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Old 04-03-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
BarberSurgeon
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Default Does cleaning ever get you burned out on brewing?

I just started AG brewing a few months ago and had good results in the two batches I made, but I can't seem to keep it up because of the tediousness of cleaning. It's such an important step that it can't be skipped, but in a small apartment kitchen, I find it's just impossible to get a satisfying clean without an overwhelming effort.

My normal method is to just soak things in PBW, but I have an unpredictable life-style that doesn't always allow for immediate cleaning the next day. So of course, after one soaking, my new tubing is cloudy (which I hear is a bad thing). I'm never sure I'm getting it all out of there anyway because of the vain attempt to flush out four feet of narrow coiled tubing with a sink faucet. It just doesn't get enough pressure.

That brings me to the racking cane and tube: how the hell do you clean this thing? It's too big for any bucket. It will melt in the dishwasher. The thing is completely unwieldy. I can't take it anymore!

I also hate scrubbing bottles and can't afford a kegging system. I'm attempting to rectify this by getting a bottle washer for the sink. I think that will help. Hopefully I'll be able to apply it to my other complaints, but I just don't know.

Ever get in this rut? How did you get out of it? The acceptable quality of my beer alone doesn't seem to justify the effort anymore.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #2
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Do you have any slaves? I mean...kids?

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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On the long items, go to home depot and get a 4' piece of 4"/6" pvc pipe and a end cap ( the flat kind if you can find it). Glue cap on and you have a soak tank that holds long stuff. Set it upright in shower- easy solution and stores in any corner....

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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I always feel like cleaning the kettle at the end of the day is the worst part but I always think it's worth it. When I used to brew in an apartment I always cleaned everything right away because of space issues. I think letting it sit around makes it worse.

For the racking cane, I always run water through it immediately, take it apart, and put it in the starsan bucket. I flip the cane over so both ends get sanitized. As long as you rinse it right away there really isn't any more you need to do other than sanitize.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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I gave up brewing mainly because of the tedious chore of cleaning bottles. I decided to get back into it after I realized converting my garage fridge to a kegerator was fairly simple.
So after a 17 year hiatus, I got my first batch in the primary!! I'm kegging this batch!

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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For me,music, beer, and a clean as you go m.o. gets the job done. I use a wallpaper tub to clean or soak long parts. It also works great for cleaning and not losing keg parts! At the end of the day, if you are not having fun, don't brew it. There is no shame in buying your beer.
Cheers,
Jim

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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+1 on the wallpaper water tray. Fill it up and let everything soak. If you're careful not to spill any, you can even slosh the water back and forth in the tray to get a little rinsing action going on through the autosiphon or racking tube. They work great.


PS - I HATE cleaning and bottling too! You're not alone. I wish I had more money so I can start kegging.

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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+1 to cleaning as you go. Once my brew day is nearing an end, I basically just have my brew kettle and wort chiller left to clean. Also, the longer you wait to clean something, the worse it gets, so I try to get stuff clean before it starts getting dry and crusty.

Also, kegging sounds like an awesome way of avoiding having to clean bottles. I will make that leap when I have the extra cash.

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Wow, lots of support! This must be a common problem. I'm sure I'll stick with it, but I've got a beer that's been in the fermenter for over a month and it feels like a nagging chore I have to do.

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarberSurgeon View Post
Wow, lots of support! This must be a common problem. I'm sure I'll stick with it, but I've got a beer that's been in the fermenter for over a month and it feels like a nagging chore I have to do.
Sounds like you need to start saving for a kegging set up. I hated bottling more than cleaning my kettle.
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