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Author Topic: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection  (Read 1906 times)

Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2021, 04:19:59 pm »
The mfr of the Iodophor I use says “Typically the Iodine mixed into solution will gas back into the atmosphere in roughly 12-24 hours, turning back to clear water.  In a completely air tight container, this shelf life is likely far greater, but it's pretty difficult to put an exact number on it for time.  There are things you can look for in solution color (amber vs. clear) and using Iodine test strips as a guide.”

Personally, I mix a fresh solution in a small batch every time I have a brewery-related task, then discard and mix new when I'm doing something again.  It's cheap enough per use to do this.


I use Iodophor on brew day and have a big batch of Star San for in between.
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Offline lupulus

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2021, 05:53:34 am »
Good cleaning without scratching. Caustic to the brim for a day.
Acid to the brim for a day.

Follow instructions and dispose of caustic and acid properly.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2021, 11:36:10 am »
A lot of good recommendations here about cleaning and sanitizing. I am in the boat of cleaning/sanitizing equipment and reusing it but you should decide for yourself if it's worth the cost and time to do all of that versus replacement, especially if you are admittedly not the most diligent with your cleaning/sanitation practices. If you don't do all of the steps you may end up retaining an infection in the vessel.

FWIW acetobacter are not the only producers of acetic acid. There may be other bacteria and/or yeast in there responsible for the condition of the liquid. If you see what looks like a giant floating fried egg then that is likely an acetobacter mother but acetobacter doesn't always form a mother, either. If you look at the organic apple cider bottles at the grocery store you usually don't see a mother in the bottle but it is active with bacteria.
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2021, 06:05:11 am »
Why not household bleach? Extremely effective against bacteria imbedded in plastic. If it's used sensibly, it's perfectly safe for PET, vinyl, silicon, etc.

1/2 cup of household bleach per 5 gallons. Add equal parts of white vinegar (when the water has diluted the bleach) to increase the killing power of the chlorine (it lowers the pH, similar to a swimming pool environment.) Let it soak for a few hours and it's bacteria free. Simple, cheap, effective.

Offline goose

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2021, 07:18:11 am »
Why not household bleach? Extremely effective against bacteria imbedded in plastic. If it's used sensibly, it's perfectly safe for PET, vinyl, silicon, etc.

1/2 cup of household bleach per 5 gallons. Add equal parts of white vinegar (when the water has diluted the bleach) to increase the killing power of the chlorine (it lowers the pH, similar to a swimming pool environment.) Let it soak for a few hours and it's bacteria free. Simple, cheap, effective.

The only problem with using bleach is that the plastic could absorb it resulting in an off flavor in thee beer.  A couple hours should not be a problem unless the bucket is older and may have some scratches in it.  I gave up using bleach years ago.  I use a good cleaner like Craftmeister or PBW and then follow it with an acid rinse.  You can find a good acid rinse at a farm supply store that carries products for cleaning milk handling equipment.  It is wway chea[[er than using stuff you buy from a homebrew store or an online outlet.  The acid rinse I get leaves nothing that could off flavors.
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2021, 01:42:03 pm »
Why not household bleach? Extremely effective against bacteria imbedded in plastic. If it's used sensibly, it's perfectly safe for PET, vinyl, silicon, etc.

1/2 cup of household bleach per 5 gallons. Add equal parts of white vinegar (when the water has diluted the bleach) to increase the killing power of the chlorine (it lowers the pH, similar to a swimming pool environment.) Let it soak for a few hours and it's bacteria free. Simple, cheap, effective.

The only problem with using bleach is that the plastic could absorb it resulting in an off flavor in thee beer.  A couple hours should not be a problem unless the bucket is older and may have some scratches in it.  I gave up using bleach years ago.  I use a good cleaner like Craftmeister or PBW and then follow it with an acid rinse.  You can find a good acid rinse at a farm supply store that carries products for cleaning milk handling equipment.  It is wway chea[[er than using stuff you buy from a homebrew store or an online outlet.  The acid rinse I get leaves nothing that could off flavors.
I have been using bleach for years and have never experienced any off flavors from the chlorine. If you were to use it full strength or something else equally as stupid, you could have a problem. Chlorine attacks and tears apart proteins, so a little goes a long way and it is extremely effective. If you think your plastic will impart off flavors from the chlorine, smell it. If you smell chlorine, rinse it with warm water with some dissolved sodium metabisulfite, the odor be gone in a few seconds. Chlorine is very volatile and dissipates fairly quickly. I'm not sure why it's dismissed so quickly, maybe it's from people getting stupid with it.

Offline goose

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Re: Cleaning Plastic Fermenter with Acetobacter infection
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2021, 04:33:08 pm »
The only reason I posted this is that there are better things that won't attack metals or leave any possible residue that could potentially impart an off flavor to the beer.  If you feel comfortable with it, use it.  I do not.
Also bleach will pit stainless steel which is another reason I don't use it.

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Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified