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The Brewing Forum • View topic - How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

If you know how to do something, and how it should be done, tell us here.

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

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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

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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


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

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby robwalker » Tue Jul 29, 2014 16:57

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby calumscott » Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:05

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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

Last edited by Springer on Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby Frogfurlong » Tue Jul 29, 2014 17:10


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

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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. ;)
S

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Re: How to: pasteurize your bottles at home.

Postby MrBoy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:45

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