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I finnish my beer its fully carbonated and bottled on 22 oz bottles (co2 comes from priming sugar)

now.. can start the pasteurization process ? or that only will work with forced carbonation beer ?

thanks

2 Answers 2

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Pasteurizing home brewed beer is rarely done for two reasons: it's complicated, and you don't really need it.

Pasteurizing beer is done in industrial breweries to preserve the beer and kill all residual yeast, because the brewery wants the beer to remain 100% the same once it goes out the door. This is not as critical with home brewed beer. Furthermore, the yeast in a homebrew bottle acts as a natural preservative by removing the oxygen from the beer (and about 30-40% from the head space as well) which gives the beer an extended shelf life.

Bottom line: if you practice good sanitation and bottle condition your beer you don't need pasteurizing!! In fact, pasteurizing a bottle conditioned beer kills the yeast and prevents it from further developing the flavor of the beer as it matures. So for a bottle conditioned beer pasteurization is in fact the last thing you want!

Also note that pasteurization destroys some of the flavor. This is fine for industrial lagers that have little flavor to begin with, but not for a home brew!

To answer your final question, pasteurizing can only be done on the fully carbonated, packaged beer. The beer is force-carbonated, bottled, capped and then pasteurized, bottle and all.

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From what I’ve read lately, there is some use in homebrew pasteurisation for non-alcoholic/low-alcoholic beers, where alcohol does not create a hostile environment for other organisms that can spoil your beer. Additionally if you create such beers with a yeast like SafBrew LA-01 your beer will also contain residual sugars that the yeast can’t digest:

This yeast does not assimilate maltose and maltotriose but assimilates simple sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose)

These beers are therefore more at risk of spoiling.


Basically, the risk of pasteurising fully carbonated beer is the increase in pressure in the bottle during the process. You kill bacteria and other organisms by heating the beer − but it also increases pressure directly, and indirectly by driving the CO2 out of the beer and into the head space. If the pressure becomes too large, bottles will start to fail, and eventually explode. Once the beer cools, it will re-absorb the CO2.

A guide on homebrewtalk.com summarises the situation for cider, where pasteurisation seems to be a more common process, as follows:

Heat pasteurize bottled cider which is carbonated to no more than 3 Volumes of CO2
Do this at no more than 65C-70C for 10-12 minutes then let the bottles cool down​

It should be comparable for beer, as most components (CO2, yeast, headspace volume, etc.) work exactly the same. The main things that could change are how much CO2 a beverage can hold at a given temperature, and how quickly it reaches that equilibrium once it’s heated to said temperature. This beerandbrewing.com article is the cleanest write-up of the process for beer that I’ve found so far, but it doesn’t talk about carbonation pressure at all − just impact on flavour.

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