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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Chlorine for sanitation: any input on this?
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:49 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post
That's why you put them into the water separately. Bleaches sanitizing power is not from it's ph, it's from the chlorine. When you lower the ph of bleach, it is more effective as a sanitizer.

Ok, I am tempted to go into a long discussion of the chemical properties of chlorine bleach but I think that would probably be a waste of time. So here is another reason that you may understand.

Don't mix chlorine bleach with any acid.
Toxic chlorine vapor is produced.


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Old 08-16-2011, 04:36 PM   #32
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Default No-rinse film?

Good exchange, I'm considering bleach for my next (4th) batch. Anyone ever had a problem with film leftover, especially on the bottles, from using no-rinse? It was so bad on my last batch I had to rinse and scrub.


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Old 08-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #33
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I'm not going to try to persuade anyone from changing the way they do things, just want to drop in a bit of advice for the bleach users. If you rinse with water (I am not violently opposed to using bleach, but I would certainly rinse), rinse with cold tap water only. Do not use hot. Do not even turn on the hot water knob. Cold only. Bacteria should not be living in your water if you are on a municipal supply with chlorine (or chloramine). You ought to have a little residual chlorine in the water for the exact purpose of preventing bacterial growth. If you have bacteria in your water, infecting a batch of beer is of the least of your concerns right now. Hot water tanks can - I'm not saying often do, but can - harbor bacteria. Because they are warm and like to promote incubation. Plus because they are full of heated water that can sit for some time, the chlorine can be lost. Do not use hot water.

And remove your aerator, they can harbor bacteria. And then clean the end of the faucet once you have removed the aerator with bleach and then rinse with cold tap water. Bacteria could be hiding in the threads. But bacteria should not be in your water supply. By design it is meant to reach your house clean and safe.

Oh, and also bypass your water softener if you do this, that's another place you can run into trouble.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #34
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Good exchange, I'm considering bleach for my next (4th) batch. Anyone ever had a problem with film leftover, especially on the bottles, from using no-rinse? It was so bad on my last batch I had to rinse and scrub.
I have never seen any residue from starsan. In fact, I use it to remove the film I occasionally get form Oxiclean when I leave my bottles soaking too long.

I always mix with distilled water, though, so that may help. Mixing with distilled allows me to keep a diluted supply in a jug for months.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #35
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Personally, I have a chlorophenol paranoia for my beers and, therefore, use no-rinse sanitizers. If you really wanted to, bleach the snot out of it if it makes you happy, rinse rinse rinse rinse, then when you think you're done, rinse again. Then let it sit and dry out. Then use a no-rinse sanitizer.



And, yes, I use distilled water also. After the wort is created, no unsanitary and/or chlorinated water touches my beer.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:30 AM   #36
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I would like to point out that cleaning\sanitizing beer equipment is a 2 step process, step one is cleaning and step 2 is sanitizing. I use bleach all the time for cleaning, everything, it works, I rinse and then us star-san in a spray bottle.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:05 AM   #37
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Ok, I am tempted to go into a long discussion of the chemical properties of chlorine bleach but I think that would probably be a waste of time. So here is another reason that you may understand.

Don't mix chlorine bleach with any acid.
Toxic chlorine vapor is produced.
That only happens if you directly mix them. If you add them to water separately, you don't have that reaction. That is the way that the owner of 5 star chemicals said to use bleach as a sanitizer.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:17 AM   #38
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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
Hello all! I am a rank beginner brewer, so disregard my input completely! That said, I think that Misplaced_Canuck has summed it up perfectly; bleach is wonderful stuff, when used correctly, and rinsed appropriately. For all those concerned with rinsing, please consider, as Misplaced_Canuck mentioned, that there is already a healthy dose of Chlorine in most municipal water supplies, and it's there to prohibit microbial growth. Further, the act of rinsing physically washes microbes away. I second the use of bleach as a sanitizer, and so does the revered Mr. Papazian. I feel that puts me, and veterans like Misplaced_Canuck, in good company. Just my $0.02 ;-)

As always, best of luck and happy brewing!

-MM
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:22 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by RavenChief View Post
Ok, I am tempted to go into a long discussion of the chemical properties of chlorine bleach but I think that would probably be a waste of time. So here is another reason that you may understand.

Don't mix chlorine bleach with any acid.
Toxic chlorine vapor is produced.
I made the same argument when this came up a few years ago. It turns out that I wasn't entirely correct, and neither are you.

While it's true that mixing a strong bleach solution with a strong acid is a HORRIBLE (and potentially lethal) idea, lowering the pH of a mild bleach sanitizing solution with vinegar can be safe and effective. It's important to note that the bleach solution must be fairly dilute before the addition of any acid. I'll see if I can dig up a source for you.

EDIT: Source(s)
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-vik021306.php

I wish I could find the chemical equation that I remember someone posting. It showed the reason that dilute bleach and dilute acids can mix safely without liberating chlorine gas. However, I'm coming up empty handed, and I'm no chemistry major.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
I made the same argument when this came up a few years ago. It turns out that I wasn't entirely correct, and neither are you.

While it's true that mixing a strong bleach solution with a strong acid is a HORRIBLE (and potentially lethal) idea, lowering the pH of a mild bleach sanitizing solution with vinegar can be safe and effective. It's important to note that the bleach solution must be fairly dilute before the addition of any acid. I'll see if I can dig up a source for you.

EDIT: Source(s)
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-vik021306.php

I wish I could find the chemical equation that I remember someone posting. It showed the reason that dilute bleach and dilute acids can mix safely without liberating chlorine gas. However, I'm coming up empty handed, and I'm no chemistry major.
Wither a chemical is a weak vs a strong acid or base is not dependent on the concentration (dilution) molarity of the aqueous solution, but is dependent on the chemicals ability to gain or release hydrogen protons. Bleach is considered a "strong" base and acetic acid (vinegar) is considered a "weak" acid. however, it is reactive enough with bleach to release chlorine gas.

What Happens When Bleach and Vinegar Are Mixed

Chlorine bleach contains sodium hypochlorite or NaOCl. Because bleach is sodium hypochlorite in water, the sodium hypochlorite in bleach actually exists as hypochlorous acid:

NaOCl + H2O ↔ HOCl + Na+ + OH-

Hypochlorous acid is a strong oxidizer. This is what makes it so good at bleaching and disinfection. If you mix bleach with an acid, chlorine gas will be produced. For example, if you mix bleach with toilet bowl cleaner, which contains hydrochloric acid:

HOCl + HCl ↔ H2O + Cl2

Chlorine gas attacks mucous membranes, such as your eyes, throat, and lungs and can kill you, so causing that reaction isn't in your best interest. If you mix bleach with another acid, such as the acetic acid found in vinegar, you get essentially the same result:

2HOCl + 2HAc ↔ Cl2 + 2H2O + 2Ac- (Ac : CH3COO)

There is an equilibrium between the chlorine species that is influenced by pH. When the pH is lowered, as by adding toilet bowl cleaner or vinegar, the ratio of chlorine gas in increased. When the pH is raised, the ratio of hypochlorite ion is increased. Hypochlorite ion is a less efficient oxidizer than hypochlorous acid, so some people will intentionally lower the pH of bleach to increase the oxidizing power of the chemical, even though chlorine gas is produced as a result.

I don't know how dilute these chemicals would need to be in order "safely" combine these chemicals, but I think this falls into the catagory of "please don't try this at home".


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