Steam sanitize?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

ttownbrew

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
I have a friend in the Jewelry repair business. As you may know they use these steam cleaners for rings, watches, and such.

He commented that I should use one of those while brewing to sanitize things such as hydrometer, mixing spoon, thief and even the bottles. Even mentioned that he had an old one laying around he would be willing to part with.

Any thoughts on this. Would it be sufficient?

Here is an example if you are wondering what I am talking about:

http://www.jewelsmall.com/prjestcl.html
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,768
Reaction score
12,519
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
It says "steam cleaner" on it, but I don't know how it would be a sanitizer. I think it would have to have direct heat/steam over 175 degrees for a rather prolonged period over the entire item to sanitize. I don't know how that would work on bottles, expecially, or on tubing. I'm no microbiologist, though, so we need someone smarter than me to chime in on this.
 

Brakeman_Brewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
948
Reaction score
8
Do you have a dishwasher with a heated drying cycle? Thats what I use to sanitize bottles after washing. I guess that could be like a steam sanitize...
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
53
Location
Nebraska
Star-san works better. mix it up, put in spray bottle...sha-zam! in 30 seconds you KNOW its sanitized.

steam is great for sterilizing, under pressure, for several minutes...in other words an autoclave.
 

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
227
Location
Calgary, Alberta
I don't think just spraying steam on your brewing equipment will be enough to sanitize it. The surface of the equipment itself would need to be raised to a high enough temperature to kill everything, and it is unlikely that this would be very easy. When working with jewelry, it would be a relatively small surface area you are working on and it still probably takes quite a bit of time to clean. I can't imagine being that slow and meticulous on larger items, such as bottles or equipment.

Star San in a spray bottle would be much easier, cheaper, and more effective, IMHO.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
184
Location
Oak Grove
Steam sanitization requires that the object reach 200F for at least five minutes. This might be possible for small objects. Personally, I'd rather have things at temperatures I can handle.

Should you start yeast farming, it would be quite useful.
 
OP
T

ttownbrew

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
thats about what I was thinking...probably more trouble than traditional methods.

Thanks for the input.
 

gyrfalcon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
156
Reaction score
7
Location
Minneapolis, MN
From Wikipedia:

Steam sterilization

A widely-used method for heat sterilization is the autoclave. Autoclaves commonly use steam heated to 121 °C or 134 °C (~270+ degrees Fahrenheit). To achieve sterility a holding time of at least 15 minutes at 121 °C or 3 minutes at 134 °C is required. As items such as, liquids and instruments packed in layers of cloth may take longer to reach the required temperature than the steam solid instruments additional sterilizing time is usually required. After sterilization, autoclaved liquids must be cooled slowly to avoid boiling over when the pressure is released.


So using steam and heat can help sanitize equipment, but sanstar or onestep is probably more effective and practical. I still "bake" my glass bottles in an oven at around 500 degrees before bottling. You just have to be careful about the speed you heat/cool them.
 
Top