Cleaning With Bleach

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Mar 5, 2009
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Alright so I understand using bleach at a smaller concentrate is safer, and that washing with bleach should be done with cold water due to hot water basically killing off the bleach...what i dont understand is what im suppose to use to scrub and clean my plastic buckets and mash tun. I just got a bunch of advanced brewing equipment for a steal (15 gal. keggle, 10 gal. mash/lauder tun, a CO2 canister, 5- 3 gal. soda kegs, bottle capper, keggle burner for 60 bucks) but it all needs to be CLEANED and SANITIZED before i use it.

I dont really plan on doing all grain brewing yet but i definalty will wanna use the soda kegs soon. What should i clean the soda kegs and keggle with? Oxi-Clean seems like an easy favorite. I guess my basic worry in sanitation is making sure everything gets scrubbed down good and i dont know which things i should and should not scrub with (plastic, glass, even steel). Any recommendations would be great.
Don't use bleach. Use Oxyclean or PBW and sanitize with Starsan or a non rinse iodine based sanitizer. Grab a scrubby sponge and go to it. Be aware that scrubbing plastic buckets or coolers can create tiny ruts that bugs can grow in, so don't use steel wool or anything on them. After some time and use, some people swap out their plastic for new plastic or upgrade to stainless. A basic dish washing scrub sponge seems to work well.
Do not use bleach on stainless steel. You can safely use a carbonate based cleaner (One-Step, PBW, etc) on just about any equipment. These cleaners are very effective, don't smell, rinse quickly and are a good value. For sanitizing, iodine based products (Iodophor, Star-San) are a better choice than bleach. Like carbonate cleaners they are safe on any equipment, work much more efficiently than bleach and can usually be mixed in a "no rinse" solution. The one thing I do use bleach for is glass carboys. A long soak in a weak bleach solultion takes care of most crud without scrubbing. It's a good low effort method. BTW you only have to sanitize equipment than will come in contact with post-boiled wort and finished beer. That is carboys, fermenters, bottling buckets, kegs and siphoning equipment. Kettles and mash tuns only need to be clean.
I've never needed a scrubbie for cleaning brew equipment,
hot water and a dishcloth will even clean the caked-on krausen.
Sometimes a drop or two of dishsoap, but rinse well.
Hot water is mostly all you need.

I don't use carboys, so maybe bleach can be used there.

+1 on starsan or iodophor to sanitize.
I used acidified bleach to sanitize when I first started. I had no problems, but with Star San I am able to use a far lower volume of water. I usually just mix a gallon at a time, and pour a pint or so into a small spray bottle. Star San can just be sprayed on clean surfaces, and basically sanitizes on contact- no soak or 30-minute contact required. Then, there's no water wasted rinsing, with the possibility of infection occurring because of the rinse. Star San is mixed at only 1/4 ounce per gallon, which makes is extremely economical, since a mixed gallon will generally last me through four days of brewing-related activities (brewing, racking, bottling) before the pH goes too high for it to be re-used.

If Star San didn't exist, someone would have to invent it.
Thanx im just gonna skip the bleach and go straight to star-san and get some Oxi-Clean to clean. Sounds like even though they are more expensive they are much more convienent to use for multiple brews in a single day and even anything else. Brew #2 will be getting brewed soon and just wanna make sure i get all my info straight before i brew so i dont have a ruined beer. Thanx everybody. :mug:
...A long soak in a weak bleach solultion takes care of most crud without scrubbing. It's a good low effort method....

I just want to pause a moment and recognize a post by one of our most senior members. While BigEd is a man (I think) of few words, his sticktoiteveness with this forum should not be overlooked. Join Date, Nov 2004

Ed...tis always good to see you pop in now and again. :mug:

Now back on topic...I elect Oxyclean for the cleaning/scrubbing (with maybe a drop or two of Dawn liquid detergent) and a mild bleach for sanitizing.

The right basin of my shop sink is always filled with a mild bleach water solution. It's all I've ever used.