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gybrid

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Hi All,

After a couple nasty suprises and I think it was from not washing out the sterilzer properly.. but then i thought it was from fermenting lager at 26 then bottling and conditioning at the same or higher temp. So lately I have been going nuts, but i'm getting a sore back now (gee I sound like a old man, and i'm only 25.. but anyway) So i need to find a better way.. I'd like to know your procedure.

Currently I'm using 100% Sodium Metabilsuphite (brigalow sterilizer).

For the fermenter I get all that gunk off after a ferment, put the sterilizer in and slosh it around then let it sit for an hour (as per instructions).

Then I go crazy washing it out, hot water, cold water, vigerously shaking it 'n stuff for like a full 5 minutes. By the end i'm exhausted.

After that I use it (while it's still wet inside) for my next batch.

Is this what you do? how do you know when enough is enough?

I'm going to try non-scented bleach when this stuff runs out, but that'll take longer so i'll have to plan a bit better :eek: I guess.

Cheers

Jase
 

sosman

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Sodium met. is not really a sanitizer (nor sterilizer for that matter).

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that hard. Having said that, once you get an infection it might be harder to get rid of it that it is to maintain a sanitary brewhouse.

There are various products that work. I haven't used these but most people who use Iodophor reckon its great, bleach is also supposed to work (but must be rinsed).

I use phosphoric acid with a foaming agent. I typically place about 2 or 3 litres in the fermenter and shake it. The foam sticks in the all right places.

You need to clean things well first otherwise you may as well not bother with sanitization.

Homebrewers mostly use the term sanitation for this kind of use, sterilization is the kind of thing you do at high temperatures - killing everything.

There is some more info at
brewiki: cleaning and sanitation which is slanted towards my own personal experience.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Sodium met doesn't do very much unless acid is added to the solution, like the wineries do.

Bleach is a good sanitiser, as long as you rinse the vessel very well, with cooled boiled water and boiling water. Really, a good clean with brewers detergent (aka bottle washing powder) rinsed with boiling water will sanitise any fermenter.

Most infections are likely from the tap or the well the tap is screwed into. Remove the tap, then with a pair of pliers pull the tap apart (assuming it is a barrel in barrel standard tap) and rinse al parts under hot water then drop into a container of sanitising solution. With a used soft toothbrush clean the thread that the tap is screwed into: you will likely see brown gunk in the threads.

What sanitising solution to use? Bleach works, but must be rinsed really well, iodofor likewise is good and does not need to be rinsed. I use, and sell, Terminator, dairy line cleaner ($5.95 for 250ml) and it is a professional level, no-rinse sanitiser. Anything other than sodium met, really :)


Jovial Monk
 

gybrid

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Hmm ok, I thought Sterilizer would remove all germs and funky stuff?

Obviously not, well I'll have to change my solution.

Anyone use anything else besides the above listed?
 

Linz

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My first infection arose from the very place the Monk mentioned....THE TAP....see if you can get a snap tap or atleast a tap that can be disassembled for cleaning

Leave the sodium met to the wine makers.......

Go the idophor or ring the monk and get some "Terminator" (orthophosphoric acid)..........
 

jgriffin

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gybrid said:
Hmm ok, I thought Sterilizer would remove all germs and funky stuff?

Obviously not, well I'll have to change my solution.

Anyone use anything else besides the above listed?
Sodium Met is not strictly a sterliser. It's a bacterial inhibitor - it stops bacteria from growing, but won't actually kill it.
I had several infections using it, and i was fastidious with my cleaning.
Now i use phos acid, quick wash or soak is all it needs.

I also soak all my fermenters after use in a bleach solution as phos acid doesn't kill yeast. Then rinse a couple of times, and before use just shake with hot water and phos.
 

ghos

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I've taken to using nothing.
All bottles and equipment are rinsed properly immediately after use and that's it.
Keep your fermentables, esp. powdered sugars, well away from where you store the rest of your gear and you shouldn't have any problems.
I've been doing this for quite a while and saved myself a heap of work.
Apart from the occassional dud bottle, 1 or 2 from a standard batch, there have been no infections.
I guess you'll have to settle for what works best for you.
Good Luck.
 

dougy

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Linz said:
My first infection arose from the very place the Monk mentioned....THE TAP....see if you can get a snap tap or atleast a tap that can be disassembled for cleaning
Ordinary homebrew taps can be dismantled.

Simply leave them in some warm water for a few minutes, then insert something rigid into the back of the tap (a screwdriver is good, but something that doesnt scratch the tap would be better). Let the end of the rigid bar come flush against the inside of the tap and then smack the other end of the bar against a surface while holding the outside of the tap.

A few short sharp knocks and the middle piece of the tap flies out letting you get to all the bacterial goodness ;)
 

dreamboat

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I have found that a socket of the right size to press out the inside barrel is the way to go. No fear of scratching, just tap it with a hammer to get the insides out.


dreamboat
 

SteveSA

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Or if SWMBO isn't looking - use a wooden spoon (NOT her favourite one)

Steve
 
J

J.W.B

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:D Every month I fill my fermenters up with water and add 6 cups of white king bleach and leave to soak overnight..Next day I drain and scrubb with bottle wash and boiling water....I havent had the slightest hint of an infection since I started doing this..


When I am ready to brew I fill with water and add 2 cups of plain bleach and let sit for an hour then run off through the tap the rinse with boiling water....


Thats my system and it works


Best brush ive got to scrub the insides is a new toilet brush I got at K Mart for $4
its round on the end and has a long handle and is perfect for the job...

Cheers
JWB
 

SJW

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I with u J.W.B. After i rack/CC i fill the fermenter up with water & a good dash of bleach leave over night then wipe & rinse the next day. And before i fill with wort i mix 15mls of Morgans SANITISE with 500mls of water and rinse then use. Same goes before i bottle, as i rinse the bottles as soon i use em, the just need the one shot of SANITISE and they are done. No infections yet
 

Snow

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I suggest that using a brush on a plastic fermenter is not a good idea, as it scratches the surface, leaving places for the nasties to hide. I always use brewers detergent to wash out the fermenters each time, using a soft cloth. I then rinse this out with hot (70-75C) water from the tap and store upside down until next brew day. When I sanitise, I now use orthophosphoric acid, which works a treat. Before I got this stuff, I used Morgans' "Sanitize", i think it's called. I think this stuff is silver iodide based and doesn't need rinsing. It's pretty expensive, though ($6.50 for 250ml).

SOSman, I'm curious as to why you use 2-3L to sanitise 1 fermenter? Orthophos is a contact sanitiser, so I would have thought 200ml would be enough to coat the whole inside of the fermenter?

- Snow
 

pint of lager

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Kit brewers, if you fill from the tap, then this level of sanitation works for you. Wash everything thoroughly after brewing, use either napisan, bleach (unscented), dishwasher (unscented) detergent, brewers detergent. A good soak for a day or two makes the job a breeze. Soak, rinse, inspect, wash again if needed, drain, ready for use. Every surface gets pulled apart and cleaned, taps, threads, grommets, lid seals, airlocks. If you don't brew immediately after wash up, then prior to next use, inspect, sanitize or wash and rinse.

Go do some reading about the differences between, washed, sanitised and sterilized.

Bottles, whatever works for you. A good rinse after consuming the contents is part of the homebrewers mantra. Wash and inspect. I find some yeasts throw a film that clings like buggery to the sides of the bottle, just a plain swish and rinse doesn't remove it, even the bottlebrush has a hard job removing it.
 
J

J.W.B

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:ph34r:

The brush isnt hard bristled Snow....Its a soft as my old feller on Sunday morning.
It wont scratch ...Ive made sure of that...

Cheers :chug:

JWB
 

MAH

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J.W.B said:
Every month I fill my fermenters up with water and add 6 cups of white king bleach

I fill with water and add 2 cups of plain bleach
J.W.B

I think you,re going seriously OTT with the bleach. It's the chlorine in bleach that kills bacteria and if it's to be used as a spray sanitiser for surfaces you need 100ppm or if you are going to immerse the item you only need 50ppm (and a 60 second soak).

Now most domestic bleach contains 4% chlorine, so you only need about 2.5ml:1ltr for spraying surfaces and 2.5ml:5ltr for immersion.

6 cups is equal to 1500ml, so unless you have 3000ltr fermenter, you're getting into extreme overkill. Even 2 cups would be enough for 1000ltrs.

Importantly using these extreme concentrations doesn't make it anymore effective as a sanitiser than using 2.5ml:5ltr.

Please use a lot less, so that you're not pouring all that chlorine down the sink and into our waterways.

Cheers
MAH
 

Darren

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MAH said:
J.W.B said:
Every month I fill my fermenters up with water and add 6 cups of white king bleach

I fill with water and add 2 cups of plain bleach
J.W.B

I think you,re going seriously OTT with the bleach. It's the chlorine in bleach that kills bacteria and if it's to be used as a spray sanitiser for surfaces you need 100ppm or if you are going to immerse the item you only need 50ppm (and a 60 second soak).

Now most domestic bleach contains 4% chlorine, so you only need about 2.5ml:1ltr for spraying surfaces and 2.5ml:5ltr for immersion.

6 cups is equal to 1500ml, so unless you have 3000ltr fermenter, you're getting into extreme overkill. Even 2 cups would be enough for 1000ltrs.

Importantly using these extreme concentrations doesn't make it anymore effective as a sanitiser than using 2.5ml:5ltr.

Please use a lot less, so that you're not pouring all that chlorine down the sink and into our waterways.

Cheers
MAH
Hey Mark,
Chlorine is actually quite labile (as any pool owner will tell you). It is readily broken down by oxygen, light, heat. The detergent you use to wash your clothes in is probably more damaging to the environment.
Now, the quarternary ammonia products that are found in dairy cleaner/sanitiser are a different kettle of fish.
They go on performing their sanitising duties for a long time. Did anyone say algal blooms?
These should not be tipped down the sink. They do wonders for greening a lawn though.
cheers
Darren
 
J

Jovial_Monk

Guest
I do not like the screwdriver in tap, bang down method. Grab the handle of the standard tap with a pair of pliers, hold the down spout of the tap with the other hand and simply pull apart. Dead easy and no scatches or dinks in the inside of the tap.

And replace your racking hose regularly, they are cheap to replace and hard to wash and sanitise.

Bottles need to be rinsed with dilute brewers detergent not just plain water.

Bacteria can survive bleach and even boiling!

I sell Terminator for $5.95/250 ml bottle. 4ml in 1L water or 8ml per litre if you wish to re-use it.

Jovial Monk
 

MAH

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Jovial_Monk said:
Bacteria can survive bleach and even boiling!
Bacteria can survive virtually every process that homebrewers employ, even Terminator. That's why it's referred to as sanitising and not sterilisng.

Bleach is fine and will kill enough bacteria be an effective saitiser. If not then why do our public health organisations recommend it as a sanitiser for food production areas?

Yes the Terminator and any other the other phosphoric acid based sterilisers, are also good. But household bleach is dirt cheap and effective.

Admittedly I do use a dairy sanitiser for much of my equipment because bleach is harmfull to kegs and CFC's, but I still use common old bleach to clean my fermenter after I have used it.

Cheers
MAH
 

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