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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Survey: Reusing plastic after an infection.

View Poll Results: Have you reused plastic fermetation buckets and/or plastic tubing after they have con
Yes, and my subsequent batches were fine. 17 36.17%
Yes, and my subsequent batches were contaminated! 4 8.51%
No, I threw away all my plastic equipment after the infection. 4 8.51%
I've never had an infected batch 22 46.81%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:03 AM   #11
eastoak
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Originally Posted by MichaelBrock View Post
I had an infected batch of cider in a plastic bucket fermenter. I dumped and did my usual scrub down with dish soap & rinsing. Sanitized as I usually do (pour starsan into the bucket and let it sit for a few minutes) for susequent batches. The infection was four batches ago and I haven't had any issues since. Either I have been lucky, or the "infection from plastic buckets" think is overblown. I vote for the latter. It doesn't make sense to me that infection can hide from cleaning & sanitizing but somehow is still considered likely to infect your beer.
the winning answer. i would not try to dissuade anyone from any course of action with their beer but i brew sours and clean beer with the same equipment and have not had a clean beer turn sour yet. the reason i do this is to test for myself the "scratched bucket" theory. sour bug contamination can occur in a brand new bucket too, not just a scratched one. i'd be in the poorhouse by now if i threw out a fermentor after every sour batch. if/when i get a sour infection in a clean beer i will certainly report it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:12 AM   #12
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yes there is a good episode on proper bleach usage on basic brewing radio http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96...8&c_id=1452161 i follow these instructions and have always have had good results. more often than not i think infections come from you rather than your equipment. (stop sampling so much...i know its hard) make sure when using this method you either use fresh bleach or add 5 gallons of water to a bucket followed by a cap of bleach and then mix thoroughly then and only then add a cap of vinegar. if you clean organic matter diligently with detergent or oxyclean then do a bleach soak for 30 mins rinse let dry then starsan or iodophor prior to brewing you will be fine trust me brett dies easier than you think

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:17 AM   #13
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the only thing i will add is you have to use common sense and take everything completely apart. hoses off of racking canes auto siphons bottling bucket spigots ect. and you have to CLEAN your equipment you cannot sanitize organic matter and have it stay sanitized

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:26 PM   #14
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"Toss yer plastic man, you're infected!" that always make me laugh.

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...you have to use common sense and take everything completely apart. hoses off of racking canes auto siphons bottling bucket spigots ect. and you have to CLEAN your equipment you cannot sanitize organic matter and have it stay sanitized
Those are 'words to the wise' for any brewer making whatever kind of beer - this should apply everyday, not only for post-sour beers (or infected beer, whatever that might be). So if you're brewing good beers, having consistent results and want to try sour brews... no changes required imo, carry on!



ps. I'm using the same old transfer hose which I purchased in 1989. Hundreds & hundreds of batches brewed and sure, a few even had off flavors (I make occasional mistakes). But the same plastic hose none-the-less, and it's scratched all to hell even. Other than those 3 or 4 batches, all have been spot-on and continue to be. *happy camper*
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:05 AM   #15
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Same as the others, I soaked everything in a bleach solution and it was fine afterwards.

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Old 06-13-2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bradjoiner View Post
yes there is a good episode on proper bleach usage on basic brewing radio http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96...8&c_id=1452161 i follow these instructions and have always have had good results. more often than not i think infections come from you rather than your equipment. (stop sampling so much...i know its hard) make sure when using this method you either use fresh bleach or add 5 gallons of water to a bucket followed by a cap of bleach and then mix thoroughly then and only then add a cap of vinegar. if you clean organic matter diligently with detergent or oxyclean then do a bleach soak for 30 mins rinse let dry then starsan or iodophor prior to brewing you will be fine trust me brett dies easier than you think
Great tip! A bit of a long podcast, but interesting. I especially like the tip about making sure that your solution of Starsan is fresh. After it sits a while, it turns cloudy and looses its effectiveness.

Now that I've had an infection, I plan to clean my equipment and buckets with oxyclean and a soft sponge, then uber-sanitize with a mild bleach solution (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons fresh bleach in 5 gal water, mix, then add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar) for 30 mins, then rinse and dry. Then, on brewday, I'll sanitize with fresh Starsan, and reuse the gear.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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Great tip! A bit of a long podcast, but interesting. I especially like the tip about making sure that your solution of Starsan is fresh. After it sits a while, it turns cloudy and looses its effectiveness.

Now that I've had an infection, I plan to clean my equipment and buckets with oxyclean and a soft sponge, then uber-sanitize with a mild bleach solution (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons fresh bleach in 5 gal water, mix, then add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar) for 30 mins, then rinse and dry. Then, on brewday, I'll sanitize with fresh Starsan, and reuse the gear.
it will get cloudy using hard water but that does not mean it's not effective, as long as the ph is low it's ok. if using RO or distilled water the solution will last for months, which is what i do.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
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I have a fermenter that I used for a lambic and now brew regular batches in it with no issues. There is a lot to be said to pitching a good sized starter and aerating.

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