From the HBD Archive
Subject: TSP/RATC
Date: 1992-04-27 16:26:00 GMT

jal writes:
>2. What are the preferred cleaners/sanitizers for stainless? I
>know of those who swear by between TSP or Iodophor, and one who
>even uses bleach with minimum exposure.

It is my understanding (from Charlie's TCJoHB, I believe) that TSP
(trisodium phosphate) is a good cleaner (for label removal, I believe),
but not a sanitizer. I believe George Fix introduced Iodophor to the
HBD and recommends it for SS because Chlorine Bleach reacts with SS.

I purchased a bottle of Iodophor a few months ago, but had been
hesitant to use it, not knowing the proper concentration to use.
As an experiment, I bottled a batch where half the bottles were
sanitized with 200ppm Iodophor and half with 200ppm Chlorine Bleach.
After sanitizing (with one of those Italian-made, red-and-white
bottle sanitizers) I rinsed with hot tapwater using my Jet bottle

Two weeks later, all the Iodophor bottles have ring-around-the-collar.
None of the Bleach bottles do (yet -- see NOTICE).

NOTICE: I had recently developed a ring-around-the-collar problem
in my brewery (read, basement). I was using 100-200ppm Chlorine
Bleach but was not changing it (I would used the same gallon of
sanitizing solution for the entire batch -- bad idea). I had gotten
cocky and my sanitation had become lax. I've since become more
careful when sanitizing and have not had problems with the ring-around
-the-collar (knock on wood). Note, that some bottles had more RATC
and some had less. Some brews did not have any. When it did appear,
it would show up as pinhead-sized dots at the liquid level, unevenly
spaced around the entire circumferance. I will check for a correlation
with dryhopping tonight.

I just re-read a personal email conversation with George, who said that
the Chlorine in my municipal water will (to some degree) counteract
the Iodophor. He suggested that I add more Iodophor till a "good color
is established." Hmmm. Maybe I should have added more Iodophor?
The Iodophor I'm using has an indicator which makes the solution amber
when it is working and clear when it should be changed. The solution
I used was about the color of American Light Lager. Maybe I should
have added Iodophor till the color was like Bass Ale? George? Maybe
the problem is in my water (Palos Hills municipal -- purchased from
Chicago South branch)?

Has anyone identified the creature(s) responsible for ring-around-the
-collar? I assume it's aerobic since it only hangs out at the liquid
level. I have not tasted any acidity in any of my RATC brews -- I had
assumed, therefore, that it was a mold. In fact, I have not noticed any
ill-effects from the RATC other than cosmetic. Comments?


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