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7

You don't need to do 90% of that. Surfaces need to be clean of matter before they can be sanitized. Things that are visibly dirty should be cleaned, but you don't need to – for example – scrub and soak your brew kettle before you use it … anything you add to it is going to be boiled, which will kill everything. The same goes for your rinsing bowl and ...


5

Yes, a lower original gravity will result in a lower-alcohol final product. However, if this was an extract kit and if you added the correct amount of water, the discrepancy is almost certainly a measurement error. A common mistake is to draw the hydrometer sample without having first mixed the extract thoroughly into the water. This will lead to an ...


5

Have you tried using a percarbonate-based cleaner first? Usually an Oxyclean or PBW solution will break up the gunk in my tubing with a few hours of soaking.


4

I've had 5-6 cats and 2 dogs for the entire 16 years I've been homebrewing. They are no bigger threat to your beer than you yourself are. Use StarSan in a spray bottle to clean things, not toxic cleaners like 409 and Windex.


2

I'd be wary of using 409 or Windex for brewing purposes; find some proper homebrew-friendly cleaners and sanitizers (oxiclean free and star-san are awesome). There's no inherent incompatibility between homebrewing and pets. You might have to keep curious cats away from some brewing processes/steps, but if you're keeping proper sanitation and your head ...


2

You can do a pretty good job with soap and a high-pressure water, as long as you rinse it right away. As I mentioned in a comment on @BrianV's answer, Percarbonate dissolves best when the water is 140°F or higher, but the plastic they use in a lot of racking canes (esp. the auto-siphon) will begin to get cracks in it very quickly if you clean it with hot ...


2

John Palmer says that Cleaning Plastics should be done with Percarbonates. A good application of elbow grease also works. :)


2

As long as you do not begin abrasive scrubbing until the PBW crystals are dissolved, PBW should not be a problem. Let me differentiate between HDPE plastic bucket fermenters and PET carboys (like Better Bottle). I find that I don't need anything other than hot tap water, a soft sponge, and a slight amount of elbow grease to clean HDPE bucket fermenters. ...


2

Standard ways of cleaning barrels use really hot or boiling water to rinse and clean and/or using sulfur sticks. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to completely sterilize a barrel. 10 years without being properly cared for is too long. The wooden staves shrink and I'm guessing it won't be able to hold liquid. Some breweries just rinse well with sterile ...


2

To use your template as a guide, here is how I handle each step. For the most part, "cleaning" is important prior to the boil, "sanitizing" is important for all post boil processes with the wort. For sanitizing, keep a pre-filled bucket of Star-San solution on hand. You can reuse Star-San as long as the ph remains at the correct level. UNIT CLEANING Brew ...


1

1) 1.041 vs. 1.049 is not a big difference. You might notice the difference but likely won't worry if everything else is in balance. You might taste more hop, since there will be less residual sugar. 2) The bucket is bigger than the carboy to allow for foaming during the first few days of fermentation. But many, many home brewers just go with a carboy and ...


1

This is of course a judgement call depending on just how grim it looks and how large it is. But I would start with filling it with warm water and PBW, let it sit for an hour and then give it a serious scrubbing. When done rinse out the PBW and sterilize the barrel. Sterilization (or at least disinfection) can be done in several ways. In this case my method ...


1

You can get very close to free with using a little diluted dollar store bleach. When you rinse it, rinse it well, then take a blow dryer and run it through the airlock for a few minutes and it will be dry.


1

Couple of things if you plan to keep using these air locks it's fine to rinse everything with water but run sanitizer through it. I keep sanitizer on hand in a spray bottle for all sorts of things. Try spraying a generous amount in the air lock after rincing gunk out of them. It might not be "free" but throwing out a bad batch because of an infestation is ...


1

I like to use PBW (or the home made version) to clean hard surfaces like that. Dissolve in some hot water and scrub. It will remove most anything and is safe for brewing when rinsed properly. Follow up with a thorough rinsing and then use a no-rinse sanitizer to ensure it's all clean. Home made PBW recipes can be found online, but the base is Oxiclean Free ...


1

No, dissolved/dissolving PBW will not scratch your plastic fermenters.


1

Try this article. Most breweries are using a caustic clean solution I believe. The attached article talks about using a Phosphoric/ Nitric acid combination followed up with a non caustic alkaline based cleaner. These are serious chemicals however, be sure to take safety precautions when pouring, mixing and rinsing these cleaners. Serious chemicals for a ...


1

Note: Not directly related but worth noting DOGS are generally allergic to hops, gives them sore skin. I don't know if the same is for cats. Correction: hyperthermia (overheating can result in death)


1

There is no reason that a small amount of vinegar in a bottle would affect carbonation.


1

As others have said, wood and plastic may stain. That doesn't mean they are not clean. But to put your mind at ease a bit: You don't need to worry much about sanitation until your wort is cooling after your boil. Yes, you want things to be clean -- but the boil will generally take care of any bacteria that is introduced into a mash or extract before the boil ...


1

Anything somewhat porous and light colored can stain. White/light plastic often stains. White fermenting buckets often get hop stains. Wood spoons can stain also. Steel, glass and aluminum generally will not stain, although metals can get discolored for various reasons, usually having to do with oxidation. It will not affect the beer. For plastics, a good ...


1

The spoon is wood or plastic? stirring your wort or sweet liquor while boiling with a somewhat residual stain of some sort, within reason I suppose, will have no effect on the finished product. If you are worried, use a stainless spoon, great investment. Or just buy another plastic spoon, 2 bucks tops.


1

To clean up the bottles use dishwashing powder (the stuff you put in the auto dishwasher) as it will dissolve all the dried on beer residue quickly and it rinses off quickly in hot water. I usually add a good teaspoon or two to each bottle and fill with hot water and let soak. When I rinse I shake the bottles out hard and rinse 4 times. To sterilise - in ...


1

The technical definitions are as follows: A sanitizing agent removes 99.999% of organisms a sterilization process removes 99.99999999% of organisms. Seems like a small difference but I'd rather have that extra 0.00099999% if they are going to perform surgery or something. Also In the United States, items labeled as sanitizers are agents that destroy ...



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