Author Topic: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?  (Read 374 times)

Offline Steve L

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I typically boil my stone before and after use. When I went to retrieve it today, it had an interesting fuzzy white afro. Is it safe to use if I clean off the fuzz and boil it like normal?
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Offline Robert

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2018, 07:14:23 PM »
Flush it out with water and air/gas to remove big bits, then soak overnight in iodophor -- not to just to sanitize, but it cleans stainless,  works like bleach but doesn't corrode.  Flush again with water and gas. (This is what I do with stones after each use and they last like new forever.) Then  after everything is dissolved and rinsed away,  you can boil or sanitize as you like.
Rob Stein
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 07:16:46 PM »
Excellent. Thanks for the info. Is it okay to store an aeration Stone in a jar of starsan?

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Offline Robert

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 07:25:04 PM »
Excellent. Thanks for the info. Is it okay to store an aeration Stone in a jar of starsan?

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I suppose, but it doesn't seem necessary if it's put away clean.  Nothing's going to grow on steel.  You must have just had a little beer residue left on/in it last time.  I don't trust boiling to do the whole cleaning job, I think a bit of beer in a little hole might just get cooked into syrup. That's where I think my routine helps, I've never had any sign of residue.  BTW if you can rig up a way to backflush your stone as well as flush it the regular direction,  you can really ensure good cleaning.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline RC

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 02:14:29 AM »
Excellent. Thanks for the info. Is it okay to store an aeration Stone in a jar of starsan?

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I suppose, but it doesn't seem necessary if it's put away clean.  Nothing's going to grow on steel.  You must have just had a little beer residue left on/in it last time.  I don't trust boiling to do the whole cleaning job, I think a bit of beer in a little hole might just get cooked into syrup. That's where I think my routine helps, I've never had any sign of residue.  BTW if you can rig up a way to backflush your stone as well as flush it the regular direction,  you can really ensure good cleaning.

Microbes will in fact grow on or in an aeration stone if there's food (i.e. beer residue) and moisture in it. And with an aeration stone, I pretty much guarantee that there's both food and moisture trapped in it. You can't really sanitize an aeration stone all the way. Pores are too fine. You really should pasteurize it. I put my aeration stone/wand in the sparge water while it's heating up. After a while, I then put it in the sani bucket until I need it. If I can choose, I'll take boiling/pasteurizing over sanitizing any day. Heat is waaaay more effective.

Offline RC

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2018, 02:20:38 AM »
Excellent. Thanks for the info. Is it okay to store an aeration Stone in a jar of starsan?

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I wouldn't because then you're just giving wild yeasts and molds more of the elements they need to grow. (Starsan doesn't work very well on fungi.) I would just pasteurize the stone immediately before use. And by immediately, I mean pasteurize it in the sparge water while the water is heating up. Then use it some hours later, then give it a good rinse, then put away. Pasteurize it every brew day, you'll be good to go.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2018, 02:46:53 AM »
I put my oxygenation wand in iodophor morning of brew day. Use it to oxygenate starters, rinse, put back in iodophor. End of day I oxygenate beers, rinse, put back in iodophor. Last thing I do after clean up is blow out the oxygenation wand and store it exposed to air dry.

This has not failed me... yet.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 12:48:21 PM »
After use I rinse and put my stone in a bucket of sanitizer and soak. Then I hang up to air dry. I always boil my stone in the wort I'm cooking for 20 minutes. Then repeat cycle.

Offline Steve L

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 04:41:16 PM »
Lots of good advice!!! Thanks everyone. I got to thinking about the comment on pasteurization. I'm considering doing the following... Boil in distilled water before and after use, make sure I keep the O2 on after removing it from the wort to blow it out then back in boiling water. Blow it out with O2 one last time to help dry.
Then this final step. wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven for a few minutes at like 200 degrees or so and leave it wrapped until the next use.
Thoughts?
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Offline Robert

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 05:10:30 PM »
It sounds like all of us have found (interestingly) different procedures that all work for us in our situations.  You probably know the goals you need to achieve, so, whatever works, works.

(BTW I have been using a 0.5 micron oxygenation stone and 2 micron carbonation stones for many, many years, and have never boiled one, let alone baked one. Interesting idea.  Again, whatever works.)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:14:19 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline RC

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Re: Aeration stone with fuzz growing on it. Safe to use after boiling?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 11:35:40 PM »
Lots of good advice!!! Thanks everyone. I got to thinking about the comment on pasteurization. I'm considering doing the following... Boil in distilled water before and after use, make sure I keep the O2 on after removing it from the wort to blow it out then back in boiling water. Blow it out with O2 one last time to help dry.
Then this final step. wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven for a few minutes at like 200 degrees or so and leave it wrapped until the next use.
Thoughts?

What you're describing here is definitely thorough and will do the job, but IMHO it's overkill. After using it, I'd just give it a good rinse and put it away. Doesn't need to be dried first, or purged of beer residue. This means that stuff will likely grow in the stone between brew days. But this isn't a problem, because you're going to kill everything anyway by pasteurizing it before using it. Also, you don't need to boil. All that's needed is one minute at 160F or higher to effectively sterilize the stone. (To be clear, the temp of the stone, not just the water, needs to be >160F. The stone will reach this after just a few minutes.) To build in a margin for error, soak it at 170F or higher for, say, 10 min. Soaking the stone in your sparge water as it's heating is ideal, it doesn't require any extra steps.