Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fermentation Friday Round Up - Cleaning and Sanitization

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed this months topic. I know I sure did. There were a few pretty interesting items I noticed when going through the posts. Here's a quick summary from each post then I will give my thoughts in what this all may mean.

1. GISBREWMASTER @ A World of Brews says he has tried many options since he stared a year ago and all worked mostly well but seems to have settled on Oxyclean for the cleaner and Iodaphor/StarSan for the sanitizer. ( I just talked about myself in the 3rd person.)

2. The Brew Dudes use One-Step or PBW for cleaning or StarSan for most of the sanitization but use iodaphor for small jobs.

3. M. Randolph @ Just another Booze Blog has one rather interesting sanitization step. Like many of you he is an oxycleaner and a StarSaner but he cleans his wort chiller with vinegar before sanitizing. Great now something new to think about!!

4. B. James @ Just another Booze Blog writes a rather humerous post where he compares a contaminated batch to sweaty gym socks. His idea of sanitization is boil the shit out of anything that can be boiled.

5. Tony @ Brew Dad uses bleach on all glass and one step for the rest. Doesn't miss bottling at all now all he has to clean is his kegs.

6. Steph @ has 4 options for sanitization StarSan, boiling, vodka and fire. I bet you can guess where each one works but if you can't read her post.

7. The guys @ CNYBrew make a short and sweet post and says 9 out 10 times a beer will come out fine. That 10th time where the beer comes out undrinkable is the reason why we worry about this topic.

8. Rob @ Pfiff! seems to sing a toddler song when he brews. It must be too much fatherhood. I may be over analyzing this but I think he is saying clean and sanitize as you go. ;-)

9. Adam @ BeerBits2 (our creator) posted a full length post and a short post. Adam uses a iodaphor, one step, and bleach depending on what he is doing. I think the key comes from his short post. "worry about sanitation after wort boils not before" and "It's just beer. "

10. Damon @ Life With Beer breaks his process down to pre-boil and post-boil. Pre-boil doens't worry too much about it. Post-Boil is a totally different story.

11. Dave @ Muckney Brewing was a fan of the big C word. He like chlorine based sanitizers namely C-Brite. Now he is a fan of One-Step as he feels it works as well without the smell.

12. Keith @ Brainard Brewing has tried a lot of things. Started with the One-Step as it was in his starter kit. Then went to StarSan but felt it burned his hands. Now is a big fan of iodaphor. Here is the part that may make some of you cringe. He still uses dish soap most of the time to clean.

13. Ted @ Ted's Homebrew Journal did a very good job of describing his practice even though he said he couldn't really put it to words. According to Ted iodaphor is the way to go because it works!!

Well like Rob said in his blog I used this Fermentation Friday to try and get a better sanitization processes but I think I have been doing it right all along. There is no right way as long as you get the beer you want.

For a very quick summary it seems that Oxyclean for cleaning is used by alot of you out there. When it comes to sanitizing Iodaphor, StarSan, and One-Step all seem to work well. Finally remember what Adam says "Its only beer" and what CNYBrew said "that one time out of ten that your precious brew is spoiled sucks so much that it’s worth the hassle of cleaning and sanitizing."

Thank you for allowing me to host this month and if i missed anyone I am sorry just let me know and I will update. According to the schedule Byron @ will be hosting next months exciting topic. Looking forward to seeing what that is going to be!!

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