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Bottle Sterilization - Tokyo, Japan

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lemonsoju

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I've just started homebrewing. In fact, right now my first "kit beer" is fermenting away (it came with the equipment so thought I would use it to practise the process).

My question is regarding bottle sterilization: How do others in Tokyo sterilize their bottles?

I've searched Google and found that internationally, people are using things like Idophor, Everclear, Starsan, Oxyclean, etc to sterilize - but I have no idea where to get these in Tokyo, or if they are available at all.

Currently I have spray no-rinse sanitizer from Tokyu Hands but that isn't ideal for sanitizing bottles. Can anyone in Tokyo recommend sources for the Idophor, Starsan, etc - or easily available alternatives?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

oswiu

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Check out this episode of Basic Brewing Radio where they discuss using acidified bleach as a no rinse sanitizer.

Essentially you take 30ml of vinegar, add 20L of water, then add (approximately, depending on the original concentration of the bleach solution you've bought) 30ml of bleach.

IN THAT ORDER, AND THAT ORDER ONLY. DO NOT EVER MIX BLEACH AND VINEGAR DIRECTLY TOGETHER. THIS WILL RELEASE TOXIC CHLORINE GAS.

The lower pH created by the vinegar in solution drastically increases the effectiveness of the bleach as a sanitizer and allows you to use it at untasteable (i.e. No-rinse) concentration.

StarSan is difficult to find and expensive in NZ, and Iodophor is only available in large (i.e. dairy industry) quantities, so I've been using this as a sanitizer for my last four or five batches and have had no problems, either in terms of off flavours or infections.
 

mahilly

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Not an expert by any means here, but from what I have read on this forum, both Iodophor and Starsan are the only food grade sanitizers approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA. Assuming that Japan has it's own version of the FDA, try finding out what they approve for use in restaurants and the food prep/packaging industry, and pick up some of that. Just a thought.
 

hotstack

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The awesome Lost In Fermentation blog has an "article" on some no-rinse sanitizer, bleach substitute...

Road-testing Sakeland’s no-rinse sanitizer

That site, not by me, is all about brewing in Japan and is a great resource...

Personally, I imported some Star San on my last trip to the US and A and am using that. If you ever travel there, pick up a 32oz bottle and you're set for a year or two depending on how much you brew.

I would also be game to try the bleach + water + vinegar sanitizer as well, but only if my Star san runs out. :p

You can also get Iodophor at a couple places. Peruse the lost in fermentation blog for more information and homebrew links for Japan.
 

Ballistic

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The vinegar and bleach idea sounds interesting, however it supprises me as I heard that introducing the vinegar bacterium into the wort can turn the whole batch to vinegar. This would scare me a bit.
 

mrfocus

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The vinegar and bleach idea sounds interesting, however it supprises me as I heard that introducing the vinegar bacterium into the wort can turn the whole batch to vinegar. This would scare me a bit.
From what I understand, the vinegar that you buy at the grocery store, etc is basically dead aka there is no live vinegar bacteria in it.
 

llazy_llama

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The vinegar and bleach idea sounds interesting, however it supprises me as I heard that introducing the vinegar bacterium into the wort can turn the whole batch to vinegar. This would scare me a bit.
Yeah. Charlie Talley from Five Star Chemicals... the guy who makes Star San... the guy who talked for about a half hour on the Basic Brewing Podcast on how you could just use bleach and vinegar to sanitize... he probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
 

Ballistic

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Yeah. Charlie Talley from Five Star Chemicals... the guy who makes Star San... the guy who talked for about a half hour on the Basic Brewing Podcast on how you could just use bleach and vinegar to sanitize... he probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
I am not claiming to be an authority on sanitasion, that's for sure so there's no need for sarcasm.
 

flyangler18

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I am not claiming to be an authority on sanitasion, that's for sure so there's no need for sarcasm.
Agreed. Llama, pull it back a touch please.

Ballistic, acidifying bleach is perfectly acceptable as a sanitizing method although I'm quite a fanboy of StarSan.

I'd not worry about introducing acetobacter, because modern vinegars are pasteurized and the bleach would kill anything that makes it in.
 
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