The biggest mistake a brewer can make is to spend time and money making a quality beer wort or wine must but fail to take the time to clean and sanitize their equipment. All kinds of surprises await the brewer who uses unclean equipment- bacterial infections, wild yeast ferments, gushing bottles, a plethora of off-flavors and aromas... The first step to consistent and predictable results is employing sanitary procedures.
First, it's important to understand that cleaning and sanitizing are two separate procedures, neither one difficult. Cleaning is the act of removing physical particulate matter from something, such as your fermenter. If you have, for example, dried yeast stuck on the sides of your fermenter after doing a ferment, use an appropriate cleaner such as Oxygen Brewery Wash, PBW, or OneStep to help break up the particulates and scrub the surface with a non-abrasive scrubber, brush, or towel. Dish soap is not recommended as soap residue can produce off-flavors and aromas in your product.
Used bottles often benefit from a cleaning as there may be dried yeast sediment or other material in the bottom. The best way to reduce your time and energy cleaning is to clean as soon as possible; rinse bottles out well immediately after emptying them and don't let dirty fermenters sit for long without cleaning. Once particulates dry, they are much harder to remove from surfaces.
Once your equipment is clean, you must sanitize it before subjecting your beer, wine, or other beverage to it. Sanitizing is killing 99.99% of all microorganisms on a surface. To do this, use a food-grade sanitizer such as IoStar or StarSan; bleach is not recommended as it is not food grade, may be difficult to remove from plastics, and trace amounts can produce off-flavors and aromas. Merely mix sanitizers to the recommended concentrations and make sure that the sanitizing solution thoroughly contacts all surfaces of any equipment that will come in contact with your beer or wine. This includes fermenters, airlocks, siphoning equipment, bottles, etc.
Sanitizing procedures should be done just prior to use. Sanitizing a week, day, or even hours prior to using the equipment does no good as it may become recontaminated by airborne yeasts and bacterias in that time period.
If this sounds complicated or like a lot of work, it really isn't. It is, however, absolutely necessary and should never be dismissed. Happy brewing!
26" long 1/2" auto-siphon by Fermtech. Quickly and easily transfers liquids twice as fast as a 3/8" racking cane. Includes 6 feet of 1/2" vinyl tubing. Auto siphon clamp sold separately.
Team me up with a good cleaner such as PBW, OBW, or OneStep and we'll make cleaning those used bottles a breeze.
Chapman Univessel (14 Gal)
Plastic scratches. Glass breaks. Stainless reigns supreme, but is expensive- until now! These stainless steel fermentors from Chapman Brewing won't break like glass, scratch like plastic, breath like plastic, or allow damaging UV rays to penetrate into the goodness inside! May also be used as a small brew pot. Available ported or portless. Fea...
Chapman Univessel (7 Gal)
Plastic scratches. Glass breaks. Stainless reigns supreme, but is expensive- until now! These stainless steel fermentors from Chapman Brewing won't break like glass, scratch like plastic, breathe like plastic, or allow damaging UV rays to penetrate into the goodness inside! May also be used as a small brew pot. Available ported or portless. Fea...
All stainless fermenter conical fermenter with two valves, one for dumping trub and the other with a rotating racking arm halfway up the cone. Get professional-grade equipment at an affordable price! Available in multiple sizes. Get it for less here- don't forget about our discount program; see Ordering From Us for more info! Features: Ce...
An easy way to control carbonation levels in your bottles. Add 3, 4, or 5, tablets to each 12oz bottle to achieve low, medium, or high carbonation levels, respectively. Approximately 200 tabs per bag.
Mini 3/8" Auto-Siphon
3/8" auto-siphon. Quickly and easily transfers liquids. Includes 6 feet of 1/2" vinyl tubing.
Oxygen Barrier Caps
Standard 26mm caps. Come in packs of 144.
For use with 6.5 and 7.9 gallon bottling buckets. Comes with 2 gaskets and tapered nozzle, will accommodate both 5/16" and 3/8" siphon hose.
SS Brew Bucket
All stainless fermenter with conical base and a rotating racking arm. Space an issue? These are stackable! 6.95 gallon capacity. Get it for less here- don't forget about our discount program; see Ordering From Us for more info! Features: Certified food grade 304 stainless steel 6.95 gallon maximum capacity Stackable during ferment Easy to clean...
Available in: 3/8" for Regular and Mini Auto-Siphons. 1/2" for Large Auto-Siphons. Clamps to Buckets, Carboys and Gallon Jugs. Holds Auto-Siphon securely above sediment. Snap on, slide down, snap off.