Beer Info FAQ

Does Bread Filter Methanol from Methylated Spirits?

Methylated spirits, also known as denatured alcohol, is a common solvent used in various applications, including homebrewing. However, there is a misconception that bread can effectively filter out methanol from methylated spirits, making it safe for consumption. In this article, we will explore the truth behind this claim and discuss the potential risks associated with consuming methylated spirits. Additionally, we will provide alternative methods for filtering and purifying alcohol to ensure safety in homebrewing.

The Truth about Bread Filtering

Contrary to popular belief, bread is not an effective filter for removing methanol from methylated spirits. Methanol is a toxic alcohol that can cause severe health issues, including blindness and even death, if consumed in high concentrations. While bread may absorb some impurities and flavors, it does not have the ability to selectively filter out methanol from methylated spirits.

Risks of Consuming Methylated Spirits

Consuming methylated spirits directly or without proper purification can be extremely dangerous. Methylated spirits typically contain a significant amount of methanol, which is added as a denaturant to make the alcohol undrinkable. Methanol is highly toxic and can cause severe damage to the nervous system and internal organs. It is crucial to understand that methylated spirits are not intended for consumption and should only be used for their designated purposes.

Alternative Methods for Filtering and Purifying Alcohol

To ensure the safety of your homebrewed alcohol, it is essential to employ proper filtration and purification methods. Here are some alternative approaches to consider:

  1. Distillation: Distillation is a widely used method for purifying alcohol. It involves heating the alcohol to separate it from impurities, including methanol. However, it requires specialized equipment and knowledge to perform safely.

  2. Activated Carbon Filtration: Activated carbon filters can effectively remove impurities, including methanol, from alcohol. This method involves passing the alcohol through a bed of activated carbon, which adsorbs the impurities. However, it may not completely eliminate all traces of methanol.

  3. Commercial Filtration Systems: There are various commercial filtration systems available specifically designed for purifying alcohol. These systems utilize advanced filtration techniques to remove impurities, ensuring the safety of the final product.


In conclusion, bread is not a reliable method for filtering methanol from methylated spirits. Consuming methylated spirits directly or without proper purification can have severe health consequences. It is crucial to prioritize safety in homebrewing and utilize appropriate filtration and purification methods to ensure the removal of harmful substances like methanol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use bread to filter other types of alcohol? A: While bread may absorb some impurities, it is not a recommended method for filtering any type of alcohol. Proper filtration techniques, such as distillation or activated carbon filtration, should be employed for purifying alcohol.

Q: What are the symptoms of methanol poisoning? A: Methanol poisoning can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, visual disturbances, and even loss of consciousness. If you suspect methanol poisoning, seek immediate medical attention.

Q: Are there any safe alternatives to methylated spirits for homebrewing? A: Yes, there are alternative options for homebrewing that do not involve the use of methylated spirits. Consider using food-grade ethanol or other specialized brewing alcohols that are safe for consumption.

Q: Can I remove methanol from methylated spirits through natural methods? A: No, natural methods such as using bread or other household items are not effective in removing methanol from methylated spirits. It is best to rely on proper filtration and purification techniques to ensure the safety of the alcohol.

Q: What precautions should I take when handling methylated spirits? A: When handling methylated spirits, always wear protective gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct contact with the skin, eyes, or mouth. Store methylated spirits in a secure location away from children and open flames.

Remember, the safety of your homebrewed alcohol should always be a top priority.