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Author Topic: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning  (Read 189 times)

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Offline Odyssey

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Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« on: December 23, 2013, 06:31:14 PM »
This year I reached the legal drinking age in Ontario, and I was for a while enjoying the benefits of this. Of course, as any experienced sufferer of OCD/chronic anxiety could have predicted, I managed to eventually find something wrong with this. For some reason my memory of hearing about people going blind from drinking bootleg beverages was sparked, and so I foolishly decided to google it. Most of the articles and other sources I came upon said that methanol poisoning is only a concern when it comes to bootleg beverages and beverages sold at bars in countries with lower regulatory standards. However, I also came upon fuzzy information about the theoretical possibility of contamination of certain brews if done incorrectly.

In Ontario, most alcohol is distributed by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario--a government run organization--and rigorous testing is done on all alcohol sold by it. Nevertheless, I can't get rid of the thought of a brewer making some crucial mistake, and then it being somehow overlooked by the LCBO. There have been no reported cases of methanol poisoning via commercial beverages in Ontario that I know of, but I am inclined to think that I'm going to be the exception to the rule.

I came here in the hopes that someone who knows more about the brewing process and the safety measures taken by commercial brewers than I could help me reason through this. I have refrained from continuing with my own research for obvious reasons. Really, any help would be welcome. My brothers are expecting me to have some alcohol with them this Christmas, and while they are generally very understanding and sympathetic, I have disappointed them too many times because of my OCD.

O
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 06:50:43 PM »
Get serious! How many times did you hear about somebody being poisoned by drinking a beverage from a known brewer? I have never heard about that sort of things. And even with those crazy Russians that have homemade distilleries, maybe you hear about them going blind once a year. And this only happens with hard liquor such as vodka. Drink beer or wine if you're worried. ;D
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Offline Odyssey

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
Ha, ha! I guess I need some sense knocked into me. Considering all the people who try so many different drinks in their lives and never have a problem (except for the obvious consequences of excessive alcohol consumption), it seems illogical to worry about this. Unfortunately, statistics and logic mean little to those like us.

Thanks for the reply!
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 12:17:06 PM »
Have you heard of absinthe? It has 70% alchohol. 70!!! And you don't go blind from it.
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Offline jmcewan

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 04:21:52 PM »
As long as your booze isn't bottled directly from a 50 gallon drum or a bathtub, you should be okay. Otherwise remember moderation when drinking.
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 04:41:44 PM »
As long as your booze isn't bottled directly from a 50 gallon drum

Don't you know how big are wine barrels? ;D
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Offline jmcewan

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 04:47:58 PM »
As long as your booze isn't bottled directly from a 50 gallon drum

Don't you know how big are wine barrels? ;D

Touchè lol

*50 gallon steel drum
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Offline Odyssey

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 07:53:18 PM »
Have you heard of absinthe? It has 70% alchohol. 70!!! And you don't go blind from it.

That alcohol is ethanol, though. There is always some methanol in alcoholic beverages (in beer, at least), but generally in negligible amounts. It usually needs to be added by a psychopathic brewer to be dangerous, but I think there are some brewing techniques (e.g. fractional freezing) which can lead to dangerous methanol levels if done improperly. I could be mistaken; the information I came across was really fuzzy. Anyway, a mistake is precisely what I'm worried about.
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Sudden, intense fear of methanol poisoning
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 07:38:26 AM »
Think about this. There is a very slim chance of this happening. I'd say no more than 0,01% and it's probably lower than that. So ask yourself - do you want a percentage that low to rule your life? What about your future? Are you going to go crazy about some circumstance that is so rare every time it appears? Do you want such a life for yourself? I think there is a bigger chance that an icicle falling from a roof will kill you than you going blind because of drinking some bad alcohol. Also, in my country, people make homemade schnaps all the time. There is something to test the percentage of alcohol in it and I have never heard of someone going blind because of this schnaps. NEVER! And I tried some horribly strong ones that made me so sick the next day that I wanted to die. ;D But hey, I didn't go blind! :laught3:
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