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Old 09-12-2011, 05:21 PM   #1
eloro
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Default Potential dangers?

I'm new to wine making. My girlfriend won't drink any of my homemade wine because she thinks that there is a possibility that it is either infected with bacteria, or some chemical that will otherwise kill you, methanol maybe? I don't know... Now, I have already drank a good bit of it, and I'm still alive to type this. I'd always heard rumors that homemade wine could hurt you if you did it wrong... but from what I've read that is just a myth... But it did get me thinking. I've read two opposing things... one said bacteria or chemicals aren't enough to hurt you, just give the wine an off taste, and one that said it could potentially make you sick and even kill you in certain concentrations. Which is true? Do I never have to worry when drinking my home wines, or is there always a slight chance?

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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That, my friend, is complete arse. Unless you're drinking pure sanitizer I'd go ahead and say you're fine. What you're probably thinking of is Distilling, which can be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. But it's probably illegal in your state, and besides, it's difficult and pretty hardcore equipment wise. You can counter this statement by telling her that beer was made because it was more sterile than dirty water centuries ago - it may very well be the reason that we're alive today. As Benjamin Franklin said - Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.

Just use your standard home brewing chemicals and you'll be 100% fine. probably healthier than you are now.

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobWalker View Post
As Benjamin Franklin said - Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.
Actually, he didn't say that. He did say this though:

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Originally Posted by Benny F
Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
That doesn't fit as well on a t-shirt though.

But, he was talking about wine.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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Hahah. We have it on the side of Banks' glasses in particularly good pubs here. If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right.

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Old 09-12-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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Read this and replace the word beer with.

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.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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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.
I told her this... I was pretty sure no pathogens could exist in wine, because it's high alcohol content... I wasn't so sure about beer, which can be 3ish percent or lower and still qualify as "beer". As far as the yeast making other chemicals or other chemicals being produced somehow, I am not sure. I'm too new at this to dispel all her fears. She said yeast can also produce methanol, which I think is a poison... but that doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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It won't produce methanol in quantities that will cause you any harm, and the bigger alcohols produced by fermenting too warm will break down with aging. Realy, all your risking as a worst case is a slightly worse hangover...

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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My brother thought I was crazy when I took a drink of some homemade wine from 1974 that I got at an estate sale...stuff tastes wonderful...

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:00 PM   #9
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I told her this... I was pretty sure no pathogens could exist in wine, because it's high alcohol content... I wasn't so sure about beer, which can be 3ish percent or lower and still qualify as "beer". As far as the yeast making other chemicals or other chemicals being produced somehow, I am not sure. I'm too new at this to dispel all her fears. She said yeast can also produce methanol, which I think is a poison... but that doesn't sound right to me.
If she wants to be an idiot who only believes what she wants to believe AND wants to make decisions based on a limited understanding of things, then that means more beer and wine for you and folks who understand or want to understand the truth about things. Not their own unfounded ignorance.

Methanol is produced at an extremely low level, and it will be diluted. Distillation is a concentration of ethanol and methanol, which is why in distillation (including freeze distillation) it is a dangerous factor, but with the dilution in any brewed drink, even up to 18%+abv, it'll be fine. You'd be more likely to have alcohol poisoning before you would have a methanol problem.

It's not an issue due to the low methanol % compared to the much higher ethanol %. Your liver is too busy metabolizing the ethanol, thus allowing the methanol to safely pass through your system.

Distilling completely seperates the methanol from ethanol which is why it becomes a concern. The first X amount out of a still is nearly pure methanol, which gets collected seperately and discarded. It's just that some moonshiners saw that as throwing away profit, and people died as a result.

We make beer, wine mead and cider EXACTLY the same way commercial breweries, wineries, meaderies, etc do, except simply on a smaller scale. We use EXACTLY the same ingredients, and process.

The same yeast as well.

If she's that worried, then she needs to quit drinking booze of ANY kind...because she's running EXACTLY the same risk with her wine coolers and whatever else she likes to drink from the big guys as does with yours. The same amount of methanol in proportion to the size of the batch is produced at Budweiser St. Louis as in your brewery. The same amount is produced proportionally in the vats in Napa Valley or the Rhine region of Germany as is produced in your basement in those 5 gallon buckets of wine.....

*shrug*
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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