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Dry yeast bag colorant in beer batch?

Hello everyone,

I’m very new to homebrewing, just finished brewing my first batch of beer ever, the Block Party amber ale that comes with the Northern Brewer starter kit.

While sanitizing my equipment to begin fermenting, the instructions recommend you sanitize the yeast bag and scissors as well. I put all the stuff I wanted to sanitize in the sanitizing liquid (oxygen wash) inside of my fermenting bucket and left it there for about 10 minutes (too long obviously).

Only later did I notice that some of the green colorant that gives the “dry yeast bag” its color had washed off in my sanitizing liquid. After dumping out the sanitizing liquid from my fermenting bucket, I did rinse the fermentation bucket quickly with about 2 liters of water, but probably not very thoroughly.

I am now worried that some of the sanitizing liquid tainted with the colorant was left on the sides of the bucket, and will make it into my beer.

How worried should I be about this? I don’t understand why they tell you to sanitize the yeast package if the color is going to wash off and make it into your beer! (and yes, they do tell you to leave stuff in the sanitizing process for at least 2 minutes). I my beer going to be toxic now?

Thanks for any advice!

I wouldn’t worry since you rinsed the bucket.

I would not worry. Like the dye used on plastic bread bags it is probably food safe. Good reason to use a spray bottle for sanitizing the small stuff. Soaking isn’t usually necessary. Wet contact time with a spray is sufficient.

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Hi Maarten! The term “oxygen wash” makes me a bit nervous. What was the product name? Was it a sanitizing agent or a product like oxiclean? I wouldn’t expect the dye from a package to leach into a sanitizer but oxiclean might make it happen.

Thanks for the replies so far! I guess it should be fine, and if some of it did end up in the batch, it would be diluted with 5 gallons of liquid at least. Hope they use food safe stuff.

To sanitize I just used the oxygen wash that came with my northern brewing started kit. Thats what it is called on the bag (Fermenter’s Favorites® Oxygen Wash).


Good catch. I read over that part. Oxygen wash is PBW not sanitizer it should be thoroughly rinsed. If it was rinsed good you should be alright. If not it probably won’t be drinkable.

Hmm… i wish the instructions and youtube video would have mentioned that if so… I gave it a good “swirl” with clean water, but did not rinse the sides of bucket properly…

This thread on the same product seems to indicate Northern Brewer suggest you do NOT need to rinse it?

So as @brew_cat said, there’s a difference between oxygen wash and sanitizer. Oxygen wash is a kind of soap and not a sanitizer. Use the oxygen wash to clean your equipment. Rinse it thoroughly and then sanitize anything that touches wort or beer on the cold side with Star San or a similar product. Even so, you may be alright this time.

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Try to use the oxygen clean for cleaning your beer tools. Pots. Buckets And use starsan for sanatize your tools. Buckets pots and so get a spray bottle and spray everything before you use it. But i would not worry. Like what the other post do say. Its proberly food grade. Good luck and have fun on your new hobby

If rinsed well you may be ok. I use oxiclean to wash all of my equipment and star san as my sanitizer. Sometimes the directions aren’t as clear as they should be for a noob! I remember watching the dvd 100 times before I started my first batch and now it just seems so natural. Good luck and welcome to the obsession!

So the question in my mind is…did you sanitize? Did you use starsan or any other sanitizer AFTER you used the oxy and or rinsed? If not your batch is not out of danger…


No… i did not :(. Since the directions in the youtube video only tell you to use the stuff included in the started kit, I just used that.

I followed these instructions: Instructions for Homebrew Starter Kit - Brew Share Enjoy® - YouTube

Unbelievable that the instructions would be so poor as to leave out this most important step. They clearly use the oxygen wash for everything in that video, they dont rinse, and they even use it to sanitize the bottles.

Is there a chance the powder stuff that comes with the starter kit is somehow just a sanitizer and not a cleaning product?


I’m very happy I didn’t see that video when I started brewing. Early in the video they identify the powder as a cleaner but then go ahead and use it as a no rinse sanitizer. I wonder if the powder had been previously known as One-Step which originally was sold as a cleaner and sanitizer. Later only labeled as a cleaner.

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Sanatizer is relatively new to brewing. As long as your stuff was washed your fine. Sanatizer is insurance

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Thanks guys,

I will buy some Star San and use the stuff correctly for the bottling phase, and use the oxygen wash just for cleaning, not sanitizing.

Thanks for the advice!


Definitely some risk but I’m betting you’ll be okay too. Like I said, we used a cleaner only for a number of batches. Sanitizing will provide you a ton of insurance for some oopses and raise your comfort level. Glad you got this info now! Good luck and let us know how you come out ok? Happy Brewing!

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Thanks WMNoob for the advice and encouragement.

Hope it turns out okay and I will have learned something regardless. The fermenter airlock is bubbling up nicely in any case, and it smells good, so so far so good.

You mean, labeled as a label cleaner? :grin: Sneezles61

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