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Old 03-06-2007, 02:03 AM   #1
Zymurgrafi
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Default You don't know where that's been!

Question about sanitation with cooler mashtuns. Or rather, here is what I think, what are other folks opinions...

I have a mini-mashtun already built, but I just found a cooler that seems to be a bit more ideal. It has the same capacity but it is wider and shorter, with a wider opening. I found it at a thrift store for $2. It is clean, except the spigot is permenantly Kool-aid pink, and there does appear to be some scratches on the bottom (where said sugar water was stirred). I am tossing the spigot anyway. The rest of the inside is brilliant white. I washed it, bleached the crap out of it, and rinsed with boiling water. I know that will not kill any nasties that are residing in there. What I am thinking though, is this. The liquid that will be in there will be at mashing temps and then it will be boiled for an hour after so that would take care of the nasties yes?

Which leads me to a more general question, do you replace your cooler if it gets scratched (if you started with a new one), or just every now and again like you would other plastic brewery gear?
Thanks

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:11 AM   #2
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The boil will clean any nasties. Only worry about sanitation after the wort is cooled. Just make sure it's clean.

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:11 AM   #3
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Coolers are not very expensive. Two or three bad batches of beer are not worth the few bucks you saved - go buy a new one for brewing and use this one to take bottled home brew with you on ice!

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:16 AM   #4
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Your're good to go. Your gonna boil so no worries.

The only time you need to be concerned about scratches and sanitation is if you use it as a hop-back to filter your wort after the boil at the lower temps.

If you use a muslin hop sack you should n't have do to that. Hop sacks are dirt cheap.

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:27 AM   #5
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I'm with the No Worries crowd. If you found it and it's in decent shape, scratches don't matter. If they did matter, nobody would be using a flimsy plastic cooler in the first place.

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:37 AM   #6
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Just make sure it is clean. No sanitation is required in a Mash Tun. Scratches in the plastic won't harbor enough bacteria to ruin the wort. The small amount of creatures that might reside in the cracks will be killed during the boil anyway.

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:39 AM   #7
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And don't forget, the mash temp is going to be 150+ degrees. Thats above the necessary temp for pasteurization.

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Old 03-06-2007, 03:04 AM   #8
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I'm down with the frugal buy!!! Good job !!! It sounds to me that you thought out the purchase and got a great deal. I boil will totally kill any nasties that would ruin the wort. RDWHAHB!!!

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Old 03-06-2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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I'd take it and brew happy. Mine is scratched, beaten up, and I've forgotten to clean it out a couple of times after brewing (advice: don't do that)

Just clean it before mashing (it doesn't have to be scrubbed, just get most of the junk out) and any boil longer than 15 minutes will take care of any nasties that might be in the wort.

There is no need to sanitize a mashtun or hot liquor tank. Just clean them so you're not running dirt and koolaid into your wort

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Old 03-06-2007, 03:25 PM   #10
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That is what I figured.

Using the tun to filter hops? Never thought of that, so much to learn. Well, I will not be using it for that, I do have a hop sack.

Luckily I did not find a 5 or 10 gallon cooler. Then I would be compelled to go all grain! Then I would need a chiller, bigger brew pot... My bargain could have gotten quite costly.

Would be nice to score a larger kettle next. I won't hold my breath though. Guess I gotta save up for one.

So I take it then that folks do not replace their coolers unless they are wicked nasty then?

Thanks again.

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