Author Topic: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game  (Read 1234 times)

Offline sprinter3

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Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« on: June 21, 2016, 01:28:16 PM »
Hey all, not completely new to the homebrewing hobby but its been a LONG time.  Started about 25 years ago, worked my way up to all grain and kegging etc. like most do but then life and family got in the way and took all of my time.  Also got into competitive BBQ which took any other hours in the day away from me as well.  Anyway, the family is grown now, still doing the competitive BBQ (and you folks think homebrew is addictive!!) but I have a LOT more time available and my son and I actually have gotten back into the homebrew world.  We have started with one gallon pre-kitted extract/DME batches, mainly because I had all of the equipment to DO those still, and to see if we would like it.  Also, I remember doing a 5 gallon batch that sucked and then having to find something to DO with all of that bad beer.  this is a great way to try a batch with limited consequences if its not great.

My main question at this point is cleaning and sanitizing.  Being in the BBQ/catering/food service world and dealing with the County Board of Health constantly with licenses/permits etc. I'm hyper sensitive to it with horror stories of WHY its important.  What are the good products out there now to clean and then sanitize glass 5 gallon fermenters and plastic/rubber tubing and racking equipment?  When I was brewing back in the day I used a bleach solution for just about everything, mainly because it was CHEAP, but I HATED cleaning the glass fermenters.  I know there are cleaning and crud removal products out there now to help with that, just wondering opinions on what is best.  Also, once cleaned, what is a good, preferably no rinse, sanitizer to use?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.  Loving the brewing again and LOVE that the gallon batches only take 90 minutes or so start to finish.  However, I know myself, and I'll probably be back to all grain 5 gallon batches soon enough.  Right now though I'm enjoying the time with my son and HIS time is limited as well so the quick hit gallon batches are an awesome compromise.

Troy
Southern, IL

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 01:34:15 PM »
Cleaners
Oxyclean free<PBW<Alkaline Brewery wash. Price kind of follows.

Sanitizers
Star San I use it a lot.
Iodaphor use it on kegs. Broad spectrum. I use it in kegs.
Bleach still has applications.

Edit a good Homebrew shop will have more options.





« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 01:36:20 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 01:36:39 PM »
You need to be careful when using bleach as it will leave off flavors in the beer if not rinsed completely. Band aid, phenolic off flavors are never a nice thing to have to drink.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 01:51:18 PM »
You need to be careful when using bleach as it will leave off flavors in the beer if not rinsed completely. Band aid, phenolic off flavors are never a nice thing to have to drink.
+1 and it attacks stainless steel.
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline sprinter3

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 02:17:55 PM »
Thanks All.  Bleach still has its applications and I still use it daily as a sanitizing agent in the food kitchen.  But, the off flavors associated with it are much more noticeable in the beer.  I also now know that its caustic to stainless and going forward with kegging I need to take that into consideration.  I used it quite a bit because it was a CHEAP alternative, and seemed to do the job.  BUT, now that cost is not THAT much of an issue I wanted to try some different products designed specifically for the homebrew marketplace.  Thanks for the info, I'm looking forward to moving on with the hobby and reading about what everyone else is doing.

Troy

Offline panfriedcharlie

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 05:30:40 PM »
I love unscented Oxyclean. Works great for me as long as I clean right after the brew.

Also, welcome back! I was pouring at a big festival a couple of weekends ago as a member of a co-op brewery that champions homebrewing. As a result I got to talk to a lot of people about the hobby and it was especially heartwarming to hear people reminiscing: "Oh yeah, I spent a couple of summers brewing with my dad in the backyard in the 80's."

So often those conversations would end with "I really need to get back into it."

Followed with a suggestion from me to head straight to the LHBS.

Cheers and enjoy!

Offline denny

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 05:46:02 PM »
Thanks All.  Bleach still has its applications and I still use it daily as a sanitizing agent in the food kitchen.  But, the off flavors associated with it are much more noticeable in the beer.  I also now know that its caustic to stainless and going forward with kegging I need to take that into consideration.  I used it quite a bit because it was a CHEAP alternative, and seemed to do the job.  BUT, now that cost is not THAT much of an issue I wanted to try some different products designed specifically for the homebrew marketplace.  Thanks for the info, I'm looking forward to moving on with the hobby and reading about what everyone else is doing.

Troy

I use Craftmeister Oxygen and Alkaline Brewery wash for all of my cleaning these days.  Not as inexpensive as Oxyclean, but much more effective and easier to use.
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Offline crakers540

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 12:44:44 AM »
I use bleach for everything, including bottle washing.  I rinse 3X with water, and have not noticed any bleach flavors.

For cleaning my glass carboys - After fermentation, I rinse 2-3 times with about a gallon of water, swirl and dump.  I then add 2-3 cups of bleach, fill with water, rubber band Saran wrap to seal it, and walk away.  2-3 days later, no crud.  I do not use a carboy brush, never have, and have good clean carboys ready for my next use with this practice.

I store my carboys filled with this bleach mixture. 

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 02:15:15 AM »
Craftmeister has been my go to cleaner - it works hot or cold and will totally remove any deposits with a soak.  No scrubbing needed.  PBW is a close second.  For sanitizing, I found Iodophor to be preferred to Star San as a result of wild yeast concerns.  Iodophor kills the wild yeast floating in the summer breeze; Star San does not, or so I am told (my experience bears that out, as well).
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Offline BrewBama

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Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 10:52:24 PM »
WB Troy. ...from Big Deck BBQ and Brew and KCBS CBJ. PBW or Caftmeister and Star-San is the way to go to clean and sanitize.


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« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 11:12:02 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline lindak

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2016, 01:16:33 AM »
sprinter3, I too was brewing 25 years ago and took a long hiatus. Keep reading the forum-- a lot of the things done in the '90s have been reconsidered (like using bleach, secondary fermentation...).  If you want an easier way to get back into all grain, take a look at BIAB.   I've really upped my game by trying methods folks on this site have recommended and seeing what works for me. 

Offline The Professor

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2016, 03:03:42 PM »
I use bleach for everything, including bottle washing.  I rinse 3X with water, and have not noticed any bleach flavors.

For cleaning my glass carboys - After fermentation, I rinse 2-3 times with about a gallon of water, swirl and dump.  I then add 2-3 cups of bleach, fill with water, rubber band Saran wrap to seal it, and walk away.  2-3 days later, no crud.  I do not use a carboy brush, never have, and have good clean carboys ready for my next use with this practice.
I store my carboys filled with this bleach mixture.

I use bleach for my carboys as well...but not anywhere near the ratio you describe.  2-3 cups of bleach is definitely massive overkill.  In 5 gallons, a few ounces of bleach is really all you need to get the job done(and I've been doing it that way for more than 35 years, with no infection issues whatsoever).
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Offline crakers540

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 03:34:03 AM »
+1 for that.  2-3 cups is definitely overkill, but I sometimes leave my carboys sit for a few months, so I overkill just to let me sleep at night.  1 cup will do the trick.

Offline MJK

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2016, 11:49:13 PM »
WELCOME BACK!!
Same for me. Brewed 25 year ago. Just got back last year.

Sanitizing - I leave my 5G carboys sit filled up with 1/4c bleach between use.
Been using StarSan for bottles. I give a couple of pumps on a bottle washer. let the sit. BUT, I can't leave that crap in there. I rinse three times. They say its NO RINSE but I cant leave it .

HAVE FUN!


Offline sprinter3

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Re: Old Brewer back in the Brewing game
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2016, 01:11:19 PM »
I'm much like you MJK, I just cant leave that stuff in there!!!  I make a solution in one of my bottling buckets and put a bunch of bottles in it and let them soak for an hour or so (just makes me feel good to do that I guess).  I know its basically a wipe on sanitizer but in my mind it works BETTER if you let it soak for an hour?  hehehe, a little OCD I guess!!!  Anyway, when I take them out of the solution it just PAINS me to let them air dry with that stuff on there, so I send them through a quick rinse and let them dry.  Now, that being said, there is that little guy sitting on my shoulder TELLING me that I'm putting my nicely sanitized bottles back under the tap water that contains who knows WHAT.  BUT, its worked for me with no ill effects and it satisfies that OCD portion of me that tells me I cant leave that stuff on there.

Troy