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Thread: Sanitizing buckets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    31

    Sanitizing buckets

    Hey everyone -

    So I was wondering how everyone goes about sanitizing their bigger items, such as the 6 gallon buckets or carboys. I have only done one batch, and in order to sanitize them I filled them with water then used like 5 tbsp of sanitizer for each, so essentially i jsut filled the buckets with sanitizer...is there a way to do it without using so much water or more importantly sanitizer?

    Thanks!
    Zack

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by supercanuck
    Hey everyone -

    So I was wondering how everyone goes about sanitizing their bigger items, such as the 6 gallon buckets or carboys. I have only done one batch, and in order to sanitize them I filled them with water then used like 5 tbsp of sanitizer for each, so essentially i jsut filled the buckets with sanitizer...is there a way to do it without using so much water or more importantly sanitizer?

    Thanks!
    Zack

    There sure is. Just keep in mind that most decent sanitizers such as Star-San only need to actually contact the surface for oh, 90 seconds?? Anyway, a fairly short amount of time. I used to mixed up a full 5 gallons of sanitizer each time I brewed, but now I used only 1 or 2 gallons when I brew. What I do is mix the Star-San in the carboy (after thoroughly cleaning the carboy of course) and I give it a good swirl all around inside to start the sanitizing process. I also have a small spray bottle filled with mixed up Star-San solution. I learned that trick on this forum, and it is a great idea. (The spray bottle is great for items you can't soak in a tub but need to be sterile, such the top of a keg, a fragile thermometer/hydrometer, even keg disconnects.) I then use the spray bottle to sanitize the dip tube of the thoroughly cleaned auto-siphon, and then just prior to starting the mash water (or boil water, whatever the case may be,) I siphon about half the solution into a shallow tub, (like what you would use to bus dishes) and soak all my components in there while I am brewing. Just before I rack the wort into the carboy, I give it one more good swirl, being sure to get all the way up top, and in the neck, and then dump the rest of the sanitizer into the plastic tub, or sink. I also like to give the mouth of the carboy a good spray with the Star-San solution, inside and out before I put the wort in. This is just one way of sanitizing with only a little solution, and I find it to be plain, simple, and effective.

    I can't say enough about the spray bottle idea. This is also great to have just for quickly sanitizing things. The best example would be when you are trying to do something tricky, and end up touching a sanitized component that you already sanitized, but need to stick in the beer, and maybe your hands are full and you can't drop everything and go dip it back in the tub of solution. (Or perhaps you've already dumped the tub.) Just give it a quick squirt with the spray bottle, and you're all set.

    I hope this helps!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    410
    I did kind of the same thing my first batch, and ended up using even more water rinsing out everything since I think I used to much powder, lol. Almost everyone here said to use starsan, it's a no rinse sanitizer that you can find at your LHBS. It is so much easier and works great.
    "You hands and feet are mangos, your gonna be a genius anyway." Phish


    Bottled: a little craft beer, cider
    Keg: Belgian-ish pale ale, Sunday Morning Ale
    Primary: Imperial Cream Stout, Falconers Flight IPA
    Secondary:
    Up next: something, something good, maybe
    Down the road: some kinda sour

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    4,101
    Quote Originally Posted by sully626
    I did kind of the same thing my first batch, and ended up using even more water rinsing out everything since I think I used to much powder, lol. Almost everyone here said to use starsan, it's a no rinse sanitizer that you can find at your LHBS. It is so much easier and works great.
    ??? I don't know of a SANITIZER that is a powder. Careful you are not using a CLEANER and treating it like a sanitizer.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    410
    I had used b-brite as the cleanser(and still do) and then used c-brite as the sanitizer(which I don't use anymore). The cbrite smelled like chlorine and it took forever to get the smell off of things. My last two batches I have cleansed things first and used starsan to sanatize, which will be the way I go from now on.

    Edit: I reread what I wrote and I meant that I think I added to much powder to the filled carboy, I still mighthave been doing it wrong. It was my first two batches and no one has gotten sick yet, lol. Only using starsan now though!
    Last edited by sully626; 04-08-2010 at 12:22 PM.
    "You hands and feet are mangos, your gonna be a genius anyway." Phish


    Bottled: a little craft beer, cider
    Keg: Belgian-ish pale ale, Sunday Morning Ale
    Primary: Imperial Cream Stout, Falconers Flight IPA
    Secondary:
    Up next: something, something good, maybe
    Down the road: some kinda sour

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    31
    Thanks for that info! I had actually thought about a spray bottle myself, but wasn't sure what the deal was with the contact time!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,015
    I use the spray bottle on the outside of racking canes and hoses, and anytinIing that won't fit in the sanitizer container. I hold them over the container of starsan so that most of the mist is also saved. I also use the spray bottle on the bucket lid. Not sure how else you'd sanitize that sucker. I used to put it in the bucket, but the sides would bow and caused it to stop sealing.

    The bottle is also good for anytime you open the fermenter. I spray down the opening of carboys and bucket rims and grommets where the airlock goes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    732
    I hit the bucket lids by just dipping my hand down in the liquid and scooping it onto the lid. I use my spray bottle to hit the counter where I'm going to be letting everything dry after sanitizing, as well as pretty much every mention up above.
    ~ Jeff S.

    Serving on tap: Mead, Cider, Bag Full of Rocks Pumpkin Ale, Tournament of Roses Wheat
    Serving in bottles: Ginger Peach Wheat
    Keg conditioning: Scottish 60/-
    Secondary: <none>
    Primary: Belgian Wit

    Ingredient cabinet: <none>

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by beerking
    ??? I don't know of a SANITIZER that is a powder. Careful you are not using a CLEANER and treating it like a sanitizer.
    One step? My label has sanitation instructions....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,101
    Quote Originally Posted by msk
    One step? My label has sanitation instructions....
    Correct. Forgot that one. Just make sure you are following the sanitizing instructions, separate from cleaning, when you sanitize.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,324
    Let me add a story for those who freak on sanatation just so you can cringe at the thought.

    I ferment in a Stainless steel Keg, and on my first batch i went to put on the lid and noticed that the o-ring was AWOL, sure enough it had fell down into the keg, now i have no tongs long enough to reach the bottom so i simply washed and rinsed my arm and went nearly shoulder deep with my arm into the full keg of cooled wort, and guess what the beer came out great! I'm not saying don't sanitize, because i do with star san and i love the stuff, but trust in the antibacterial power of hops, because things like the above happen!
    The mind is like a beer, it does the most good when it is opened.

    Author of Bizarre Brews 101 Now for sale online!

    http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000460972

    Or Just Google Bizarre Brews 101!

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