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Old 12-03-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
wstcstwil
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Default Sanitation - How do people really do this in practice?

Noob question but bare with me.

Everything I read from "How to Brew" on down talks about the importance of sterlization and proper sanitization when dealing with home brewing. I completely understand this.

Whats frustrating is that there isn't really talk of how to practically do this. I probably am gonna stay clear of bleach, but if I use Easy Clean (it comes with my kit) how should I do it? My first thought was to fill my secondary bucket with this stuff and just wash everything down in it. How long do you submerge this stuff for? I imagine scrubbing is probably a bad move so does it just need to soak?

With my primary Carboy is it okay to put some Easy Clean and water in and just swirl it around?

I know this seems silly but it is the part I am by far most nervous about.

Any advice is appreciated.

FYI, this is the kit I bought, so if anyone has specific suggestions relative to this it would be awesome.

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:11 AM   #2
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if you are using a no rinse cleaner which most kits come with, usually its 1 tbsp per gallon of water, but double check what the package says. Anything that comes in contact with the brew must be sanitized in this manner. I typically keep a bucket of sanitizer available while brewing so i can keep things in there till I need them. As for the carboy i fill it up with sanitizer once the boil starts and i leave it in there till im ready to transfer the brew.

Others will reccomend products like star-san or idophor, but all the batches ive done have turned out well with just the no rinse cleaners. I only have had one infection and that was due to not boiling some cherries that i put in my secondary and the wild yeast took over the brew.

As long as you keep things washed and sanitized in this manner you should be ok. Never use anything that is wooden, and be careful about scrubbing your plastics with scrub pads. This can lead scratches that could harbor bacteria. Although there are many ways to contiminate your brew, if you keep things clean your most likely going to have a hard time messing things up.

Hope this clears up any questions and if not, I'm pretty sure others can chime in. Good luck and welcome to the madness!

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:41 AM   #3
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I have the next kit down from yours, so no carboy. However, I also bought "How to Brew" before I actually started, and it's like a dog-eared bible at this point. Don't forget there are two steps here, cleaning and sanitizing. Here's how I do things, right or wrong as they may be.

First off, I fill my bucket fermenter with 2.5 gallons of water and the appropriate dose of one-step cleanser, which came with the kit. Using a freshly laundered dish towel, I dunk it in the solution and clean off the inside of the fermenter as well as the lid. I'll then dunk my air-lock in there for a few minutes and set it aside on some plastic wrap. I also put my strainer in there for a while as well. I then use the solution to clean my hydrometer, stirring spoon, and the probe on my thermometer, along with the boiling kettle and lid. I do rinse the kettle and lid, though it may not make a difference. Once that is done, and everything has been lain out to dry, I dump the cleaning solution and fill the fermenter with 5 gallons of water and the appropriate amount of Starsan. I wring out the dishtowel from before and submerge it in the sanitizing solution. I also plop in the stirring spoon and air-lock. After a bit, I fill up a spray bottle by submerging it in the fermenter and then use that to spray the fermenter lid, which I then place over the top of the fermenter. Then I go through the boil, spraying sanitizer on the stirring spoon and thermometer probe as I see fit. Before the end of the boil, I remove the items that I had submerged in the fermenter and place them in a clean bucket. I then dump some of the sanitizer from the fermenter into the bucket, and empty the rest. Once again I cover the fermenter with the lid. At this point, I probably go a little overboard and will spray the inside of the lid along with the fermenter a couple of different times, pouring out the excess before I transfer the cooled wort into it.

I'm sure you could expand this to cover your carboy as well, using the cleanser and then a sanitizer (like Starsan). Anyway, just wanted to give you and idea what I do. Good luck and best wishes.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chudz View Post
I have the next kit down from yours, so no carboy. However, I also bought "How to Brew" before I actually started, and it's like a dog-eared bible at this point. Don't forget there are two steps here, cleaning and sanitizing. Here's how I do things, right or wrong as they may be.

First off, I fill my bucket fermenter with 2.5 gallons of water and the appropriate dose of one-step cleanser, which came with the kit. Using a freshly laundered dish towel, I dunk it in the solution and clean off the inside of the fermenter as well as the lid. I'll then dunk my air-lock in there for a few minutes and set it aside on some plastic wrap. I also put my strainer in there for a while as well. I then use the solution to clean my hydrometer, stirring spoon, and the probe on my thermometer, along with the boiling kettle and lid. I do rinse the kettle and lid, though it may not make a difference. Once that is done, and everything has been lain out to dry, I dump the cleaning solution and fill the fermenter with 5 gallons of water and the appropriate amount of Starsan. I wring out the dishtowel from before and submerge it in the sanitizing solution. I also plop in the stirring spoon and air-lock. After a bit, I fill up a spray bottle by submerging it in the fermenter and then use that to spray the fermenter lid, which I then place over the top of the fermenter. Then I go through the boil, spraying sanitizer on the stirring spoon and thermometer probe as I see fit. Before the end of the boil, I remove the items that I had submerged in the fermenter and place them in a clean bucket. I then dump some of the sanitizer from the fermenter into the bucket, and empty the rest. Once again I cover the fermenter with the lid. At this point, I probably go a little overboard and will spray the inside of the lid along with the fermenter a couple of different times, pouring out the excess before I transfer the cooled wort into it.

I'm sure you could expand this to cover your carboy as well, using the cleanser and then a sanitizer (like Starsan). Anyway, just wanted to give you and idea what I do. Good luck and best wishes.
This is immensely helpful. Thanks so much. Gotta go pick up that Star San asap!
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:13 AM   #5
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I clean the equipment immediately after using (with water and oxyclean) and put it away. Then, the next time I use it, I rinse it off and then sanitize it (I use idophor) shortly before using it.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:17 AM   #6
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This is immensely helpful. Thanks so much. Gotta go pick up that Star San asap!
I just used starsan for the first time tonight and must say I love it! made 5 gallons worth and still have much of it left over, stored in a bucket in the garage for next time.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:20 AM   #7
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StarSan is your friend. It's also a no rinse cleaner like wcarter likes, and as many people have said: Do not fear the foam.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pappers View Post
I clean the equipment immediately after using (with water and oxyclean) and put it away. Then, the next time I use it, I rinse it off and then sanitize it (I use idophor) shortly before using it.
I forgot to mention this, and Pappers brings up a good point. I also clean everything after use as well. I basically end up cleaning stuff twice, but I'm still new to this, and I feel more comfortable doing it that way at this point.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:28 AM   #9
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+1

Oxyclean to clean, star san to sanitize.
Dont scrub plastic buckets.
Instructions on each starsan bottle.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:32 AM   #10
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I just used starsan for the first time tonight and must say I love it! made 5 gallons worth and still have much of it left over, stored in a bucket in the garage for next time.
Keep in mind that the star san solution won't necessarily retain the same level of sanitizing power if you store it like that. It is better to mix a new solution fresh as you need it.
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