Iodophor Pitfalls

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As you must brew, so you must drink
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Thanks fellas for putting me onto the Iodophor. I ended up getting it mailorder from ESB. But when i informed my local HBS owner that i was now using Iodophor he started to tell me all the pitfalls of the stuff. And i should add that he does not carry it as a stock item. And why would he, at a mix rate of 1ml per letre Morgans Hydrogen Peroxide @ 30mls per letre is walking out the door.
Anyway he said that:

1- Do not put the stuff anywhere near stainless steel as it is fearsly corrosive. I am not sure why I would need to sanitise my boiler but is this true?

2- That it will over time turn the inside of your plastic fermenter chalky & brittle.

3- And with the over powering smell it would effect the taste of the beer.

Thoughts please.
Been using this for a couple of years.
So far my fermenters are good, my kegs have not developed any pinholes and it has not overpowered any of the other myriad of strange tastes in my brews.
Seriously though, I have found it very successful and I dont rinse, just drain any excess for ten minutes. Somewhere buried in this forum is a link to a yank guy that did a reasonably well controlled taste test with iodine and he had to go many times oyer the recommended concentration before his mates could taste it.
Tony M,
What mix rate do u use and where do u buy it from?
Here's my 2c bearing in mind I'm no expert - only a user.

1. The dairy industry use it. I would asume they would sanitise vats, milking machines, storage vessels etc etc. Most of which would be SS?
2. I've only been using it for 5 months (about 20 brews) but have had no ill effects on my fermenters.
3. Smell? Can't remember any overpowering smell that would come anywhere near effecting the taste of your beer. The recommended mix is 1ml per litre (as you correctly point out) hardly strong enough to do any damage.

I think you may be right suggesting that his comments may have something to do with the fact he would prefer you to use a product that recommends a higher concentrate (therfore higher turnover for him) and a product he actually sells.


I think that all of the above would only be issues if you used it undiluted.

Warren -
I used it when I first started out brewing, I have also heard of the affects it has on stainless however I have not seen it.

I don't use it anymore because I didn't like the way it stained my plastic fermenters. I use a product called Oxonia which is similar to the morgons product. (I can't remember who makes it. I think its Micro Labs)
Basically what the HBS owner said is ridiculous! The only downfall is that Undiluted idophor stains so easily, and on surfaces that claim that they are stain resistant and that Idophor can taint plastic fermenters slightly brown. If you follow the concentration levels correctly theres no problems.


PS About idophor causing fermenters going chalky, the bottle is made with the same plastic as my fermenter! Still looks fine!
Stained your plastic fermenters? Did u dilute it? I have never seen this before. Interesting!
The minimum dilution I believe is 0.7 ml/l but I only guess and suspect I use it at about 2ml/l. I get Betadine off the net for $15.00 per 500ml bottle. I have no idea of its shelf life but when diluted, its smell and colour disappear after a couple of weeks
The 1L bottle of iodophor that I bought ages ago, and I am still using, states to dilute 1:1000 (that is, a single 10ml capful to 10L). I can understand that a shop owner won't make a fortune out of sanitiser at that rate, but I think your guy is blatantly misleading you and you should kick him.

Iodophor is eminently suitable for brewing purposes, many commercial breweries use it, as does the dairy industry etc. It is non-toxic, food safe, and basically odourless and tasteless in trace quantities. As humans we actually benefit from small quantities of it (hence iodised salt). The fact that he doesn't even sell it speaks volumes, IMO.

Yes it will stain plastics if you leave it in them for long enough, and it isn't really suitable for spraying around the place in an atomiser. I have never heard of it having ill effects on stainless, and given the extensive use of stainless in the dairy and brewing industries I have to doubt it.

I use bleach for soaking fermenters (and bottles etc), brewshield or similar for sanitising them on brewday and for spraying down surfaces, and iodophor for sanitising small items and kegs (and testing for starch conversion, of course...)

Iodophor is great, your shopkeeper isn't.
Top stuff Wortgames, I would kick him but he is bigger than me. Anyway I will make the change and i 'm sure it will work a treat. Rather than going mailorder from ESB next time i might ask my local chemist to order a 500ml bottle of Betadine (brown bottle 10% w/w).
I think your HBS-guy might be mistaking iodophor with something completely different. Every point he made is 100% incorrect. Iodophor is the shit! As mentioned above, it's only issue is staining, but the stain is from an indicator that breaks down over time. I once had iodine rings "all over" our white kitchen benchtop that SWMBO killed me for. They faded completely in less than a week.
I once heard a story about a guy who left a bunch of fermenters full of iodophor in the bathroom to sanitise while he and the mrs went away for a few days. When they got back the bathroom walls and ceilings were tinged brown due to evaporation.

The mrs, needless to say, went spare, so mr gets to work scrubbing everything down, and generally pushing the stains around to deepen his troubles. Finally he works out what he needs to do, with bleach and abrasives etc, and manages to do about half a wall per day over the next few days. By the time he gets up to do the fourth wall, the stains have disappeared anyway :D
Tony M said:
The minimum dilution I believe is 0.7 ml/l but I only guess and suspect I use it at about 2ml/l. I get Betadine off the net for $15.00 per 500ml bottle. I have no idea of its shelf life but when diluted, its smell and colour disappear after a couple of weeks
I have never used Iodophor but I have stacks of Betadine. I got the impression from somewhere that Iodophor was iodine and phosporic acid. Can anyone confirm what is actually in the stuff?
"University Test concludes", etc, etc. Have you not heard this before. Is that conclusive evidence that one product is better than another? Afterall, how much do you know of the actual test criteria? How log ago was the test done? What other similar products were tested? etc, etc. Therefore, I believe what that HBS owner told you is correct, at least as far as he is concerned, for he believed what he was told by the salesman and perhaps did not know any better.

My father in law has been brewing (until his recent passing) since 1944. He told me his trials and tribulations of brewing a many a times. Most of his brewing until recent times were in an open fermenter like a big plastic rubbish bin (so he tells me). He done all his brewing in an open environmen underneat a big queenslander with only partially closed walls. He did not have any choice of sanitation material but he used soap and hot water after every brew to clean everything. (He did tell me that he used bleach lately.) According to him, he never had any of his brew go bad. He did complain however, when the kits started to hit the shelves. He just could not stomick that Brigallow garbage in the 60's.

I could go on and on. In my case, I only srarted brewing last year and I already had to throw one batch down the sinck due to acetobacteria infection (I am told). What am i to do when all the books, friends, HBS owners told me to be very carefull about hygiene and as a newcomer I believe I was rather pedantic about the methods I employed. I did not change my sanitation solutions of choice and I could not see what to change therefore I continued my methods as before. No further infections since. I am brewing under identical conditions as my father in law using current equipment and recommended cleaning and sterilizing solutions. I am deliberately not mentioning a product name for I believe you will continue to use what you got familiar with and the one that you conceive does the job. There are some wild yeasts in the air around you all the time, and if the conditions are there for them, they will get in your brew no matter what you do. Are we going to do all our future brewing in a controlled aseptic laboratory athmosphere? I don't think so. Experiment what suits you and stick with the cheapest product that does the job is what I say..

Keep on Brewin' :chug:
Peter Shane,

Yes, there's no way you can ever get all of those critturs out of your beer. That's why we call it sanitation and not sterilisation. The aim is to provide as friendly environment for your yeast and as inhospitable a one for everything else as possible, and that's what a good cleaning and sanitation regime does, not to mention good brewing practice.
I think another important factor that is often overlooked is lag time.

It doesn't matter how sanitary your procedures, if your wort is sitting at perfect incubation temps for a day before the yeast get going you're asking for trouble.

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