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Bleach Sanitizer... cold -vs- hot water

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hoosierhomebrew

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:37 am

Bleach Sanitizer... cold -vs- hot water

The more I read from various publications and here on this board, the more confused I become. It seems there are many variations on how to do just about everything in the homebrewery. That's actually pretty interesting but, it's really confusing for someone starting out. Before I made my first homebrew, I researched the topic pretty thoroghly. I learned quickly that sanitation was the key to making good beer. Charlie Papazian's book, "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing", discusses the use of chlorine bleach as an effective sanitizer when used with COLD water. Hot water is suppose to breakdown hypochlorous acid and reduce the effectivness of sanitation. Then I received my trial issue of "Zymurgy" and there is an article on sanitation... an essential for good beer. The author here (not mentioned) gives instruction to use the "hottest tap water" with the bleach mixture. So... who's right or does it make any difference? I've been using cold water bleach as my sanitizer because it is readily available, inexpensive, and effective. So far, knock on wood, I have had no problem with bacterial infections. My beer tastes great. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Almost every post I read has different methods on how to do things. What's a newbie to do? :lol:
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pvignola

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:51 am

I can't offer any facts based on science. All I have read says to use cold water with bleach. I personally use Iodine (Iodophor) to sanatize and it works great for me. It's not a cheap as bleach, but I've not had any infection problems. Hope this helps.
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Brewer Tom

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Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:51 am

Have you ever washed clothes with cold water and bleach?
Have you searched this forum for an answer?
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BaltimoreBrewer

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:26 am

I've been using a 2 tbsp to 5 gallon of cold water ratio for sanitizing all my "tools" and buckets prior to brewing. I leave them sitting for about 20-30 minutes while I prep everything else. with absoultely no infections...yet.
I always rinse everything with hot water prior to using as I do know bleach in your brew is icky.

FWIW, You can wash clothes in cold water and bleach and get the same effect as hot except your shirts won't shrink.
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Guest

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:39 am

Hot water will vaporize the chlorine, forming a gas. Nasty stuff that you dont want to breath.

I have always used cold h2o and bleach, never hot. It is an extremely effective sanitizer and I have never had an infection.

The only time I use hot tap h20 is when rinsing carboys, etc. You want to make absolutly certain you get all the bleach off your equipment, and hot h2o breaks down the chlorine.
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OGBrewer

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Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:03 am

For sanitizing my bottles, I've always used a dilute bleach solution in water. I've always used cold water for doing this, and have never had any contamination/infection problem.
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QC

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:59 am

Diluting Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with hot water will not release chlorine gas unless it is mixed with an acid.

I don't believe the effectiveness of hypochlorite is reduced when used with hot water, it will decompose quicker but will last plenty long enough. A dilute bleach solution only lasts about 24 hours in any case.

Hot water is a more effective cleaner than cold.
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Sangamon

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:42 am

QC wrote:Diluting Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with hot water will not release chlorine gas unless it is mixed with an acid.

I don't believe the effectiveness of hypochlorite is reduced when used with hot water, it will decompose quicker but will last plenty long enough. A dilute bleach solution only lasts about 24 hours in any case.

Hot water is a more effective cleaner than cold.


This is how I clean my carboys, hot water and bleach. Works great.
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Guest

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:04 am

QC wrote:Diluting Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with hot water will not release chlorine gas unless it is mixed with an acid..


Maybe it was too harsh to call it a gas. I do know that my ex-GF almost passed out when cleaning the bathroom (which was an enclosed space) with hot water and bleach. I guess the steam from the hot water made some of the chlorine airborne, which is easily inhaled.

That is all I meant by my statement.
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Bluesssman

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Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:27 am

I use bleach with warm water to sanitize anything not stainless steel. Iodine is used for the SS stuff. I do not rinse anything after sanitizing because I believe you could be reinfecting with the water and after draining out the bleach or iodine, there is not enough to make any taste difference.

Gary
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Spider

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:58 am

My bottle of bleach says for handwashing or pretreat soaking to use cool water (now this is for clothes) But for cleaning floors tubs showers it says to use sudsy warm water
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stumptowner

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:09 pm

chlorine wash, hot or cold

I'm in a medical related field, and we're taught that chlorine should be used with cold water. Chlorine compounds break down relatively quickly -- and they last longer if the water is cold.
For rinsing, hot water is best -- it rinses faster and disolves/disperses the chlorine more quickly.

if you're going to make up a cleaning solution to sanitize surfaces or items, it should be made fresh "each day" with cold water. If it's made with hot water, it will lose potency within a few hours (i forget the specifics, but could look it up if anyone wants)

HOWEVER, I think for our beer sanitizing purposes it's a moot issue! We'll be sanitizing a few things ( generaly at the same time), if we're organized -- and even if the solution is made from hot water instead of cold, it will be effective for as long as we need it that day.

It's easy to make up fresh solution! A strong fresh solution should smell of chlorine -- and if there isn't any smell left then the solution is old and we should make some fresh stuff.

PS --- incidently, I think most slution strength recomendations are a lot stronger than the World Health Organization and CDC recipees! Chorine is one of the most overused chemicals on the planet -- it's NOT harmless -- and I think we should avoid stronger concentrations than are needed.

pps -- is it posible that the reason there is such variety in succesful sanitation measures, might just be because beer doesn't need quite as much sanititation as we think it does?
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Brown Nut

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:10 pm

I only use bleach for carboy cleaning and it's always cool water for the soak and hot water for the rinse. Don't have a scientific reason, just knowledge that's been passed down.
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yak

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Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:28 pm

I used to use bleach, but I hated how the wet surface always has that slippery feel, and I never wanted to use anything sanitized in bleach solution until it had completely dried.

I use iodophor now. The bottle states, DO NOT USE HOT WATER. Lazy non-chemist that I am, I don't know why.

I like that I can use anything right after it has been sanitized and given a quick shake. And the bottle came with an offer for a package of free ph strips to monitor your solution.
Plan your brew and brew your plan.
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hoosierhomebrew

Post Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:58 pm

bleach sanitizer

I plan to continue using the cold water bleach solution... so far no problems. It sure does help if you can use some rubber gloves when putting your hands into the solution. Your hands get real cold and then there is the smell of bleach that has to wear off. Even my wifes pretty smelling hand soap can't cover up that odor.
One question is still not answered...Why the difference in opinion from Charlie Papazian and his book to the Zymurgy article? These two referrences contradict each other (cold water -vs- hot). There seems to be so many variations in the crafting of brew... not one way to do much of anything. :?
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