Sanitized with clorox bleach but didn’t rinse

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Mirran

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I just brewed my first batch two days ago. The problem is that I used bleach for sanitizing my equipment and didn’t rinse them after. Did I screw it up ? The fermentation process is working but I dont if its safe or not
 

Spundit

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Bleach generally is not recomended for sanatizing in beer making. I am sure it could work with the proper proceedure but it is probably more trouble than its worth. Chlorine in tap water is known to cause off flavors in beer so I assume residual chlorine bleach could do the same.

As for safety... Did you dilute the bleach (as per instructions).? Was it regular unscented bleach? A couple ml of residual diluted, regular bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water (or wort) will break down to salts and water pretty quickly. I am pretty sure it wouldn't pose any sort of health risk.

For perspective, I believe the CDC recommends up to 15 drops of bleach per gallon of dirty water for emergency water disinfection.(double check that before taking my word for it)
 

Dland

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If it was adaquately diluted, I would not worry about it. Bleach is pretty much what everyone used in the old days(1980's), both in brewing and restaurant equipment sanitation. Now there are better choices, especially since bleach is hard on stainless steel.
 
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Mirran

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The problem is I didn’t measure the amount
I just spilled some on the fermenter
I would say half a cup with a very little of water , shake it and spilled it out
 

hotbeer

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Bleach is a chlorine solution. If you are in the USA chlorine is likely used to kill the bad stuff in the water you drink. Maybe even the water you brewed with.

Even if you used way too high a concentration to sanitize your stuff, as long as you let most of the solution drain out of the stuff, then you are probably good since the amount of water in what you put in to make your wort to put in the FV will dilute it further.

At most you might have some funny tasting beer. Band-aid flavor I think. But you might not. Don't worry till you know. If it does taste funny then get a bunch of friends to help you drink it up. Friends tend to not be as critical of beer as you might be. Especially when it's free beer.
 

odie

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1/2 cup of basically straight bleach? Yeah, I think that's gonna have some affect. especially without a good rinse.
 
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Mirran

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1/2 cup of basically straight bleach? Yeah, I think that's gonna have some affect. especially without a good rinse.
Thats too bad , what are you going to do if you were in my shoe ? Are you going to get red of it ?
 

odie

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let it ride and see what comes of it. nothing to be gained at this point by dumping it. what's done is done. maybe it's fine. Maybe it tastes like pool water. Who knows.

life is one big experiment.
 

Rish

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The problem is I didn’t measure the amount
I just spilled some on the fermenter
I would say half a cup with a very little of water , shake it and spilled it out
If you dumped most of it, I don't think you'll have a problem. If it's fermenting you didn't kill the yeast so I'd let it finish and see what it tastes like. Then decide what you want to do with it.
 

lumpher

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As an old-time brewer, I still sanitize buckets with Clorox, but I do rinse afterward, and don't let any bleach touch anything copper. As far as the op's question, I agree. Ride it out and try it. Might have an off-flavor, but should still be drinkable, depending on how much was poured out. A dump then fill, probably not too good. Dump, then shaken a few times, then fill, probably ok. As long as it wasn't shaken more than 3 times, which some say is playing with it...
 

Lampy

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Not a direct help to your issue, but I only sanitize with dish soap and hot tap water. So far none of my batches (2 meads, 6 ciders) have had any problems.
I am just too cheap/small scale to bother getting star-san or the equivalent...
 

Whisky River

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Not a direct help to your issue, but I only sanitize with dish soap and hot tap water. So far none of my batches (2 meads, 6 ciders) have had any problems.
I am just too cheap/small scale to bother getting star-san or the equivalent...
Curious to know how tap water and soap would sanitize your equipment?
 

Lampy

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Curious to know how tap water and soap would sanitize your equipment?
Soaps are surfactants that bid to microbes and can rupture their cell membranes. Soap also facilitates the washing away of microbes by water (hydrophobic moiety binds to microbes, hydrophilic moiety interacts strongly with water). This does not sterilize equipment, but it gets the amount of germs down to the point where they haven't caused me any issues.
 

day_trippr

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There really isn't going to be a health risk if equipment is simply rinsed with a bleach/water solution.
If there's going to be a problem, it's the potential for the dreaded "Band-Aid" character...

Cheers!
 

Big_D

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Lots of questions that could be asked here.. How old was the bleach? How big is the fermenter and how big of a batch did you transfer into it? Did you allow the bleach solution to dry before using the equipment?

The active ingredient in most household bleach, sodium hypochlorite, will slowly break down into sodium chloride (salt) and oxygen as it dries. Once the water evaporates, there really isn’t much left behind other than a small quantity of salt.

My dad home brewed back in the 90’s, and I know he used bleach exclusively for sanitizing. He brewed some damn good beer!

It’s your first mistake.. you learned from it, and sounds like you won’t go that route again. You said it’s been 2 days and it’s already fermenting.. I think you’ll be good! 😎
 

Craiginthecorn

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Pretty sure it'll affect your beer.

There is a much better and no-rinse method of using bleach. This approach uses much less bleach, too. HOWEVER, you must take care to follow very simple instructions to avoid a dangerous reaction. I heard a Basic Brewing Radio interview with Charlie Talley from Five Star Chemical, maker of StarSan describe this very easy method. I think it's better if you take a few minutes to listen to a portion of that podcast than outlining here myself. This is a PocketCasts link to the section of the episode.

 

kartracer2

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I just brewed my first batch two days ago. The problem is that I used bleach for sanitizing my equipment and didn’t rinse them after. Did I screw it up ? The fermentation process is working but I dont if its safe or not
I'd let it go, If it's fermenting it's going to make beer. It's quite possible it could turn out A-OK. In my past life, I used bleach 100% of the time for cleaning and sanitizing, never tossed a batch. I am going to go back to using it again for some things, it's not the devil some make it out to be. If you toss it you will not know what it might have been. There's always time to show it the drain if it needs to go.
I hope it turns out OK. (that's where my money is;))
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

NightFire

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What it does to the brew is dependent on how much was left in the kettle.

Safety wise, unless you used a full pool shock tablet straight, you're fine. You can safely use up to 1 tsp of bleach per 5 gallons for water purification, boiling will reduce the amount of bleach too. Bleach decomposes rapidly at temp and fully breaks down at 101c/213f
 
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