HBT 2015 Big Giveaway - Enter Now

Huge Supporting Membership Discounts - 20% Off

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How much 'sanitation' is too much?
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-24-2007, 05:51 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,658
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default How much 'sanitation' is too much?

Are we over doing the sanitation thing. I tend to say yes. But there are others here that are wash, rinse, scrape, drip-dry, and then baking (350*) their bottles. That sounds like major overkill to me. So, I raise the Q for discussion:

How much 'sanitation' is too much? What's normal, what's sloppy, and what's excessive...

Philip1993 is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 06:06 PM   #2
For the love of beer!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Orfy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 74 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 30


It's down to the individual.
Same as insurance.

You may not get an infection but do you want to risk a batch for an extra 10 - 20 minutes work per batch?

But saying that it's about reducing risk not eliminating it.

Orfy is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Evan!'s Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 72 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 1


What you explained isn't necessary, but some people are OCD. Personally, I rinse my bottles thoroughly right after I pour the beer from them. Then I put them in my drainboard and let the water drip out. Then I put them in my case-boxes. At bottling time, I submerge them all in a big tub of star san and soak for a few mins. Then I just empty the star san from each one and bottle away. Nothing special. As long as you rinse your bottles before beer dries in the bottom of them, then all you need to do is sanitize...and star san is much easier and faster and less energy-consuming than the oven method.

Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 08:04 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Beerthoven's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 2


Charley Talley, inventor of StarSan, has said that good sanitation is 90% cleaning. If you clean well enough, you may not need a sanitizer. Using a chemical sanitizer is like an insurance policy on your cleaning.

Personally, I'm more worried about whats floating around in the air than I am about whats on my equipment.

I do...clean all bottles, fermenters, tubes, buckets, chiller, etc. before putting them away. I don't scrub the hell out of them, I just clean them, like dishes. I clean them again, quickly, before I'm about to use them, and use starsan just before use. I wash my hands and try not to sneeze all over everything. I turn off the ceiling fan and AC when cooling wort or bottling inside.

I do not...bake my bottles sterile, store my fermenters and tubes filled with sanitizer, or store things in sealed air tight containers. I don't even boil water for rehydrating yeast...but I think I'm going to start

Common sense is the rule. Make sure the things that need to be clean are clean when they need to be, and don't worry about the rest of it.


Primary/Secondary: --
Kegged: #114 Oatmeal Stout, #115 American Amber
Planned: APA, IPA, Nut Brown

Beerthoven is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 08:16 PM   #5
Resident Crazy Uncle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
kornkob's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Madison WI
Posts: 1,843
Liked 17 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 3


What's 'excessive'? Any sanitation that actually damages your ingredients is excessive.

Other than that it is all a question of how much you are comfortable with. Between my father and I we have had lots of incidents in which we did things that some on this board would declare so heinous that no good beer could come of it. Yet most of these brews came through fine-- despite sneezing in the wort, having a kid play it in, a dog drink it or any number of very bad sanitary practices.

Beer is hearty stuff and can take a great deal more abuse than some threads in beer forums would lead you to believe.


Jason 'Kornkob' Robinson

I wanna move to Theory. Everything works in Theory.

kornkob is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 08:18 PM   #6
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,774
Liked 80 Times on 68 Posts
Likes Given: 14


Um I wash all of my bottles in my dish washer... I have never had an infection from it.

The Pol is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 08:23 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Refugee from MA in NH
Posts: 110

Count me in as a user of the "Dishwasher sanitize setting." Never had a problem with any infections from this method. As long as the bottles were clean prior to loading in the dishwasher, you're good to go.

Primaries - Refugee Ale , "Hop Soup" Imperial IPA (doing my best to help create the Hop shortage!
Bottled & drinking - Sleeman Steam Clone, 9 Popped Cherries Ale, Hard lemonade, Refugee Ale ( my Ipswich Ale Clone) Basic Cider v.3, Anchor Steam clone, and a wee bit of mead
butler1850 is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 08:36 PM   #8
Vendor and Brewer
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Bobby_M's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,476
Liked 1171 Times on 775 Posts
Likes Given: 29


Overcleaning and sanitizing (doing more than necessary) results in non contaminated beer. Undercleaning may result in contaminated beer. The difference between the two might be a few pennies and 5 extra minutes per batch. I've never had a dumper batch myself but I've only got 18 batches under my belt. Once my brew is cooled, I even keep a bowl of sanitizer that I dip my hands in once in a while. OCD? maybe. Good beer? Definitely.


Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN! ULWD 5500w Ripple, 2000w, 1500w, etc
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.

Bobby_M is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 09:44 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 433

I have been fighting infections for the last six months. Just when I think I've licked it comes back again. I am finally at the point where I believe my one step sanitizer is the culprit as I have had infections in the starter, primary, secondary and even made it to the keg and went bad in the keg. I switched to all glass primary and secondary and went back to not using a starter and still have infections. I just started using Star San and the first batch made it through the primary OK but that seems to mean nothing these days. What I don't understand is when I first started I went through about 30 batches without a problem and then BAM. It just seems to be on and off. It seems every time I start getting infections and change something they go avay for a while and then come right back.

rohanski is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2007, 09:57 PM   #10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
malkore's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 34 Times on 32 Posts
Likes Given: 9



I noticed that one-step is now called a cleanser wherever I look...but like you, I used to use it all the time without problem.
star-san ends up being cheaper, and there are ways to tell if a stored solution is still an active sanitizer...so I think the star-san is gonna treat you right.

I'll pray to the brew gods that your infection is over!

Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
UV sanitation CPTHOOK Equipment/Sanitation 16 09-21-2009 10:13 PM
Sanitation daveooph131 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 08-23-2009 02:33 AM
Sanitation digdan Equipment/Sanitation 10 04-06-2009 05:16 AM
Sanitation? bluefoxicy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 32 08-26-2008 11:50 PM

Newest Threads