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UV lamp for sterilizing

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alikocho:
I just brewed with a Russian friend in Moscow, and he posed the question as to whether UV lamps would be useable to sterilize equipment. He works for a company that produces sterilizing equipment for the medical profession, and they sell such lamps for this purpose.

Anyone have any experience with these? Do they work? And are they simply prohibitively expensive for a homebrewer?

a10t2:
They work very well, IF the light can get to the entire surface that needs to be sterilized. In brewing, you frequently need to sanitize the inside of an opaque vessel or length of tubing, for example. Plus there is a small amount of danger associated with any source intense enough to be effective, and the cost issue.

richardt:
For sanitizing (as opposed to sterilizing) equipment, a cheap liquid sanitizer (e.g., StarSan or iodophor) is more practical and cost-effective for many of the reasons mentioned above.

I did notice, though, that the Bulk Reverse Osmosis water dispenser at my local supermarket states that the machine uses triple UV sanitization and double activated charcoal filtration steps in addition to reverse osmosis before dispensing the water.

It may be more marketing hype than science.  The water ends up being boiled anyway (I'm just interested in low ion levels since my local water profile is horrible).

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