From the HBD Archive
From: florianb@tekred.cna.tek.com
Subject: sanitizing once more
Date: 1989-11-18 01:33:18 GMT

Toufic Boubez writes:

"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 have.
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
taste."

The subject of sanitizing could well be one of the most talked about in
homebrew digest. Of all the responses I've read, it seems that a mild
solution of common plain bleach is the favorite of homebrewers. I use one
half capful per gallon, which is about one teaspoon per gallon of warm water.
I also rinse everything with the sprayer part of my sink using the hot water
tap. I reason that if the water was sitting in the hot water heater at 130
degrees, there couldn't be much bacteria left in it to matter. I have never
had a detectable problem. I don't see any reason to mess around with odd
cleansing or sanitizing agents which could leave off flavors in the beer.

Someone commented on a show on PBS about a guy pitching yeast with his bare
hands. Recently, my brother-in-law visited the Sam Smith's brewery in
England. The tour guide picked up a handful of the yeast crusties on the side
of the (open) fermentation vat, showed it to the guests, and pitched it back
in after talking about it and rubbing it in his hands. I guess I agree with
"Suurb" in that if the brew is consumed rather quickly, sanitation is rarely a
problem anyway. I'd say it's a problem with long storage in rare cases also.
For all the hubub that appears in the homebrew books about sanitization, I
think it's all blown out of proportion. I certainly don't lose any sleep over
it.

[Florian Bell -- on my way home to drink some "pretty good" beer.]

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