Idophor Questions

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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2008
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Hey all,

I just bought some Idophor, as I have heard really good things. My problem is that im not really sure what to do with it. The sticky post on sanitizers led me to believe I use approx. 15 ml for 4 gallons, but those are by my calculations and im not sure if they are right. Im also worried about skin contact as well as possible inhalation when cleaning out my racking tubing ( i still siphon orally, old school :( ). Does anyone have any help they can give me with using idophor?

Don't worry about skin contact or even incidental oral contact. Iodophor is not that different from the drops and tablets that have been used for decades to sanitize drinking water out in the bush. You shouldn't drink your iodophor solution, though. The concentrate you have purchased will stain skin and clothes quite effectively, but I wouldn't be worried about health issues.

My thumb-rule for mixing up iodophor solution is to use just a hair over 1/2 teaspoon of concentrate to 1 gallon of clean tap water. I have never really needed to mix up more than a gallon at a time--there is no need to fully submerge every component you want to sanitize. Just make sure you clean the items first, then wet them out thoroughly with the iodophor solution and make sure the surface stays wet for the 2-5 minute contact time that is required (depending on your solution strength).
Another rule of thumb that I use is to mix my solution to about the color of budweiser. It's not very scientific but it hasn't failed me yet, been doing it for years.

SixFoFalcon said:
The concentrate you have purchased will stain skin and clothes quite effectively, but I wouldn't be worried about health issues.

It'll actually bleach clothing.
I had a brown Guinness t-shirt that I now have a pinkish/beige spot on.
I use 1/2 cap (large bottle) for 2 gallons of water.

Also, you risk infection when you start your siphon by mouth even if everything is sanitized. I'd either pony up for an autosiphon or read the section in How to Brew where Palmer explains how to start a siphon without sucking on the end.
2 capfulls (large bottle) stick a hose in the carboy and fill it up. glug it out into a home depot bucket and cover with a rubber glove. funnel, spoon, bubbler, thermometer into the bucket to float around a while so I can take em out sanitized later. Pour it down the driveway when I'm done.

yeah, yer beggin for an infection if you siphon by mouth.

Fill the siphon hose/racking cane with water. Cover end of hose with sanitized thumb. stick racking cane into carboy. lower end of tubing into large cup. drain out the clear liquid. Cover end with sanitized thumb. put end in bottling bucket at bottom (lower than carboy). Remove thumb.

O yea, a cane clip works wonders so you can drink while siphoning.
OK, I don't claim to know much about brewing and sanitizing, but my brother is a cleaning/sanatizing/desinfection/autoclave guru after years and years in the lab cultivating all kinds of friendly and nasty bacteria.

He's take on iodophore for sanatizing (food production) equipment is to use 12.5 ppm for a no-rinse sanitation solution. The iodophore solution he set me up with should be diluted 1:1000 (which I think is pretty common). He specifically told me NOT to overdose the iodophore because it might become detectable and/or it might inhibit yest growth. Prepare a solutuion of 1:1000 and don't rinse. Rinsing with anything but sterilized water will add bacteria.

He says that half a minute of soak time is enough. The most inportant thing is to clean the items first. Iodopore will not penetrate even the thinnest coating of soil.

There is no need to immerse the stuff in iodophore solution, just sploshing around a little solution in a keg or spraying the gear with the solution and letting it rest for a minute is enough for the iodophore to kill off the nasties. The iodophore will "stick" to the bad stuff and immerse it on a microscopic level.

Most important he said that in brewing, it is probably more important to get the fermentation going because it will create a really hostile environment for most bacteria...

I use 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons. I mix up this much, because the stuff is cheap, a tablespoon isn't that much, and I just leave all my equipment that needs sanitization in the bucket on brew day.

I think one of the most important things concerning iodophor has yet to be mentioned. Your sanitizing solution will lose strength over time, and should be replaced if it has sat around for more than 8 hours.