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Old 03-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
sourmash
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Default The complete cleaning regimen of a brutus system

I now have 3 brew sessions through my brutus and the biggest question in the back of my mind (especially when I'm getting ready to brew again) is "Is my system clean and sanitized and ready to brew?"

I have read several posts here on the topic and of course many methods, and many theories are present. I have also listened to the pod casts with 5 star about cleaning/sanitizing. My profession is maintenance/reliability engineering and thought it would be really nice to have a maintenance schedule put together for cleaning/sanitizing of a brutus system much like a maintenance schedule for a vehicle or even a checklist that one can go through after brewing and before brewing. I figured since there are several brutus owners here, why not get a collaborative effort at developing a detailed regimen that one could keep a log book on.

Things that I am doing after every brew session includes:
1. - Scrubbing down all three kettles with a sanitized scotch brite pad and hot tap water and rinsing thoroughly.
2. - Fill up the HLT with about 3 or more gallons of hot tap water and run it through one of my 2 pumps to the mash tun. Then from the mash tun I pump that water through the second pump to the boil kettle. I then pump that water from the boil kettle through my plate chiller in the reverse direction that I used it during the brew session.
3. I run hot tap water through all my hoses and then store them away.
4. I clean my hop bag (I use a the 5 gallon paint stainer bags)
5. Rinse all my kettle lids with hot tap water.
6. Rinse my mash paddle with hot tap water.

Things I do before brewing:
1. Go through the same rinse schedule detailed above with using both pumps and all the kettles, only I use 5 gallons of hot tap water with the appropriate amount of Star San. I also wipe the sides of each barrel with a clean rag and the SS solution since 5 gallons will not get all the way up the sides.
2. I fill up one of my utility tubs up with about 8 gallons of hot tap water and add the appropriate amount of Star San. I use this to soak all of my hoses, hop bag, kettle lids, thermowells, and couplings.
3. I use a spray bottle with SS solution and spray down all of my quick disconnect fittings.

I am a complete novice at this point and am looking for some pointers/suggestions in effort to develop a complete list of a cleaning/sanitizing regimen. So by no means is this the "right way" of cleaning your system. Thankfully I have not had a batch go bad on me yet and hope to keep it that way!

Questions I have regarding time based cleaning intervals, meaning things that can be done maybe every 6 brew session etc..are:
1. What are the methods of cleaning plate chillers ( I have read a few here on the board) and how often do you do it?
2. Threaded fittings which most of the systems have, how often do you take all of the fitting out of all the kettles, chillers, hoses, etc.. and clean them thoroughly? I listened to the brew strong session with John from 5 Star and Jamil seemed to be committed to doing this but did not mention how often.

Once I have what seems to be a conclusive list I will put it in a word document of sorts and post it for those who find it helpful.

Cheers,
Joe


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Old 03-02-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sourmash View Post
Things I do before brewing:
1. Go through the same rinse schedule detailed above with using both pumps and all the kettles, only I use 5 gallons of hot tap water with the appropriate amount of Star San. I also wipe the sides of each barrel with a clean rag and the SS solution since 5 gallons will not get all the way up the sides.
2. I fill up one of my utility tubs up with about 8 gallons of hot tap water and add the appropriate amount of Star San. I use this to soak all of my hoses, hop bag, kettle lids, thermowells, and couplings.
3. I use a spray bottle with SS solution and spray down all of my quick disconnect fittings.
I don't have a brutus but hope to some day soon. My question is why would you need to sanitize everything before brewing when it's all being boiled anyway?


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Old 03-02-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/moun...nitize-158201/

Here is a thread in which I discuss cleaning and sanitizing of heat exchangers. Some members feel this may be a bit overkill.

I can suggest that you try to capture the warm water from your HEX in your HLT and use that to clean with.

Mechanically removing the trub from the brew kettle is a very good thing. Beyond that, an overnight soak with Oxyclean or PBW in all your vessels should remove all of the organic soils. You can drop your hoses in the vessels and all will be ready to brew after a quick rinse.

Every few brews, it may be worth your while to scrub with an acid to remove inorganic soils.

If you wish for more details, please contact me with a PM
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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What kind of acid?
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:57 PM   #5
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What kind of acid?
Almost any food grade acid will work. I prefer to use Acid 5 from Five Star. That is a blend of nitric/phosphoric acid. Very nasty stuff, but it removes beer stone quickly. Regular phosphoric will work just as well, but it takes a bit longer.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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I'd say your cleaning regiment is more than adequate. I'd hazard to guess your system is cleaner than most of them out there.

Sounds to me like you are wasting quite a bit of star san.... here is what I would do, if I were you:

After each brew, run hot PBW or OXY through your entire system, then rinse with hot water and store away.

Before each brew, sanitize anything that will touch wort POST boil, so your chiller, fermenter, and hoses off the boil kettle.

As it stands, your using like 13 gallons of starsan mix BEFORE you brew to sanitize things that don't need it.

5 gallons of star san last me 3 or 4 brews!

I do think your a step ahead in whiping off the outside of your kettles to keep them clean!
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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I don't have a brutus but hope to some day soon. My question is why would you need to sanitize everything before brewing when it's all being boiled anyway?
Boiling doesn't kill everything. And sanitizing first is just that one more measure of insurance. It'll also keep down on floaties that have gone air born and are looking for a new home to contaminate.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Boiling doesn't kill everything. And sanitizing first is just that one more measure of insurance. It'll also keep down on floaties that have gone air born and are looking for a new home to contaminate.
Can you give me an example of a "something" that will ruin my beer from pre-boil?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I do not believe this is correct statement.

IMHO, and it is only my opinion, santitizing anything preboil is a waste of money. CLEANING preboil is easy and more than enough
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrShake View Post
Can you give me an example of a "something" that will ruin my beer from pre-boil?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I do not believe this is correct statement.

IMHO, and it is only my opinion, santitizing anything preboil is a waste of money. CLEANING preboil is easy and more than enough
+1 to this.

Boiling is sterilizing, which is more severe in its killing of things than sanitizing. The only thing I think that is doesn't kill is botulism, which sounds evil but is really not a big deal.

Even if boiling doesn't kill everything, it still does more than star san.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Can you give me an example of a "something" that will ruin my beer from pre-boil?

I can give you a lot of reading on the topic.
I can tell you that I don't know all the things that might get airborne and be bad for beer.

I do know that if you wanted to breed a bug (a superbug) that can survive a hostile environment such as that in beer or elsewhere the best way to get there is to give it those environments in which to breed uninterrupted. The strongest will survive. Which fact standing alone sort of does suggest that you can never be too clean.

Quote:
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I do not believe this is correct statement.
What is not correct? That boiling is not some magical kill all?
It ain't, there are a few yeasts that have been found to be able to survive two autoclave cycles.

Quote:
IMHO, and it is only my opinion, santitizing anything preboil is a waste of money. CLEANING preboil is easy and more than enough
You might be right. But the cost of sanitizers is stupendously cheap.

One lousy ounce of Star San + 5 gallons H2O makes five gallons of sanitizer. What's concentrate Star San cost? Like $16.00 a quart?

One ounce of vinegar and one ounce of bleach + 5 gallons H2O makes five gallons of no rinse sanitizer. What's vinegar and bleach cost?

Hell, dilute vinegar is a great wipe down sanitizer.

Money is simply not a valid argument.

It might be an issue if you had to pay some one to do all the cleaning or sanitizing for you. But the cost of chemicals is so trivial that it doesn't even bear mentioning.


I belong in the camp that insists that while it is very rare to find a bug that can successfully invade, thrive, and contaminate beer - it still pays to be safe. Even while I am quite convinced that there are fewer than 200 bugs that can live long enough in beer to cause off flavors I still prefer to err on the side of sanitation.

Here's that reading I promised you:

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/0...etown-brewing/
http://www.beer-brewing.com/beer-bre..._organisms.htm

Mold and mycotoxin problems encountered during malting and brewing. http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:17727998

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24820895/B...ty-Perspective

http://www.mycotox-society.org/files...wine_20092.pdf

http://www.scientificsocieties.org/J...4-0812-237.pdf


http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/facul...02/k.sakamoto/

This is very interesting:
http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Cutboard.pdf



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