tara, every site, including the FDA site stresses the importance of sterilization. Think of the canning process. My hot water is very hot. I run my jar, the knife, and the measuring cup under it for awhile. I use a clean surface of parchment to prepare my beans. I wear food handlers' gloves. Things can grow in the alcohol. One CC member reported it. So if every site stresses it, I would think that it is important. I have $40.00 in every 2 cups, so I'm not going to prove them wrong.