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How to Sanitize the Equipment for Beer Brewing

Learn how to sanitize beer brewing equipment at home from home brewer Chris Cuzme in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer's Guild. I've been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I'm crazy addicted to it, and I'm happy to share it with you today. I'm also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, I'll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers!

Cleaning and sanitizing are 2 very different things. We clean to get rid of the muck, and anything that might potentially come out later and get crazy. And we sanitize to kill the surfaces of, of anything that has been cleaned. There are lots of different cleaning agents, such as a mixture of Oxyclean, diluted Oxyclean and water. B-Brite, which is for home brewers, and people alike, which is basically a form of Oxyclean. And I prefer powdered brewing wash, which is what professional brewers, a lot of professional brewers use. But also, what works is caustic or lye. And that's fantastic for killing and cleaning anything. You virtually don't have to touch stuff. You just have to make sure that this caustic or lye or powdered brewing wash. You know, get ahold of everything, and touch all the surfaces that you want completely cleaned. Sanitizing is another issue, there are a lot of different forms of sanitizing. Uh, like bleach, or a diltion thereof. The problem with bleach is that sometimes, if you don't allow the bleach to completely evaporate off, that can get, the flavor of bleach can get into your beer, which, of course, we don't want. Iodophoric is a very popular form in which some brewers. It's cost effective. You basically leave it in a solution of Iodophor and water for about 2 minutes. And then let it air dry, and then it's ready. But my preferred method is actually Star San. This is instantaneous. Even the foam that's created from Star San and water is sanitized, is sterile and sanitizes things, it's great. One great trick that's something to have around with you, uh, when you're in the fermentation part, or you're transferring from your, from your boil kettle to your fermenter. Or anything that will come in contact with your beer from that point on. It's a great idea to have a spray bottle of sanitizer, so that you can just make sure any sort of connections, or anything that might potentially be in contact will get sanitized. Also throughout that latter process, I typically have a bowl full of sanitizing solution with which I can just leave, like, my airlocks all the way down to the final minute. And also, we do that for our bottling, the bottle caps when we're, when we're at that stage. But, if you use Star San, it's pretty acidic. And you wanna wash your hands, or not get in contact with it. Once you're done boiling, sanitization is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Everything, everything, every piece of equipment that you have needs to be sanitized before it comes in contact with that beer. So take these, these tips, and these sanitizing and cleaning solutions, and put them to use for everything that touches it. Including your fermentation vessels, your racking cane, your tubing, your bottling bucket, your bottling spigot, your bottles. Your airlocks, your, you plugs. Your tops, bottle caps, everything.

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