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!
Stainless Weldless Ball Valve
Perfect for conversion projects such as building a mashtun or adding a ball valve to your brew kettle. No welding required, just a 1" diameter hole. Weldless kit includes a 1/2" Full Port ball valve and a 1/2" barb. All fittings are made from 304 type stainless steel for a lifetime of corrosion free use.
Stainless 1/2" MPT Barb
1/2" MPT (male pipe thread) with either a 1/2" or 3/8" barb. Perfect for insertion into a ball valve or other 1/2" FPT port. 304 stainless steel.
1/2" MPT Fermentap Dial Thermometer
This is not the weldless assembly, only the dial thermometer with 1/2" MPT threads. This is intended to be threaded into any 1/2" FPT coupler, such as you'll find standard on the Brew Built kettles. Made of 304 stainless steel. 3" face. Available with either a 2.5" probe (more suitable for kettles) or a 6" probe (more appropriate for a mashtun)....
Stainless 1/2" FPT Barb
1/2" FPT (female pipe thread) with either a 1/2" or 3/8" barb. Perfect for attaching to any 1/2" MPT fitting, such as found on pumps. 304 stainless steel.
Stainless 1/2" MPT Locknut
1/2" FPT (female pipe thread) locknut. 304 stainless steel.
Stainless 1/2" FPT Full Coupler
1/2" FPT (female pipe thread) full coupler has threads through the entire center. Roughly 1.5" length. 304 stainless.
1/2" Stainless Ball Valve
Built from 304 stainless steel, this ball valve features 1/2" FPT threads on each end. Perfect for kettles, pumps, chillers, or whatever else your system demands. Easy to clean. Just use two wrenches to separate the two piece valve.