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Old 06-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Re-vamping my cleaning/sanitation methods...

Hello all! I'm in need of a little advice. I've done some research on this topic but I value the opinions of the folks here than any where else. I am preparing to make the transition from extract brewing to all grain. I feel that I am going way over board with my cleaning/sanitation & it's adding time to my brewing day. since all grain brewing takes longer than extract I'm looking to be more efficient with my cleaning / sanitation methods w/o compromising quality. I recently bought some b-brite and star san. I'm curious about how exactly other people use these products.

Questions are...

1. How and when do you use b-brite?
2. If I clean all my equipment with b-brite after brewing, do I have to clean it before the next use or can I just star san?
3. Do I have to use b-brite on bottles or kegging equipment or can I just use star san?
4. How do you guys use star san?

Sorry to be so verbose. If any one shares their procedures I would greatly appreciate it.

Also... any thoughts on aluminum boil pots?

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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First, yes to aluminum pots. Second i only use b brite and like cleaners only for my siphon, hop sock and carboy. DO NOT USE IN AN ALUMINUM POT. My buddy ruined a pot that way. For my pot I usually rinse and scrub with water. If need be, a little dish soap. Mash tun if I can get away with it, just a good rinse. I use star san in a sprayer for almost everything else. Bottles, caps, carboy, basically anything coming in contact with cooled wort.

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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I wash everything in Oxyclean. I don't have aluminum. If you do, I would suggest some dish soap. Rinse it well.

Brewing and bottling are two different activities and happen at two different times.

When I'm brewing I mix up a gallon or so of Starsan, sanitize my chiller (counter-flow), and sanitize my fermenters, airlock, stopper, and/or blowoff tube. Brewing takes me about four hours.

All bottles get a half-hour soak in Oxyclean. Then I leave them to dry, and cover each bottle with a little square of foil and store them. I usually have 12 bottles in the cleaning/de-labling rotation all the time. It is just routine now.

When I bottle, I put all the bottles I need in dishwasher and run it without soap, and I turn the heat-dry cycle on. It gets over 170f for 15 minutes.
I mix up about a gallon of Starsan again and sanitize bottling bucket, auto-siphon, and bottle wand. I pour some Starsan over the bottlecaps in a small bowl.
Bottle, cap, and done. Takes a little over an hour from start to fully cleaned up.

Happy brewing!

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eanmcnulty
When I bottle, I put all the bottles I need in dishwasher and run it without soap, and I turn the heat-dry cycle on. It gets over 170f for 15 minutes.
I am interested in trying this but am worried about bottles breaking. Do you just place them in the tines and let it fly?
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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b-brite or oxyclean for cleaning physical dirt you can see. Once that done it's clean. Clean being safe to eat of off.

Star-san is to sanitize. killing the bacteria, spores, yeast what not that you cannot see.

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Aluminum pots are just fine - just make sure that, before your first brew, you boil as much water in it as you can (if you've got an outdoor turkey fryer, fill that pot up an inch or two shy of the rim!) for a half hour or so to build up a oxidation layer - and NEVER scrub that layer away! You want that layer to stay in place, to prevent the aluminum itself from directly interacting with your wort, and you'll be in good shape.

I use OxyClean Free as a cleaner, instead of B-brite, and StarSan as a sanitizer. My pots and mash tun just get washed with regular unscented dish detergent.

My pump, CFC, and keggle do get recirculated with hot oxyclean - but the keggle is only getting the oxyclean treatment because I need some kind of vessel to get the oxyclean into the pump and CFC!

Fermenters, thermometers, bungs, spoons, etc, all get a long soak in oxy clean, followed by a thorough rinse, and get put away clean. Then on brew day they all get a quick rinse off.

Anything that's touching the wort pre-boil, well, that rinse is all they get. No need to sanitize - the boil takes care of that for me.

Anything that will touch the wort post boil, well... I usually mix up 2.5 gallons of starsan in my fermenter, slosh that around to coat the inside of the fermenter really well, then dump the starsan into a bucket and seal the fermenter up with a sanitized and filled airlock. Then anything that will need to touch the wort goes into the bucket. I also refill my spray bottle with this fresh starsan (I keep the bottle handy between brewdays, and dump it out and refill it at every brewday to keep a fresh supply handy).

And that's pretty much that. If you're just a bit smart about it, there are periods during a brew day where you're just waiting around - 60 minute mash? Perfect time to get sanitizing (hell, that only takes 10 minutes if you're slow about it)! Just got the wort to boiling and added your 60 minute hop addition? Empty and clean your mash tun, then dry out and put away your HLT! You can definitely get in a lot of cleaning and sanitizing during the brew day in such a way that you don't actually extend the brew day.

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Old 06-08-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! Another reason I like this sight is the quick response time.

So, pretty much, clean everything with b-brite? (minus pot & caps)

Spray/rinse everything with star san? Star san bottles?

I'm curious about the bottles breaking in the dishwasher as well. Cleaning bottles takes so long. I usually clean, dry, sanitize, bottle. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks again!

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Old 06-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #8
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For bottling, rinse well asap after use. I have used the dishwasher method, I don't think breakage is a problem.

For sanitizing the bottles, get one of these:


Squirt the inside of the bottles and put them back on the rack of your dishwasher and bottle away.

Do not rinse the Starsan off or let it dry. If you do it is no longer working.

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Old 06-08-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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One way to save time and effort on brew day its to recirculate boiling wort through your pump and cfc to sanitize. Make sure they are clean though.

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Old 06-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #10
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I would stay away from dish soap... When I started brewing I washed most of my things with dish soap and quickly realized the off flavors that were associated to it. Not all the chemicals will rinse out and it will throw a funk into your beer. Stick to B-Brite or PBW.

Prior to my brew day I just rinse out my kettles to get rid of anything that may have found its way in there. I don't clean them every single time after I brew, maybe every 5 brews. Your boiling anyways... I also open my valves 1/2 way to keep the port dry.

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