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Cleaning fermentor without PBW

I just put my batch of caribou slobber into the secondary and cleaned the primary glass with very hot water and the brush, no PBW. Everything came off and looks spotless even though i didn’t use soap. Is this okay? I am still going to starsan it when I brew my next batch. Any tips?

Thanks

Yes you are fine.

Soap, Oxyclean, PBW are agents to assist in remove soils from the surface. If you can get it clean with out using them it’s fine.

I dont know here Nighthawk,
Its seems feasible that you remove everything with hot water, But.

I am not the expert in this field but it seems to me that without using some kind of surfactant or a “soap” or cleanser of any sort you will leave very low level proteins and other organic residue that bacteria or molds could thrive on. Although the “film” left on the equipment is slight, I would not put any future beer of mine in jeopardy on cold side equipment when there is a better solution and that is to clean to bare surface the best you can always with a cleanser and then you never reduce the effectiveness of sanitizers in that vessel. There is a saying that is repeated in many pro brewing text I have read that states if equipment in not cleaned properly you will never properly sanitize that equipment.

It brings up a good question indeed. I think the real answer here though is awfully simple.

I think all will be fine. PBW is meant to act almost like a “scrubless” cleaner so as long as it is washed and rinsed well enough to get rid of the crud and sanitized before next use it all should be good. My only concern is with what soapy residue regular soup will leave behind and will onestep and/or starsan remove the residue.

IMHO, I would use only cleaning solutions meant for beer equipment since it will leave no question about how clean and ready your equipment really is.

You want to make close to professional quality brewed beer? Clean like a professional brewer.

Dude, When I say “soap” in the same breathe as cleanser/ surfactant I think you can infer because of the italics that it is meant to suggest a cleanser/ “soap”/ surfactant meant for brewing use.
I would never recommend using dawn soap or such as too many people would make a fatal error with leaving soap residue such as you speak of. Although now that you mentioned it wiseacre a brewer could in fact use a soap of this nature you are suggesting as long as it is completely unscented and rinsed well. Because in reality it->dawn/ others unscented etc… is just another type of surfactant. Heck go find some oxy clean if nothing else. Just dont use lilac-lavender soap in your fementor/s!! just so were clear here. 8)

I don’t know, man. Lavender scented beer might just be the next big thing. But anyway, I apologize. I didn’t read your post correctly. After a long night at work I tend to skip over the important parts.

I’ll have to go back an listen to the Charlie Tally pod cast. I remember him saying something to the effect that you didn’t need a spotless surface to get a sanitized surface with StarSan. That their was a “cleaning agent” in there also.

Is it that much effort to throw a tablespoon of Oxyclean in there with some hot water and swish and rinse?

My not so scientific approach is no matter how you clean a glass carboy, hold it up in the light after it is dry and take a look. After a while you can see where the brush cleaned some stuff off and left some. That is the time to spend some $$ on PBW. and an overnight soak.

Whatever you use for a sanitizer before filling your fermenter should help rinse away any residual stuff.

PBW is a great tool, and I like to keep some around for tough jobs. Oxyclean is a cheaper alternative with similar ingredients, although its not quite as effective.

Most of the time though, I rarely clean my gear with anything stronger than hot water. Provided you clean things immediately it usually gets the job done, its cheap, and its guaranteed to not leave any residue.

Also, its totally reasonable to clean with ordinary dish soap. An unscented variety is preferred, use a minimal amount, and be sure to rinse thoroughly. In 15 years of brewing this has never caused me any problems.

Emulating the big boys is all well and good, but remember they’re cleaning much bigger gear, that sees a lot more use, and is less easily manually scrubbed and inspected.

Provided your gear looks clean, and is sanitized before use with a quality sanitizer like star san, you’re fine.

In my process I do an overnight clean with 1-2 tablespoons of oxy-clean and warm water. Works 90%
of the time without scrubbing. Rinse well with jet washer and let dry. Maybe it’s just me, but I always
use Star San before filling carboys,kegs, bottles you name it. Only had one infection in 30 years, that was do to using plastic bucket fermenters, since then I’ve used glass or stainless. But that’s just me.
PBW is great, just pricey.

I’ve seen a lavender beer at a recent homebrew contest.

If the glass is visually clean then the Starsan will sanitize. It just won’t soak into big globs of protein.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?p ... radio-2007

In the March 29, 2007 podcast, starting at the 29 minute mark, Charlie states that StarSan will sanitize in the presence of organic material. That was the way it was developed. Because of the difficulties in cleaning the top of corney kegs, he wanted a product that would work even if the surface was not 100% clean.

Would it be better to start with a clean surface? Probably. But according to Charlie it is not necessary.

My take, if the surface is visually clean as the OP states, he is good to go sanitizing with out using a cleaning product before hand.

Feel free to contact 5 Star Chemical if you wish to argue with his statements.

I appreciate all of the comments. I washed it out with as hot of water I could get in my bathtub with the brush as soon as I transferred into the secondary. It looks spotless and I am not opposed to putting PBW into it and cleaning again. The only issue is that the beginner deluxe kit I bought only comes with one teeny tiny packet of PBW and if I don’t absolutely need to use it then I’d rather not. Seeing as how I am going to need to clean the secondary as well, I would like to save it or even split it between the two and leave it over night. I will definitely buy more but Id like to save on shipping and purchase with my next recipe kit. Any more comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Correct.

In the presence means what exactly? Does Starsan remove the organic materials present and can therefore be 100% effective? Or does it simply still sanitize areas around the organic materials 100% and the effectiveness is therefore reduced as you are rendering the still present films neutral. But now they are left to help more organic materials cling to and build from how many batches(2-200) later due to this way of cleaning regimen? Its a slippery slope to suggest this is a correct way to clean vessels especially cold side.

Email 5 star and ask them if they suggest that you use this cleaning of vessels regimen suggested as a reccomended SOP when using their chemicals in conjunction to assure the consumer ( Myself or You ) sanitation.

[quote=“sunshine22”]I appreciate all of the comments. I washed it out with as hot of water I could get in my bathtub with the brush as soon as I transferred into the secondary. It looks spotless and I am not opposed to putting PBW into it and cleaning again. The only issue is that the beginner deluxe kit I bought only comes with one teeny tiny packet of PBW and if I don’t absolutely need to use it then I’d rather not. Seeing as how I am going to need to clean the secondary as well, I would like to save it or even split it between the two and leave it over night. I will definitely buy more but Id like to save on shipping and purchase with my next recipe kit. Any more comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks[/quote]

No worries, it takes just a small amount of pbw to be effective.
I usually use 1 tablespoon to 2 gallons of water and that is more than enough to clean all equipment for a typical all grain batch ranging from hoses/ fittings/ fementors to kettle/s.

I had a super large container gifted to me 6 years ago and just ran out last fall and bought a medium sized container at that time and it is still almost full after a dozen or so batches last year. A little goes a long way.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]
Correct.

In the presence means what exactly? Does Starsan remove the organic materials present and can therefore be 100% effective? Or does it simply still sanitize areas around the organic materials 100% and the effectiveness is therefore reduced as you are rendering the still present films neutral. But now they are left to help more organic materials cling to and build from how many batches(2-200) later due to this way of cleaning regimen? Its a slippery slope to suggest this is a correct way to clean vessels especially cold side.

Email 5 star and ask them if they suggest that you use this cleaning of vessels regimen suggested as a reccomended SOP when using their chemicals in conjunction to assure the consumer ( Myself or You ) sanitation.[/quote]

[quote=“Nighthawk”]

Feel free to contact 5 Star Chemical if you wish to argue with his statements.[/quote]

[quote=“Nate42”]PBW is a great tool, and I like to keep some around for tough jobs. Oxyclean is a cheaper alternative with similar ingredients, although its not quite as effective.

Most of the time though, I rarely clean my gear with anything stronger than hot water. Provided you clean things immediately it usually gets the job done, its cheap, and its guaranteed to not leave any residue.

Also, its totally reasonable to clean with ordinary dish soap. An unscented variety is preferred, use a minimal amount, and be sure to rinse thoroughly. In 15 years of brewing this has never caused me any problems.

Emulating the big boys is all well and good, but remember they’re cleaning much bigger gear, that sees a lot more use, and is less easily manually scrubbed and inspected.

Provided your gear looks clean, and is sanitized before use with a quality sanitizer like star san, you’re fine.[/quote]
I can’t get PBW or Oxyclean where I live, and pretty much follow Nate’s process of hot water immediately. Occasionally I need to use dish soap and scrub with a brush. For beerstone, a dilute solution of vinegar works.
Five years doing this, no problems. I always make sure there is no visible dirt or deposits before sanitizing and letting beer touch equipment.

I rinse my fermentors with hot tap water to clean them, then hot water and oxiclean unscented. I scrub the glass carboys with the brush, and for the better bottles I put a wash cloth inside with a little water and shake/swirl it. It seems that for really tough residue, a pbw solution does work better than the oxiclean, but I rarely have to use pbw. For all my other brewing gear, I use dish soap and just rinse very well. And of course I use star san whenever it is needed.

I bought my oxiclean versatile tub at Target, I think the Dollar Store might have it too.

I have been homebrewing and kegging for quite a few years. In the absence of necessarily the best answer, I will simply offer this - I do a soak with hot water and the very cheapest of dollar store oxy-clean substitute and then rince. Prior to using a keg or fermentor, I sanitize with star-san, or sometimes iodophor in glass. The only scrubbing I ever do would be for the inevitable ring around the top of a carboy after fermentation. This fairly relaxed regimen serves me well, and I simply do not have issues with sanitation causing problems.
RDWHAH.

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