Tuesday Beer Trivia: Cleaning and Sanitizing

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homebrew trivia

Test yourself on cleaning and sanitizing in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia.

Visibly soiled equipment can change the flavor of your beer, but what about the soil and bacteria you can’t see? Cleaning and sanitizing go hand in hand.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about keeping your equipment clean.

The following explanations were taken from “Cleaning + Santizing for Homebrewing” by Jon Herskovits, originally featured in the July/August 2010 issue of Zymurgy.

Question 1: False. Caustic, or alkaline, cleaners dissolve oils and fats and acid cleaners dissolve minerals. While this works great for large breweries with industrial equipment, homebrewers should not use caustics or industrial acids because these chemicals are dangerous and not intended for home use. Homebrewers should use a non-caustic built alkaline cleaner to remove both types of soils.

Question 2: Surfactants are also called surface activation agents. They come in multiple forms, but they basically make water “wetter.” They are generally associated with foam and are designed to work within a certain temperature range. Be sure to stay within that temperature range so that you can avoid causing excessive foam.

Question 3: For homebrewers, sanitizing is step two of the two-step cleaning process to get your equipment ready for brew day. The most common types of sanitizers that homebrewers use are heat, chlorine, iodine, quaternary ammonia, and acid anionics.

Question 4: An example of chelation is how the hemoglobin in blood dissolves and suspends iron in the red blood cells. Acids naturally dissolve minerals, but alkaline products can’t do this themselves. So, a good built product should contain some type of chelator.

Question 5: In the kitchen, we use dishwashers and liquid soaps to scrub our dishes, which works great on kitchen soils. However in the food processing industry, chemicals were discovered to work better on on specific types of soils.