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Old 04-23-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Sanitizing, so simple but so confusing

I am a beginning brewer and the whole sanitizing thing has me confused. I have read a few posts about people using anything from bleach to star san. My beginning kit came with an iodine based sanitizer. I went through that and I was wondering, since I have never anybody mention it, a Quaternary based sanitizer? It is in tablet form and takes about 5 minutes to dissolve. It use is for food grade sanitizing of glasses, and kitchen utensils. Used in that capacity it is a no rinse sanitizer, but i never see it talked about. It is for sale in restaurant supply stores, under names as Sani-maid. Just curious as I have 5 bottles of the stuff.



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Old 04-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Quat is less common in brewing, but it should work. I've seen some people say it affects head retention but that sounds pretty impossible to me. It's less effective against certain bacteria, but many brewers use it without issue. Make sure you're working in no-rinse concentrations and you may want to leave it on a bit longer than directed.



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Old 04-23-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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FWIW, you are not going to find a commercial brewery using QA as a sanitizer, nor do the trusted chem suppliers (Birko, Loeffler, 5-Star) make such a chemical for use other than cleaning exterior surfaces. The stuff is tenacious, difficult to get rid of, it is not to be used on beer contact surfaces. Iodophor, Peracetic Acid, Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide and heat are the choices. For home use, I recommend Iodophor or the chlorine based sanitizers.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wailingguitar View Post
FWIW, you are not going to find a commercial brewery using QA as a sanitizer, nor do the trusted chem suppliers (Birko, Loeffler, 5-Star) make such a chemical for use other than cleaning exterior surfaces. The stuff is tenacious, difficult to get rid of, it is not to be used on beer contact surfaces. Iodophor, Peracetic Acid, Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide and heat are the choices. For home use, I recommend Iodophor or the chlorine based sanitizers.
What about acid sanitisers? Seems that more than 50% of homebrewers on HBT use Starsan as their sanitiser of choice.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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What about acid sanitisers? Seems that more than 50% of homebrewers on HBT use Starsan as their sanitiser of choice.
Yes, sorry, missed that one LOL
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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Iodophor is all I have used so far. It's simple to make and whenever I make it I refill a water bottle of it for small uses.
At first i tried to actually allow it to soak for a few minutes and let it fully air dry but after a while it got annoying waiting so long so I would soak things and just get as much sanitizer off of it as possible and use it. Have never had a problem nor a taste.

Also you want to avoid bleach solutions as they corrode stainless steel over time.

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Old 04-23-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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I put a lot of good info and tips of effectively using sanitizers in here. Including a podcast by the creator of starsan, and one by a rep from iodophor talking about that and more-http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sanitizer-question-54932/

Most every other question about using both can be found in there.

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Old 04-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #8
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Also you want to avoid bleach solutions as they corrode stainless steel over time.
This is true, but is really only an issue if you don't rinse thoroughly. I have used bleach in commercial situations, on stainless and it works just fine... PROVIDING you rinse it thoroughly. One brewery I worked in used open fermenters and we hand cleaned the tanks with bleach solution, rinsed thoroughly with 180F water. Another place we mixed beach with a straight caustic for our clean cycle. A chemist told the brewmaster that doing so would actually negate the need for a passivation step, a fact which I have verified with both Birko and Loeffler. So it was bleach/caustic wash then santi with peracetic acid, the problem was that you had to get the mixture into the tank quickly because it created an exothermic reaction... lots of fun at parties! These breweries mentioned above were Bell's and Rogue, btw. I also used to use weak bleach solutions in my cornies at home for overnight soaks, followed by a thorough rinse. Did this for years (maybe 93 or so until about '08) with zero issue. That being said, PBW and iodophor or star san are probably the best bet for a home brewer, bleach is fine, but iodophor is no rinse
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:23 PM   #9
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DO NOT USE QUAT.
Quat will attack the yeast and you will have nothing but a mess. We use quat where I work so I figured why not. The stuff is great and the price was right.

Well I can tell you first hand that it works a little to good

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Old 04-27-2013, 02:06 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input! I had already used on a black IPA and was concerned from all the posts. I couldn't wait so I cracked one open after only a week in the bottle. The taste was good but a bit sweet still, and that could be the quat weakening the yeast, but it had some carbonation. So I am expecting another week in the bottle and it should be good to drink.



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