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5 Tips For The Beginner On Sterilizing Brewing Equipment

You have read the books, studied the recipes, have all your brewing equipment, and now you are all set to go. Not so fast, rookie.Anyone who wants to become a good brewer of good beer must learn how to properly clean and sterilizing brewing equipment first.

Sterilizing brewing equipment is where most first time brewers fail!

You can find out about sterilizing brewing equipment in several different ways. One, you can read about sanitizing. Two, ask other brewers sanitation questions or three. Experiment with sanitizers on your own. But the lesson you will learn from is when you find out about them by accident. Contaminating a batch of beer out of carelessness or just plain ignorance is a painful lesson to learn. The only thing worse than throwing out bad beer is drinking 5 gallons of bad beer. Especially after you’ve spent a great deal of time getting it to the point you can drink it.

In this article, I will give you five key tip and critical things you need to know about sterilizing brew equipment and the different levels of cleanliness required and give you information on the products and practices that can help you be successful from day one.

1. Keep it simple and cheap to start – Bleachbleach-stertilizing-brewing-equipment

There are a variety of chemicals that you can use to clean and sanitize your homebrewing equipment including iodine-based products, chlorine-based products, caustics, ammonia, and a couple of environmentally safe cleansers that contain oxygen-based percarbonates.

With all that said the easiest way of sterilizing brewing equipment is with bleach. Is it the easiest? No. Is it the most cost-effective? You better believe it. Just to put it into perspective, you can buy a 30oz. bottle for a $1.50. That’s enough to sterilize 60 gallons of water. You just can’t beat that with any other method. For new brewers, you don’t want to go out and drop money on something you may never use again. I always encourage new brewers to start with bleach and if you think you are going to stay with the hobby then you can move to specialized products.

2. Soak…do not scrub

soaking-sterilizing-brewing-equipmentThe most effective methods of sterilizing brewing equipment involve soaking rather than intensive scrubbing. For this purpose, the best place to handle sanitizing procedures is a utility basin or large-capacity sink. You can use a tub in a pinch but the tub is a very dirty place. You will need to clean in thoroughly before you use it. For the small bits and pieces like tubing and the air lock, I will throw them in the fermentor when the sanitizer is filled to the rim. If it’s a plastic bucket, I will shove the lid into. This causes the liquid to over flow just enough so I am assured all surfaces are submerged.

Never use any abrasives or materials that can scratch plastic or metal surfaces! Doing so causes pits and scratches and these are excellent hiding places for bacteria. Instead, use a very soft sponge that you’ve devoted to cleaning only homebrewing equipment and replace it often! Sponges are cheap.

3. Bake your bottles to sterilize themBottle-Sterilization-sterilizing-brewing-equipment

Yup, you read that right. One of the easiest and fastest ways to sterilize bottles is to bake them. The first time I did that I was amazed and I have never looked back. The key here is temperature. Most bacteria are destroyed at around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Most ovens lowest setting is 175 to 200. Simply clean bottles with soap and water, rinse, cover the top with a small piece of tinfoil (Allows the steam to escape and hinders bugs going in) place in

oven and set to 200 for 30 min. I usually do this the night before so they have plenty of time to cool and bottle in the morning.

4. Use Vodka to sterilize tools

vodka-sterilizing-brewing-equipmentOne of the main reasons beer is bug-free, for the most part, is because of the alcohol in it. Vodka, which is usually around 40% by volume, is a super sterilizer. Now you won’t want to be using this for sterilizing brewing equipment per say but it is great for the equipment you will be using as you go through the process of making beer. For example, when pulling a sample for your fermentor to check the gravity. Simply wipe down the cup or ladle vodka just prior to using. This will kill all the bacteria on the surface immediately saving you from contaminating your precious batch of beer. You can also use vodka in your air-lock as a blocking fluid.

5. Clean or replace tubing oftentubing-sterilizing-brewing-equipment

Tubing is one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment when it comes to contamination. Most think that because you can see through it, it must be clean. Fact of the matter is it’s usually the dirtiest piece of equipment in home brewing. Mostly because surface cleaning inside the tube is near impossible. The easiest way to keep tubing clean is to rinse immediately after using and then storing it in a weak sterilizing solution. I only recommend this if you brew often though. If you plan to brew periodically make sure to dry the tube completely before putting away. Check all tubing before use. If you see any type of discoloration in the tubing, just throw it away and use a new piece. Tubing is cheap and it’s just not worth the risk.

While these 5 tips are not the be all and end all of sterilizing brewing equipment it should help you eliminate some of the most common mistakes and help you to make your brew day a little easier.

Do you have any tips or tricks you have learned along the way or were shared with you? Share them in the comments below!

Brew it! Drink it! Enjoy it!

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5 Critical Things You Need To Know for Micro Batch Brewing

Beer brewing is just like anything else. Once you have the basics down, it only gets better as you practice. Beer brewing needs essential skills to successfully formulate a quality one. So many people have the notion that beer brewing is very difficult and involves lots of task. For this reason, many people find it difficult to venture into micro batch brewing. This might be true yet with all the right tools, a little knowledge and a good recipe; you can easily produce a tasty product.

Be that as it may, before you begin , there are some tidbits of knowledge that can help to be successful from your very first batch. Keeping up great propensities and acquiring the rudiments can help the methodology to be less demanding and enjoyable in the long run.

Here are few tips on Micro batch brewing. 

  1. Make sure you always apply sanitation around your area you are brewing.micro batch brewing sanitation

Sanitation is an issue which should be noted. Before you begin, the wine containers, basins, and other equipments to use must be thoroughly cleaned before going on with the brewing process. The most essential stage for sterilization is immediately after you cool the wine, because microscopic organisms is most likely to occur while the yeast hasn’t fermented yet.

  1. Cool the wort as quickly as possible

Ensure that you cool off your beer quickly to prevent bacteria from contaminating it. You can prevent bacteria from spoiling it by initiating the fermentation process immediately. Different brewers are notwithstanding devised their own methodology by putting the beer fermenters in the ice baths, just to turn it cold quickly. Likewise, rather than making use of plastic or glass fermenter, use a brew pot since it will cool the brew speedier than using other specified materials.

  1. Fresh ingredients are necessary

-micro-batch-brewing ingredientsTo create the best beer, fresh ingredients are important just as you need to eat delicious cooked meals. High quality jumps, malt, yeast, honey and other required blends should be understood by brewers. In the same way, they should also know how to store them in the cooler without affecting their freshness. Remember that there are a few ingredients that can be stored in the freezer, however malt and grains can’t. This is on the grounds that they more often than not get oxidized and will just destroy the flavor.

 

 

  1. Boiling Process

Some crucial functions take place during the process of boiling the wort. The wort must be sterilized in light of the fact that there are lots of undesirable mixes to vaporize. The hops, proteins and tannins intense oils will be likewise discharged from the grains; they can fallout in the cooling stage. For the best bubbling procedure for lighter beers, the recommended temperature is 60 – 90 minutes.

  1. Consider darker beer

With its flavor and structure, darker beers can cover your errors in your first brewed batch. It can’t discdark-beers-micro batch brewingourage you. Try the stouts or doormen flavor. All things considered, dull brews are wonderful with its heaps of flavor.

Just remeber, micro batch brewing is a skill that is easy to learn but the more you know, and the more you practice the better the final product gets. SO what are you waiting for? Go brew some beer!