Author Topic: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers  (Read 1188 times)

Offline homebrew212

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Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« on: October 26, 2015, 12:35:46 AM »
With a regimen of soaking in hot PBW and sanitizing with Star San, is there any risk for cross-contaminating beers if I use the same pool of fermenters for my clean and funky beers?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 01:05:36 AM »
Brett is what you may potentially have to worry about. It can create a biofilm that may allow it to survive your normal cleaning and sanitization regimens. I have heard of others using the same plastic fermenters for both clean and wild fermentations, but many brewers (inclusing myself) keep clean and wild plastics segregated in the brewery.
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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 04:06:47 PM »
You need to use something more broad spectrum than Star San.  Star San is a lightweight in the world of sanitizers.  Star San does not kill yeast or mold.  It definitely does not kill Brett.  I would switch to using a  bleach-based sanitizing solution or peracetic acid if multi-usage is your goal.

Offline homebrew212

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 05:51:58 PM »
I'm not saying that you're wrong but it seems like if that were true about Star-San then the majority of homebrewers would be making infected beers. I was under the impression that Brett is already on everything, even if you don't use that equipment for funky batches.

What besides bleach would be a good sanitizer to use to kill Brett? I mean bleach just seems too old-school and has such a high risk for carrying over into your beer.

Offline homebrew212

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 06:08:48 PM »
I've read some of what you've written on this forum and I am really intrigued, especially when it comes to using bleach and vinegar as a sanitizer. My only worry there would be ensuring that the bleach is fresh since I know the sodium hypochlroite degrades over time.

If I were to use peracetic acid instead, how would I go about making such a solution and where would I source the acid from?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 09:25:57 PM »
My personal thoughts on sour equipment is that in principle our equipment should be always cleaned and sanitized well enough to brew any beer, regardless of what's been in it. If you accomplish that be isolating gear, or thoroughly cleaning and sanitation, either way. Frankly I don't want 1056 in my sours as much as I don't want Brett in my pale ale. There seems to be an idea floating around that sour means throw caution to the wind, like it doesn't matter. In my opinion, since sours may sit around for years, it's even more important that they be clean of infection too. I view every new piece of equipment I bring home as though it's horribly infected with nasties.

Most of my gear is dedicated sour beer or beer, but it's all stored together. I usually clean thoroughly with oxy, sanitize with starsan, and occasionally I sanitize with iodophor. So far so good.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 07:05:15 PM »
Does Kay-5 Cleansers work?  It is a restaurant grade food sanitizer that you can buy at GFS or any Restaurant supply company, pretty simple, single package will suffice for 2.5 gallons I think at 100ppm.
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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 09:10:24 PM »
I'm not saying that you're wrong but it seems like if that were true about Star-San then the majority of homebrewers would be making infected beers. I was under the impression that Brett is already on everything, even if you don't use that equipment for funky batches.

I hate to break this news to you, but the majority of home brewers are making infected beer.  Most home brewers are cellar blind.  The infection may be a low-level infection, but it is an infection all the same.  A lot of home brewers will refer to low-level infection as "house character," but it usually the result of microbes other than the pitched yeast.   One of the reasons why I have stopped judging is because there was so much beer with low-level phenolic spice at the regional level, and I am extremely sensitive to phenols.  Phenolic spice is usually a sign of wild yeast infection in beer styles where it is not part of the profile.

With respect to Star San, Star San is a what is known as an acid-anionic sanitizer.  It is a well-documented fact that acid-anionic sanitizers have limited activity when it comes to yeast and mold.   Acid-anionic sanitizers work by being attracted to cells with a positive charge; hence, the inclusion of "anionic" in acid-anionic sanitizer (i.e., acid-anionic sanitizers are negatively charged).  Bacteria cells hold a positive charge, so Star San should be effective against Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.  Yeast and mold cells hold a negative charge.   Heck, even the owner of Five Star admitted that the Star San does not kill yeast an mold when pressed at NHC.


With that said, it does not mean that Star San cannot be used as a secondary sanitizer after hitting one's gear with a heavy dose of bleach solution and rinsing with hot water. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 09:14:00 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline jjflash

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 12:05:47 AM »
If I were to use peracetic acid instead, how would I go about making such a solution and where would I source the acid from?

From my post two days ago on peracetic acid (PAA):

Max limit suggested is 500ppm without rinse.
In limited data it seems breweries and wineries use 125 - 250 ppm.
Five Star and Birko sell this in 5 gallon size ($$) which is much to large a purchase for my experimentation.
I either need a source for smaller quantity or produce PAA myself.
I have found this recipe:
H2O2 5% 125ml + white vinegar 3% 75ml = PAA 200ml

I have no idea how to convert this to ppm.
Everything seems to indicate this is a "weak solution".
I have been unable to find a US source of small quantity.
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Offline homebrew212

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 01:24:08 AM »
Is iodophor effective against yeast and molds? Is that a better alternative to Star-San?

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 04:27:35 AM »
Is iodophor effective against yeast and molds? Is that a better alternative to Star-San?

Yes, iodophor is broad spectrum, but I would still hit everything that has held Brett with diluted bleach or peracetic acid.   

Offline erockrph

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 01:46:14 PM »
Is iodophor effective against yeast and molds? Is that a better alternative to Star-San?

Yes, iodophor is broad spectrum, but I would still hit everything that has held Brett with diluted bleach or peracetic acid.
Iodophors are fungicidal, but may require extended contact times for certain species of fungus. I haven't seen data specifically regarding contact times for Brett, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable using an iodophor to eradicate a Brett infection. I agree with Mark that bleach, or something else broad-spectrum is a better option.
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Offline homebrew212

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2015, 04:17:28 PM »
Would a star-san sanitation step followed by an iodophor step be a good way to go for regular sanitation of all vessels, whether they have contained brett or not?

Offline toby

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2015, 05:56:07 PM »
If you're going to do that, I would think the opposite would be better, i.e. iodophor first.

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Re: Using Better Bottles for Clean and Funky Beers
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 02:56:11 AM »
Would a star-san sanitation step followed by an iodophor step be a good way to go for regular sanitation of all vessels, whether they have contained brett or not?

That's backwards.  The 12.5ppm iodophor solution is no rinse.  No Star San is needed.   Star San is not broad spectrum (i.e., it is only a bactericide), which is why I do not recommend it as a primary sanitizer.  A primary sanitizer should kill yeast, mold, and bacteria.

The more I study peracetic acid, the better it looks.  Peracetic acid is definitely better for the environment than bleach and iodophor. Chlorine and iodine are halogens.