The practice of removing the majority of microorganisms from equipment, utentils, fermentors, bottles etc. that comes into contact with the cooled wort. Poor sanitation can contaminate the wort, producing off-flavors.

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29
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6answers
7k views

How likely is contamination in an average batch?

I sanitize everything; carboy, bottles, bottle caps, tubing, funnels, etc; because I was essentially told that my beer would turn to deadly poison without it. I accept sterilizing the lot once ...
16
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?
15
votes
7answers
6k views

[WIKI] Bottle Sanitizing Techniques - Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of each bottle sanitizing method? Let's look at time, equipment, quality of sanitation, and other factors. Post one answer for each method. Edit the answers if you have ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
12
votes
5answers
4k views

No-rinse acid sanitizer - is there a risk?

My homebrewer friends recommend the StarSan acid sanitizer, hands-down. I tried it once and it foamed everywhere and left a bunch of rings in the carboy and the bottles. It made me paranoid that it ...
12
votes
4answers
11k views

Can OxiClean be used as a sanitizer?

Many batches ago I abandoned the sanitizing solutions sold (at ridiculous markups) from standard homebrew stores in favor of OxiClean Free. My logic at the time (being out of sanitizer, and at a ...
11
votes
9answers
6k views

Sanitizing oak chips

Going to try using dry oak chips in my secondary fermenter. How do you recommend sanitizing the chips before adding them?
11
votes
5answers
5k views

How Do You Sanitize Your Carboys?

When sanitizing your carboys, do you fill them all the way up (6+ gallons) with sanitizer or do you put in less and swirl it around? This may depend on what type of sanitizer is being used. I'm using ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to sanitize vanilla pods?

I Am planning on adding a vanilla pod to secondary in my next brew. What is the best way to sanitize it before it goes in?
11
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3answers
3k views

Do I need to sterilize my top-off water?

I just purchased my first kit and am about to brew it (tonight!). The instructions provided indicate that after cooling the wort and tranfering it to the sanitized carboy I need to top it off with ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Using StarSan in Airlock

Just getting started on home brewing and I used boiled water in my airlock. I've seen that some places recommend using sanitizer as the airlock "fill". Is it ok to use straight up StarSan in there or ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Consequences of infection in a beer?

Everyone learns during their first brewing experience that you have to carefully sanitize anything that touches your wort after the boil to avoid infection. What happens when wort gets infected? How ...
9
votes
2answers
958 views

Brett, Pedio, Lacto. Reuse and kegging

I have 6 gallons of a bretted whit that has been sitting in the basement for 8 months and a Pedio/Lacto/Brett Dubbel that has been working for about 7 months. If I wanted to reuse these cultures ...
8
votes
7answers
667 views

How do you sanitize the outside of your racking cane?

I'd love to hear the creative ways which folks have come up with to sanitize the outside of their racking cane. Sanitizing the inside is straightforward - siphon some sanitizing solution through the ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Boiling bottle caps

I've always soaked my bottle caps in sanitizer before using, but a friend of mine suggested boiling (throw in the same pot with priming sugar) instead because the cooties can theoretically hide from ...
8
votes
2answers
827 views

Keeping a bottle of no-rinse sanitiser

Some sanitisers, like star-san, chemipro oxi and betadine are no-rinse in certain dilutions. Star-san can additionaly be kept diluted in a bottle for months and used whenever one wishes. Can the same ...
7
votes
2answers
324 views

Sanitize the bottle capper?

When bottling, is it wise to dunk the bottle capper in sanitizing solution or is that overkill?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

preparing fruit for secondary

What is the best method for preparing different fruits for fruit additions into secondary fermentors? There are issues of sanitation and good fruit to wort contact, via chopping, slicing, mincing or ...
7
votes
3answers
173 views

How screwed am I (sanitation)?

I just started my first cider homebrew, and broke a cardinal rule. I made the mistake of thinking that BSG B-Brite cleanser was also a sanitizer. I made two batches from pasteurized juice without ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How long does StarSan last?

I keep StarSan in a spray bottle for easier sanitizing during brew day. How long does the StarSan last in that bottle? Is it good forever?
7
votes
1answer
625 views

How can you use an oaken barrel for secondary fermentation?

I may be able to get my hands on a oaken barrel that I'd love to age a Scottish ale in. What can I do to sanitize it adequately and minimize oxygen exposure?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How difficult are the plate-based wort chiilers to clean? Do they require filtration before the wort goes through them?

I'm considering getting one of those "Therminator" style wort chillers as an upgrade to the coil. I plan on gravity feeding the wort through and pumping back into the kettle until my wort is nice and ...
6
votes
3answers
619 views

cleaning vs. sanitizing

I have made over 50 batches of homebrew, and I have a confession: I rarely CLEAN my equipment. I take a quick look to see if there is any visible debris/dust, etc., and if so, I will spot clean it or ...
6
votes
1answer
447 views

Best way to store empty kegs

After using, then cleaning a keg with PBW, what is the best way to store the cleaned keg? I may not use the keg for a while, and I would like to avoid mold growing in any residual water (for ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

Hopping In Secondary

I'm brewing an IPA that calls for the addition of hops when I rack to secondary. I have pelletized hops still sealed in their plastic packaging and I'm wondering if they can be added to the secondary ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How long do sanitized bottles keep?

If you sanitize a bunch of bottles and store them upside down on a tree or in a box (still upside down); how long can you store them like that before you feel the need to resanitize them? Is there a ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Sanitization practices when dry hopping in a muslin bag

I've had good results, have always done it the same way in recent years, but always question myself when I dry hop. Weigh-out my pellet hops Scrub my hands with soap an water Drop a weight, a muslin ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it okay to store a batch of mixed star-san?

I use a spray bottle with star san, so I don't use a lot of it each time I brew. Is it okay to store the rest in a bucket and then refill my spray bottle when I need some? I've read that it should ...
6
votes
4answers
865 views

How to clean the inside of a blowoff hose

I soaked my blowoff hose in PBW for an hour or so, then rinsed and let dry. There is still light amounts of residue visible. The only brush I own is a carboy brush which I don't think will fit ...
6
votes
1answer
858 views

What do I need to refurbish a corny keg?

What do I need to prepare a used corny keg (picked up at a flea market say) for brewing? Should I replace the seals? Do I need a special tool to remove the posts? What products and techniques ...
5
votes
5answers
769 views

Would placing the fermenter tank in a tub of water be a good way to handle hot environments?

Summers where I live typically have 80F nights and it can easily pick up to 95 degrees during the day. I have a plastic trash can (which I bought for this purpose) that I have filled up with water. ...
5
votes
10answers
630 views

What are some effective, cheap, easy ways to clean and re-use bottles?

After a couple year hiatus from home brewing, I'm ready to get back into it and I have been diligently consuming some local microbrews and saving the bottles in preparation. When I brewed before, for ...
5
votes
5answers
963 views

Homebrew sanitisation in a Pinch

So it's that time of year where none of the local shops are open (at least in my area) and I am itching to put on a new brew but haven't got any sanitiser. I thought some Napisan (I believe AKA ...
5
votes
3answers
974 views

Do you reuse Io Star Iodophor Sanitizer?

I understand that Io Star Iodophor Sanitizer is reusable, but it seems cumbersome. Do you reuse this sanitizer?
5
votes
2answers
392 views

Necessary to clean bottle tree?

So I recently purchased a bottle tree (not sure how I went so long without one) for drying/storing my sanitized bottles. Is it is overkill to sanitize the bottle tree in sanitizing solution as well? ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Beer tastes like sanitizer

I've used a no-rinse iodophor sanitizer both times I've brewed. Both times the beer seems to taste a bit like sanitizer. Is it possible I am using too much sanitizer? The last beer I brewed was an ...
5
votes
5answers
336 views

Extract brew, sanitizing hop strainer and tap? First brew day!

Last night I made my first ever extract brew. The brew day went pretty well. As I have a 32 litre brupak boiler with a hop strainer and tap I cooled the wort with cold bottled water straight in the ...
5
votes
2answers
420 views

How can I use my oven to sanitize equipment

I want to sanitize and dry off my plate chiller using my oven. What temperature do I need to set the oven to, and how long do I need to hold that temperatures for?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Cleaning out beer lines

How often do you need to clean out your beer lines when using a home draft system? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I leave sanitizer in the tubing when a line isn't in use?
4
votes
3answers
508 views

vanilla beans in a porter

Just brewed up a porter and going to be transfering into secondary tonight, I also want to put vanilla beans into the secondary. The question I have is how to make sure that the beans are sanitized ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Recycling/Reusing Bottles?

Are Glass Beer Bottles safe to recycle/reuse? Since I can't know who drank out of it and what could be in it, I want to be sure that this is safe to do. What type of disinfection reagent would I use, ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Yeast Starter Stopper & Sanitization

I'm going to be making my first yeast starter, for a higher gravity beer. While reading starter guides, and watching videos, I've noticed that there are several different techniques and opinions for ...
4
votes
3answers
304 views

How long do you boil liquid to be used in a beer?

I believe this is perhaps only one question, but there are a few different situations, namely to make a water/DME mixture for a starter, how long? to prime with a sugar water mixture, how long? to ...
4
votes
1answer
948 views

What's the minimum safe immersion time to sanitize something with StarSan?

How long should I keep something immersed in StarSan/swish it around for to ensure that it's as sanitized as I could reasonably hope it'll be? I know everyone has a rule of thumb for this (I use 1min ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Moldy taste appearing months after bottling

I brewed and bottled an English Ale in August, and, after a few weeks in the bottle, promptly drank most of the 5 gallons. However, I'd heard some advice to leave a few bottles for a few months to ...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

Removing Fruit From Secondary

I recently brewed a peach hefeweizen and I added 7lb of fresh peaches to the secondary. I just chunked the peaches and popped them into the carboy. I have siphoned the beer out for bottling and now ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Boiling water and plastic equipment

I've been boiling my water prior to brewing (extract), and pouring this whilst still hot into my plastic barrel figuring the boiling water will make sure anything that survived the sanitisation is ...
3
votes
5answers
415 views

Is Star San sanitizer worth the cost?

I am a college student brewing in my apartment and while I am pretty dirty on occasion, when it comes to brewing beer I try to be on top of it. While I have not had a bad batch thus far, but the home ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What amounts and times should I use to clean/sterilize my brewing equipment?

There are actually 2 questions here. The first one is more of an opinion (although I would like to know), but the correct answer will only be awarded for the second question. I have been researching ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Airlock re-sanitization after minor blow-off

I had some minor blow-off enter (and exit) my airlock during the most active part of fermentation. The krausen has since gone down significantly, and there is no worry of the airlock getting clogged. ...