I was cooling down my wort in the sink and couple of drops of sanitiser dripped from my hand into the cooling liquid.

I was using VWP and the solution was as per the instructions 1 teaspoon per 4 litres. I would say less than 5ml got into 5 litres of brew.

I pitched my yeast but feel like I am seeing very little action from the bucket. So my questions are

  1. Is it safe for consumption?
  2. Will that amount of steriliser kill off my yeast?

Thanks :)

  • 1
    I recommend Star San. Much safer
    – Pale Ale
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 12:20
  • Take a look at this: thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=25587
    – Philippe
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Philippe based on that thread VWP is probably dry form chlorine or chloramine. Neither in small amounts will harm you, but will sure ruin a beer. Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 17:48
  • @DarthCakeBox, tell us if the yeast has started to work after 24h?
    – Philippe
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 13:04
  • Hey guys, I took a peak just now through the air lock hole and it's fermenting away nicely. I will feed back on taste during the bottling procedure. Thanks for all your answers and help. Oh and I bought some starsan for next weeks brew! Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 8:57

4 Answers 4


If found this interesting FAQ in the link EZ provided:

I forgot to rinse out the equipment. Will my beer/wine be OK?
All equipment should be rinsed before use. Anything left in a fermenting vessel will affect the taste. Any active bacteria feft may kill the yeast.

So, they don't mention that is poisonous, but the taste and yeast may be affected. Two or three drops might not have such a big impact. I would continue the process and taste it before bottling.

According to this link, you will probably be fine: http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=25587

  • Any sanitizer that requires a rinse is a complete waste of time and money. It's like buying batteries that say "batteries not included". There are enough safe, effective, non-beer-ruining, no-rinse sanitizers on the market.
    – Pepi
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 9:30

VWP appears to be a sterilizer that requires a sanitary rinse after use.


If 5ml of concentrated VWP powder went into 5 liters of wort, I would say it's not safe to consume and the yeast will be severly effected if not dead.

The manufacturer doesn't specify what it's active ingredients are. So... I would dump the batch.

  • 2
    I don't think it was 5ml of concentrate, but 5ml of diluted solution, it was alredy mixed with water from what I understand.
    – Philippe
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 13:35
  • @Philippe I gathered that too as a "drip". 5ml of powder would make the wort almost full strength sterilizer. 5ml diluted is still about as much left in an unrinsed container. The FAQ just says it will produce off-flavor if not rinsed. Either way it's a dumper IMO, because they don't disclose what the active ingredients are. Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 15:09
  • To clarify yes as you both understood it was just a couple drops of diluted solution. After reading through all of this and having a word with guys down at my local homebrew shop (who assured me it was absolutely fine) I am going to just let my brew go and see how it tastes, anything nasty and it gets dumped. Thanks for your help guys. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 12:33

Drink it. At least do not discard a brew before completion and without subsequent taste testing.

A few drops of made up VPW solution in a 25 ltr batch "is nothing to really worry about". I doubt it would affect the yeast activity if sufficient active yeast is pitched. The active chlorinating agent in VPW has been used to sterilise water containing pathogens - it is then drunk. And that is in concentrations you can taste. So that aspect of VPW is pretty risk free. The surfactant aspect is another matter but at this concentration they are equivalent to something like the residue left on a hand washed dining plate or pan.

I can't imagine the taste being affected but give it a try after it has fermented. If it tastes OK then IMHO one should drink it. One might find that the surfactant had been "bio-transformed" and the chlorinating agent had been chemically reduced rendering it inactive. In this state is it is biologically almost inert.

IMHO there is too much paranoia about minute amounts of common chemicals being present in water/liquor or on brewing utensils . I accept that if one knocked a pot of VPW into the brew it should be discarded. But a few drops of made up solution - are we joking?

  • Exactly my point. The few chlorine particles might even evaporate before the end of the brewing process.
    – Philippe
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 12:59
  • 1
    99% sure there is no chlorine in PBW. It's more about peroxide, which breaks down in the presence of living organisms (unless it kills them first, it is a sanitizer after all).
    – Pepi
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 9:33
  • VWP - active sterilising ingredient is: 12% sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate. That is "a source of slow release chlorine". It contains no (intentional) peroxide. Peroxides break down in the presence of many things not just living organisms. Heavy metal ions/salts are a much better example (but don't try that at home). Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 12:09
  • Ah! I see. @Pepi is confusing PBW with VWP. Two different things, the OP was using VWP not PBW. Devil in the detail. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 8:01
  • This answer originally said PBW, not VPW. It's an important distinction. Chlorine will ruin your beer regardless of sanitation.
    – Pepi
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 9:28

Wow! This is some pretty serious stuff. While I agree with Evil that the batch should be dumped, I would take another step... look for a no rinse solution. Here in the US, many homebrewers use a product called StarSan. It leaves a foam on the surface (which, as I understand it, is a yeast nutrient). In reality, there is no way I would let anything non-consumable (not that you want to drink StarSan concentrated) near my brewing equipment. As it turns out, you can buy it in the UK: http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Five_Star_Star_San_16oz_454g.html

  • I use Perasan at a 2ml/l ratio for a no rinse sanitizer Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 4:14

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