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Wal1525228907

Sanitising/cleaning your fermenter, the boiling water method

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I just thought I would share something that I've been doing... :D

 

 

 

I'm one of those people who believe the best way to clean/sanitise all your equipment is by using boiling water only. This is because the guy who got me into homebrewing suggested to me so... as well as the advice given by the coopers instructional video (included in coopers brew kits)

 

 

 

I've noticed.. that a good way to clean your fermenter (especially right after you've bottled a brew) is to boil up your biggest pot you have with water.. and pour the boiling water into the fermenter. This will put maybe 5-6 litres of boiling water in your fermenter.

 

 

 

Then you screw the fermenter lid on.. and close the hole where the air lock is fitted (I usually do this by sitting a glass cup upside down over it)

 

 

 

Leave your fermenter like this for a little while. This enables the boiling water to soak the yeast sediment (if any) as well as steam up and sanitise the rest of the fermenter. Steam is wonderful!!!

 

 

 

You'll notice that the steam will circulate and clean every bit of surface reachable within the fermenter... with only a small amount of water. This is important in areas where drought has inflicted water restictions.

 

 

 

after that cleaning the yeast scum is so easy... it wipes off with the slightest glide of a soft cloth. Then rinse with water... and voila.

 

 

 

But be careful.. when you do this the fermenter will become very hot to the touch... and you can burn yourself...

 

 

 

end.

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I try to give my fermenter a quick wipe down as soon as I've finished bottling. The gunk usually comes off nice and easy at that point. Since I generally avoid using any chemicals at the cleaning stage, I give it a good boiling rinse too, with filtered water. It's required to rinse out the filth that is Murray water.

 

 

 

Funny how making beer improves one's cleanliness so.

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The reason people clean only with boiling water is to prevent the taste of sanitising solutions or bleach getting into the beer.

 

 

 

Could you describe the sort of bad aftertaste you are getting?

 

 

 

It sounds strange to not rinse the stuff out... But I've never used any cleaning aid so I wouldn't know.

 

 

 

The bad aftertaste may be infection, perhaps something that came in contact with the beer was not sanitised properly.

 

It could well be the stuff you used to clean out the fermenter.

 

 

 

But it's probably just the fact that the beer is too young. If you used white sugar then you may be tasting that cidery enzyme stuff that the yeast releases to break the sugar down (Apparently this goes away with time).

 

 

 

In any case... I think the best thing to do is keep on letting your bottles condition for some time. Most likely it'll be drinkable after a month.

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i use a no rinse sanitiser which has ortho phoshoric acid and it works well just shake the living daylights out of it the pour into another container to reuse then make beer as normal it good for bottles too

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this is my first post on the coopers forum, so be gentle. :)

 

 

 

I work in a lab doing molecular biology research in adelaide, and we work with bugs (bacteria and yeast) all the time so become familiar with what is "necessary" to kill off bacteria. So this is more on "Sanitising" than cleaning.

 

 

 

This method here is a good method, you need to have a consistant superheated temperature to kill bacteria - the temperature will literally make them explode. So remember that when you do it, to do it once, and then do a repeat boiling rinse afterward - to get rid of any excess microbial "goo".

 

 

 

Another good way is by hyperchlorite (eg. miltons) which does the same thing has superheating, but chemically -- but you need to make sure all traces for it are gone after you've finished, this stuff will clean your insides out! :shock:

 

 

 

If you want to be ultra-anal - both together (miltons first, then boiling water/steam) are the "sure fire way" of removing any traces of microbes from your fermenter (or bottles, or whatever). :)

 

 

 

cheers,

 

Kieran

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that's a pretty good contribution for your first coopers forum post... :D

 

 

 

But after sanitising the fermenter with boiling water and steam.. and rinsing out all the "goo" afterwards... do you know why the fermenter still slightly smells like yeast?

 

 

 

I've often wondered... and thought that maybe I'm just not getting it all out.

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That yeasty smell is probably going to be from all the yeast poop that's left in the fermenter. I imagine that it's nigh on impossible to rinse it out of a plastic fermenter as you'll always get some odour migration into the plastic. If you're worried about it, perhaps a glass carboy would retain less or no smell?

 

So long as it's a fresh yeasty smell rather than a stinky yeasty smell I don't worry about it.

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Hi, all.

 

 

 

I tried the boiling water trick to clean my fermenter some time ago. It seemed to work fine but the heat stuffed up the fish tank thermometer pasted on the side and I had to replace it. I like the convenience of the stick-on thermometer so these days I, like Member No. c385150, use a proprietry sanitiser but mine contains hydrogen peroxide and silver ions. It doesnt need to be rinsed out and, when used with a spray bottle into the scrubbed out fermenter, it seems to work fine. There is still the yeasty smell, of course, but that doesn't appear to affect the beer. I use the same technique with the bottles,too.

 

 

 

Regards, John.

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yeah.. rinsing them out with hot water right after you finished with'em works a treat.

 

 

 

But when you start getting too lazy to do that... what you do is leave the yeasty dregs of the beer in the bottle overnight or however long you don't wanna be bothered to clean it for..

 

 

 

that way the dregs stop the yeast from drying up.. and it's still easy to clean.

 

 

 

I just hope everyone remembers to use a soft cloth when cleaning out the inside of their fermenters.... :!:

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i heard that bottles can be washed in a dishwasher and then do not require sterilising (as the water is near boiling)

 

 

 

is this true? because it would certainly make the onerous task of washing bottles a hell of a lot simpler

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Hi Wal, I don't think your steam will be superheated, it will be sub-heated and so might not do the job. Cleaning off krausen etc (with a soft cloth and even cold water) should be pretty easy if not allowed to dry.

Kieran is right, but most ppl don't want chlorine bleach (Miltons) near their fermentor, which could take several alternate hot/cold rinses to remove the chlorine smell (plastic seems to absorb that as well as the beery smell), and don't have access to an autoclave.

Isn't the beer/yeast smell usually a pleasant one? Shouldn't affect next brew unless perhaps you drastically change styles?

Like John & Jazman, I reckon some proprietary esp. Starsan-type, you can spray down a fermenter with maybe 50ml of diluted solution once it's clean.

 

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i heard that bottles can be washed in a dishwasher and then do not require sterilising (as the water is near boiling)

 

 

 

is this true? because it would certainly make the onerous task of washing bottles a hell of a lot simpler

 

Scott, don't use a dishwasher, someone on here says they do it no probs, but it's a bit sketchy (and running a hot cycle uses lots of power/$/CO2 emissions). Elbow grease...

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I bottle my beer then rinse the fermenter out with tank water, then put a cap full of coles laundry soaker in the bottom of the fermenter and fill to the top with tank water again. Leave for 24 hours empty the fermenter through the tap and wash the whole lot with brewers detergent, I pull the tap apart and wash it as well, then rinse with tank water and hang upside down to dry untill I need it again.

Next time I use the fermenter I sanitize with starsan tip it out them mix up the next brew on top of the starsan foam. Never had an infection since doing it this way had a few when using boiling water and had a few using sodium metabisulphite.

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Stuby, I don't think either Wal or Scott have been around the forum for about 10 years... tonguebiggrin

 

You're right though, boiling water in a pot then tipping it into the FV is not going to result in superheated steam. It's pretty good, but it's not an autoclave.

 

People need to realise that not all chemicals are bad. I can understand not wanting hyperchlorite bleach solutions anywhere near fermenters etc. but something like sodium percarbonate is perfectly harmless and does the same job albeit a little slower. It breaks down after some hours into water, oxygen and soda ash, and so doesn't really need rinsing necessarily. It is the active ingredient in James' laundry soaker although that stuff does need rinsing due to the other detergents present in it.

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