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!
Avangard Pale Malt
Outstanding German pale base malt. Typical color is 2L. Clean, sweet flavor with nice body, suitable as a base for most beer styles. For full malt specs, click here.
Avangard Pilsner Malt
Excellent base malt for pilsners as well as many German and Belgian beers. Very clean and delicious, providing a balanced, yet full and flavorful malt backbone. This is our go-to pilsner malt. Typical Color: 1.5L. Malt spec sheet here.
Briess 2-row American brewers malt. Typical color 1.8L. Mildly malty sweet, less grainy, slightly grassy base malt suitable for most beer styles, especially North American styles.-DP 140. For full malt analysis, click here.
Briess Two-Row Malt (USA) (50 lb)
1.8L Base malt suitable for most beer styles.
Dingemans Pilsen Malt
Belgian Pilsner malt. Light in color and low in protein, produced from the finest European two-row barley. This malt is well modified and can easily be mashed with a single-temperature infusion. 1.4 - 1.8 L
Golden Promise is a delicious base malt, regarded by the Scots as superior to Maris Otter. Maltster- Thomas Fawcett. Typical color 2.2L Flavor is rich, smooth, and sweet. Produces a light golden color.
German Avangard Munich provides diastatic power and a wonderfully warm, smooth maltiness. Can be used sparingly for added malt complexity or used generously for German malt-forward styles such as Oktoberfest or Munich Dunkels. Typical Color: 10 L.
Muntons Maris Otter
Maris Otter has long been a favorite of English breweries, thanks to its rich, nutty flavor and its low protein which allows it to clear quickly. Great base malt for any beer recipe, especially English styles. Muntons Maris Otter has a rich, cookie-bready flavor and aroma. Delicious. Typical Color L: 3.0.
Organic Briess 2-Row
The same as standard Briess 2-row American brewers malt, but way better for the environment! Typical color 1.8L. Mildly malty sweet, less grainy, slightly grassy base malt suitable for most beer styles, especially North American styles. For full malt analysis, click here.
Rahr Pale Malt
A great domestic malt suitable for most styles, especially North American. Typical color is around 3.5L, making it slightly darker and richer than most domestic pale malt. Less grassy than Briess 2-row.
Riverbend Appalachian Wheat
Produced here in Asheville, this is what Riverbend has to say about this regional malt- "This malt uses a new regionally adapted variety of soft red wheat called Oakes. This variety was developed for use in the artisan bread industry, but we’ve found it makes a great malting variety as well! The aroma and flavor are more pronounced than traditi...
Riverbend Base Camp Extra Pale Malt
This malt is produced using a proprietary blend of regionally grown 2-row barley varieties. It is kilned at a lower temperatures to create a slightly sweet, grainy profile that will compliment your hoppier offerings. Typical Color: 2L. .