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Old 12-15-2006, 01:06 AM   #1
kfgolfer
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Default Sterilizing vs. Sanitizing???

dumb question, I know.. but can someone explain to me the difference between the two and how they pertain to homebrewing?

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:11 AM   #2
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It's the difference between "all-dead" and "mostly-dead"



"Sterilize" means that all the nasties are killed, something that realistically homebrewers cannot achieve. "Sanitize" means that most of the nasties are killed, but not all of them. There are always a few resident bacterial, wild yeast, etc. around, but not enough for it to be a problem (they will generally be overwhelmed by the "good" yeast).

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:19 AM   #3
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Sterilizing means not only are all of the bacteria, yeast, molds etc. dead, but the spores, viruses and their component proteins & DNA have been reduced to water & carbon dioxide.

Unless you get deeply into yeast farming, sanitizing is all you need to do.

Clean is always the first step.

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
It's the difference between "all-dead" and "mostly-dead"



"Sterilize" means that all the nasties are killed, something that realistically homebrewers cannot achieve. "Sanitize" means that most of the nasties are killed, but not all of them. There are always a few resident bacterial, wild yeast, etc. around, but not enough for it to be a problem (they will generally be overwhelmed by the "good" yeast).

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
It's the difference between "all-dead" and "mostly-dead"



"Sterilize" means that all the nasties are killed, something that realistically homebrewers cannot achieve. "Sanitize" means that most of the nasties are killed, but not all of them. There are always a few resident bacterial, wild yeast, etc. around, but not enough for it to be a problem (they will generally be overwhelmed by the "good" yeast).

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Other than that.... Yeah, what he said.

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Old 12-16-2006, 02:15 AM   #6
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In a home setting it would amost be impossible to sterilize and maintain a sertile field... The dust particles that float in the air can contain thousands of bacteria and they can and will land in a carboy... To sanitize is to reduce the number to an amount that is not effective in causing damage or harm... Look at it this way... A nuclear bome will Sterilize a battle field... Carpet bombing will sanitize... The difference being the total obliteration of everything within 100 miles vs leaving about a dozen guys running round that you can pick off here and there that oppose no real threat...

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Old 12-16-2006, 03:32 AM   #7
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To sterilize you would have to pretty much have to have a laboratory kitchen with air lock, stainless steel surfaces etc. And of course a clean lab suit with filtration of any germs you might exhale. With brewing, as with all food handling, you only need take reasonable care with sanitizing. But a cheap investment is an ultra violet lamp to inspect. Most kitchen sinks and stoves are dirty places and will glow with contamination from the lamp. As to contamination from air, not sure if it is best to have no circulation or filtered flow from heater/air conditioner. But always remember, during the first 8,000 years or so of brewing, sanitation was unknown. And they managed to continue their practice and drink the result.

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