[Sca-cooks] brewing

Ian Kusz sprucebranch at gmail.com
Sat Jun 21 01:36:11 PDT 2008

wouldn't heating cook off alcohol and/or change the flavor?

and what is the bacterium that causes it to turn to vinegar?
On Sat, Jun 21, 2008 at 1:15 AM, Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de> wrote:

> --- Ian Kusz <sprucebranch at gmail.com> schrieb am Sa, 21.6.2008:
> > But....what if you had a fruit beverage....(something like
> > Ocean Spray,
> > which is chock-full of sugars, or a fruit cocktail with
> > pure sugar in it)
> > and let it ferment from yeast in the air?  Would the
> > resultant...uh...mess
> > be safe to administer to humans?  And what would it be
> > called?
> >
> > Obviously, out-gassing is a concern, so you'd have to
> > open the bottle, from
> > time to time.  Or you'd get exploded plastic.
> >
> > And how would it taste?  But the most important, would it
> > be something that
> > would make people sick?
> This is purely from a theoretical POV - I don't brew myself - but AFAIK you
> would have to be very unlucky to actually poison yourself this way. As long
> as your mix does not exceed a certain very high sugar content, it will
> ferment (yeast can not survive in extreme environments, IIRC somewhere
> around 85% sugar, which is why honey and syrup do not ferment unless
> diluted). Most natural yeasts will create alcohol from sugar with no
> problem. I've had it happen to jam that sat around waiting to be cooked and
> canned for a few hours on humid summer days (then again, I live close to an
> industrial brewery, so I'm at elevated risk).
> If you shut the material off in bottles after the fermentation starts, that
> should reduce the risk of getting nasty germs joining the mix later on. Of
> course you could easily already have caught some of those when you harvested
> airborne yeasts, but the risk increases over time. If you simply heat the
> bottles before serving, that should take care of most of them. It's still
> not a particularly safe approach, but hardly suicidal. A friend of mine
> brews mead with natural cultures and he gets good results about 90% of the
> time.
> No matter how much sugar you add, the alcohol content will not rise above a
> certain level. The exact point depends on your yeast culture, but no yeast
> can survive in much more than IIRC 15% by volume of alcohol content. If your
> ferment in bottles, you might also get a sparkling result. What you want to
> watch out for is the acetic acid that develops. With so much sugar and such
> a long process, you might get an undrinkably sweet-sour fruit sauce (or an
> excellent fruit vinegar, if you are lucky). The cultures for vinegar making
> are just as airborne as those for brewing.
> Personally, of course, I wouldn't drink it, but then. I don't drink
> alcoholic beverages anyway. It sounds like a fun experiment, though.
> Giano
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Ian of Oertha

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