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I recently upgraded from relying on gravity to a pump to transfer wort. After the first use (an IPA), the thermoplastic tubing that I used has a distinctive smell that I attribute to the hot hop resins. Is an off smell in the tubing likely to contribute to off flavors or aromas in future brews? I have cleaned it twice by pumping hot oxyclean through it, and am currently soaking the tubes in hot oxyclean, but the scent remains. Is there a better way to clean it, so that it won't have this odor?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Run hot water through the tubing and smell the water. If the water smells like hops then you might want to clean the tubing more. I bet you won't really notice any significant contribution of hop aroma or flavor to your next beer. Don't waste your time or worry about it too much. I don't bother excessively cleaning my tubing. Plastic fermentors often still smell like beer. But as long as you keep making beer, the new beer tends to win out in overall aroma/flavor.

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You can try StarSan or B-Brite. I pretty much stick to a bleach (unscented) and water solution, and use a potassium metabisulfate and water solution rinse. If you still have an odor after using bleach, I'm not sure there's anything else you could do to get rid of it (could be the plastic producing it and not something organic) but any nasties should be well-dead after bleach.

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I had the same problem with some of my autosiphon parts. The only thing that seemed to get rid of the smell was a soak in white wine vinegar and then a soak in oxyclean. The parts still had a small "off" aroma, maybe from the combination of everything. My LHBS sells the tubing by the foot so i just ended up replacing the off smelling parts for pretty cheap.

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