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Old 04-26-2012, 11:46 PM   #1
Apr 2012
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 172
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For most of my sanitization (except for when I'm bottling, for which I use star-san to save time) I've been doing bleach water soaking. Basically soaking the items in bleach water (bucket fermenters, tubing, thermometers when cooling wort to pitch temp, etc) and then rising them in plain tap water. I also soak my bottles in bleach water/rinse with regular before using them to sanitize them and make it easier to pry the labels off.

I worry that using regular tap water to rinse poses a threat to contaminating the items, leading to no good infections. Could I just let these items air dry instead of the extra rinse step? If I do just air dry, has anyone had any issues with off flavors or stuff not fermenting properly?

I'm curious if it matters how strong the bleach to water ratio is. I haven't been precise in this area, usually just put enough bleach to cover most of the bottom of the bucket and then topping off with around 3-4 gallons of tap water.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
Mar 2012
Charlotte, Nc
Posts: 565
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i always use 2 cups of bleach to 5 gallons of water. never had any problem. I always air dry my botttles and no problems.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:15 AM   #3
Jun 2010
Edmonton Ky
Posts: 1,335
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Why do you not use star-san all the time?
Back Nine Brew&Wine
Life don't get better than a beer and a pepper.
What I am brewing is now a mystery

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
kh54s10's Avatar
Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 11,095
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IMO, chlorine and beer do not mix well. Rinse it well, then sanitize with Starsan.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
Aug 2011
raleigh, nc
Posts: 255
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Star San - solves the problem.
Data is good. Post your data.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
Jan 2012
Posts: 91

I have always used iodine and it has never given me a problem. No rinse and let air day.... There can be some residual fluid in the bottles from sanitizing nothing negative has occurred. It is water soluble..

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:24 AM   #7
Token's Avatar
Nov 2007
UP of MI, Michigan
Posts: 543
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Originally Posted by Clann View Post
Why do you not use star-san all the time?
That was my thought.
Worry Wort Brewing

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:27 AM   #8
Pilgarlic's Avatar
Feb 2010
Tampa Bay, Florida
Posts: 1,330
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Bleach is cheap and effective. I use 1 tbsp per gallon, I don't rinse and I've never had a problem.

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #9
Nov 2010
ohmihachiman, Japan
Posts: 817
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Originally Posted by brockettbrews View Post
i always use 2 cups of bleach to 5 gallons of water. never had any problem. I always air dry my botttles and no problems.
Wow, way too much IMO.

OP, if you use the bleach vineagar combination, it's a no rinse solution. I always let it air dry, though. Two Tablespoons bleach, then 2 of vineager in five gallons.

See this thread

post #7
"I thought I remembered that Charlie Talley said one ounce of bleach and vinegar, so I went back to the podcast to check, and sure enough it is one ounce, not one tablespoon. One fluid ounce would be two tablespoons of bleach and two tablespoons of vinegar per five gallons of water."
"Beer, well respected and rightly consumed, can be a gift of God. It is one of his mysteries, which it was his delight to conceal and the glory of kings to search out."

The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
Zamial's Avatar
Apr 2010
Posts: 3,183
Liked 178 Times on 158 Posts

1 food grade bucket (they are white) and translucent lid from Home Depot is $7 total. While you are there grab a refillable spray bottle for another $2. Rinse bucket + bottle out well with clean tap water.

Make Starsan in bucket, fill spray bottle, put lid on bucket.

Starsan keeps for a VERY long time. It is not a submersion NRS it is a contact NRS meaning if your spray bottle can "mist it 1 or 2 times" it is sanitized. I literally sanitize 95% of everything with my spray bottle. I dip the pre-cleaned hoses/tubes and racking canes into the the bucket only because of the ease to do it that way.

I have had the same bottle of Starsan for over 2 years and am just running out now. @ 16.99 for a 32oz. bottle, the peace of mind I have is worth MUCH, MUCH more than the pennys you save using what could potentially taint and ruin your beer and equipment.

Would I use the above sanitizer in an emergency situation? yes. But no one knows how long that type of NRS keeps. I know that chlorine based sanitizers in the restaurant biz are good only for hours before they need replaced.
I'm not drunk, I'm from Wisconsin.
We have been out drinking your state since 1848!

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