Homebrewing is an exciting activity to explore, but it’s not without some dangers. Even professional brewers are at risk.
And although homebrewing isn’t as dangerous as mountain hiking or skydiving, you must understand some hazards to avoid them accordingly:
1. Drunk driving
Homebrew club meetings and homebrew rallies are common activities when brewing with friends. However, the risk lies in the ride back home.
Drunk drivers are involved in one-third of car crashes in the United States, and the cost of alcohol-related car crashes is north of $44 billion. The statistics about car accidents caused by drunk drivers are alarming, and you and your friends have roles to play.
Ideally, there should be a designated driver for the ride back home. But if everyone insists on drinking, please call a cab or uber when returning home.
2. Heavy lifting
Wort is naturally heavy; a five-gallon batch can weigh above forty pounds. You must lift it consciously, but the homebrew pot isn’t always easy to carry. So, you can consider relying on a pump to move the wort or get someone to help you out.
3. Burns and scalds
There are several instances where you may get hurt while fermenting beer. Touching the handle without protection is a common mistake a homebrewer may make. Other times, the danger is beyond your control, like when the sticky wort splashes on you.
Additionally, working with large kettles or brew pots is not entirely safe, especially when something hot is boiling within.
You can purchase oven mitts for grabbing handles and long paddles for stirring or bringing things out of the fermenting vessel.
4. Broken glass
One of the gravest mistakes you can make when brewing wort is carrying your glass carboy carelessly. It may be slippery, especially when wet. And considering how heavy it often is, there are high chances of falling and breaking.
If this happens, you risk many things, such as losing the wort or even seeking emergency care because of the resultant accident. So, it’ll be in your best invest in a good handle for the carboy especially if it’s made of glass.
5. Bottle bombs
Beer bottles aren’t designed to handle too much pressure. So, if you want your wort to have plenty bubbles, getting a stronger fermenter is recommended. It’s also ideal to rotate bottles now and then.
6. Electrical shock
Home brewing may also involve the use of many electrical appliances. So, you cannot be too careful when working with them, considering that brewing beer also involves touching water.
Ensure the heating system, control panel, pump, and other electrical outlets are connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI, for maximum safety.
And if you’re an experienced home brewer, the hazards you’re exposed to increase. There’s danger from soldering, welding, and gas supplies. However, if you feel overwhelmed about using any of these appliances, it’s best to take a step back.