Quantcast

Freezing beers and the bad...

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cdew4545

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
I couldn't find much information about ice beers, notably why the freeze distallation can be harmful. Looking at wikipedia under 'freeze distallation' it said that fusel alcohols are produced during fermentation that can accumlate to harmful concentrations in freeze distallation. This obviously makes sense, but if these fusel alcohols are present in the first place, wouldn't drinking larger quantities of a regular 'non-iced' beer do the same thing?

I just assumed the bad alcohols seperated in vapor-distallation where formed as a part of heating the ethanol, not from actual fermentation itself.

Anyone have some good knowledge that they can sum up?
 

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
Methanol is created during fermentation. Yes, drinking large quantities of beer is the same as drinking small quantities of booze, but you're talking vastly different amounts.

If you're interested in the knowledge, which is legal, do as others have said and Google "distillation" or "Ice Distillation".

If you're interested in doing it....IT's ILLEGAL!
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
3,511
Reaction score
35
Location
Anchorage
actually you can freeze distill your beer for like a .5% boost IIRC.

Good luck though. We had a 6% cider outside in 10F for 2 days to try to stop the fermentation, and while it was cold not even a small crust of ice on top.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,278
Reaction score
855
Location
Southwest
z987k said:
Actually you can freeze distill your beer for like a .5% boost IIRC.
You can freeze distill to a much higher alcohol content than just a 0.5% boost. That's why it's illegal (in all 50 states and many other countries)...it approximates the end product after true vapor distillation and blending.
 

shafferpilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
1,579
Reaction score
16
Location
Cincinnati OH
Your initial statement about fusels is true. If you drink 10 regular beers versus 5 beers that have been freeze distilled to half their original volume, the amount of fusels is exactly the same. The damage to your body is exactly the same. In vapor distillation, the fusels boil off first. So long as the person running the still knows what they are doing, the "higher" alcohols can be run off initially and discarded allowing the concentrated product to be extremely low in fusels. The myth that vapor distillation changes the chemical composition of the alcohols from fermentation, is completely untrue!!!
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
The freezing temperature goes down each time you remove the water/alcohol slush. As the percentage of alcohols goes up, you need to freeze it colder and colder. I actually had one beer from our homebrew club that was freeze distilled... idk how much but it wasn't outrageous or anything.
 

HP_Lovecraft

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
196
Reaction score
3
Yuri_Rage said:
You can freeze distill to a much higher alcohol content than just a 0.5% boost. That's why it's illegal (in all 50 states and many other countries)...it approximates the end product after true vapor distillation and blending.
He meant that on the ATF website, it specifically lists that anyone can freeze distill for an additional .5%. Anything above that, and you have to apply for a "beer condensing" license, which is an extension beyond the standard commercial beer producing permits. The ATF seperates freeze distillation with typical methods used with hard alchohol since there is a specific limit.

In regards to methanol, yes it is already in beer, but is harmless in small concentrations because ethanol prevents methanol from being poisoness. This can happen with distillation because methanol and ethanol have different freezing, and boiling points. "Moonshine" is often dangerous because the first few bottles can be mostly methanol. You have no way of knowing.

nick
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
107
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Heh, so I should watch for the BATFE agents next time I try to crash cool a bottle of beer and leave it in there too long? :p
 

Poindexter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
8
Location
interior Alaska
While the subject is open, would isomerized alpha acids get locked up in the ice, or left behind in the beer?

We do have a paper target of a 121 IBU beer for 12-12-12 ya know.
 

delboy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
320
Reaction score
3
Location
Belfast N.Ireland
HP_Lovecraft said:
In regards to methanol, yes it is already in beer, but is harmless in small concentrations because ethanol prevents methanol from being poisoness. This can happen with distillation because methanol and ethanol have different freezing, and boiling points. "Moonshine" is often dangerous because the first few bottles can be mostly methanol. You have no way of knowing.

nick
Thats an excellent point, in fact one of the treatments used to treat methanol posioning is to give the person ethanol which competes with methanol for the active site of alcohol dehydrogenase.

When freezing beer and skimming the slush you are simply concentrating the alcohols etc, the ratio of ethanol to methanol will remain unchanged, in other words its as safe as drinking ordinary beer.

Edit the freezing points of ethanol and methanol are -114 Celcius and -94 celcius respectively (-173 F and -137 F in old money), so there is no way a homebrewer could reach the temperatures that would enrich one over the other and even if they could they would remove the methanol first anyway.
 
Top