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Homemade Infused Vodka - Botulism?

krisrishere Dec 10, 2010 03:09 PM

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!

  1. JMF Dec 11, 2010 04:42 AM

    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
      krisrishere Dec 11, 2010 05:56 AM

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

    2. StriperGuy Dec 12, 2010 08:24 AM

      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
        pthaloearth Dec 12, 2010 09:10 AM

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

        1. re: StriperGuy
          cacio e pepe Dec 13, 2010 10:04 AM

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

          1. re: cacio e pepe
            StriperGuy Dec 13, 2010 03:00 PM

            I was saying 25% just to play it safe.

            1. re: StriperGuy
              cacio e pepe Dec 13, 2010 04:59 PM

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

        2. krisrishere Dec 14, 2010 02:51 PM

          Thanks for the advice - much appreciated!

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