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!
30" Carboy Brush
Team me up with a good cleaner such as PBW or OBW and we'll make cleaning that carboy a breeze.
6.5 Gallon Plastic Fermentor
Food grade fermenting bucket with graduated markings showing volume. Includes a drilled/grommeted lid.
7.9 Gallon Plastic Fermentor
Food grade bucket with graduated markings showing volume. Includes drilled/grommeted lid.
A 7.9 gallon conical fermenter that enables both primary and secondary fermentation in a single vessel. Reduces chances of contamination and oxidation caused by the racking process. Collection ball is great for yeast harvesting as well. Includes wall mounting hardware, collection ball, thermowell for optional thermometer, and airlock. Pictured, ...
Our new best-selling fermentor. These wide-mouth fermentors are great! With smooth sides and a 4 inch opening, cleaning couldn't be easier. The one-piece lid also includes a removable gasket. 6 gallon or 7 gallon available. We include the necessary #10 stopper/medium bung and airlock with the Fermonster. Happy Brewing!!!!
A classic for home brewers. These glass carboys are from Italy and come in multiple sizes. We recommend using the 6.5 gal for primary fermentation, the 6 gal for doing secondary fermentation on wine or beer, the five gal for secondary, and the 3 gal for small batches. NOTE: We do not currently ship glass. These are for in store pick up only. How...
A heavy, PET plastic carboy ideal for fermentations of wine or beer, including secondary. The material is completely taste and odor free, stain resistant, and impermeable to oxygen. Unlike glass, these are lightweight and virtually unbreakable (no trips to the ER for stitches!). Smooth inner walls prevent sediment from collecting and make for e...
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...