Newbie question on cleaning, fermenting bucket stained and smells of hops

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itsdave

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Hey everybody, excuse my ignorance, but my "ale pale" is fairly stained and smells of hops after my first batch and i am not sure about the best way of cleaning it. I wiped it down with some mild dish soap, that removed the crusty ring, but the yellow/greenish stain from the brew isn't going anywhere, nor is the very distinct hop smell. I was going to try letting it soak with some bleach, I'm just worried about harming the plastic. Any tips would be appreciated.
 

br1dge

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Just don't use anything abrasive like a scrub sponge. We do oxy soak, then wipe down the crust with our hands.
 

wilsojos

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Oxyclean is great for a lot of things. Just mix with water and let the bucket soak overnight. Oxy also does wonders for taking labels off bottles.
 
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itsdave

itsdave

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Thanks for the advice guys, I have it soaking in oxyclean right now. Is this sort of staining avoidable by filtering/straining the wort as it is poured into the fermentor? I just bought a nice funnel with a built in strainer for my next batch.
 

Homercidal

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Soak with oxy and either just rinse, or wipe with a soft cloth or sponge. You don't want to use anything that can scratch the plastic.

And FYI the color and smell will not harm your beer in the least. The stains will happen when you ferment a dark grain beer (Stout, porter etc.) as the color molecules get stuck in the micropores of the plastic. It's just part of doing business.
 

JohnnyO

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Two things. Use Oxi-Clean. I believe Oxy is the stuff for acne. Not sure how it effects beer. :D

Secondly, and more seriously, you should be using Oxi-Clean FREE. They have an Oxi Clean that is free of scents. It's easily accessible in the stores. I can't attest to the harm of the scents in regular Oxi Clean as I've never used it myself.
 

badhabit

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Use the Oxyclean Free and rinse with HOT water three times or use some Vinegar in the water at the rate of 2 Cups per 5 gal H20. OR you can use the bleach, just clean right away and rinse after using the bleach. Then leave the fermenter open for a few days and you will get no after taste from the bleach.
 
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All the above. I use the Oxiclean and hot water, let it soak for a bit after scrubbing. Found that when I let my cleaned fermenter sit outside or in the garage for a few days, smell was gone.
 
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itsdave

itsdave

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Dang! Wish I had read the part about "Oxi-Clean Free" before I soaked the fermeter over night in traditional freshly scented Oxi, now it smells like hops and a chemical spring breeze. Though the staining is a lot lighter now, I'm trying a few plain water soaks to see if it lightens up the Oxi smell. Live and learn!
 

2PintsLow

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Also you can try PBW, a bit more expensive than Oxy-Free but works great. Both will eat whatever organic matter is left in that fermenter and you should be good.
 
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