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Old 08-15-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
BrewinBigD
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Default Chlorine for sanitation: any input on this?

I Recently tried using regular chlorine bleach for cleaning my brewing equipment, the ratio i use is 1 TBSP to 1 gallon of water which creates a no-rinse bleach solution. I rinse anyway to remove any odors. works great for soaking bottles and metal parts, and also is great for getting the beer odor out of my primary buckets after i drain them. any input on this method of sanitizing?

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:19 PM   #2
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You should check out the 3/29/07 episode of Basis Brewing Radio. The creator of Star San is on the show and he actually talks quite a bit about how to sanitize with bleach.

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #3
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I think that by rinsing you are defeating your sanitation. When you use no-rinse sanitizer, at least you know the stuff your are rinsing your equipment off with is sanitary. The point is that tap water might have all kinds of bacteria in it from running through your pipes and fittings. If you rinse your stuff after sanitizing, you are defeating your sanitization IMO.

I've never used bleach but I'm thinking about it. I'm out of Iodophor at the moment and I always have tons of bleach. Does anyone use bleach as a no-rinse sanitizing solution with good (tasty) results?

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Ime,any kind of bleach needs to be rinsed thoroughly to get the bleach smell out. Even cooper's sodium percarbonate smells of bleach to me,& had to be rinsed a few times to get it out. I use star-san all the time now. Quicker & easier.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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FWIW: Papazians book gives a recipe for santizing with bleach. He said use an ounce of bleach to 5 gallons of water. Since an ounce is roughly equal to 2TBSP that is 1 TBSP to 2.5 gallons. You were supposed to rinse well after that.

You are using 1TBSP to 1 gallon and NOT rinsing.

There is a way to make no-rinse chlorine based sanitizer (as dfborn suggested, check out podcasts with Charlie Tally, maker of Star-san) which involves mixing the proper amount of bleach with vinegar.

At the dosage you are using, I think you might want to be rinsing that stuff off. My 0.02

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #6
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I've used bleach ONLY for the apx 20 years I've homebrewed, and I've never had a problem.

A lot of folks seem to think that home pipes are loaded with bacteria and therefore recommend not rinsing. The same folks also seem to forget that the city water supply ALSO uses chlorine/chloramides to keep the water safe, and that same chlorine will be in coming out of the tap, too.

I normally use about 2 oz of bleach in a 5-gallon carboy full of water to clean the carboy. I then drain and rinse with about a gallon of water.

On brewday (or the day before), I use a water sprayer in a bucket, with 1 gallon of water and about 1/2 oz of bleach. The inside of the carboy gets sprayed with that mixture for about 1 hour (the carboy is upside down). I then drain it, and rinse it with about 1 gallon of tap water.

M_C

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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I have some star-san and also some c-brite, and when using those products to clean my primaries and secondaries (i use buckets) it doesn't seem to pull all of the beer odor out of the plastic, but the bleach does if i do a thorough soak (15 min or so). and if you use the ratio that i do, you can detect nearly no bleach taste or odor. after my first full batch i tried the bleach and after the equipment was dry there was no odor of bleach whatsoever, it wasn't until after my second batch that i started to second rinse. The only issue I've noticed using the bleach is if youre siphoning or transferring with clear vinyl tubing the bleach will begin to cloud the tubing after a couple of uses. cheap enough to replace though.

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewinBigD View Post
I have some star-san and also some c-brite, and when using those products to clean my primaries and secondaries (i use buckets) it doesn't seem to pull all of the beer odor out of the plastic, but the bleach does if i do a thorough soak (15 min or so). and if you use the ratio that i do, you can detect nearly no bleach taste or odor. after my first full batch i tried the bleach and after the equipment was dry there was no odor of bleach whatsoever, it wasn't until after my second batch that i started to second rinse. The only issue I've noticed using the bleach is if youre siphoning or transferring with clear vinyl tubing the bleach will begin to cloud the tubing after a couple of uses. cheap enough to replace though.
The leftover beer odor really isn't an issue for me, since I'm going to be brewing more beer in them.

I sounds like you have something that is working for you. Not sure why you would ask for input then pretty much ignore it, telling us that your way works. OK great....your way works...keep on doing what you are doing then...
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
I've used bleach ONLY for the apx 20 years I've homebrewed, and I've never had a problem.

A lot of folks seem to think that home pipes are loaded with bacteria and therefore recommend not rinsing. The same folks also seem to forget that the city water supply ALSO uses chlorine/chloramides to keep the water safe, and that same chlorine will be in coming out of the tap, too.

I normally use about 2 oz of bleach in a 5-gallon carboy full of water to clean the carboy. I then drain and rinse with about a gallon of water.

On brewday (or the day before), I use a water sprayer in a bucket, with 1 gallon of water and about 1/2 oz of bleach. The inside of the carboy gets sprayed with that mixture for about 1 hour (the carboy is upside down). I then drain it, and rinse it with about 1 gallon of tap water.

M_C
I found the same thing to be true, back when I used bleach to sanitize; I never had a problem with the rinse water. I switched to star-san to streamline/minimize my santitation processes, that's all.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The leftover beer odor really isn't an issue for me, since I'm going to be brewing more beer in them.

I sounds like you have something that is working for you. Not sure why you would ask for input then pretty much ignore it, telling us that your way works. OK great....your way works...keep on doing what you are doing then...
I'm just starting out homebrewing, im 2 batches in so far and trying to learn as much as I can, thats all, it works, but other peoples input is nothing but a tool for me to use.
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