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Brand. Spanking. New. To brewing. Just bought an Amber Ale extract kit (don't judge!) and equipment set from Brewer's Best. I read the "Brew Day" instructions and they included a grain bag that they want me to use for steeping the grain in.

What I'm wondering is: can I clean and reuse this bag, or is it contaminated or otherwise made unusable once I use it the first time? And if it can be cleaned, what's a sanitary/safe way to do so?


Update: after running through wash

enter image description here

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Absolutely!

I rinse after use then throw them in with my laundry whites.

Couple tips.

These don't have to be sterile or even sanitized. A good rinse is really the only functional need they have.

If washing with laundry. Use fragrance free detergent with an extra rinse cycle. I just use oxyclean. Makes them soft and bright again.

Air / line dry them. Don't put them in the dryer. Dryers can have residual softener coating the dryer especially if softener sheets are used.

  • Awesome - makes perfect sense! Thanks Evil (+1 and check)! – smeeb Jul 30 '16 at 17:58
  • Hey if you're still there @Evil Zymurgist, please see my update w/ pic. So I ran the bag through the wash (fragrance-free detergent, just like you prescribed). But there are still hundreds of little tiny grain husks, seeds and other doo-dads clinging on to the fabric. Do I need to remove all of these with tweezers or is it fine to leave it as-is? If I do need to remove them, what's the best way to do this? Thanks again! – smeeb Aug 2 '16 at 0:18
  • @smeeb they won't hurt anything to leave them, but it should be debris free from manual rinsing before going on the wash. – Evil Zymurgist Aug 2 '16 at 1:44
  • Thanks for that, last followups on this (I promise!): (1) is there a known/standard "easy" way to make the bag debris free prior to washing? Because I rinsed the shite out of it and this is still what I was left with! And (2) Are there industry standard alternatives to these grain bags, or am I stuck with them until I'm advanced enough to leap from extract to all grain? For instance, perhaps there are some "mesh net" bags that clean up easier, etc. Any thoughts? Thanks again! – smeeb Aug 2 '16 at 10:03
  • @smeeb indeed, that does look like something more like a disposable cotton bag, no reason it can't be cleaned though. The bags for homebrew are usually much finer mesh and just doesn't really get stuck in them. A good alternative are nylon bags for straining paint available at your hardware store, they come in 1 and 5 gallon sizes and are identica material and meshl to homebrew bags but don't have draw strings. Nylon can't touch the bottom of the pot or heating area or they melt. Yours appears to be cotton and would be more heat tolerant. – Evil Zymurgist Aug 2 '16 at 12:53

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