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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: bendbrew on November 13, 2009, 01:09:11 AM

Title: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: bendbrew on November 13, 2009, 01:09:11 AM
I will be making my first starter (for an Imperial IPA).  I have a stir plate and a 2L flask.  My question is how do I sterilize the foam stopper for the flask?  Should I put it in no rinse sanitizer?

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: smurfe on November 13, 2009, 01:21:19 AM
I never use a stopper. I just put tin foil over mine.
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: tesla_hv on November 13, 2009, 01:22:18 AM
I never use a stopper. I just put tin foil over mine.
+1
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: bendbrew on November 13, 2009, 01:28:20 AM
Foil-excellent!  Let me show my lack of knowledge even more then, do you sanitize the foil?  Do you just rip it off the foil in the drawer next to the baggies and cling wrap and throw it on the flask?
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: tesla_hv on November 13, 2009, 01:36:16 AM
I've done both.  I suppose to be safe you should sanitize it first.  To be honest, I usually don't.
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: narvin on November 13, 2009, 02:57:05 AM
Put the stopper in towards the end of the boil.  5 minutes of steam will sanitize it.


One word of caution: get some Fermcap / Foam Control or else you'll have to watch the boil VERY closely.  I love the flask for starters since you don't have to do any sanitizing or transfering to other vessels, but without Fermcap boilovers happen very easily.  One drop and you're set, though.
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: guvna on November 13, 2009, 03:16:37 AM
I just use tin-foil; either dunked in star-san or sprayed with iodophor, depending on what's in front of me. Honestly, the stoppers or air-locks are really unnecessary for starters. Bacteria travels on dust particles. As demonstrated by Louis Pasteur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Pasteur#Germ_theory), there's no way for bacteria or other microbes to climb up and in to your container if it has some tin-foil over the top. Simple, cheap, and effective. Just don't seal off the container!

If I were to use a stopper, I'd probably clean and soak it in star-san before putting it on the flask and setting the flask in an ice bath. Either the star-san or the steam will sanitize it, but both would be almost fool-proof, and I'd be damned to neglect an extra line of defense!

+1 on the Fermcap! Though I sometimes get boil-overs even while using it!
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: beardog on November 13, 2009, 03:23:20 AM
To sanitize the foil, I always hold it over the flame on my stove (or the heating coil).  The heat conductivity is so high, and the mass so low, that it gets to sterilization temps quickly.  Then it cools down immediately.  Very simple.
Title: Re: Foam Stopper-Starter
Post by: smurfe on November 13, 2009, 03:45:53 AM
I just tear it of the roll and place it loosely over the opening.