From the HBD Archive
From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com@RELAY.CS.NET
Subject: HB DIG #167: Cleanliness
Date: 1989-06-02 15:30:12 GMT

attmail (wish I knew the real name) asks:

> grabbed the sample. So the question: where is a good place
> to take the sample? From the top of the brew? The middle?
> The bottom? If not from the top, how do you get the sample
> without contaminating the batch?

I take the sample from the top 1/4 of the brew, using a gravy
baster. You can avoid contamination by washing the baster and your
hands with detergent and water, and then rinsing with a solution of
1 tablespoon of bleach per one gallon of water. Don't open the
fermenter for any longer than you have to.

Goes on to inquire:

> sanitized environment? I am reluctant to open the fermenter,
> especially if I can tell it's time to bottle when
> fermentation stops.
>
> * (This may be the issue underlying the above points.) Am I
> being obsessive about cleanliness? Just how clean do you
> need to make everything? On my first batch I used a bit of
> household bleach and rinsed everything many, many times. I'm
> wondering how much of this is necessary. I've read in this
> digest varying opinions on this: everything from:

The good books tell you to first wash everything which will come
into contact with the brew to remove dirt. Then sanitize every-
thing with bleach solution as I described above.

I have a friend who washes everything a zillion times and soaks
everything in bleach solution for 15 minutes. I think this is
extreme. All I ever do is this: Wash the (stainless steel) sink
with Ajax or Comet. Rinse it well to get rid of all cleanser.
Make up a solution of bleach water in the sink. Use this to rinse
everything at least once. That's all. I've never had a
bacterial infection in my brews (now I'll get one for bragging).
I keep all my equipment in a large kitchen garbage bag tied up
with a twist tie. I speculate this keeps dust from settling on
it while not in use.

Also, I never use cold water in brewing. All water is boiled.

David Fudenberg asks:

>My question concerns cask conditioned ("real") ale. I've never had any,
>am am wondering which pubs in the US serve real ale, and what impressions
>people have of it.

I've had it in England several times, and in Portland, Oregon at
McMinneman's Pub (Hillsborough). I like the change occasionally
from carbonated to nearly flat. I believe it's easier to get
the flavor of the brew when it's less carbonated. It's kind of
nice to see the pump action, too.

Cheers! (Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon)

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