Prepare your stones o' you gentiles! (or my experience with hydrogen peroxide)

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Would you try Hydrogen Peroxide method?

  • Yes

  • No

  • I do not sanitize


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Messir_Woland

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A while ago I came across a spectacular video where two gentlemen discussed the problem of home brew equipment disinfection. After watching hundreds and thousands of uniform youtube videos on the equipment sanitation, I found their material to be quite authentic. The gentlemen turned out to be research fellows at an unnamed microbiology institute in Moscow and both holding Ph.D. equivalent degrees in microbiology. To make a long story short, in the video they criticized existing popular practices of sanitation (including iodine solution and StarSan) and showed their own approach to disinfection. Their video created a lot of discussion, especially in the Russian speaking homebrew community and even echoed here in this topic.


Until last two brews, I was following conventional sanitation practices including mostly StarSan and OxiClean. Then I decided to give a try to an alternative method due to multiple reasons. The result was astonishing. Below I would like to share my own experience of using their method of sanitation with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (from Costco) and baking soda as the disinfecting agents.


My brewing equipment includes 7 major components that contacting with wort/beer.

1) Aluminum kettle (50L)

2) Cooler (cheap from walmart 48L)

3) Primary fermenter (blue canoe barrel 60L)

4) Secondary fermenter (Home depot white buckets 2x20L)

5) Silicon hoses

6) Two plate chillers

7) Bottles


First two pieces of equipment I do not disinfect, just give them a good wash with OxiClean after each use.


When my wort is mashed and transferred to the boiling kettle, I prepare about 3L of 2% water solution of baking soda and submerge my plate chillers and silicone hoses in the solution. Then I put it on the stove and bring it to the boil. After the boil, I reduce heat and keep it boiling under closed lid for the time my wort is boiling (60-90mins).


Meanwhile, I fill a small (250ml sprayer) with 3% hydrogen peroxide and a small drop of dish washing detergent. Here I must note, the aforementioned gentlemen recommend using 6% or higher concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide, however here in Canada it is virtually impossible to get those concentrations at a reasonable price. Then I carefully spray my 60L barrel and lid with the solution and leave it for 15 mins. I repeat the procedure every 15 mins for three more times (total 4 sprays). After that I bring 1.5L electric kettle to boil and carefully wash the lid and walls of my barrel with boiling water (this step washes out all the residues of soap, decomposes H2O2 to H2O and O2, and washes away any residues of bio material).


Pretty much the same process I follow with the secondary buckets and non-silicone hoses I am using to rack my beer from primary to secondary.

Finally, I wash my bottles with dish detergent and hot water. Even though the referenced gentlemen recommend use only hot tap water and light soap (if necessary), because it is already very hard to infect your beer at this stage, I still spray some H2O2 (without soap) inside of the bottles (only once) and then rinse them with hot water in about 15 mins for a good mesure.

That’s pretty much it. The difference in the beer taste was tremendous. Racked beer after two days in the fridge in the secondary buckets comes out crystal clear (no bubbles, residue or films on the surface). The taste is unbelievable even without long term conditioning.
 
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MaxStout

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I probably wouldn't use the H2O2 method, as it's much simpler and faster for me to use Starsan. That said, it might be a good sanitizing method for those individuals in parts of the world where no-rinse sanitizers like Starsan are unavailable. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly available and would be a good alternative.
 
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Messir_Woland

Messir_Woland

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I probably wouldn't use the H2O2 method, as it's much simpler and faster for me to use Starsan. That said, it might be a good sanitizing method for those individuals in parts of the world where no-rinse sanitizers like Starsan are unavailable. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly available and would be a good alternative.
Sure, everyone is free to use what works better for them. But I am expressing my own experience here - beer tastes much better. In addition the lab tests (summarized here) and further inconclusive answer of Five Star (in the same thread) show that StarSan does nothing to living organisms in the fermenting vessels, especially spores. As well as solutions of iodine in non-rinse concentrations.
 
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Messir_Woland

Messir_Woland

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This thread is worthless without a microscope.
Would you be so kind to provide arguments to your statement? What do you expect to see in the microscope? With this thread my intention was to share my own experience of using H202 as sanitizing agent. I saw several threads people asking about it and getting some weird answers. So I hope it might be useful to somebody.
 

bigdawg86

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Would you be so kind to provide arguments to your statement? What do you expect to see in the microscope?
I could be wrong, but this could be some light sarcasm. Every forum I have ever visited has had the statement "this thread is worthless without pics!"... I think "This thread is worthless without a microscope" could be a adaptation of that.
 
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Messir_Woland

Messir_Woland

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I could be wrong, but this could be some light sarcasm. Every forum I have ever visited has had the statement "this thread is worthless without pics!"... I think "This thread is worthless without a microscope" could be a adaptation of that.
Actually that was a very thick sarcasm. All related pictures are in this thread https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/is-starsan-good-desinfectant-spolier-no.601403/. Those are done by professionals in the appropriate environment. Everything described here is a practical experience of myself using the method and based on the material presented in this video:

.

So the in this case the microscope is worthless.

If someone would be interested in seeing any pics related to the process, I would be more than happy to take them on the next brewday.
 
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