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Brewing 5 gallon batches at home.

During the transfer from my primary fermenter to the secondary, and when filling bottles from my bottling bucket I constantly need to use plastic tubing to transfer the beer/wort. After Im done i give these tubes a thorough rinse but often find that there are small specks of yeast/hops that get stuck in the tube that seem impossible to wash out. are there any good methods for cleaning these tubes or am i expected to buy new tubing for each brew?

Ive also found that even if i do manage to clean them well enough that there is no visible residue, drying these tubes is a pain as well. Ive tried hanging them up or using the dishwasher, but either they deform under the heat or there is condensation that forms which is impossible to remove that eventually starts to mold.

Any tips? Thanks!

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To dry one option (not always advisable...) is to make the hose turn in the air. Centrifugal force will drive water drops outsisede it –  Paolo Apr 2 '13 at 14:22
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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well as you asked for 'tips', I've used the following to both dislodge stubborn material from the inside of tubes, and to remove excess water which aids drying:

enter image description here

It's a stainless steel brake cable from a bicycle, with a peice of towelling skewered on the end. The one I used was just over 2 meters long. I sterilise the whole thing, and just 'drag' it through the lines.

Obviously there's a maximum tube ID this will work for, and tubes over 2 meters are an issue, but.. it's an idea and saved me some hassle over time.

Addition: I'm told 'towelling' might not be the name used outside the UK. Apparently it's often called Terry Cloth.

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brewers ingenuity at its finest! nice invention –  MSEoris Mar 26 '13 at 18:18
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For cleaning, if you're able to get all the debris out with water and a cleanser then I wouldn't worry about it.

I usually give the stubborn stuff a good soak in warm PBW, then flush with hot water. Worst case scenario, I use a bottle brush or dip tube brush.

For drying, the two most common methods are hanging and blowing out with an air compressor. There's a relevant discussion on the AHA forums here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=15015.0

I really don't worry about getting my hoses fully dry. After wash and rinse I just hang them and sometimes even put them away slightly wet. I always flush hoses before use and sanitize if they're going to touch post-brew wort or beer. I've never had a problem, never seen mold growing in them, never smelled anything funky.

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I've also never had a real problem with my tubing. Always rinse immediately after using with hot water and then hang up... I typically forget About Them until next time I need them. At that point is another rinse and Starsan soak.

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I always keep two 5 gallon buckets on hand when I'm brewing. One filled with PBW and one filled with Sanitizer.

Before the hoses come in contact with my cooled wort, they soak in PBW the entire time I'm brewing up the beer. I make these buckets at the very beginning of the brew day.

When the time comes to use them, I attach to my autosiphon and run a few pumps of the solution through the hoses. After that, I do a quick rinse in the starsan, pump some of it through the hose and I'm good to go.

When I'm done transferring I'll run some more PBW through the lines and then rinse with starsan and hang it up to dry for next time.

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