From the HBD Archive
From: Andy Wilcox <andy@mosquito.cis.ufl.edu>
Subject: Re: Sanitation
Date: 1989-11-28 22:58:58 GMT

>From: hplabs!rutgers!dgbt.crc.dnd.ca!bnr-rsc!crick (Bill Crick)
>The recent rash of articles on sterilization have prompted me to post
>some comments on my brewing experience.
>
>Through the years, I have used various cleaning methods, starting with
>just plenty of hot tap water, through to boiling water, and sanitizing
>detergents, and chlorine bleach. I really haven't noticed a big difference
>I've never washed or boiled bottle caps!

Perhaps it was a classic case of the novice finding a good solution to an old
pain-in-the-butt, but, here's my story. A little more than a year ago, my
major prof. quipped something about making beer. It was something I always
wanted to try, so naturally I was interested. He offered to help me brew my
first batch. Brewing was much simpler than I thought it was going to be!

However, two weeks later, we got to bottling. We had no clean bottles, but
lots of 2-years-in-the-garage bottles. Staring at the grunge in ALL of them,
it looked like alot of work! I casually mentioned that we should "just put
these in the dishwasher, and alternate detergent, bleach, and plain water" to
clean them out. My brewing instructor had never thought of it. Turns out, it
works great. In the improved version, I route all water to the bottom sprayer
only, increasing the pressure up toward the bottles. Recently I came across
some of the most terrible looking bud bottles I have ever seen. 60-80% were
spotless (and I mean really spotless, inside and out) after the first pass. A
quick brush for the others, back in the next load (while I RAHAHB), and they
too were clean.

The cycle I've settled on is:

hot water/detergent: 5 min (gets out most of the crud)
hot water/detergent: 20 min (gets out the rest of the crud)
hot water/bleach: 5 min (sanitation)
hot water: 5 min (wash out bleach)
hot water: 5 min (final rinse)

I usually leave my hot water heater on 130 to conserve energy, but I crank it
up to 160 for full sanitation. Your mileage may vary.

I've washed about 50 cases now, and have had great success. In fact, 100%.
No sour beer at all. Best part is, I paid only $25 for a 10 year old
Hotpoint!

Andy Wilcox
(andy@ufl.edu)

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