Cleaning my HDPE plastic fermenter - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Cleaning my HDPE plastic fermenter

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
Dave37
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Queens NY, New York
Posts: 1,605
Liked 414 Times on 285 Posts



So I racked my BGS over to my glass carboy a few days ago for secondary fermentation. But after vigorous scrubbing with soap and water.And A starsan bath. the smell of the trub is still distinct inside my fermenter. I've now decided to go with a mild bleach solution to see if it will get the smell out.

So my questions are will this smell ever come out or should I live with it? If the smell stays in there will it negatively affect the quality of my next batch? And finally will using bleach inside the fermenter harm it at all?

Thanks

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
Solway, MN
Posts: 9,791
Liked 1773 Times on 1407 Posts


Next batch of what? Beer? I ignore the smell and as long as the fermenter is reasonably clean (no gunk stuck to it) and it is sanitized I have had no issues with the little smell of beer in it. Be careful with the vigorous scrubbing as you can scratch the plastic and create a place for bacteria to hide from the sanitizer. I wipe mine with a soft sponge.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
Dave37
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Queens NY, New York
Posts: 1,605
Liked 414 Times on 285 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN
Next batch of what? Beer? I ignore the smell and as long as the fermenter is reasonably clean (no gunk stuck to it) and it is sanitized I have had no issues with the little smell of beer in it. Be careful with the vigorous scrubbing as you can scratch the plastic and create a place for bacteria to hide from the sanitizer. I wipe mine with a soft sponge.
Yes next batch of beer which most definitely will not be a BGS. Ok was just curious if it affected or carried over to other batches with obviously different flavors and aromas. As far as my scrubbing went it was with a soft sponge no abrasive material was used. Just a lot of elbow grease. Thanks

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,489
Liked 1976 Times on 1241 Posts


Note that Star-San is a sanitizer, not a cleaner.

Soak it overnight in a hot PBW or OxyClean solution, it should be good as new.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
HopSong
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
HopSong's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 1,945
Liked 101 Times on 89 Posts


Unfortunately, PWB or oxy will not ALWAYS take care of the problem of, say, krausen stuck to the fermenter.. not will it remove all odors. Cleanliness is as important as sanitization in my book. If you can reach inside the fermenter, take something like a cotton t-shirt and scrub the insides with fully dissolved oxy and rinse very well. If you can't reach inside, that same t-shirt or a microfiber cloth with a string attached along with a small amount of dissolved oxy will do the trick. Put the cloth in the carboy with just a little solution and shake it back and forth. I hold my carboy sideways and get the cloth swirling around and it removes everything. I have a Mikes Carboy Cleaner that usually works, but when the krausen is stuck.. I could leave it on the MCC and it would probably never get well cleaned without that added help. I'd avoid using a carboy brush if at all possible due to potential scratching.
__________________
Cheers, Bill
Hop Song Brewing

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
unionrdr
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,988
Liked 3707 Times on 3179 Posts


I have a spray wand from midwest that is connected to an adapter on the sink faucet to clean out my FV's. Then onto the fermenter stand,dump in 3-4 TBSP od PBW & fill with water & stir well. Toss the lid on it & soak for 5-7 days. Drain it through the spigot into a homer cheapo bucket & dump. Rinse it out & remove the spigot & soak that for awhile. Then scrub the area around the mounting hole to get that clean.
By brew day when I sanitize it,they smell fine.
__________________
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PBAP6JO
Distopian Sci-Fi- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NTA0L6G
New! John Henry- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBV3UXU

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 01:41 AM   #7
whoaru99
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Posts: 1,760
Liked 140 Times on 117 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave37 View Post
So I racked my BGS over to my glass carboy a few days ago for secondary fermentation. But after vigorous scrubbing with soap and water.And A starsan bath. the smell of the trub is still distinct inside my fermenter. I've now decided to go with a mild bleach solution to see if it will get the smell out.

So my questions are will this smell ever come out or should I live with it? If the smell stays in there will it negatively affect the quality of my next batch? And finally will using bleach inside the fermenter harm it at all?

Thanks
Mine seemed to smell a bit too but by the same token the smell seemed to dissipate within a day or two of cleaning.
__________________
Drinking: Store Bought
Kegged: Cream Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 02:15 AM   #8
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
Solway, MN
Posts: 9,791
Liked 1773 Times on 1407 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post
Mine seemed to smell a bit too but by the same token the smell seemed to dissipate within a day or two of cleaning.
If your fermenter is empty long enough for the smell to dissipate, doesn't that suggest you aren't brewing often enough?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
whoaru99
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Posts: 1,760
Liked 140 Times on 117 Posts


Yeah, probably, but I can't drink two cases of beer every week or two to keep up with y'all. The majority of my posse drinks liquor, or doesn't like much beyond Bud Light, so that doesn't help either.
__________________
Drinking: Store Bought
Kegged: Cream Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
F250
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Jefferson City, MO
Posts: 517
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts


I noticed on my glass carboy that a short soak with B-Brite and hot water made cleaning it up quite easy. I've bought a second fermenter which is a plastic bucket, it'll be interesting to see if it cleans as easy as the glass. If I have issues I think I'll just buck up for more glass.

Rick

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
THOROUGHLY cleaning out a plastic fermenter mpcluever Equipment/Sanitation 3 08-27-2012 02:53 PM
HDPE drum fermenter bennieb Equipment/Sanitation 1 06-21-2012 03:31 AM
Cleaning/Sterilizing Plastic Fermenter Dinneryeti Equipment/Sanitation 5 11-23-2011 04:55 PM
HDPE Fermenter Chipper Equipment/Sanitation 8 06-27-2011 01:06 PM
Plastic Fermenter THREAD cleaning and general technique Andoe Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 04-19-2010 03:06 PM


Forum Jump