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Old 03-25-2006, 12:12 AM   #1
vicmick
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Default bleach in homebrewing

g/day all have just joined so hello to everybody .i have just read a book that says you can use household bleach to sterilise brewing equipment wont this leave a taste in the fermenter.i use brewshield but its dear so if theres something cheaper i would like to know.vicmick:

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Old 03-25-2006, 12:16 AM   #2
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They say not to use bleach on stainless steel, as it's corrosive. For glass or plastic, it's great, just rinse well.

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:19 AM   #3
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I've used bleach a lot in the past. Just be sure to rinse the item for a minute or so under hot running water.

If you don't your beer will end up tasting like vinegar and will be undrinkable.

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Old 03-25-2006, 02:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsmonkey
They say not to use bleach on stainless steel, as it's corrosive. For glass or plastic, it's great, just rinse well.
I completely agree

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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I've used bleach a lot in the past. Just be sure to rinse the item for a minute or so under hot running water.
I'd agree with this if you live in America, where the water heater is fed directly from the water supply to the house. If your water heater is fed from an open storage tank (like mine was in England), then it will not be sanitized, and could cause problems with bacterial infection.

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If you don't your beer will end up tasting like vinegar and will be undrinkable.
I respectfully disagree with this. Vinegar is caused by a bacterial infection (which the bleach should kill), but not rinsing excess bleach will certainly cause off flavors.

There are other sanitizers that do not require rinsing. They cost more than bleach, but are still not excessive.

My favorite is Iodophor. It sanitizes very quickly, and doesn't require rinsing.

-a.
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Old 03-25-2006, 02:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicmick
i have just read a book that says you can use household bleach to sterilise brewing equipment
You can't use bleach to sterilise anything, but you can use it to clean, and even sanitize your brewing equipment (except for stainless steel, as previously noted). To use bleach as a cleanser, mix two oz. bleach to 5 gallons of water and let set overnight. As others have noted make sure to rinse, rinse, and rinse some more.

To use bleach as a no rinse sanitizer, mix 1 teaspoon of bleach in 5 gallons of cold water, and immerse the items in this solution for 1/2 to 1 hour.

The above from Papazian, for what it's worth.
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Old 03-25-2006, 02:31 AM   #6
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You're not a real homebrewer if you use bleach.












I keed!

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Old 03-25-2006, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
I respectfully disagree with this. Vinegar is caused by a bacterial infection (which the bleach should kill), but not rinsing excess bleach will certainly cause off flavors
I no longer use Bleach, failure to properly rinse resulted in 35 of 52 bottles having almost no carbonation and a "soapy" taste (undrinkable).. the bottles that were rinsed well yielded a very tasty Bitter Ale.

If you use Bleach rinse rinse rinse then rinse a few more times.

There is nothing Cheaper than Bleach, but at about 12 cents US (thats $50 Canadian) a gallon Star San is a good way to go considering it can last up to 4 weeks. Idophor is good but after a few hours it loses potency.
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:10 AM   #8
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My problem with Iodophor is that you can actually use too much. I'm not much of a measurer, so I like one step. I probably make it more work than it needs to be, I do an Iodophor soak and follow it up with a rinse in one step. I just do that to make sure I don't have any Iodine left on my stuff. Sounds like I could just rinse with hot water from the faucet, though. I always thought you had to boil rinse water...

What is this star san you speak of? I don't think I've noticed it in my LHBS. Can you use too much of it?

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Old 03-25-2006, 03:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
What is this star san you speak of? I don't think I've noticed it in my LHBS. Can you use too much of it?
Star-san is another no-rinse (that I use). It comes in a handy bottle with a measuring chamber so it's pretty much impossible to FU. 1oz/5g water == no-rinse heaven. It also lasts around a month and can be re-used, so 5g will generally last for one entire brewing cycle.
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
My problem with Iodophor is that you can actually use too much. I'm not much of a measurer, so I like one step. I probably make it more work than it needs to be, I do an Iodophor soak and follow it up with a rinse in one step. I just do that to make sure I don't have any Iodine left on my stuff. Sounds like I could just rinse with hot water from the faucet, though. I always thought you had to boil rinse water...
True you can use too much Iodophor, but if it is measured you can really stretch it because you don't need alot of it. The amount of residual iodine won't impart the flavor of your beer. I think you may be more at risk by rinsing the bleach solution off of your equipment with hot water.

Besides, Iodophor really only requires a 30 second soak.
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