• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

Equipment Sanitization and Cleaning

BuckeyeBrewer

Apprentice
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
This is probably a very basic question but when you are done brewing and/or bottling with all of your equipment (fermentation buckets, tubing, siphons, etc.) do you just simply sanitize everything to clean it before putting it away (and of course before using it again) or do you also clean all of it with a detergent or soap?  I want to be as thorough as possible but I also don't want to take a bunch of unnecessary steps either that might be overkill and wast a bunch of time. 
 

captjpr3

Brewer
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Location
Nap, CA
Personally, I just rinse everything with clean water and let it air dry. I avoid detergents unless there is a visible amount of gunk to get off. I want to a kid leaving behind an unseen film of soap. Most residue off with water and a sponge.
 

Oddball

Master Brewer
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
83
Reaction score
0
I usually do the same, just rinse everything off and then sanitize everything when i go to use it next time. No use in wasting extra sanitizer, and i also agree with the fear of soap film.
 
K

KernelCrush

Five Star says to sanitize before storage, it leaves your 'stuff' in an acid state.  Don't trap water or sanitizer in any tubing, I hang mine over a peg to drain and dry.
 

BuckeyeBrewer

Apprentice
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Thank you everyone for the replies so far.  As far as my fermentation buckets go, specifically the primary, which has that nice ring of yeast around the the top as well as all of the other particulates stuck to it, I wanted to know if my method of cleaning it was enough.  I dumped the yeast cake out, filled it a bit with some hot water and wiped off everything stuck to it then filled the bucket with sanitizer and thoroughly wiped it out and then let it dry.  Is this enough?

Also, I have been using One Step as a sanitizer and wanted to know if anybody has any thoughts on it or is there something better out there that I should be using? 
 
K

KernelCrush

For bucket cleaning I would fill with hot water & PBW and soak it.  I try not to touch the inside of buckets with anything to prevent scratching. For really difficult stains I use a bleach solution with a short soak and good rinse with hot hot water until you cant smell it anymore.  Many will frown on bleach on plastic but it has hasn't caused me problems...yet.
 

Maine Homebrewer

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
1,371
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine (USA)
For siphoning equipment I clean with hot water, spray with StarSan, then hang to dry.

Everything else I clean with PBW, again spray with StarSan, and then air dry. Except the brew pot. That I don't sanitize.

I go through a half dozen terrycloth towels every brew day. Those white ones with a blue stripe that I used in my restaurant days.
 

Freak

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Location
Grimes, Iowa
I rinse with hot water when I am finished and sanitize with boiling water when I get ready to use it again. I have never used a drop of sanitizer or soap in 23 years. PBW on occasion.
 

poorboy

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 30, 2014
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Fort Collins, CO
I try to keep it simple. Anything used pre-boil gets scrubbed clean and rinsed then either set upside down or hung to dry. No sense sanitizing if it's gonna get boiled anyway. Post boil, same thing after use. Before use, I run Starsan through all racking hoses and soak utensils in it till needed. Whatever can't be immersed gets shot with my trusty squirt bottle of Starsan. I leave the Starsan on, no rinsing. No infections so far.
 

texasdan

Master Brewer
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
87
Reaction score
0
I started out using Onestep as a cleaner and sanitizer but learned that it wasn't really a sanitizer, so a couple of years ago I started using Oxiclean "Free" (Approx $7 grocery, 3 lb. or $5 Big Lots when they have it, seldom; lasts me about a year) as a cleaner and Starsan as a sanitizer.  Haven't had one case of infection.  Oxiclean "Free" does not contain any additives or perfumes so no chance of picking up unwanted effects, odors or tastes in brewing.

I wipe out and discard any gunk from pots/buckets with paper towel or cloth and hot water, then add 2-3 gal hot water with 1-2 tablespoons Oxiclean free.  After wiping down I dump that to the next de-gunked bucket/pot and do the same.  If also cleaning a carboy I first de-gunk that with hot water and a carboy brush, discard, then pour the hot mix to that and clean that by swishing and brush if needed .  That way I get multi uses from the Oxiclean.  I do rinse with plain water after cleaning and let dry.

I do sanitize "everyting" just before using it again.
Hope this helps.


 

Roadrocket

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Wiltshire, UK
I scrub everything with a weak solution of PBW in very hot water then rinse it thoroughly. I make sure everything is thoroughly clean then sanitise everything used post boil before storing it. I sanitise it again before using.
 

Beer Lover

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
I clean everything with PBW after brewing.  I drain the hoses so there is no trapped water/PBW mixture in the hoses.  I then use PBW and StarSan before brewing.
 

Maine Homebrewer

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
1,371
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine (USA)
I then use PBW and StarSan before brewing.

StarSan leaves an acidic film on whatever it is treated with, and that film stops things from growing on it. It doesn't sanitize something that might be dirty. It keeps clean things sanitary. It should be used before stuff is put away, not when stuff is taken out.
 

Baron Von MunchKrausen

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
May 7, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
0
Maine Homebrewer said:
StarSan leaves an acidic film on whatever it is treated with, and that film stops things from growing on it. It doesn't sanitize something that might be dirty. It keeps clean things sanitary. It should be used before stuff is put away, not when stuff is taken out.


The more common approach seems to be at least one minute of star-san on everything after the boil.
 

Maine Homebrewer

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
1,371
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine (USA)
The more common approach seems to be at least one minute of star-san on everything after the boil.

I filled a squirt bottle with StarSan. No dipping or soaking. Just mist the stuff wet with the squirt bottle and let it air dry before putting it away. Then when I get the stuff out it's got sanitary little white spots where the StarSan bubbles accumulated before drying.
 

dazed

Brewer
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
KernelCrush said:
Five Star says to sanitize before storage, it leaves your 'stuff' in an acid state.

A Email from Charlie Talley(Five Star Chemical Founder) from 2003

Hi :

When I ran the bacteria tests 30 years ago I always had kill within 30
seconds. What EPA will not let tell people is that I also ran tests where
items like milk, cola, wine, beer, and other food items were in the
bacterial test as well. These items when introduced into a test will
normally cause the test to fail. This is exactly what happens when iodine
or chlorine are tested. The Star San passed! It not only passed it had
99.99999 (7 log reduction) in one minute! That is why I tell people it is a
stone killer

As for the residual yes it will keep organisms from growing as long as it
doesn't come into contact with moisture for about one week. At least that
is what my non-EPA tests have proven.


Keep in mind that Star San is an acid so do not have soft metal like copper
exposed to it for long periods of time (more then the 2 minute contact
time).

Charlie



Charlie states a week of protection but YMMV
 
K

KernelCrush

Interesting, they don't mention what you highlighted in blue in recent interviews.  I took a look at their spec sheet online it says

"Cleaning with STAR SAN HB on a daily basis will leave equipment in an acid condition that will eliminate water spotting, mineral build-up, and corrosion.

Always sanitize equipment just prior to start up with a suitable sanitizer as required by local public health regulations.


I always do both

 

brewfun

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
2,306
Reaction score
1
Location
Ventura, CA
dazed said:
A Email from Charlie Talley(Five Star Chemical Founder) from 2003

Hi :

When I ran the bacteria tests 30 years ago...

Charlie states a week of protection but YMMV


So, an 11 year old email about a 30 year old set of tests....

I'm not going to doubt the accuracy or sincerity of what Charlie wrote. I'm certain he'd still stand by those words, but he'd likely modify it with what've become best practices among his customers.

By comparison, Pro brewers often use a sanitizer that's more powerful than starsan. Peracetic Acid (aka peroxyacetic or PAA) is stabilized hydrogen peroxide in a modified vinegar base. A little on the skin will feel like needles and turn it chalky for a while.

Breweries with good lab programs swab out all of their dormant equipment periodically. Numerous reports from these brewers show that after 48 hours, platable levels of contamination exist inside sealed fermenters and bright tanks. So, the industry standard for using dormant tanks after sanitizing is 12 to 20 hours max.

PAA is also used as a bleach substitute, but it doesn't really have a place in homebrewing.
 
Top