From the HBD Archive
From: ROSS@mscf.med.upenn.edu
Subject: Bleach, etc.
Date: 1989-07-03 13:30:00 GMT

Date sent: 3-JUL-1989 09:14:14

Concerning the issues of sterilization and sanitizing. Although it has
been awhile since I was in school and had a course concerning these topics, I
do remember some of the important issues.
The first is that time is a very important concept. Whether you are
using an autoclave to heat sterilize or are using bleach, the idea is to kill
the organisms that can contaminate your beer. We used to have a liquid
sterilizing solution at school that students would use to sterilize some of
their dental equipment with. It was constantly stressed that the instruments
had to soak for a certain length of time (which allows the chemicals to do
things like break apart the cell walls of the organisms). If you just dip
and rinse, you might as well just rinse your stuff with sterile water.
The same applies to heat sterilization where the items to be sterilized must
remain in the autoclave for a certain length of time.
Rinsing in itself has been proven to be a good way to clean things.
When surgeons scrub for surgery, the majority of the cleansing is done
mechanically (scrubbing) and by rinsing.
Therefore, I doubt the effectiveness of using B-brite for 15 seconds
and then rinsing. I feel that in this case it is really the rinsing that
is doing the work. It also sounds (although I never used B-Brite) like
B-Brite is some sort of hydrogen peroxide solution. Peroxide is something
that you can buy for next to nothing at a pharmacy. I also know that it
is being used in some cleaning products for soft contact lens and works
quite well.
Anyway, I think the bottom line is that you want to keep things as
clean as possible, and often times, even without complete sterilization you
can make a superb homebrew.

--- Andy Ross ---

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