How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

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How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 14:42

Pasteurizing in home brewing is useful for a number of reasons -

1) Beer intended to be laid down for a long time in the bottle (6 months upwards) will continue to slowly ferment at room temperature - this causes bottle bombs. If you can't keep your bottles cool all year round, pasteurizing will prevent this fermentation leaving your beer intact. This will, however, stop the conditioning process, so it should only be used if you are happy with the condition and flavour of your beer.

2) It's a chemical free way to stabilize beer, wine and cider. This also allows you to bottle a wine, cider or even a beer towards the end of fermentation, allow a few days for carbonation to occur, then pasteurize to stop the fermentation short - natural, sweet and fizzy wine or cider. There are other ways, but this is easily possible with equipment you probably already have.

You need:

1x stockpot, bottle height
Hot water
Home brew bottled in glass bottles
Thermometer
Rubber gloves

- Fill your stockpot about 3/4 of the way with hot tap water and put it on the hob.
- Heat the water to 88c / 190f.
- When you hit 88c, remove the pot from the heat and submerge your bottles. I find it's okay to leave the necks sticking out. Be careful of any very full bottles, and never lower any bottles with hairline fractures into hot water. It's almost boiling so watch your fingers!
- Leave them for 10 minutes for pasteurizing to take effect.
- Remove the bottles then leave to cool. If you have more to do, reheat the water and repeat the process.

For a large batch it's a little time consuming, but for 1-2 gallons it will only take half an hour or so.

Any questions, ask in this topic, but im no scientist so someone else might help you! ;)

Cheers!
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby bobsbeer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 14:50

What temperature kills the yeast?
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 14:56

Above 50c according to google.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Andyhull » Tue Jul 29, 2014 14:58

does heating the beer not alter/effect the taste?
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:05

I don't know, and i believe im in danger of making some uneducated/sweeping statements here, but i believe the majority of commercial bottled beer is pasteurized, so i assume it's reasonable practice.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Andyhull » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:11

robwalker wrote:I don't know, and i believe im in danger of making some uneducated/sweeping statements here, but i believe the majority of commercial bottled beer is pasteurized, so i assume it's reasonable practice.


Im not saying your wrong in any way, just wondered that was all.
Not sure if the big boys maybe alow for the effect of pasturising in their "recipe" :lol:
Or not!
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Zod » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:14

Interesting. I assume that if you drop too many bottles in not enough water, then the bottles will not reach the 50c mark.

What is the 88c water volume to beer bottle ratio that achieves 50c in each bottle from 10mins submersion?

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Andyhull » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:18

Sorry Rob for the questions, thanks for the how too bud. :thumb:
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:31

Zod wrote:Interesting. I assume that if you drop too many bottles in not enough water, then the bottles will not reach the 50c mark.

What is the 88c water volume to beer bottle ratio that achieves 50c in each bottle from 10mins submersion?


Well, ive no way of recording it apart from cracking one open warm (no chance with an expensive beer like this) or doing the science (yup, no idea there.) Hopefullt someone can help you here! The bottles are hot on removal so i guess it has some effect at least.

No worries on questions, i dont mind! Hopefully either someone will come along with better answers or experiences, i'll answer what i do know or can best guess at least.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Zod » Tue Jul 29, 2014 15:38

sounds like a challenge! Maybe the next time you try it, fill one bottle with water and cap then dip your thermometer into that one after the 10mins and see if it reached 50c?

why specifically 88c by the way?

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby bobsbeer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 16:06

I suppose you could do a test with an open bottle filled with water at ambient temp and see how long it takes it to reach 50c. Assuming all the bottles transfer the heat at the same rate. That way you can test how many bottles it can hold to see if the temperature gets to 50c or drops below due to there being too many bottles in the pot.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Frogfurlong » Tue Jul 29, 2014 16:38

Wikipedia wrote:A more timid method was developed by the renowned French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur during his 1864 summer vacation in Arbois, to remedy the frequent acidity of the local wines. He found out experimentally that it is sufficient to heat a young wine to only about 50–60 °C (122–140 °F) for a brief time to kill the microbes, and that the wine could be nevertheless properly aged without sacrificing the final quality. In honor of Pasteur, the process became known as "pasteurization". Pasteurization was originally used as a way of preventing wine and beer from souring, and it would be many years before milk was pasteurized.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteuriza ... _beverages

I didn't know that :D

Lovely "how to" thanks for sharing it :thumb:

To note:
Remember to allow the bottles to room temperature prior to adding to the hot water, thermal shock will cause them to explode in the water bath. Another method is add them to cool water and increase the temperature.

Leave a little headspace in the bottle to allow for expansion or it'll pop the tops off

If at (or above) 3000 ft (914 meters) above sea level remember that water boils at lower temperatures and this needs to be taken into account when canning/pasteurising.
(From my investigations into pressure canning and water bath canning)

People assume that Brewing is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big glass of wibbly wobbly... beery weery... stuff.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 16:55

Frogfurlong wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:A more timid method was developed by the renowned French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur during his 1864 summer vacation in Arbois, to remedy the frequent acidity of the local wines. He found out experimentally that it is sufficient to heat a young wine to only about 50–60 °C (122–140 °F) for a brief time to kill the microbes, and that the wine could be nevertheless properly aged without sacrificing the final quality. In honor of Pasteur, the process became known as "pasteurization". Pasteurization was originally used as a way of preventing wine and beer from souring, and it would be many years before milk was pasteurized.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteuriza ... _beverages

I didn't know that :D

Lovely "how to" thanks for sharing it :thumb:

To note:
Remember to allow the bottles to room temperature prior to adding to the hot water, thermal shock will cause them to explode in the water bath. Another method is add them to cool water and increase the temperature.

Leave a little headspace in the bottle to allow for expansion or it'll pop the tops off

If at (or above) 3000 ft (914 meters) above sea level remember that water boils at lower temperatures and this needs to be taken into account when canning/pasteurising.
(From my investigations into pressure canning and water bath canning)


I'd personally avoid applying heat with the bottles already submerged - if the layer is set up pretty much as -

Bottom of Bottle
-----------------
Metal stockpot
-----------------
Gas flame

I would think that would apply heat directly to the glass itself, which is gonna cause cracks etc, if not just excessive heat. Much better to submerge them imo - hopefully you won't have had a reason to chill them down yet prior to pasteurizing.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 16:57

Zod wrote:sounds like a challenge! Maybe the next time you try it, fill one bottle with water and cap then dip your thermometer into that one after the 10mins and see if it reached 50c?

why specifically 88c by the way?


That's a good idea, I'll do it next time - brewing a belgian strong golden soon which will want the same treatment.

88c I guess because it's probably as hot as you can get it without boiling to damage the glass, and the more heat the better. This knowledge was taken from an old topic over on another forum, been using it for years without incident.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby calumscott » Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:05

robwalker wrote:
Frogfurlong wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:A more timid method was developed by the renowned French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur during his 1864 summer vacation in Arbois, to remedy the frequent acidity of the local wines. He found out experimentally that it is sufficient to heat a young wine to only about 50–60 °C (122–140 °F) for a brief time to kill the microbes, and that the wine could be nevertheless properly aged without sacrificing the final quality. In honor of Pasteur, the process became known as "pasteurization". Pasteurization was originally used as a way of preventing wine and beer from souring, and it would be many years before milk was pasteurized.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteuriza ... _beverages

I didn't know that :D

Lovely "how to" thanks for sharing it :thumb:

To note:
Remember to allow the bottles to room temperature prior to adding to the hot water, thermal shock will cause them to explode in the water bath. Another method is add them to cool water and increase the temperature.

Leave a little headspace in the bottle to allow for expansion or it'll pop the tops off

If at (or above) 3000 ft (914 meters) above sea level remember that water boils at lower temperatures and this needs to be taken into account when canning/pasteurising.
(From my investigations into pressure canning and water bath canning)


I'd personally avoid applying heat with the bottles already submerged - if the layer is set up pretty much as -

Bottom of Bottle
-----------------
Metal stockpot
-----------------
Gas flame

I would think that would apply heat directly to the glass itself, which is gonna cause cracks etc, if not just excessive heat. Much better to submerge them imo - hopefully you won't have had a reason to chill them down yet prior to pasteurizing.


Use a false bottom/wire rack maybe?

:thumb:
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Springer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:06

Interesting and useful, thanks for info Rob. :thumb: Something I will try,knew he process but had forgot how useful this could be. :scratch:
S

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Frogfurlong » Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:10

calumscott wrote:
Use a false bottom/wire rack maybe?

:thumb:


Yes! :thumb:

I knew I'd forgotten something in my notes

People assume that Brewing is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big glass of wibbly wobbly... beery weery... stuff.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Belter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 18:49

Interesting read.

I have a few opinions right or wrong.

None of the beers I drink are pasteurised except maybe Pilsner Urquell (rarely drank). Bottle bombs are never an issue if primed correctly. If primed correctly then the pressure in them will still be there post pasteurisation.

Pasteurisation does affect flavour (apparently... I have no experience as I'd never pasteurise my beer).

Depending on percentage beer will last way past 6months. Hop flavours will diminish quickly.

I don't mean this the way it sounds. These are just my opinions. A lot of the craft movement states "unpasteurised unfiltered fresh beer" or something to that effect. A lot of the beers I drink are fined however.

Interesting how to. Thanks for posting.

Brews before hoes
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby wezzel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 19:00

You could pop then in a Lidl jam maker set at 88 degrees. They are designed exactly for this purpose and have a stand to keep jars or whatever off the element.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 19:19

Well, I've been reading up a lot tonight and it seems that pasteurizing also halts the ageing process of beer, but not the maturation process. That means the current flavour of the beer will be locked in, and it will mature but it won't change.

That's potentially useful, and potentially I've just doomed a batch of Russian Imperial Stout to a young, rough flavour....heheh.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby wezzel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 20:24

Good for fresh, hoppy, summer ales though!
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Springer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 20:28

How about using the process to "stop" a turbo cider to prevent it being bone dry ?
S

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 21:49

Springer wrote:How about using the process to "stop" a turbo cider to prevent it being bone dry ?
S


yep, that's one of its main applications - you can still get fizz if you bottle it while it's still fermenting and have it sweet too.
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Springer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 08:11

This was the application I saw it documented for a way back I believe :scratch: Thanks for jogging the memory Rob. :D
My plan was, to use my mash tun with false bottom and pump water through my HERMS heat exchanger to get the temp I want. (Only use it for bottle washing anyway, this would give it another use. :lol: but don't start me on that one :nono: )
A few peeps have told me its going to be a good year for apples and have already been reseaching an apple scratter and press. ;)
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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby MrBoy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:45

Belter wrote:Bottle bombs are never an issue if primed correctly. If primed correctly then the pressure in them will still be there post pasteurisation.
Yes but the point is this way you can end up with unfermented sugar in your cider (or beer).
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