Sanitation

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digdan

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Not boasting, but curious of why...

I have NEVER once had an infection in my brew.

In fact I've relaxed my sanitation methods to just hot water with a smidge of bleach.

I've been brewing since 2001 and probably have brewed around 140 gallons of beer/wine/mead.

Does it have something to do with the dry high altitude of the mountain desert I live in?

Am I lucky? or are there other things at play?

Ok I'm boasting a little bit :cross:
 

Got Trub?

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Have you ever left any of your beer bottled for 6+ months? That would be a true test of your sanitation. If you drink your beer quickly slight infection can pass unnoticed. Wine and mead are very forgiving given the higher alcohol content.

GT
 

rico567

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digdan: "In fact I've relaxed my sanitation methods to just hot water with a smidge of bleach."

Not me, digdan-o. I sanitize with Star San, by the book. I have a college major in biology as as background, and I know too much. Why haven't you had an infection?

Maybe:

1) The sanitation you do is good enough (but it sounds risky).

2) Your altitude protects you (although I can't imagine why).

3) You dont really brew all that much (8 years into 140 gallons is only 17.5 gal. / year. If we assume that since you make more than beer (say wine/mead are 2/3, brew 1/3), then you've only brewed around 50 gallons of beer. That's 10 5-gallon batches, or not much more than a batch a year.

So- I don't have that much trouble believing you haven't had an infection, given the above. Will you stay lucky? I hope so. Brew on.
 

beesy

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I have only used Star San since first batch and never had slightest indication of infection. beer i opened a bit ago was brewed almost a year ago and no signs of any infection. FYI- I plan to keep it that way. $20 for a qt of star san for a year of brewing is cheaper than dumping one batch.
 
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digdan

digdan

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Agreed. I used to use StarSan when I first started. I told the sales rep I was running a commercial microbrewery and they sent me a half gallon of the concentrated liquid for free for trial.

But once I ran out of that I just used bleach. I also had a very bright blacklight I would check all my equipment with and never found anything.

But as per my original post, I should have said I've brewed 140gallons a year between my wife an I, except for last year when I challenged myself to loose a bunch of weight and sold most my brewing equipment.

But I'm back into it now, and trying to figure out how people are getting their brews infected.

I must have gladiator yeast
 

giligson

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Its all a numbers game really.
You do take some care for cleaning but not obsessive.
Wine rarely gets infections so lets forget about that for now.
You have an X chance in Y beer brews of getting an infection with your particular sanitation regime. Someone who is more careful may have a X/10 chance. if both people brew enough batches they will both get infections. Its just that the more fastidious cleaner may need to brew 10 times more beer.

Also if you tend to brew strong, bitter or lambic type beers - you may not tast a very mild spoilage contaminant.
 
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digdan

digdan

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Well, I didn't knock on wood hard enough.

Pulled off the top box on my stack of empty wine bottles and there was a smell of death emanating from them.

I pulled all of them out to investigate, and found 3 dead mice in one, and several individual dead mice in the others :eek:

Should of tapped the lid shut to those bottles, now I have to throw out the whole box
 
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digdan

digdan

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They say if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door - I prefer the victor spring traps myself ;)
Best part of the story is this. I just moved into a house surrounded with a large field. And mice were a problem. So I bought a bunch of mice traps, and none of them were sprung.

The better mouse trap is a empty wine bottle with access routes and a bit of cheese on the bottom.

I'm glad I picked up on it before I poured wine in there.

Nothing shows brewing skills like dead rodents in your glassware.
 
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