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Maybe I'm not taking the cleaning part seriously enough

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linusstick

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After I bottle a bottle a beer I typically rinse out the fermenter really well and put it away. Then on brew day, I rinse it out again and wipe it down with a paper towel before I fill it with wort. No cleaning chemicals ever touch it. Should I soak it in a PBW solution before I put it away or before brew day rather than just rinsing it out? Seems the second beer I did has a somewhat of a dirty sock smell/taste. Not terrible but still noticeable. I always read that good cleaning and sanitizing are key to making good beer and I feel I'm good with sanitizing, but I should be more serious about actually cleaning. Does that make sense?
 

kh54s10

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I will go the other way and say that if you are absolutely sure you are getting it really clean without PBW or Oxyclean, etc. A good sanitation should suffice. But it is so much easier to clean a fermenter if you use the PBW or Oxyclean, I suggest that you try it.
 
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I rinse my carboys immediately after use then fill with hot water & B-Brite (1 tbsp/gal and let it soak for an hour then rinse and let it dry on a diy drying stand. After it's dry I store with a stopper.
At the beginning of my next brew day I sanitize w/ StarSan.
 
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linusstick

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Yes. A soak in PBW or OxiClean followed by a sanitizer like Star-San is a must. You can't sanitize a dirty carboy.

I don't use carboys. I use plastic buckets. Does that change the answer?
 

MaryB

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I scrub with hot water and a paper towel to get the krausen off the sides, rinse well, use starsan before reuse. About every 3-4 brew session I give them a 24 hour soak in PBW and 140 degree hot water. Next day drain and rinse then remove the valve and put that in a super concentrated PBW solution for 24 hours to get it clean. I make sure when I just rinse that I get ALL the crud scrubbed off the walls, and I never let them sit and get dry, bottle/keg then immediately clean.
 

IslandLizard

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Make sure to clean the lid well, paying special attention to the groove. If there's a gasket in it (not many lids do), pry it out without damaging it (I use a butter knife for it) to clean and sanitize both the lid and gasket, but store away unassembled. Before filling with your new batch, re-sanitize and re-assemble.

I use 1/2 - 1 gallon of warm PBW or Washing Soda (sold as "Laundry Booster") and a stiff nylon hand brush (non-scratching) to scrub my buckets after first cleaning and rinsing out most of the crud. It removes any leftover organic film and stuff that's clinging to the walls. Rinse well and Starsan. Let air dry before storing.

Before filling with fresh wort, I dump a gallon of Starsan from my Starsan bucket in them and wash the insides well using a small washcloth. That mopping really soaks the walls and creates some thick foam. No spots are left untouched. I also clean and sanitize the rim and the outside top, 2-4 inches down, as well as the lid.
 

Larst

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I resently started cleaning my brew buckets in the dishwasher. The top compartemenr comes out and then a 7 gal bucket fits right in. Works realy well
 

seatazzz

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I wash my buckets with hot water and dish soap, using a sponge, when they're done. I also remove the spigot and it gets stored in a mason jar with sanitizer until I need it again. On brew day, the bucket gets a 1-hour soak in StarSan solution (lid too) then reassembled. Haven't had an infection yet.
 

InTheBasement

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I use buckets as well, and have never had a problem with this very simple method. I ALWAYS keep 6 gallons of Star San on hand. I keep it in my fermenting bucket. Each time I brew, the fermenting bucket I use is the one that has had Star San in it since the last time I brewed. When I keg a beer, I rinse the bucket out well to get out all the debris I can, then I fill it with boiling water, and then add a scoop of Oxy Clean and let that sit for an hour. Then i rinse it very well. So I always have clean buckets, and always have a sanitized bucket.
 

Anon111

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After I bottle a bottle a beer I typically rinse out the fermenter really well and put it away. Then on brew day, I rinse it out again and wipe it down with a paper towel before I fill it with wort.
Treat it like you would treat something you would drink out of. Wash it with odour free detergent, rinse like hell, then sanitise. And the lid as well. Do not use scratchy things like brushes or metal sponges: scratches are the trenches for bacteria. Put away closed, either with lid or rubber stop.
Then before brewing sanitise again.

And a few times per year let it have a good soak with saline hot water for a night. Rinse with garden hose on "LOUD".

You DO have some sanitiser, like Puro Oxi, StarSan, or Saniclean?
 

TenaCJed

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These 2 statements contradict each other! Your description below would not even fall into the "cleaning" it category! You need to be using some form of a cleaner, or boiling water (which you do not want in plastic carboy or bucket) to truly clean and \ or sanitize.

"I feel I'm good with sanitizing"

"I typically rinse out the fermenter really well and put it away. Then on brew day, I rinse it out again and wipe it down with a paper towel before I fill it with wort. No cleaning chemicals"
 

NSMikeD

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I use a heck of lot less sanitizer and don't think you need buckets of star san if you are already using an oxy cleaner.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a disinfectant - which is stronger than a sanitizer - which both are stronger than a cleaner. OXY clean reports it creates 18% hydrogen peroxide in solution which is arguably sufficient to be a chemical sterilizer. It just needs to be used quickly once mixed since the hydrogen peroxide is used up quickly and so it doesn't have the shelf life of star san solutions.

While OXY ( I use that in the generic sense) are not sanitizers, they do a good job and destroying cell walls - killing germs in the process. This also makes them a great cleaner (and why my shirts are whiter than when using bleach ;) ) . They dislodge organic matter where sponges cannot reach.

Star San is a food safe contact sanitizer - the food industry and the government balance practicality and public safety with this category which kills about 99% of the germs quickly and without making food unpalatable.

Hospitals on the other hand require higher standards and use disinfectants which kill 100% if germs. In fact, the CDC recommends hydrogen peroxide over bleach for certain parasites that are resistant to bleach.

I use EasyClean (or any Oxy product) to clean knowing it will accomplish a good amount and disinfecting in the process, and then keep a spray bottle of nu-foam (food industry equivalent of Star San) to contact sanitize (these do not requiring rinsing) as insurance.

I keg so I can cover the entire internal surface with a spray bottle. When I did bottle, I never had an infection with a good cleaning and soak in Easy Clean or One Step.
 
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