How to Pasteurize Beer


Pasteurizing beer will help the beer to have a shelf life of up to 120 days, compared to non-pasteurized beers, most of which only have a shelf life of up to 60 days. The pasteurization process includes heating the beer to a very high temperature and killing the bacteria in the process. This also stops the yeast growth that is present after the bottling process. This is done in most beers that are shipped, and is rarely found in microbrewed beers.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 large pots with lids Meat thermometer Stove Egg timer Bag of ice Wooden spoon Freezer large enough to hold 1 large pot with lid
  • Pour the beer into one large pot with the lid, and place it on the stove on a high temperature.

  • Boil the beer to a temperature of 165 degrees F. To make sure this is accomplished, use the meat thermometer every few seconds to check the temperature. In order to kill the bacteria and stop yeast growth, the temperature has to be maintained for a total of 20 seconds. Use the egg timer to count off 20 seconds from the time the temperature reaches 165 degrees.

  • Pull the beer off the stove and immediately pour it into the other pot. Fill the pot the rest of the way with ice.

  • Place the pot into the freezer with the lid on and the door closed. Allow this to cool for half an hour. Remove the pot from the freezer and stir its contents with a wooden spoon.

  • Bottle or store the beer in the manner you choose, and store it at a temperature no greater than 35 degrees F to maintain taste and quality, as well as keep bacterial growth at a minimum.

Tips & Warnings

  • There is no surefire way of pasteurizing at home due to the flash pasteurization process that most beer producers use. This simply means they bring the beer up to 250 degrees F and then instantly cool it down while under pressure. Since this is impossible at home, the method discussed above is the only other way of doing such without professional means.
  • Always use potholders or gloves when handling hot materials or pans.

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