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Is this good enough for sanitation?

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Cheesefood

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OK, I brewed and bottled today.

To sanitize my equipment, I filled up my bottling bucket with hose water and added about 6 tbsp of Clorox bleach to the 6.5 gallons of water. I let everything sit for about 10 minutes.

Got my bottles ready. Half were new, half were used. Most of the used were nasty.

Filled the new bottles with bleach water and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Filled the nasties as well and let them sit for 5 while I dumped the water from my new bottles back into the bucket. Dumped my nasties out (not in the water) and used the bottling brush when needed. Refilled all with the "clean" bleach water.

I didn't rinse the bottles before filling with beer, but I did shake them all out to make sure I got out as much bleach water as possible. I may have forgotten to shake out some of them as well as I could, but they were pretty empty. Non of them had standing water in them.

I know that the bleach was diluted enough to not poison anyone on the first sip, but I'm just hoping that it won't make it taste bad enough to ruin it all together.

The new bottles are 22 oz, so anything that was left should be pretty diluted.

I'm figuring that I'll crack a 12 oz in a week. If it's carbonated, then obviously the leftover bleach water wasn't strong enough to damage the beer.
 

vtfan99

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Cant say what it will do to the taste of the beer, but be sure to rinse thoroughly next time. Bleach is bad stuff. Better yet, get yourself some no rinse sanitizer like Star San or Iodophor.
 

Kephren

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When I used to use bleach, I never rinsed and never had any chlorine flavor. I would say next time don't use hose water. There is much of a chance of getting an off flavor from the hose as from the bleach. Your bleach concentration sounds fine, but soak longer. I don't think 10-15 minutes is enough, especially with used bottles. Invest in iodophor. The stuff is cheap and 2 capfuls will sanitize 5 gallons in 5 minutes.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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vtfan99 said:
Cant say what it will do to the taste of the beer, but be sure to rinse thoroughly next time. Bleach is bad stuff. Better yet, get yourself some no rinse sanitizer like Star San or Iodophor.
Yeah, I got lazy. I sure hope it doesn't taint my beer. I bought some cheap sanitizer and used it in the past, but it left white residue over everything so I didn't want to use it on my bottles. It was some oxygen based BS. I went cheap and got cheap stuff.

Then again, it IS a white beer.

Bleach isn't THAT bad. It basically the same as what's already in our stomaches. And as I said, it was pretty dilluted. Shouldn't be any worse than getting a little pool water in the beer.
 

bikebryan

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If you think bleach is "basically the same as what's in our stomachs" then I think you should take some basic Anatomy & Physiology courses. It is NOTHING like what is in your stomach; in fact, bleach can cause serious destruction to tissues in the esophagus and stomach.

I doubt that bleach, at the minute concentration used for sanitizing bottles, can cause any harm, but you made a very bad comparison!

FYI, we used to use maybe three capfuls of bleach in a water buffalo - a military mobile water tanker holding several hundred gallons of water. We filled it up at a water hydrant, then added those three capfuls of bleach. We had to check the concentration every day but seldom had to add more. That should give you some indication of how powerful bleach is.
 

ctanner

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bikebryan said:
If you think bleach is "basically the same as what's in our stomachs" then I think you should take some basic Anatomy & Physiology courses. It is NOTHING like what is in your stomach; in fact, bleach can cause serious destruction to tissues in the esophagus and stomach.
Bikebryan is right.

Household bleaches usually contain sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) in a 3% to 6% solution. Some sodium hydroxide (lye; NaOH) is added to keep the pH high to avoid decomposition. If the solution is made more acidic, sodium hypochlorite will dissociate, producing chlorine gas (poisonous) and oxygen. In the environment, it breaks down into water, oxygen, and table salt.

What you find in the human stomach (and what I think you are thinking of Cheesefood) is hydrochloric acid (HCl). Hydrochloric acid is produced by special glands in the stomach and keeps the stomach at a pH range of 1.5-3.5.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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bikebryan said:
If you think bleach is "basically the same as what's in our stomachs" then I think you should take some basic Anatomy & Physiology courses. It is NOTHING like what is in your stomach; in fact, bleach can cause serious destruction to tissues in the esophagus and stomach.

I doubt that bleach, at the minute concentration used for sanitizing bottles, can cause any harm, but you made a very bad comparison!

FYI, we used to use maybe three capfuls of bleach in a water buffalo - a military mobile water tanker holding several hundred gallons of water. We filled it up at a water hydrant, then added those three capfuls of bleach. We had to check the concentration every day but seldom had to add more. That should give you some indication of how powerful bleach is.
I know nothing of Anatomy or Physiology. If you want to know about Marketing, Graphic Design or basic business modeling, I can be your aid, but in terms of the human body, I know nothing past my last Chemestry and Biology class.

I still think that if there's carbonation after a week, I'll be OK. If there's not enough bleach to kill the yeast, there's not enough to kill me. While I know nothing of chemestry, I know that the average back-yard swimming pool has knock-out amounts of chlorine and chloride (I know people who use Chlorox in their pools) and it's never done more than irritate eyes and bleach my hair.
 

bikebryan

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Cheesefood said:
I know nothing of Anatomy or Physiology. If you want to know about Marketing, Graphic Design or basic business modeling, I can be your aid, but in terms of the human body, I know nothing past my last Chemestry and Biology class.

I still think that if there's carbonation after a week, I'll be OK. If there's not enough bleach to kill the yeast, there's not enough to kill me. While I know nothing of chemestry, I know that the average back-yard swimming pool has knock-out amounts of chlorine and chloride (I know people who use Chlorox in their pools) and it's never done more than irritate eyes and bleach my hair.
I used to own a home with a pool. The amount of chlorine in a pool is actually very dilute, at least if it is balanced properly. The exact PPM needed to maintain the pool escapes me now, as it has been several years since I dealt with it, but I do remember the number was very low. People dumping Chlorox in their pools were fools, as Chlorox is not stabilized and UV/sunlight burns off non-stabilized chlorine from pools extremely quickly.

Ask yourself this: would you be comfortable dunking your bottles in a swimming pool to sanitize them? I certainly wouldn't. Pool chlorine levels aren't high enough to sanitize.

What not rinsing your bottles will do in this case is very likely cause off-flavors in your final product.
 

tnlandsailor

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I wouldn't worry about killing yourself with beer contaminated with bleach. The chlorine concentration in your beer is probably lower than your municipal water supply. But, that doesn't mean you won't be able to taste it. Follow the advice given previously, use a no-rinse sanitizer in the future. However...

I think bleach has a valuable place in the homebrewery...just not as a sanitizer. I use quite a bit of it. It's really cheap and works wonders on organic matter like crud inside bottles and stains on carboys and the like. I store all my glass carboys with about 3 or 4 inches of strong bleach water in them. Keeps the nasties out between uses. 30 seconds on the carboy washer (http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/CarboyWasher.html) removes the residue and the smell prior to sanitizing.

Definitely do not use bleach on stainless, it will corrode it.

Prosit!
 

Dragonfly

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I haven't made the switch to Iodophor yet, I've been sanitizing my bottles in a bathtub with a splash or 2 of bleach, then rinsing them - without any issues, but I guess in the long run Iodophor would be cheaper so when I run out of bleach I'm gonna get a big ol' bottle
 

AHammer16

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A 20:1 water to household bleach ratio has a kill time of <30 seconds.
I rinse my bottles after a quick soak and scrub. Rinsing should be fine as long as you are using a municipal source, well water on the other hand may be a bad idea.
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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OK, all this talk had me nervous so I went ahead and threw a bottle in the fridge. For a green beer, it's awesome but it has almost zero carbonation (and it's been 5 days). I'm going to give it another 5 days. I have a feeling that my yeast went way weak.

I'll give it another couple of days before I work on fixing it.
 

El Pistolero

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Do not freak! If you can't taste the bleach now, then you'll never taste it...one more week and your beer will be awesome. :)
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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El Pistolero said:
Do not freak! If you can't taste the bleach now, then you'll never taste it...one more week and your beer will be awesome. :)
There was a TINY amount of bubbles in the glass, so I figure that it's going to happen. I'm not freaking. It didn't taste like bleach at all, it tasted pretty good for flat, "green" beer.
 

sudsmonkey

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Ya know, in some parts of the world, flat beer is considered a good thing. If it never carbonates, just pretend you're there as you drink it. You're probably O.K. , but I'd rinse better next time ( as if you haven't heard that already ) . I've been using bleach all along and rinse like hell. Haven't had a problem yet. I use a laundry tub of hot water with about two glugs of bleach in it. I sink the bottles in there for 15-20 minutes, drain them , and rinse them in the tub. I also bottle while they're still wet. I don't know that there's any advantage to that, I'm just too lazy to do it ahead of time. I,m not sure what idophor costs. Never checked into it. The bleach is more handy. We always have some in the laundry room!
 
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Cheesefood

Cheesefood

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Cheesefood said:
There was a TINY amount of bubbles in the glass, so I figure that it's going to happen. I'm not freaking. It didn't taste like bleach at all, it tasted pretty good for flat, "green" beer.
Still not carbonating. It's been a couple of days since my last sample, and I cracked another one today. While it tastes fine, there's still extremely minimal carbonation. Just a couple of bubbles are all I've seen. After a week at room temp, it should be carbonated by now, right? I used 1-3/4 cup of DME (minus some from the boil-over) added to the beer before bottling.

I made a second beer on the yeast and trub of this beer, and it's a frothy mess in the carboy. So I know there's yeast in there. Why isn't it carbonating for me?
 

El Pistolero

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Cheese,

At eight days in the bottle mine had no carbonation...at ten days it was still pretty flat. At twelve days the carbonation was pretty good, and at 14 it was awesome. Just a little more patience...couple more days and it will happen. :cool:
 

hot_cook10

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Bleach IS bad stuff and must be used with care. Ever leave a sponge is diluted bleach. It melts it. I know someone who used straight bleach as a cleaner and had blistered skin for days. My wife accidently poured straight bleach on cat pee ONCE. Bleach and amonia do NOT mix well. She burned her throat and eyes from the gas. Bleach burns, don't treat it lightly, it IS a dangerous chemical.
 
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