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Old 02-17-2006, 03:05 PM   #1
mpetty
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Default Bleach

Hey guys -

I use bleach for cleanliness in my carboys. I use iodophor for sanitation in all points of my brewing technique (I am not kegging, and I haven't had to use acid cleaners yet). I went to the local homebrew club meeting, and I said I used bleach for cleanliness. I was bombarded by all of the respected members telling me that bleach is NOT a cleaner and that I will be screwing my beer up by using bleach. This flies in the face of everything I have ever read: bleach is one of the best cleaners around! My experience bears this out, and all of my beers have been fine and the fermentation has always started within 12 hours.

Why did they tell me this? Of course, being the young upstart that I am, I just told them that their statements weren't true, and we agreed to disagree. I know that bleach will hurt my beer, but after three rinses (suitable for analytical chemistry!), there is less than 1 ppb of chlorine compounds left, then I have fourth rinse with iodophor, so I have always been in the clear.

They really took me by surprise last night.

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:10 PM   #2
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This topic has been debated over and over and over here. A lot of people use bleach, and they don't have any issues with it.

Some people take themselves (and their brewing) too seriously, and I suspect you might find a higher concentration of these people in a brew club.

I used bleach for 8 years before finally trying Iodophor a few months ago. The only reason I stopped using bleach was beause I was tired of rinsing everything... that rinsing made bottling daty a HUGE hastle.

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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Here we go again.

There have been many heated threads in this forum about using bleach. I'd say do dome reserach and make up your own mind. I used to use bleach for sanitizing and was fine. I also used once for cleaning and was fine to, but I share the concerns that others have regarding the use of bleach.

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:14 PM   #4
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Yeah, I love iodophor for sanitizing, but nothing beats bleach for getting the junk out of the carboy. Plus, if I did just let it sit for a few days, all of the chlorine compounds would be gone anyway!

This club has surprised a few times already. Only the LHBS owner had even heard of batch sparging, and noone has heard of using stainless braids as a manifold.

P.S. You are totally right about bottling. The vinator has been the best bottling investment I have made. I fill it with water, and it is a rinser. I fill it with iodophor, and it sanitizes. Now I just have to get all of the labels off of my bottles, and I should be able to bottle a batch in less than 30 minutes, including setup.

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:14 PM   #5
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Default no real brewer....

balh blah blah. There is nothing wrong with using bleach (enviromental conscerns asside) as long as you use it corectly. I think some people probably use too much, and then dont rinse enough, which both can be a problem... Bleach is very powerfull stuff, that is really hard to just casually rinse away. That being said, as long as you can follow directions i think you can take advantage of the wonderfull properties of bleach.

aftrer racking my beer i clean with hot soapy water my carboys, rinse and then fill my them w/ a bleach/water sollution over night, and then rinse and clean them with hot soapy water again the next day and dry and store for later use. Other than that i dont use it...

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:15 PM   #6
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Many people have trashed equipment & beer with bleach, so they tend to over-react. Bleach has it's place, I use it to do deep sanitization on my fermentation buckets and, like you, do multiple rinses. Bleach is murder on stainless steel and aluminum, but fine for glass and the only way to really clean plastic buckets.

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:32 PM   #7
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No comment.

Banana, banana, banana, banana...

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Old 02-17-2006, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpetty
Now I just have to get all of the labels off of my bottles, and I should be able to bottle a batch in less than 30 minutes, including setup.
Try using ammonia mixed 1/2 cup per gallon of water. Soak your bottles in it over night and most labels slide right off. The tough ones (Samuel Adams) scrub off fairly easy after a good soak DON'T mix bleach with ammonia!
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpetty
Now I just have to get all of the labels off of my bottles . . .
Heh heh - know what I use to get labels off my bottles? BLEACH! I have no idea what the concentration is. I just make it strong and soak my bottles for about a week. As previously stated by others, you gotta rinse them multiple times when your done but it's not so bad considering you only have to remove a label once.

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Old 02-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #10
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I am so glad I have enough bottles in the garage for my brewing. I hate cleaning the labels off. Unless something happens and causes a bunch (and I mean a BUNCH) of them to get broken, I shouldn't ever have to clean another label off anothe bottle... ever.

I don't have an exact count, but I know I have enough to bottle 6 five-gallon batches, and sill have PLENTY bottles in the garage not being used.

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