Questions tagged [sanitation]

The practice of removing the majority of microorganisms from equipment, utentils, fermentors, bottles etc. that comes into contact with the cooled wort. Poor sanitation can contaminate the wort, producing off-flavors.

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42
votes
8answers
18k views

How likely is contamination in an average batch?

I sanitize everything; carboy, bottles, bottle caps, tubing, funnels, etc; because I was essentially told that my beer would turn to deadly poison without it. I accept sterilizing the lot once ...
28
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7answers
53k views

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?
23
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7answers
19k views

No-rinse acid sanitizer - is there a risk?

My homebrewer friends recommend the StarSan acid sanitizer, hands-down. I tried it once and it foamed everywhere and left a bunch of rings in the carboy and the bottles. It made me paranoid that it ...
21
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6answers
31k views

[WIKI] Bottle Sanitizing Techniques - Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of each bottle sanitizing method? Let's look at time, equipment, quality of sanitation, and other factors. Post one answer for each method. Edit the answers if you have ...
17
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9answers
17k views

Sanitizing oak chips

Going to try using dry oak chips in my secondary fermenter. How do you recommend sanitizing the chips before adding them?
16
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2answers
2k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
14
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6answers
33k views

Can OxiClean be used as a sanitizer?

Many batches ago I abandoned the sanitizing solutions sold (at ridiculous markups) from standard homebrew stores in favor of OxiClean Free. My logic at the time (being out of sanitizer, and at a ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Do I need to sterilize my top-off water?

I just purchased my first kit and am about to brew it (tonight!). The instructions provided indicate that after cooling the wort and tranfering it to the sanitized carboy I need to top it off with ...
12
votes
5answers
11k views

How Do You Sanitize Your Carboys?

When sanitizing your carboys, do you fill them all the way up (6+ gallons) with sanitizer or do you put in less and swirl it around? This may depend on what type of sanitizer is being used. I'm using ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How long does StarSan last?

I keep StarSan in a spray bottle for easier sanitizing during brew day. How long does the StarSan last in that bottle? Is it good forever?
11
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3answers
3k views

What is the best way to sanitize vanilla pods?

I Am planning on adding a vanilla pod to secondary in my next brew. What is the best way to sanitize it before it goes in?
11
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6answers
12k views

How long do sanitized bottles keep?

If you sanitize a bunch of bottles and store them upside down on a tree or in a box (still upside down); how long can you store them like that before you feel the need to resanitize them? Is there a ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Boiling bottle caps

I've always soaked my bottle caps in sanitizer before using, but a friend of mine suggested boiling (throw in the same pot with priming sugar) instead because the cooties can theoretically hide from ...
11
votes
3answers
13k views

Consequences of infection in a beer?

Everyone learns during their first brewing experience that you have to carefully sanitize anything that touches your wort after the boil to avoid infection. What happens when wort gets infected? How ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Using StarSan in Airlock

Just getting started on home brewing and I used boiled water in my airlock. I've seen that some places recommend using sanitizer as the airlock "fill". Is it ok to use straight up StarSan in there or ...
9
votes
7answers
10k views

Homebrew sanitisation in a Pinch

So it's that time of year where none of the local shops are open (at least in my area) and I am itching to put on a new brew but haven't got any sanitiser. I thought some Napisan (I believe AKA ...
9
votes
6answers
537 views

How paranoid about cleaning & sanitization?

I'm a new home brewer. I only have a few batches under my belt -- one partial extract and two all grain. Like most, I've read multiple books and watched videos on the brewing process. Cleaning and ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Brett, Pedio, Lacto. Reuse and kegging

I have 6 gallons of a bretted whit that has been sitting in the basement for 8 months and a Pedio/Lacto/Brett Dubbel that has been working for about 7 months. If I wanted to reuse these cultures ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How difficult are the plate-based wort chiilers to clean? Do they require filtration before the wort goes through them?

I'm considering getting one of those "Therminator" style wort chillers as an upgrade to the coil. I plan on gravity feeding the wort through and pumping back into the kettle until my wort is nice and ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Keeping a bottle of no-rinse sanitiser

Some sanitisers, like star-san, chemipro oxi and betadine are no-rinse in certain dilutions. Star-san can additionaly be kept diluted in a bottle for months and used whenever one wishes. Can the same ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Would placing the fermenter tank in a tub of water be a good way to handle hot environments?

Summers where I live typically have 80F nights and it can easily pick up to 95 degrees during the day. I have a plastic trash can (which I bought for this purpose) that I have filled up with water. ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

How do you sanitize the outside of your racking cane?

I'd love to hear the creative ways which folks have come up with to sanitize the outside of their racking cane. Sanitizing the inside is straightforward - siphon some sanitizing solution through the ...
8
votes
3answers
870 views

cleaning vs. sanitizing

I have made over 50 batches of homebrew, and I have a confession: I rarely CLEAN my equipment. I take a quick look to see if there is any visible debris/dust, etc., and if so, I will spot clean it or ...
8
votes
2answers
906 views

Sanitize the bottle capper?

When bottling, is it wise to dunk the bottle capper in sanitizing solution or is that overkill?
8
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5answers
7k views

preparing fruit for secondary

What is the best method for preparing different fruits for fruit additions into secondary fermentors? There are issues of sanitation and good fruit to wort contact, via chopping, slicing, mincing or ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to clean the inside of a blowoff hose

I soaked my blowoff hose in PBW for an hour or so, then rinsed and let dry. There is still light amounts of residue visible. The only brush I own is a carboy brush which I don't think will fit through,...
7
votes
3answers
280 views

How screwed am I (sanitation)?

I just started my first cider homebrew, and broke a cardinal rule. I made the mistake of thinking that BSG B-Brite cleanser was also a sanitizer. I made two batches from pasteurized juice without ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Is it okay to store a batch of mixed star-san?

I use a spray bottle with star san, so I don't use a lot of it each time I brew. Is it okay to store the rest in a bucket and then refill my spray bottle when I need some? I've read that it should ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

Sanitization practices when dry hopping in a muslin bag

I've had good results, have always done it the same way in recent years, but always question myself when I dry hop. Weigh-out my pellet hops Scrub my hands with soap an water Drop a weight, a muslin ...
7
votes
1answer
837 views

How can you use an oaken barrel for secondary fermentation?

I may be able to get my hands on a oaken barrel that I'd love to age a Scottish ale in. What can I do to sanitize it adequately and minimize oxygen exposure?
7
votes
1answer
150 views

what have i made and is it safe to drink?

I made a DIY CO2 system for my fish tank. I use fermentation for the CO2. 2 and a half weeks ago I filled a 2ltr soda bottle with water, 2 cups of demerara sugar and a tsp of bakers yeast. This wasnt ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

Sanitizing bottles with StarSan

I just brewed a trappist style ale and I am ready to bottle it. I am a meticulous sanitizer. Just a question though. I have always filled my buckets/carboys with 5 gallons of star sans solution to ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Best way to store empty kegs

After using, then cleaning a keg with PBW, what is the best way to store the cleaned keg? I may not use the keg for a while, and I would like to avoid mold growing in any residual water (for example)....
6
votes
2answers
275 views

Hopping In Secondary

I'm brewing an IPA that calls for the addition of hops when I rack to secondary. I have pelletized hops still sealed in their plastic packaging and I'm wondering if they can be added to the secondary ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Necessary to clean bottle tree?

So I recently purchased a bottle tree (not sure how I went so long without one) for drying/storing my sanitized bottles. Is it is overkill to sanitize the bottle tree in sanitizing solution as well? ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the minimum safe immersion time to sanitize something with StarSan?

How long should I keep something immersed in StarSan/swish it around for to ensure that it's as sanitized as I could reasonably hope it'll be? I know everyone has a rule of thumb for this (I use 1min ...
6
votes
1answer
616 views

Should I rinse my equipment after sanitizing with Star San HB Five Star?

I want to begin my first batch but I know sanitizing is really important and I don't want to make mistake about it, so I read How to brew - Everything you need to know to brew great beer every time ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I need to refurbish a corny keg?

What do I need to prepare a used corny keg (picked up at a flea market say) for brewing? Should I replace the seals? Do I need a special tool to remove the posts? What products and techniques ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Cleaning out beer lines

How often do you need to clean out your beer lines when using a home draft system? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I leave sanitizer in the tubing when a line isn't in use?
6
votes
5answers
501 views

Extract brew, sanitizing hop strainer and tap? First brew day!

Last night I made my first ever extract brew. The brew day went pretty well. As I have a 32 litre brupak boiler with a hop strainer and tap I cooled the wort with cold bottled water straight in the ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

How to sanitise cherries?

I intend to make a melomel based on a Polish trójniak with (sour) cherries. As we're in season, I will probably buy fresh fruit at my local grocery store or market. What I wonder about is how to best ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

Recycling/Reusing Bottles?

Are Glass Beer Bottles safe to recycle/reuse? Since I can't know who drank out of it and what could be in it, I want to be sure that this is safe to do. What type of disinfection reagent would I use, ...
5
votes
5answers
13k views

Sanitizing with bleach without rinsing

What concentration of bleach (or Sodium hypochlorite) diluted in water is necessary to sanitize bottles? How much time is necessary to keep the bottles immersed in the solution, or is sufficient to ...
5
votes
10answers
2k views

What are some effective, cheap, easy ways to clean and re-use bottles?

After a couple year hiatus from home brewing, I'm ready to get back into it and I have been diligently consuming some local microbrews and saving the bottles in preparation. When I brewed before, for ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Can a bad odor from an empty fermenter be a sign of contamination?

I'm new to the hobby and recently made my first brew, I've used a simple plastic fermenter (25L) for primary, and after I finished the bottling process I washed the fermenter and waited for a couple ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

What are the most crucial moments for beer contamination?

I know that sanitization is one of the most fundamental parts of making a beer and I myself wasted two batches already for not being diligent as I should. So, what are the steps / moments when you are ...
5
votes
4answers
105 views

Contamination concerns when removing stopper?

This might seem dumb to most, but it's only my third batch and I just need some reassurance. So, I occasionally pop out the rubber stopper on my carboy to smell the brew and see if anything funky ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

vanilla beans in a porter

Just brewed up a porter and going to be transfering into secondary tonight, I also want to put vanilla beans into the secondary. The question I have is how to make sure that the beans are sanitized ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Yeast Starter Stopper & Sanitization

I'm going to be making my first yeast starter, for a higher gravity beer. While reading starter guides, and watching videos, I've noticed that there are several different techniques and opinions for ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you let water sit until the chlorine vapours off without any infection?

So, apparently if you let tap water sit for a few days the chlorine will evaporate off but how can one safely expose the water to the the air without risk of infection from airborne particles?