When you are brewing or cooking, you always want to make sure that your food or drink is edible to consume to prevent any illnesses, and it is a big responsibility.
When brewing beer, lots of people can become worried that they may end up making methanol, which is toxic to humans, especially when consumed.
Once you are worried about making methanol, it can be difficult to get this worry out of your head. But is it possible to make methanol from home brewing?
It is always important to make sure that you are safe and that you are only consuming beer that is edible.
This article will inform you about the risks of methanol poisoning and if you can get methanol poisoning from home brewing.
You will also learn how to avoid getting methanol poisoning, so read on to find out more!
Are Ethanol And Methanol The Same?
The alcohol that is made when you brew beer is ethanol, not methanol.
The reason that both ethanol and methanol are different is due to the chemical formulas not being the same, therefore they are not the same chemical.
This means that it is unlikely that you will get methanol poisoning from home brewing.
What Is Methanol?
Methanol is a chemical that is found in antifreeze, petrol, and paint thinner, and it is very dangerous when it is consumed in high amounts.
It is naturally found in certain types of fruit and vegetables, but methanol can also be found when spirits are distilled at home and not distilled safely or properly.
As it is very dangerous to be consumed in high quantities, home brewers are often worried that methanol can be found in home-brewed beer as it can be found in home-distilled spirits.
Methanol can be used in small quantities to preserve beer, but this is done by professionals and shouldn’t be attempted at home as they are able to use safe amounts.
Can You Get Methanol Poisoning From Home Brewing Beer?
When you brew your beer, there can be methanol produced, but it is often at such a small level that it doesn’t affect your body when you consume the beer.
Therefore, it is very unlikely that your home-brewed beer will produce such a high amount of methanol to poison you.
It doesn’t matter how much sugar you add to your beer, it is highly unlikely that it will turn into methanol and poison you.
You need to be careful when brewing beer as you want to make sure that it is safe to drink and that it tastes right, but it is important to be aware that it is unlikely that home-brewed beer will result in methanol poisoning.
Risks Of Distilling Alcohol
Distilling alcohol at home can be dangerous as high levels of methanol can be produced when you are trying to distill spirits yourself.
For this reason, lots of countries have banned home spirit distillation, and some countries only allow the process for it to be consumed by the individual who made it.
This is where methanol production often gets mixed up, as when you are home brewing beer, it can be very difficult to produce enough methanol to poison you.
However, when you are distilling spirits at home, you need to be properly trained as you can produce lethal doses of methanol accidentally.
How Is Methanol Produced?
When spirits are distilled, you need to heat the alcohol as methanol has a low boiling temperature. Due to this, professionals who have distilled their own spirits throw away their distilled product to avoid consuming methanol.
Making sure that all the methanol is taken out of the distilled spirit is important for ensuring that nobody consuming the spirit will experience methanol poisoning.
This is why it is important that you do not try to distill your own spirits or consume home-distilled alcohol as you can never be sure of the methanol content in the drink.
Can You Tell If Alcohol Contains Methanol?
There is a test that can be done to see if alcohol has any traces of methanol in it.
To find out, add sulfuric acid to sodium dichromate to create a solution that is highly effective in seeing how much methanol is present in alcohol.
Next, you need to use a pipette to transfer some drops of the solution into a test tube containing the alcohol and swirl the two together.
This is a very effective method of seeing how much methanol is present in the alcohol.
What Alcohol Contains Methanol?
Methanol is often found in spirits, wine, and beer, but it is the quantity of the methanol that needs to be assessed.
When distilled properly, the alcohol is safe to drink as the levels of methanol are so small that they do not give you methanol poisoning.
This is why home-brewed spirits are dangerous, as you can never be certain of the levels of methanol that you are consuming.
If the high levels of methanol are not removed properly and consumed, it could be fatal for the person who has consumed the alcohol.
What Are The Symptoms Of Methanol Poisoning?
There are a few symptoms to look for if you are worried that you are suffering from methanol poisoning.
The main symptoms of methanol poisoning are persistent vomiting, stomach pain, blurry vision, or even blindness.
Other symptoms that are commonly associated with methanol poisoning are diarrhea, seizures, and breathing difficulties.
When you consume methanol in high amounts, your breathing can become affected and you can start to feel breathless.
It is important to make sure that you do not drink home-distilled spirits to avoid experiencing these symptoms.
As well as affecting your lungs, methanol poisoning can also affect your heart and multiple organs.
The damage done to these organs cannot be reversed, so you need to make sure that you are looking after your body by only consuming spirits that have been professionally distilled to avoid experiencing methanol poisoning from home-distilled spirits.
If you have any of these symptoms or think you have been exposed to methanol, you will need to seek medical help immediately.
A healthcare professional will be able to help treat you for methanol poisoning and the quicker you seek help, the more effective the treatment will be.
Can Methanol Poisoning Be Cured?
Methanol poisoning can be cured, and like most medical conditions, the sooner it is caught, the better it can be treated.
It is important to seek help immediately from a medical professional as they will be able to treat you for the methanol poisoning appropriately.
Can There Be Long-Term Damage To Your Body After Methanol Poisoning?
Unfortunately, long-term damage is possible after experiencing methanol poisoning.
If you experience blindness as one of the symptoms of methanol poisoning, there is a good chance that this symptom will be long-lasting.
You can also experience blindness permanently without experiencing it as a symptom.
Once you have ingested methanol, it can be difficult for your organs to be completely normal afterward. Organ damage is a very common outcome of methanol poisoning and your organs do not often recover unscathed.
That is why it is very important to seek medical attention immediately to treat the poisoning as effectively as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Home-Distilled Spirits Banned In Some Countries?
The main reason that home-distilled spirits are banned is due to the high methanol content that is present in the alcohol after it is distilled.
Unless you are a professional, you should never attempt to distill spirits at home as it could result in poisoning.
When you home-distill spirits, you cannot keep track of the methanol content in the alcohol.
When distilled professionally, the methanol is removed from the alcohol, making it safe to drink.
If you are not a professional, you won’t be able to properly remove all the methanol from the alcohol, and you could end up experiencing methanol poisoning.
Does Home-Brewed Beer Produce Methanol?
When you home-brew beer, it will produce ethanol, which is a chemical that is completely different from ethanol.
However, small amounts of methanol can be produced from home-brewed beer, but the levels of methanol are so small that they do not cause methanol poisoning.
Ethanol and methanol are often confused as being the same, but methanol is very toxic when it is consumed in large quantities.
The ethanol quantity in home-brewed beer is often so small that it will not result in poisoning and is safe for humans to consume.
What Are The Effects Of Methanol Poisoning?
The main symptoms associated with methanol poisoning are abdominal pains, diarrhea, headaches, seizures, and blindness.
If you think you are experiencing methanol poisoning, you need to seek medical attention quickly as fast treatment is the most effective way of curing methanol poisoning.
Your body can experience long-term damage from methanol poisoning as it can be impossible to reverse the effects that methanol can have on your body.
If you experienced blindness as a symptom, it is possible that it could be long-term. You can also experience blindness as an aftereffect of methanol poisoning.
Long-term organ damage is also a common aftereffect of methanol poisoning, so you need to make sure that you avoid consuming high quantities of methanol to make sure that your body isn’t affected.
To conclude, it is very unlikely that your home-brewed beer will contain high levels of methanol.
Home-brewing doesn’t usually result in methanol poisoning, but it is home-distilled spirits that can be very dangerous and toxic for your body as they can contain poisonous levels of methanol if they aren’t distilled properly.
This is why it is important to never distill spirits at home as it can be very dangerous for the people consuming the alcohol.
Home-brewing is safe to do as long as you know where you can get professional help, but there is often a low risk associated with methanol poisoning and home-brewing beer.
If you suspect that you are suffering from methanol poisoning, it is important to make sure that you seek medical help quickly.
The faster methanol poisoning is treated, the more effective the treatment will be.
Having treatment quickly could prevent long-lasting damage to your body from consuming methanol, so it is important to see help immediately.