sticke Altbier, Doppelsticke Altbier, Weizenbock, Berliner Weisse, Spruce Brown Ale, Arrogant Bastard Clone, English Summer Ale, Coniston Bluebird Bitter Clone v1.5
In the "cellar": Brett B. Tripel, Quadrupel, Tripel, Brett C. Oaked English Barleywine, Lamebic

Qhrumphf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
Whippy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Irmo, South Carolina, USA
Posts: 616
Liked 30 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 109

Default

Fermentation is safe, distillation has the potential to be dangerous.

__________________

Two weeks to ferment, two more in the kegs
but in just one night it was drained to the dregs

Whippy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2733 Times on 1640 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qhrumphf View Post
The only thing I could think of would be botulism (as it's not the actual bacteria that's harmful but the toxin that bacteria produces), but unless you're using a bulging can of extract, or improperly canning your own, I don't think it's an issue.
It can't survive in fermented beer. This is from many of the citations I have posted in the threads linked to below.

Quote:
Oh, Botulism specifically... did you know that this is an anaerobic pathogen? It's toxin is one of the few that is broken down by boiling. Did you know tht it is strongly inhibited by isomerized alpha acids, even in water? Since fresh wort has a healthy amount of oxygen in it, the beastie cannot even get started, then once the O2 is used up, it doesn't have a chance against the hops or the yeast.
NOTHING PATHOGENIC CAN GROW IN BEER!!!

You can't get sick from beer PERIOD, old, new, or ancient...It doesn't matter. Nothing that can live in fermented beverages can harm you period....No food poisoning or anything.

The whole history of beer, wine, mead and cider/Fermentation is general is that nothing pathogenic can exist in them They were consumed in places where the water could kill you, or make you sick.

Even slightly fermented beverages were consumed, even by children. Hard ciders were drunk like we drink bottled water.

Why do you think the Catholic Church chose wine as the basis of their sacrament? Because wine was more important to the culture of the desert where Christianity came from than water. Water safe, drinkable water was rare. So wine was the safer, common beverage of the day.

We've covered everything even with some citations in this thread. Dangers of Homebrewing

And some more info here as well.

It covers all the bugaboos that new brewers wanna fear, mycotoxins, e-coli, zombies....
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
November Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
Homercidal
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 23,568
Liked 2145 Times on 1534 Posts
Likes Given: 1178

Default

During the first part of the distillation process, methanol is created. Once that small amount is captured and thrown out, the rest is safe to drink.

There is no distillation in beermaking. As is already noted, beer is safe to drink.

__________________
Homercidal is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
Zamial
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 3,183
Liked 168 Times on 149 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qhrumphf View Post

The only thing I could think of would be botulism...

NOPE. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in beer can harm you. If this was not true we would all not be here because our ancestors would have died. Remember that at one time on Earth EVERYONE drank fermented beverage because water would kill you.

This may help...



__________________
“I'm not drunk, I'm from Wisconsin.”
We have been out drinking your state since 1848!
Zamial is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
Bmorebrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 475
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

The only toxins in beer would be the ones you deliberately put in there - none are produced or supported through the brewing procedure.

__________________

For Science!

Bmorebrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
bernerbrau
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 8,526
Liked 27 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

So... just to clarify...

If I can a Real Wort Starter improperly (say I just boil it, I don't pressure-heat it to 250 for 15 minutes), and then some months later I use it to create a yeast starter which I pitch directly into unfermented wort, you guys are saying there is absolutely no risk of botulism?

__________________
bernerbrau is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2733 Times on 1640 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
So... just to clarify... If I can a Real Wort Starter improperly (say I just boil it, I don't pressure-heat it to 250 for 15 minutes), and then some months later I use it to create a yeast starter which I pitch directly into unfermented wort, you guys are saying there is absolutely no risk of botulism?
Quote:
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 9:24:12 EDT
From: hplabs!holos0!lbr (Len Reed)
Subject: Re: Botulism from malt syrup

In #462 michelma at division.cs.columbia.edu (Paul Michelman)
writes of Botulism and notes that the toxin in inactivated by
boiling.

As Paul notes, Clostridium botulinum is an anarobe commonly found
in soil. This is why it is especially worrisome in home-canned
vegetables. The organism grows in the cans, giving off the deadly
toxin. Boiling will disable the toxin, but boling the cans (i.e.,
simple canning without pressure) won't kill C. botulinum. This is
because the organism forms spores that can't be killed except by
the higher temperatures of pressure canning.

But you don't need to kill the microbe. It is sufficient to prevent
it from growing (and hence making toxin). Traditionally, some
things such as tomatoes have been canned without pressure. The low
pH of canned tomatoes prevents the organism from growing in the cans.
Some authorities now recommend pressure canning even tomatoes to be sure,
especially since some new strains of tomatoes are less acidic. An
alternative is to add acid, perhaps citric acid, when canning.

Well, wort is very acidic. I simple-can wort for use in making starters.
If the pH of wort is low, shouldn't the pH of concentrated wort be
lower? (Here I betray my woeful ignorance of chemistry.) I don't know
what the pH of malt extract is, but I suspect C. Botulinum
wouldn't grow in it. Many microbes won't grow if the sugar content is
too high--this is the principle behind making jelly. I don't have
the faintest idea of how sugar concentration affects C. Botulinum, though.

There's another way to look at this. If C. botulinum could grow
in wort, it could probably grow in bottled beer. (The hops do
have some inhbiting effect on microbes.) If that were true,
home bottling of beer would be dangerous indeed. It isn't.
A great truth of home brewing is that things that grow in beer ruin
beer, but not people.
Kaiser and others weigh in on that topic here.
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old Homebrew Slowfro General Beer Discussion 14 03-03-2011 11:00 PM
Scary Toxic fumes. From What?! cheschire General Beer Discussion 2 01-04-2010 06:22 PM
homebrew keg Icewatch General Beer Discussion 2 11-12-2009 02:08 PM
just tried out my second homebrew ColonelForbin General Beer Discussion 0 11-11-2009 10:22 PM
Need help with Homebrew name eager_brewer General Beer Discussion 3 06-07-2007 03:51 PM