It's not tricky at all. Methanol is a by-product of
fermentation; more methanol is produced in fruit
fermentation than in grains. Brewers do not remove
the methanol in beer and wine because methanol is not
especially toxic at low concentrations.
You are looking at between 0.4%-1% methanol in wines
and brandies and smaller amounts in beers.
Distillers remove almost all the methanol in most cases.
Ever notice how vodka produces clean hangovers and wines
(particularly reds) give you very nasty hangovers? Methanol.
That, and dehydration!
Methanol is an especially nasty type of alcohol because the body tries to
break it down the same way it metabolizes, or breaks down, ethanol, the type
of alcohol in beer, wine and other drinks. Metabolizing ethanol produces
chemicals less toxic to the body than alcohol. Unfortunately, if the same
chemical action is performed on methanol the result is formic acid, lactic
acid and formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde attacks nerve cells, especially the optic nerve and can damage
the liver and kidneys. Formic acid and lactic acid also attack the kidneys and
liver. Most people who have drunk methanol die of severe and sudden kidney and
Chronic methanol drinking will cause optical damage. The stories of moonshine
causing blindness comes from U.S. prohibition times where some bootleggers
used to cut moonshine with methylated spirits to increase profit.
Tony's web page has more info.
janpam ooms wrote:
> This methanol question is a tricky one, as far as i am concerned all the
> commercially produced spirits,wine and beer has methanol in it. Methanol is
> a poison but only in concentrated form, and as sending people blind, dont
> believe it, all crap unless you use radiators with soft soldered joints as
> they used to, in the old times. Regards JAN.
>> From: dball1@...
>> Here's a question I've never seen answered. If Methanol is poison
>> and is removed at the beginning of distillation...
>> Question: When/how is methanol removed from wine or beer?