From the HBD Archive
Subject: Brewing in Plasitc Water Jugs
Date: 1992-06-10 16:17:26 GMT

I guess I can claim to be something of an authority on this subject. I
brewed 50 batches of beer this way. The first thing I would say is don't
worry about toxicity too much. I'm not dead yet :-) The second thing
I would say is don't do it. The big problem is sanitization. In our first
50 batches my brewing partner and I had quite a few contamination problems.
Some of this stems from the fact that we had inadaquate knowledge about
sanitization. For example we tried to sterilize with sodium metabisulfate
which isn't the best thing to use. We also never sterilized the water jugs
before using them figuring that they'd only been exposed to pure water. Of
course this isn't really true. Sure some of the water was purified by
reverse osmosis but some of it was just spring water. Even the purified stuff
doesn't guerentee that the jug was clean before the water was put in it.

You can probably use these jugs without infection if you treat them with
bleach water and don't re-use them but I wouldn't count on it. Glass is
much more reliable. Another problem is that the jugs aren't that sturdy.
You haven't lived until a full one has rolled off the counter on a warm
day and exploded all over your kitchen or laundry room!

If you really want to make small batches that will fit in your refridgerator
why don't you use 1 gallon apple juice bottles or something? You might
even be able to find a 2-3 gallon bottle somewhere.

Finally, why are you worried about Mountain View water? I brewed in Menlo
Park and the water was pretty good for brewing and great for drinking. Does
Mountain View get Santa Clara well water instead of Hech Hechy (sp) reservoir

See Ya
Geoff Reeves
Atomic City Ales

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