I have made about 10 batches of hard cider. I have yet to have a contamination issue ruining a batch. I clean the carboy with washing up liquid and warm water. The bottles are the same. I use a juice if juicing apples, and that's not sanitised.

I read a lot about the need to be very careful with sanitization for beer homebrewing, which I'm experimenting with now.

Is beer more vulernerable to contamination than homebrewed hard cide for some reason?

  • 1
    Probably. Regardless, you really should be using a no-rinse sanitizer like StarSan or OneStep instead of soap and water.
    – valverij
    May 6, 2016 at 16:57
  • One step is a cleanser not a sanitizer. One step wants you to believe it is, but the fine print on the bottle usually says cleanser. Its closer to PBW or oxyclean than it is to star san as a chemical.
    – brewchez
    May 6, 2016 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


Ciders run a higher risk of infection from bacteria and more commonly a wild yeast. This is why everything the cider must touches needs to be sanitized with a product like starsan.

Brewing beer has the advantage of a boil and hop antimicrobial properties. But once the wort begins to chill it's vulnerable to infections, just not as much as a cider must.

The basic idea in both is to get your pitched yeast to become the dominate microorganism as fast as possible. Best achieved with proper sanitation practices.


I don't think so, especially given that cider and beer brewing are substantially the same. I've brewed over 50 batches of beer using standard sanitation without ever having a batch contaminated. I've also brewed one batch of cider.

I'm not a clean freak -- my method seems similar to the one you described. I just wash out the carboy and tubing with either soap or sanitizer before rinsing, and wipe down the pot and miscellaneous brewing equipment with bleach before rinsing it with water.

It is possible that particular types of beer brewing, such as the recipes involving fruit or similar extracts, may be susceptible to contamination, but if you're starting with fairly simple beer styles, that shouldn't be an issue.

I think as long as you use the same cleaning procedures you use in cider, you'll be fine.

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