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Old 08-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
pwndabear
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Default Q: about IC and Autoclave

Two questions for you guys:

1) I made an immersion chiller recently and was excited to try it out live for the first time last sunday. Right before I started my brewdayi gave it a dry run just to make sure it worked fine (which it did the first time i tried it). It started to leak after a couple minutes... To seal it I used 2 flex hose screw clamps on both the in and out of the water which really should have been sufficient. I am using regular vinyl tubing for the hoses. Any suggestions as to what I could do to stop them from leaking?

2) SWMBO works in a research lab and has access to an industrial autoclave. Do you think it is safe for my carboy or bottles to sterilize them?



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Old 08-16-2010, 05:59 PM   #2
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#2. It depends on the research she does. If she works in a plant/animal/bacteria/virology lab, I'd say go for it if they don't work with thermostable compounds. If she works with chemotherapy drugs or nano-particles (or really any thermostable compounds), I'd say steer clear of it. I work in a lab with bacteria and transgenic corn plants, and I'd toss some bottles in no problem. BUT, some of my friends work with nano-particles that can cause vein growth, and I'd never use their autoclave to prevent contamination. Your SWMBO should have the discretion to decide whether it's safe.

If she decides it's safe, make sure the bottles are upside down or the tops are all well covered in aluminum foil as most autoclaves use a lot of steam and if it's an old/well used autoclave, water will collect in the bottles (which, in my lab, is nasty water). As for the wear on your bottles/carboy, you should be good to go if they're good quality glass. We have glassware in the lab that's 20 years old and show's little signs of wear. However, the cheaper glass tends to get a bit brittle. Shouldn't be a problem though.

Like I said though, it's kind of up to you and your lady to decide whether you'd be okay using the same autoclave as a research facility. Chances are it's probably fine.



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Old 08-16-2010, 06:14 PM   #3
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As far as what she does, she works in a virology lab so I am not concerned about anything nasty getting in, on, or around the bottles. Moreso, my question was whether the autoclave would break the glass due to extremely high temperatures. I would LOVE to be able to use it though--it would save me so much time and work with my bottles...

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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Nah, the temps are usually around 120 C (248 F), which isn't gonna be an issue. Just don't seal the bottles or the carboy in any way because if the inside pressure can't equalize, they'll implode=big mess (trust me). Hope if works well for you man! If it does, your sterilization will be golden!

Cheers!

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwndabear View Post
I would LOVE to be able to use it though--it would save me so much time and work with my bottles...
How could schlelping your carboys/bottles out of your house, across town, up to the lab and into the autoclave (then back again!) be less time/work that swirling some Star-san around in them in the comfort of your kitchen?

Contamination from the lab notwithstanding, you don't even need sterilization...sanitizing is more than sufficient.

Take into the account the possibility of breakage (either in the schleping process or during autoclaving)...and can't see how this idea is even remotely a winner.

Just my 0.02
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
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I would just stick with a cleaning agent such as C Bright or Oxyclean and a sanitizer like Star San. I too work in a lab, and don't think that autoclaving your glass carboy is a smart idea. First, most laboratory glass wear is pyrex, which can tolerate extreme temperatures. Also, I agree with broadbill....schelping your carboy around is not a good idea for your wife, if she was to accidently introduce some foreign agent into her lab, well that would just be a nightmare. Also, I am sure that her lab has protocols and S.O.P's regarding bring objects into and out of the lab....her job could be at risk...IMO

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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I've worked in microbiology labs before and my father is a microbiology professor.

One concern is that the carboy is not borosilicate and it is not recommended to autoclave non-pyrex glass. I'm not endorsing it but it will probably be okay but they probably have safety procedures that prevent her from doing it anyway. If you did, just cover it with a piece of tinfoil and add a piece of autoclave tap to secure it and know that it has been autoclave.

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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As far as carrying it across town, it wouldnt be that much work for the bottles as we live about 2 minutes away from her lab and it's not an off-limits area so I can essentially just take care of it all myself. As for less work, yeah im lazy so if something were to take care of ALL of my bottles at once and i can keep them sterilized until next time with tin foil, im all about that.

Any suggestions on the immersion chiller?



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