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Old 01-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default Is cleaning always necessary?

I read the sticky on cleaning and sanitizing and I do understand the difference. I also read several threads on cleaning, but I'm still not certain on this.

So here's my question. With all of my bottles, my plastic fermenting bucket and my glass carboy for secondary, I immediately rinse and shake them vigorously with hot water and with the bucket I hand wiped it. I then let them dry upside down. There is no visible staining at all. My local store sold me PBW along with Star San, but I'm not seeing why it's necessary if things are visibly clean? Should I be using a cleaner anyway? Obviously if there is gunk or staining left after rinsing, I would use a cleaner, but my first two batches have produces nothing that didn't come off quite easily.

The plastic bucket does still smell a bit, but I've heard that will never go away. And the carboy has a very faint odor left. It was stronger right after I rinsed it two days ago, but is now much more faint.

The brew kettle was washed with dish soap which I now realize was probably not the best thing? The bottles were initially washed with dish soap, but have since been used and were not rewashed that way.

On a related note, if I do use the PBW, is it safe on plastic fermenting buckets? I know one is to use a "non-abrasive" cleaner, but I don't know if PBW qualifies?

Thanks!


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Old 01-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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to answer your question, YES, cleaning and sanitizing is a NECESSARY part of brewing. no way out of it, unless you want infected or bad tasting beer, you MUST CLEAN AND SANITIZE ANY EQUIPMENT THAT ISN'T BEING BOILED.


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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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You need to sanitize because you can't see what's on the surface. It wouldn't be visibly dirty if it was contaminated with bacteria or wild yeast. When you do the dishes do you just rinse stuff and put it in the cupboard? Same thing with brewing equipment. Just be diligent. If you have starsan it's multi use so just keep a bucket around and dunk when necessary. Dish soap is ok but PBW removes beer stone so it's better and I use it on my buckets without any problems.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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To be clear I sanitize everything. My question is that if it's visibly clean and dried fully immediately after use, can I ONLY sanitize? Or is there still a compelling reason to clean with a cleaner before sanitizing?
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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My rule is if it looks clean, its clean, but if there is even a shadow of doubt, I clean it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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my rule is if it looks clean, its clean, but if there is even a shadow of doubt, i clean it.
+1
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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As soon as I'm done using something, I rinse it with hot water and gently (in the case of plastic equipment) scrub until visibly spotless. I then sanitize it and let it dry. I sanitize again just before I use it the next time. I may use Sun oxygen cleaner from Walmart if my primary bucket is extra grimy, otherwise I don't bother.

I feel comfortable with this approach, though admittedly I'm not a 'belt and suspenders' kind of guy. I've never had a sanitation-related problem but your results may vary.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:19 PM   #8
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My rule is if it looks clean, its clean, but if there is even a shadow of doubt, I clean it.
i agree.

my method is just to keep a few gallons of oxy clean solution in any buckets not in use. when the time comes to use them, i empty, rinse and sanitize.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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+1
Generally agree here. I make sure to thoroughly clean all of my equipment with after brewing with a good hot water rinse and wipe off any debris that may be present. The last batch (bottled last night), was fermented in a bucket that only got rinsed, not cleaned with PBW or soap and everything went well.

I sanitize the hell out of everything before I brew/bottle but only clean things as needed. I think the most important thing is to not be lazy after brewing or even drinking your homebrew. After I finish a bottle, it immediately gets rinsed thoroughly and stored upside down. Makes everything easier that way.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Just because something looks clean does not mean it is clean. Take 5-10 minutes before you use anything and clean it. Cleaning and sanitizing is one of the most basic, simple, and important processes of brewing. Take the necessary steps to ensure you are using clean and sanitized equipment before you brew.


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