Help Support Aussie Homebrewer by donating:

  1. We have implemented the ability to gift someone a Supporting Membership now! When you access the Upgrade page there is now a 'Gift' button. Once you click that you can enter a username to gift an account Upgrade to. Great way to help support this forum plus give some kudos to anyone who has helped you.
    Dismiss Notice

Fermenter Cleaning

Discussion in 'Kits & Extracts' started by Diggles, 14/10/09.

 

  1. Diggles

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/8/09
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 14/10/09
    With all the reading I've done cleanliness and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and sanitation has been well and truly drilled into me!!

    But there are so many methods and techniques and products out there. I'm looking to cut out the trial and error.....and failed batches for that matter. I'm seeking a fool (if not idiot) proof method using the right product.

    Has anyone got any advice or pointers??

    Digga
     
  2. boingk

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4/5/07
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 14/10/09
    Bleach: Fill fermenter with several litre of cold water (cold water!) and then add one tablespoon of unscented (unscented!) bleach. Any brand, just plain unscented bleach. Put lid on and shake the bejezzus out of the thing, making sure the solution covers all of the interior. Next, unscrew the tap attachment and scrub with an old toothbrush to clean the threads (especially after an infected brew). Replace tap, run some solution through it and leave while you measure out malt/dextrose/grain, boil hops, whatever. Rinse with hot water (open window!) until you can't smell bleach smell coming from fermenter.

    Sodium Metabisulphite (bog standard HB sanitiser): Add a tablespoon to 2L cold water in the fermenter. Put lid on and swirl around all interior much like above method. Leave while you get the rest ready, then rinse until you can't smell the stuff anymore.

    Other homebrew sanitisers: follow pack instructions, as some do not require rinsing or need different amount of the product. Always rinse well if in doubt.

    I use several rinses of very hot water to sanitise my gear, but would not recommend that to start with as it itsn't 100% reliable...plus my water heater is an on-demand unit thats 6ft from the tap I use so is quite hot!

    Another tip is to rinse bottles straight (or the next morning) after using to stop mould or deposits sticking and making the botte unusable. You can clean it with a bottlebrush but its a pain in the ass. I also use very hot water, but would recommend a 'no-rinse' sanitiser.

    Regards - boingk
     
  3. Cube

    SAY MY NAME, BITCH

    Joined:
    11/8/08
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    142
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 14/10/09
    Each to their own but this is my way and never had an infection. I use the 'green cheap homebrand scourers' that are fibre not metal and cost something stupid like 90 cents for a pack of five. After saving the trub I bucket in 4 litr of water and swish the shit out of it wit the lid on and empty that into another bucket. Another 4 litres goes in of the bleach/water solution I sterilised my bottles with and I turn the fermenter on its side and use the green scourer gently to remove all stuck on bits and pieces. This is tipped into the bucket. Another 4 litres or so of bottle sterilising water goes in and a ruddy god scrub off all handles and so forth goes on. Up vertical and remove tap and scrub the threads etc with a tooth brush whilst the water runs out. Tap gets split and cleaned. Tap goes in and another 4 litres of sterile water goes in and lid goes on. Leave on its side for 5 mins turning a little at a time to final sterilise. When 360 deg is complete invert and steralise teh lid in place. Brew.

    Collected bucket/s of water sits outside for a few days and is recycled into the garden.
     
  4. Diggles

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/8/09
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 14/10/09
    Guys,
    Thanks for the help, looks like I need to up the anti on my cleaning regeme a little!!

    REgards

    Diggles
     
  5. ckoerntjes

    Member

    Joined:
    16/9/09
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 14/10/09
    Hey guys, me and a mate have the coopers kit fermenter, just wondering if its possible to open the tap up... We can take it off and clean the thread but cant find a way to separate the whole tap apart... Any ideas?
     
  6. mwd

    Awful Ale Apprentice

    Joined:
    25/7/08
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 14/10/09
    here you go taptoirial :icon_cheers:

    thanks due to thylacine for finding that link the other day.
     
  7. Peteoz77

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23/8/08
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 14/10/09
    I have been brewing for 2 years without an infection.

    I never use bleach, since it will ruin your beer if not rinsed out 101% I DO use napisan on some very hard to clean bits from time to time, but I rinse thoroughly.

    So, here's my bulletproof regime.

    Bottles: Soak for a few hours in a solution of warm water and Napisan. The labels fall right off, then I take a few seconds to remove the label glue with a scotchbrite (green scrubber) Pad and rinse.

    Kegs: When empty, I rinse 3 times with cold water (Napisan if there are some hard to remove bits.. but rarely) Put in about a cup of "Cleaning Solution" and seal the keg. I then put in a few lbs of pressure to seal the lid and give me gas to get rid of the cleaner. Once sealed, I give the keg a few god shakes to make sure the sanitiser had hit everything inside. I also hook up a cheap spare tap, and run the sanitiser up the beer out tube. After 5-10 minutes and another shake, I run all of the No Rinse sanitiser out the tube, and leave the keg pressurised until I fill it again. When I go to fill it, I just take off the lid and pour out any residual sanitiser that's left, but try to keep as much C02 in there as possible. Usually I use NO soap, just cold water and sanitiser, and I have never had an infection.

    Fermenters: This gets a bet tough sometimes, since they can get really dirty sometimes. Typically, I rinse the nasty ring of trub at the top under running water, while using a scotchbrite pad to get it off. Once the top ring is gone, the rest is really easy to get clean. 3-4 rinses with cold water and NO soap gets it clean. I remove the spigot and clean everything with cold water. I leave it set to dry, and when I go to use it again, it gets a good spray of sanitiser over everything, then gets re-assembled. Let it sit for few minutes and make sure everything inside is wet, then pour off the excess and fill it with wort.

    My sanitiser is from 5 star chemicals and is called "Star San". I wouldn't use anything else, since this stuff is odourless, tasteless, kills bacteria in 1 minute of wet contact, it's no rinse, and if you leave it in the bucket, it actually decomes a yeat nutrient and helps your yeast grow. Get some and forget about bleaches and other sanitisers. Trust Me!

    The system of not using bleach works very well... as does using bleach. However, I shudder to think what a tiny bit of bleach left in a keg or bottle will do to my beer, and I hate rinsing forever to get rid of the smell. One other thing about using bleach... You have to rinse it out... with unsanitised water.. which could possibly re-infect. Just use Star San.

    On another note. I have worked in a Commercial Brewery on many occasions. The brewer where I work only uses Hot Water to clean and sanitise.. no chemicals at all! A small bit of Oxonia on the fiddly bits but nothing in the kettles or fermenters or bright tanks etc, just hot water. Even the kegs just get fully flushed with hot water and refilled.
     
  8. Digger11

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23/9/09
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 14/10/09
    I clean everything with just cold water and soft sponges (don't want to scratch the plastic) and then use 1/2 cup unscented no-name bleach in 26l cold water in the fermenter (per Palmer's book).

    Stir it all around and then add all of the spoons,filling wands, etc. that I want sterilised.

    Leave overnight (overkill but I am sure it helps), rinse with warm water and then let dry thoroughly. A doctor once told me that wet hands cause all types of bacterial growth, so I always like everything to dry out well before putting away or using again.

    No rinse sanitisers are probably easier (from any HB shop) but bleach still works and is very cheap.

    Never had a problem - and I'm up to my 3rd brew !


    p.s. This is all based on having good enough town water that you brew by (Melb water is fine - I have never liked Sydney water though, always smelt like chlorine to me). I suppose if you are happy to brew with tap water then rinsing with it should be fine.
     
  9. Fourstar

    doG reeB

    Joined:
    31/10/07
    Messages:
    6,150
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 14/10/09
    Simple methods i follow:

    a tsp nappisan in a kettle full of hot kettle water, direct to the fermenter. Seal up and give her a big old'e shake and run the 'san thru the tap 3-4 times opening and closing. Shake her up once every 10 mins over 1/2 hour then rinse out. If there is still krausen residue and other particulate matter. Give it another nappisan run, i never scrub my fermenters anymore as you risk scratching the plastic and creating canyons for the bacteria to grow and multiply.

    After the 2nd run if required i dismantle the tap and scrub all threads and the tap and give everything a big rinse and allow to air dry.

    Come fermentation day i make up a 1L solution of starsan (1.5ml to a L of water) and dump into the fermenter along with the kittenlock, grommet and seal it up, (the lid O ring, throw it out, its useless). Give it a big shake and losen the lid to ensure you also sanitise the threads. leave for 10-15 mins, pull out your kittenlock (which is full with starsan) and grommet and assemble in the lid. simply drain the fermenter (its ok if there is starsan leftovers) and fill your fermenter and brew as normal.

    The biggest benifit is the starsan in the kittenlock. Kittens hate starsan and will not try and crawl down into your fermenter for the sweet sweet wort! ;)

    Cheers!
     
  10. Aus_Rider_22

    Pro Pro

    Joined:
    7/7/09
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 15/10/09
    This is a really good tip. One brew I did I got lazy and left the bottles stacked in a rack after I finished drinking them. A week later when it came time for cleaning and re-using it was a pro-longed process of scrubbing the mould and gunk from inside the bottles with soapy water and then sanitising. The best bet is to rinse them out when you finished drinking them, removing any sediment and storing them upside down somewhere. Then when it comes time to re-use you just let them soak in the sanitiser and bottle away! :icon_cheers:
     

Share This Page