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pat-f

Cleaning the fermentor

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Please help! I just sampled a batch of cider that I made to find that it tasts mousey. This is the 4th batch in a row that's been Bad. I wash the fermentor with dish soap, rinse, then soak in StarSan sanitizer for 15 minutes before I use. I soak my equipment for 15 minutes as well. Do these fermentors get to a point where they cannot be sanitised?

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No. I've been brewing with my same 6 LBKs for about a year and half now, must have over 20 brews each in them on average too. I never use dish soap only OxyClean FREE followed by One-Step for sanitizing.

I have also used PBW to clean off some really tough trub followed by Iodophor too. I do however unscrew the spigot, nut and washers and clean around the opening in the LBK were they go really well everytime I sanitize them though. I also take apart the spigot to clean the inside parts of the valve, but that I've only done once so far and they were pretty clean even after over a year of use.

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Id quit using the dish soap, and just fill your LBK with OXYclean.
I fill mine up and let them soak a few hours or overnight.
And like screwy said, don't forget to clean your spigots

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+1 on the above advice.

I'd add "don't use hot water".

Hot water can set odors and flavors in the plastic. Use lukewarm water. Rule of thumb: if you're not comfortable keeping your hand in the water, it's too hot to wash the LBK with.

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Really glad I saw this even though it will be 3 weeks or so before I bottle first batches and have to clean the LBKs. Now I looked for OxyClean at the store the other night and didnt see any except for some in the laundry aisle. I am assuming (I know) that there is one for dishes that would be different. Perhaps they were just out of it?

Cheers
Jeff

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Thanks for the replies. I always take everything apart and wash it after every batch, and right before I start a new one. I use warm (not hot) water, and I never use anything abrasive. I've noticed, that no matter how much I clean it I can still smell the last batch. I'll pick up some Oxy clean, and give that a try.

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Manowarfan1 wrote:

Really glad I saw this even though it will be 3 weeks or so before I bottle first batches and have to clean the LBKs. Now I looked for OxyClean at the store the other night and didnt see any except for some in the laundry aisle. I am assuming (I know) that there is one for dishes that would be different. Perhaps they were just out of it?

Cheers
Jeff

Yeah, we're talking the laundry soap. Just make sure it's OxyClean Free. No scents or dyes added.

Pat-f, the OxyClean Free should help with the residual odors. I would also recommend triple-rinsing the fermenter with clean water, just to be sure.

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Manowarfan1 wrote:

Now I looked for OxyClean at the store the other night and didnt see any except for some in the laundry aisle.

Yep as FD said,it's the same stuff. If ya look at the dollar stores you can find big tubs of it alot cheaper too

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On the Oxy Clean Free - is it Powder or liquid? Does it matter? Guess I will hit big lots at lunch tomorrow - as each time I have seen it, it was in laundry aisle and I hadn't thought it could be what I was looking for.

Just a general question (as I looked for something called StarSan Sanitizer while at wallyworld today too). which products do you experts buy at regular stores and which stuff do you buy at HomeBrew supply stores? I am figuring that if I can find something at a regular store it will be cheaper and spend the money at homebrew shops just on the stuff that is specific to brewing.

Cheers
Jeff

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Guest System Admin

Dish soap has additives for scent and de-greasers along with anti-spot additives.

All these coat your LBK and can add off flavors.

The Oxy-Clean free has the sent and additives removed so get that or the other Oxigen cleaners that are "Free" of diescentstain removers.

I would take your LBK and rinse good then fill with cool water and 1 scoop Oxy-clean free over night then rinse several times before next use.

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Manowarfan1 wrote:

On the Oxy Clean Free - is it Powder or liquid? Does it matter? Guess I will hit big lots at lunch tomorrow - as each time I have seen it, it was in laundry aisle and I hadn't thought it could be what I was looking for.

Just a general question (as I looked for something called StarSan Sanitizer while at wallyworld today too). which products do you experts buy at regular stores and which stuff do you buy at HomeBrew supply stores? I am figuring that if I can find something at a regular store it will be cheaper and spend the money at homebrew shops just on the stuff that is specific to brewing.

Cheers
Jeff

I've seen and used both the liquid and the powder form of OxyClean Free. Your choice, I guess.

You might be able to find StarSan at a restaurant supply store. I don't know if it's available at places like K mart; there might not be enough demand to justify their stocking it. Homebrew stores, definitely.

Spices and some other flavorings I buy at the grocery store. I don't know how much or a markup a homebrew store would put on something like cinnamon sticks or coriander seed, but I know I can get them at the supermarket, so the convenience factor is there, as well.

Utensils and brewing vessels can be got at places like Target, if you know what you're looking for. I did wind up buying my huge seven gallon brewpot at the LHBS, but a 20-qt pot could be found just about anywhere they sell kitchen stuff. Same for measuring cups and spoons and whisks, which I recommend you get exclusively for brewing purposes.

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Excellent. Thanks guys. I will hit the grocery store/walmart/dollar store for some of the stuff and get the stuff I really need from the Homebrew store there. At least now I know what I should be looking to grab when at the homebrew store. I know I am going to need a hydrometer, and I want to grab a few other ingredients I can add to basic MrB recipes to branch out shortly.

Definitely need a new whisk as the one I have only fits into LBK with much fighting and bending. Should perhaps look at a new can opener, although the ones I have now is the kind that just removes the top - doesn't actually go into the can itself, which I think would be good for this.

Also going to have to do something - don't want to move/shake up the LBK's to a different location, but it has gotten up to 70 on the thermometer stuck to the outside of each LBK. Fortunately we have some cooler weather coming to Colorado this week, but I have read several times that the first week is crucial.

Cheers
jeff

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Here's a neat little trick I use to clean the keg. When bottling time rolls around I sanitize my bottles with the remaining half pack of one step left over from brew day. I take a gallon jug, pour the half pack of onestep in, fill it with warm water and then fill the bottles to soak and sanitize. After they are sanitized, I dump the onestep back into the jug and keep it until I am finished bottling beer. Then I take the keg, pour about a quart of warm tap water in it and slosh it around until all of the trub is dissolved. I pour it out, rinse the keg really good, then pour the gallon of onestep back into the keg and top it off with more really warm water. Fill it all the way to the top. Let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour then dump it out. I then rinse it out really good, making sure to use a sponge to scrub off any sediment left sticking to the sides of the keg, then take the spigot apart and clean it, let everything dry out then put it back together and brew again. I have done it this way every time I brewed (17 batches so far) and never had an issue yet.

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Screwy Brewer wrote:

I never use dish soap only OxyClean FREE followed by One-Step for sanitizing.

+1

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This is what I use to clean out my kegs Ultra Palmolive Baby Bottle, Toy & Dish Washer. I have brewed 8 batches and so far all of my brews have come out great.

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I bought extra packs of the one step in Bulk from MrBeer. After I have bottled the brew I rinse out the heavy trub with warm water. Refill shake around a bit dump and rinse again. I then scrub off the scum layer at the top with a sponge. Rinse again and refill to the top with 1/2 bag on the 1 step stuff. Let sit for an hour dump and rinse. Next time I use the Keg I will do the one step thing again before putting the Wort in. I may get some of that OXY stuff though.
Trumpetman

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