From the HBD Archive
Subject: Re: Sanitation and water
Date: 1989-11-16 15:30:45 GMT

Doug Allison writes:

>the usual homebrewer's sanitation practices are just that: sanitation, not
>sterilization. He advised sterilizing with a 1:3 bleach/water solution (I
>still don't make it this strong). He said NOT to rinse,

I am a newcomer to homebrewing, but I have a few comments about this. I am now
in the process of waiting for my FIRST batch to complete its fermentation.
When I first started, I cleaned the plastic fermenter with some white powder
that the lady at the store recommended (ingredient: active oxygen). I rinsed
it properly (I think) and I filled it with 1/2 gallon more water that I should

I then removed that extra 1/2 gallon (using a sanitized cup, of course :-)).
Everything else went according to plan. BTW, I used bottled spring water.
Yesterday, I tasted some of that water, and it has a horrible, bitter after

I'm positive it'll show up in my beer. Now what I think happened is that I
didn't REALLY rinse as much as I thought I did, leaving some of the taste of
the sanitizer in the container. So I'm really suspicious about NOT rinsing
your containers, unless (and I don't know about this) bleach does not leave
any aftertaste.

The other point I want to make is that, according to Papazian' book, (I don't
have the book here, but I think I remember correctly) the homebrewing
equipment does not need to be STERILIZED, only SANITIZED, to give your yeast
an edge over the competition. I think that he also says that a lot of the
commercial breweries don't sterilize either, they just sanitize, but I'm not
as sure about this. Well, this is all. What do more experienced brewers think?


Toufic Boubez

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