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Homemade Infused Vodka - Botulism?

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I would like to try and make my own infused vodka, but I'm worried about the threat of botulism if I use fresh ingredients, like lemons or chile peppers. Is this something I should be worried about? Does the high alcohol inhibit it's growth? Any advice is appreciated!

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  1. Botulism? You're infusing in high proof alcohol, not infusing garlic in oil. You may want to do a search on here on infusing and read the hundreds of posts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      I have, that's why I'm asking. One thread, which I can't seem to locate now, mentioned it.

    2. Impossible for spores to survive in 40% ethanol (vodka). I work with microbiologists, and they use ethanol and water to sterilize their benches; likewise the gel used to clean your hands in hospitals is ethanol-based.

      Oil based infusions have some risk. With alcohol as long as you stay over 25% alcohol you should be fine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy

        the only other thing to mention is to keep the ingredients submerged.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Concur. I think the threshold is close to 18%. Anything above will be absolutely safe.

          1. re: cacio e pepe

            I was saying 25% just to play it safe.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Probably a good idea, for taste as much as anything.

        2. Thanks for the advice - much appreciated!