New answers tagged sanitation
First, it's unnecessary, as you concluded, to do both of those things. Each individual step (dunk in sanitizing solution OR running through the dishwasher, sans detergent) effectively sanitizes the bottle, one by chemical, the other by heat. Sure, doing both is technically an extra-safe and cautious move, but pointless in my opinion. Neither is sterilizing, ...
When making beer, wine, or mead, there is nothing that you can't not sanitize. It takes all of 5-10 minutes to stir up a batch of One-Step or Star San and sanitize your equipment, and it pretty greatly reduces your chances of contamination (assuming proper handling of the equipment). While the alcohol content should kill bacteria, sanitizer will.
Anything works since it creates a barrier to microbes. But if you are a beginner, some incident can occur and the fluid can be dripped inside the fermenter (over your beer), so prefer something that cannot spoil your beer, like water (dechlorinated), alcohol (ethanol), diluted StarSan, and so on.
Not that it matters much, but the answer is VODKA, with the caveat that neither are as superior to water as you might imagine. StarSan concentrate works by lowering the pH of the water its added to. However, when you add StarSan to any water that isn't completely distilled, and is exposed to oxygen, then the StarSan starts breaking down, and the pH of the ...
The actual sanitation qualities, when used as air-lock liquid, between the sanitizing solution you have on brewday (StarSan + water) and vodka are pretty much the same. My opinion - if you've had a lifelong fantasy of doing something and it's not very expensive, I'd say the benefits outweigh the costs!
Personally, I use either distilled water or vodka. However, star-san is perfectly acceptable to put in an airlock, it isn't going to hurt the fermenting beer sitting below it. In fact, as I understand it, yeast actually LIKE smallish quantities of star-san and that is one of the several reasons to "not fear the foam"™ Now, there is one potential ...
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