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Old 02-21-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
FPM
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Default Re: Something icky in the Carboy.......

Greetings all!

Just wanted to share a story from today. I started brewing an American pale ale, and went to my storage area to grab all my equipment. Washed, bleached, rinsed, sanitized my primary fermenter with no hitches. While everything was warming up, I desited to take a peak at my secondary to see what cleaning needed to be done. At the bottom of my carboy, to my horror, was a dead moldy cricket. My wife works in entomology and herpatology, so our house has a few lizards of hers, and naturally she feeds them crickets. I guess one of them got out and managed to get into the carboy and died. There was no other mold anywhere in the carboy except for where the cricket was. Because I am always paranoid about sterilization for brewing, I started going down this road:


1. I poured about 12 fl-oz of Hydrogen Peroxide. I thought this might be the best place to start since peroxide causes cell membranes to rupture, hopefully destroying any mold and any leftover mold spores. After about an hour and a half, I poured out all the liquid (the cricket came out with it)

2. I poured about half a cup of straight bleach into the carboy, mildly diluted with water. Im planning on leaving it like for 6 hours. Just like the hydrogen peroxide, Im planning on gaurenteing that no spores, cricket, or anything biological survives in the carboy.

3. Tommarrow, I plan to rinse, wash and scrub with soap and water, and repeat the hydrogen peroxide bit, followed by the bleach bit.

4. Tommarrow night, I plan to rinse again and put a gallon of the normal sanitizer and let it sit till im ready for the secondary.

I may be overdoing a bit, but then again I plan to drink what comes out of there, so I am trying to make sure it is sterile. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know, or have any other (I doubt though) similar experiences.

Thanks!

Frank

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Old 02-21-2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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That is overdoing it, but if you really really want to sterilize it rather than make it sanitary put the thing in your oven and bake it at 350 for a few hours... Bring the oven temperature up slowly, but the heat of the oven kills all.

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Old 03-10-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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It may be too late to help, but for the record...

The one step sanitizers are not efficient for sanitizing when there is abundant organic matter around (dirt, hop scum from the last batch, moldy crickets) so the most important thing to do is use a bottle brush to scrub out the bits before you sanitize. If this happened to me, I'd fill the carboy with hot water, scrub it, let it sit for a few minutes, and scrub it again. Follow that with regular sanitizer and you'll be fine. If bleaching makes you feel better, dilute your clorox 1:10 with water and let it sit for 20 minutes. You'll have to rinse the heck out of it after that, though.
Next time, scrub and rinse you carboy as soon as you empty it (while all the bits are still moist), let it dry, and cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil to keep the dust/mold/crickets out.

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