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Old 02-12-2011, 07:13 PM   #1
mitch101
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Default Beginer Fermentation methanol/ethanol question

hey guys, any help would be greatly appreciated. I just bought a home brew kit and im about to buy my air lock and carboys etc. I havent been able to get a clear answer from any websites but i need to know if making my beer is safe. I heard i could make the wrong type of alcohal in my beer and go blind? Is this true? i heard others say yes and no some said it only happens when making hard alcohal but i need to be positive. my basments about 19c so it should be enough for brewing.

Thanks for your time.

-Mitch



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Old 02-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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Methanol in small quantities can make you go blind and in larger quantities is fatal. You will NOT be making any methanol. You mostly will make ethanol which will make you drunk if you inbibe too much of it. If you let your beer ferment at too high of a temperature, your yeast can make fusel alcohol which may give you a headache but you will notice the taste if you have created these.



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Old 02-12-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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you won't make methanol when brewing beer, you got nothing to worry about. high temps can produce fusel alcohols which aren't pleasant, but won't make u go blind.

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Old 02-12-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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thank you very much guys, i was a lil skeptical after buying the kit but i think ill be good, a fermenter air lock and carboy shouldnt be any more than 50?

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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I thought Revvy should weigh in on this one. Hope you don't mind Revvy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Ok for the sake of all the noobs on here, who are terrified that one wrong look at their fermenter and it is going to turn poisonous and kill them,

Get it straight people, no known pathogens can grow in your beer....nothing in your beer can kill you. Or make you sick!!!!!

In fact it was because water was often dangerous to drink that brewing became popular to begin with, because the brewing process killed most pathogens including e-coli

That's why the even brewed table beers, the third runnings from a partigyle session so that the children could have a drink that was safe to consume....

I came across this from a pretty well known and award winning homebrewer railing against a fellow brewer (it was on one of those "color coded" brewboards where they are a little less friendly than we are.) I just cut and pasted it and stuck it in a file...here it is.


Quote:
Can you get a PATHOGEN from beer. No. NO *NO* Did I make that clear? You have a ZERO chance of pathogens in beer, wine, distilled beverages. PERIOD!

Pathogens are described as organisms that are harmful and potentially life threatening to humans. These are some 1400+ known species overall encompasing viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. Of that group, we are only interested in those that can be foodborne. Quite simply, if it can't survive in food, it isn't in beer. That knocks out all but bacteria and fungi. Viruses need very specific circumstances to be passed around... like on the lip of a glass or bottle, not the beer in it. **Ahhh...CHOOO!**

Pathogens as a rule are very fastidious beasts. Meaning that they want very specific temperatures, acidity, nutrients and other conditions to thrive.

Bacteria that *could* live in wort, cannot survive even a little bit of fermentation. There are several reasons for this. One is in the 'magic' of hops. It is the isomerized alpha acids that provide a preservative effect to the beer, which happens to inhibit pathogens! Good deal for fresh wort!

Another reason is the drop in pH from fermentation. Next, yeast emit their own enzymes and byproducts, all in an effort to make the environment hostile to other creatures. The major one is alcohol, of course, but their enzymes will break down less vigorous organisms and they become sources of trace nutrition. Now the latter is very minor compared to the effect of alcohol, but it exists! Most of the time these enzymes work on the wort, not organisms until late in the process. Good deal for beer! ...uh, wine too.

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.

All that is left are a handful of acid producing bacteria that'll ruin a batch of beer. Overall, there are less than 200 organisms that can survive in beer and lend flavor effects. None of these for very long, or very often. Lambic being the sole exception, and if pathogens *could* survive, that'd be the style where you find 'em.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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You should be able to get the basics for about $50, maybe a little more.

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Old 02-12-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch101 View Post
hey guys, any help would be greatly appreciated. I just bought a home brew kit and im about to buy my air lock and carboys etc. I havent been able to get a clear answer from any websites but i need to know if making my beer is safe. I heard i could make the wrong type of alcohal in my beer and go blind? Is this true? i heard others say yes and no some said it only happens when making hard alcohal but i need to be positive. my basments about 19c so it should be enough for brewing.

Thanks for your time.

-Mitch
All fermentations produce small quantities of methanol but the percentage in a beer or wine is not enough to worry about. Do yourself a favor and learn more about the process.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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awesome, thanks alot again everybody, im sick of paying overpriced beer. Quick question, my beer kit has a huge bag of wert liquid crap and in the instructions it doesnt say to boil it just dump in fermenter container? i say a youtube video of the same kit and the guy boiled his? also, before transferring the fermented wart crap the the carboy, is the plastic fermenter supposed to be airlocked on the lid?

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Old 02-13-2011, 04:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch101 View Post
awesome, thanks alot again everybody, im sick of paying overpriced beer. Quick question, my beer kit has a huge bag of wert liquid crap and in the instructions it doesnt say to boil it just dump in fermenter container? i say a youtube video of the same kit and the guy boiled his? also, before transferring the fermented wart crap the the carboy, is the plastic fermenter supposed to be airlocked on the lid?
I'm guessing the wort crap is liquid malt extract so yes boil it. And yes you should put the airlock on your lid after you aerate and pitch your yeast. You should put some sort of liquid, you can use water, in the airlock. I highly recommend you read How to Brew by John Palmer it will run you through all the basics of brewing.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Normal beer yeast with normal worts at normal temperatures produces ULTRA LOW quantities of methanol; fruit-based fermentations can produce much higher quantities of methanol; higher gravity fermentations will produce more methanol, too.

Dangerous methanol levels aren't really an issue in beer - all the "go blind" stuff and high methanol levels are an issue when you start distilling because as the mash heats up to 65C / 149F you start boiling off methanol and it starts coming out the end of the still -you could have a small glass of liquid if you gather it at this point in time that is quite high in methanol; ESPECIALLY if you're making a brandy that started from a fruit that's high in pectin.


When pectin is broken down -naturally, from a pectin-degrading enzyme introduced from wild microorganisms, or commercial pectic enzymes, the methyl esters of galactose get hydrolyzed in the presence of oxygen and produce methanol.
Even fruit juices can have 0.2-0.9% methanol.

Orange juice contains 10-50x as much methanol as a pure sugar fermentation. http://archive.food.gov.uk/maff/archive/food/infsheet/1993/no17/17orange.htm

Wikipedia says 20-200mg / liter of methanol is quite common in red wines but less methanol is present in white wines.



I hope this doesn't sound rude, but some of your questions are making people on this forum mentally scream out to themselves that you need to read a little bit more before jumping into this. It won't be painful; it won't take long and you'll feel much more confident and make a much better tasting product.

Much of the "How to Brew by John Palmer" book is available online for free here: spend a couple hours here and you'll be much better prepared and you'll like the beer that you produce much more: http://howtobrew.com/intro.html


Adam



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