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21

Cleaning is the process of removing material from the surface. Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of organisms (in brewing, we're worried about bad bacteria, mainly). Sterilizing is like sanitizing, but removing all bacteria. If I remember right, sanitizing is a technical term that means a certain amount of allowable bacteria remains, and ...


17

If I wash my hands regularly do I need to sanitize them as well? Do I even need to wash regularly, between touching everything? No. As long as you're not touching the insides of bottles, fermenters etc. you should be fine. Do I need to sanitize the rim of the mouths of bottles? Yes. Dipping the ends of the bottles into a container of your ...


17

Oxiclean isn't a sanitizer, it's a cleaner. You can see here for the difference (What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?). If you're fairly clean it might not matter, but using oxiclean will not kill bacteria; it will only remove a fair amount of it. That being said, I believe you're close; the brewery cleaners and oxyclean (free) do ...


16

The amount of acid in a properly mixed batch of StarSan is less than in a bottle of Coke. I've been using it for years and find it extremely effective as a sanitizer. I never rinse and it has had no adverse effect on my beer. In fact, I've won several awards since I started using it. The commonly heard refrain is "Don't fear the foam!"


16

There is an infection risk any time you open up your fermenter and especially when you throw stuff into it. If you dry hop at the right time you reduce that risk. The alcohol built up protects against infection The hops already in the beer act as a preservative The pH is unfriendly to new growth Most of the easy to eat sugars are already consumed For ...


14

I use vanilla quite a bit to make my Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter and I've never sanitized the beans, nor suffered any ill effects from not sanitizing them. By the time they get into the beer in secondary, the alcohol content and low pH of the beer make it pretty resistant to infection. And remember, the best part of the vanilla bean is the "gunk" ...


14

First off, Simon, your answer was spot-on in answering Jarrod's questions with logical, proven answers. Props. However, Jarrod is asking for anecdotal advice, so here's mine: In practicality, you can actually often get away with a lot of carelessness. The problem, though, is this: while the risk is low, the stakes are fairly high. I absolutely hate ...


12

Following normal, reasonable sanitation practices (always sanitize containers and utensils immediately before use) usually keeps the risk of infection pretty low. The greatest risk of infection after containers and utensils is simply open air. Keep your containers covered while working, even if you're just turning away for a few minutes. Keep your empty ...


12

1) Can I just place my fermentation tank in this tub of water to counter the heat? Yes. This will work to a degree (ha, ha.) The water is slowly but constantly evaporating. The energy need to make liquid water into gas comes out of the water's temperature. This "evaporative cooling" will help cool your wort by a few degrees. 2) Will this method work during ...


11

When I did extract I tended to just go from the tap right into the fermentor with the wort. I can't say that I ever had a bad batch because of it. But it certainly can happen. If you have a way to boil water for 15 minutes, then store it in a sanitary and sealed contain while it cools back down to a useable temperature...that is the safer way to go. If ...


10

If you're using normal caps, you can boil or sanitize. I wouldn't follow the advice of boiling them with the priming solution though, if only because the caps would get sugary and sticky. If you're uncertain about whether to boil or sanitize, why not handle them the same way that you handled your bottles. After all, the beer is going to be in greater ...


10

After cleaning (I use PBW also, occasionally Oxiclean) I turn the keg upside down and let it dry overnight. Then I put the lid on and pressurize to 10 psi. That serves 2 purposes. First, the CO2 helps prevent things from growing in the keg. Second, when I'm ready to use the keg, I pull the pressure relief valve. If there's not still pressure on the keg, I ...


10

"You can't sanitize a turd" - George Fix If you can see it, feel it or smell it, you can't sanitize it. A little oil from old yeast or a plug of old hop trub wedged into a seam will never get sanitary from contact with a sanitizer. So clean first, then sanitize. Sure, a clean glass carboy looks pretty clean and will probably sanitize well, but how clean ...


10

I make a Bourbon Vanilla Imperial porter recipe that's pretty popular. When the primary fermentation is done, I split 2 vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape put all the "gunk" inside. I chop the pods themselves into 2-3 in. long pieces then add the "gunk" and pods to a secondary fermenter and rack the beer onto it. Start tasting it after about 5 days. ...


10

This method is sometimes referred to as a "swamp cooler", and is well known and used in homebrewing circles. Honestly, if the brew shop employee told you it wouldn't work then they are either (a) trying to sell you a brewing fridge, or (b) not that educated on homebrewing. Change out some ice packs in the water twice a day and you get get down to the low ...


10

Most likely not. But only time will tell. Obviously not sticking your arm in you beer is preferable to not doing that. But relax and have a homebrew. You can absolutely leave it in there because it is covered with the same yeast that you are brewing with and therefore is not going to add anything beyond the yeasties you want in there. However, say you want ...


9

I use a that scrubby cleaner thing with some cleanser and maybe half a gallon of water to get all the particulates loosened up and get the surface clean. Then I rinse it with water, and put in maybe a quarter gallon or less of sanitizing solution, just enough to make sure I touch every surface with it. The carboy doesn't need to be immersed in it, it just ...


9

When I did extract, we always used a jug spring water to top off the extra few gallons. You can sanitize the bottle mouth with some StarSan or other sanitizing solution, and then just pour the bottle in. You can also keep the jug in the fridge prior to use to cool your wort when you add it. This way you avoid boiling anything, but are still pretty safe from ...


9

For cleaning, I rinse bottles with hot water immediately after pouring them out into my glass. They don't need any sort of washing with soap at that point. I keep them off to the side until I have a whole bunch ready for de-labeling, which is an overnight soak in a sink full of PBW. Most labels just slide right off the next day. A quick rinse and the bottles ...


8

This is specific to Iodophor, but the manufacturer states that you do not have to fill a carboy up to sanitize with it. As long as you slosh enough around to get all the surfaces wet, then the sanitizer will work. Star San would work the same way, just make sure the foam touches all parts of the carboy. No need to waste sanitizer and water by making more ...


7

I had similar fears after reading the warnings on the label until I read Palmer's How to Brew, 3rd Ed. p. 23, as part of his discussion of different methods of cleaning and sanitizing: StarSan is only effective when the pH of the solution is less than 3.5. ... This is also the reason it is a no-rinse sanitizer: When the fermenter or bottle has been ...


7

Just after post the question I found the Tech Sheet on Five Star's website. It says that the sanitizer is good so long as the pH remains below 3. Since I'm keeping it in a spary bottle with distilled water it shouldn't ever get above 3.


7

More beer has a great guide on taking care of oak barrels which covers cleaning, sanitizing, etc. The overview is: keep it filled so that it doesn't dry out and use a sulfur-dioxide mixture to sanitize. The oak will soak up some of the beer over time, so brew a little extra and keep it on hand to refill as the level goes down. You should also remember that ...


7

Maggie is right, if you are using a food grade plastic it should be fine. I do have to say that what you are doing with the boiling water essentially an unnecessary step and may be actually increasing your chances of infection, not decreasing them. Hear me out. Boiling water doesn't stay boiling very long once off the heat. You can't heat the bucket ...


7

You don't need to do anything to sanitize the hops. By the time your beer is going into a secondary, the alcohol and pH make it very resistant to infections. Just make sure to use a fine mesh bag. I didn't do that during my first attempt at dry hopping and it was almost impossible to get all of the hop particles out of the finished beer :)


7

What you want in your airlock is something that will: Allow airflow only in the direction of lower pressure. This qualifies pretty much any liquid. Not have funk grow in it. This means something you could use to sanitize things, or anything with high alcohol content (eg, I use vodka sometimes). Not hurt your beer if it ends up getting sucked back down ...


7

I think the factor isn't that you want sterile wort, but sanitized wort. You may not get sterile wort from boiling, but that isn't a problem. The wort is surrounded by barely sanitary air, so it's going to be contaminated to some degree from the get go. The key point is that the massive yeast population (>100bn cells for a 5 gallon batch) scavenge dissolved ...


6

In general, your beer will be pretty forgiving. I once dropped a strainer into my fermenter when it was late and I was tired. So I rolled up my sleeve and grabbed it bare handed. My hands were clean but my arm wasn't. The only bad thing that happened is my arm was really sticky. Also, to clean my bottles, I just put them in the dishwahser on that really ...


6

Whenever possible I like to use Oregon Fruit Purees. These purees come in large cans that have been flash pasturized already. The fruit is also in a puree format so there is not additional prep and fruit to wort contact is superior to slicing and dicing the fruit. Also for seeded fruits like strawberries and blueberries, much of the seed material has been ...


6

My technique Stick it in the carboy/bucket/keg that is full of sanitizer. You only have to get the part of the cane that will touch wort, but it doesn't hurt to splash or wipe sanitizer on the entire cane. A better way You can build a dirt cheap dedicated sanitizing vessel. Go to the hardware store and get a length of 2-4 inch diameter PVC pipe and a ...



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