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Old 12-23-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
RedDraw's Avatar
Jul 2012
Norfolk, NE
Posts: 23
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Been brewing for about 6 months now and have a question about cleaning my bucket fermentors. They haven't gotten nasty crud on them with the brews I have been making. I've been able to wipe out everything with a sponge and everything looks clean. Should I still be cleaning them with a cleaner such as PBW or am I okay with the fact that they look clean?

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Old 12-23-2012, 01:02 AM   #2
Nov 2010
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 397
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You definitely want to sanitize them after scrubbing them down. Even though they look clean, there will be bacteria there and it'll only be a matter of time before it ruins a batch of beer.

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Old 12-23-2012, 01:05 AM   #3
aiptasia's Avatar
Jul 2011
Them Scary Woods, FL
Posts: 3,487
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I don't use harsh abrasives on any of my fermenter buckets for only one reason, a scratch on the plastic can be an infection zone for bacteria to hide in. Nothing harsher than a paper towel goes into any of my fermentation buckets and I just use idophor and elbow grease to clean them out. A strong kitchen sink sprayer and hot water is usually sufficient to clean out any trub or adjuncts (garbage disposal eats the rest). Then, everything gets a thorough breakdown and inspection, especially the gasket rings around the airlock and the lid. I remove them, then wipe everything down with idophor water and let it soak for 2-3 minutes, then just pour it out. I don't bother rinsing the idophor off. I just let it air dry.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:10 AM   #4
JonM's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 8,236
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A 24-hour soak with warm Oxyclean Free clears up most, if not all, of that gunk for me.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:15 AM   #5
masskrug's Avatar
Sep 2012
, Florida
Posts: 1,402
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Starsan and a paper towel rub down before and after contact.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:17 AM   #6
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
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Originally Posted by JonM View Post
A 24-hour soak with warm Oxyclean Free clears up most, if not all, of that gunk for me.
+1. Super cheap at Target too. Up and Up brand.

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Old 12-25-2012, 06:35 AM   #7
Apr 2012
Collegeville, Pa
Posts: 915
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I'm shy about using oxy now. It tends to leave a bunch of residue on my bottles that's hard to get off. Hot water and a sponge does well for me. Even a simple hot rinse before anything sets on my bottles , tubing, siphon, etc and air dry has worked for me. Star San gets used before I use my equipment... Not in the cleaning process

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
Apr 2012
Schenectady, New York
Posts: 916
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As soon as you get the beer out of the fermenter dump the trub, spray it out really well and use a soft sponge or cloth for a good rub down then re spray it out to rinse. Before the next brew fill it with OXY and let it soak (a couple of hours) dump the oxy, rinse well and spray it with StarSan.


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Old 12-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #9
Yesfan's Avatar
Aug 2012
Cleveland, TN
Posts: 1,646
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I clean my buckets out right after I bottle. I used Oxy, but been using Palmolive Clear and Free with good results. When I get ready to use it for the next batch, I just sanitize it with Star-san.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
GoldMiner's Avatar
Aug 2009
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Posts: 584
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I clean mine in the dishwasher after a good spraying.
I Secondary.

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