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Plastic gear smells like yeast!

Do the rest of you who use better bottles, buckets, auto siphons, plastic tubes, etc… have a way of cleaning everything so that it smells like plastic, and not yeast? I’ve only been brewing for about 9 months, and clean everything several times after use with dish washing detergent & Oxiclean and sometimes ersatz TSP (then use star san right before touching any stage of post-boiled beer). EVERYTHING has an unmistakeable yeast/beer smell. I don’t care, but I’m concerned that if I smell it, then there’s yeast or something causing the smell, and I’m unintentionally contaminating my beer.
I THINK I’m doing a good job cleaning, but I’m curious if others are somehow doing such a good job that their plastic has no yeast smell whatsoever. The main thing I THINK I smell is 3787.

Plastic is eventually going to stain. I occassionally replace all my plastic gear including buckets and hoses. You might want to consider slowly/occassionally replacing your gear as the more you use it will stain.

Plastic is eventually going to stain. I occassionally replace all my plastic gear including buckets and hoses. You might want to consider slowly/occassionally replacing your gear as the more you use it will stain.

Yep, my plastic fermentors generally smell like yeast. It makes me a bit nervous, but I have brewed with older buckets plenty of times and never perceived a problem–even making very light lagers.

I think that the smell is pretty apparent right after cleaning, but seems to fade over time between uses (just like all smells, I guess). I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that a sanitized bucket ready for a new wort smells like anything but starsan.

Long story short, I don’t worry about it a lot…

[quote=“rustyhoover”]Yep, my plastic fermentors generally smell like yeast. It makes me a bit nervous, but I have brewed with older buckets plenty of times and never perceived a problem–even making very light lagers.

I think that the smell is pretty apparent right after cleaning, but seems to fade over time between uses (just like all smells, I guess). I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that a sanitized bucket ready for a new wort smells like anything but starsan.

Long story short, I don’t worry about it a lot…[/quote]

Thanks!
As I mentioned, I don’t have the experience a lot of you have. And I’m in that position of wondering:

  • do I clean more?
  • will cleaning more not matter (the smell will NOT go away)?

For me, it seems like the smell goes away right after I’ve cleaned, but then comes back later.

Thought I’d read that Better Bottles get weird if they’re exposed to cleaning agents (bleach, oxiclean) too long, so I usually don’t soak for more than a few hours. And I don’t fill the whole thing up with liquid to soak, I only put in about a gallon or so, swish it around everywhere, and seal it up. They LOOK clean, but my nose says otherwise. And the reason I mentioned 3787 was because I think I’ve tasted 3787 in more than one batch not made with 3787, and I wondered if that yeast was especially hardy. And I’m not a pro at this, so maybe what I think is 3787 is also an attribute of the other yeasts I’ve been using (1945, 1010 - not what I’d associate with this taste), and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I’m just doing a BAD job pouring sometimes (sometimes I taste 3787 from a non-3787 batch, sometimes not).

So, anyone else want to admit that their plastic fermentors smell like yeast, even after they’ve been cleaned?

Anything made of soft oxygen permeable plastic like fermentation buckets is always going to pick up beer/yeast odors. It won’t affect your beers. But, if you are concerned, just put the empty buckets with the lids off in the hot sun for a couple of days. A lot of that smell will “off gas.”

BTW, I would keep dish washing detergent away from my permeable plastic brewing equipment. I’d be more concerned about detergent “slime” being carried over into my beer, adding off flavors or hurting head retention, than the beer smell in my plastic.

Better bottles are not permeable to oxygen and should not have that smell if cleaned properly! See the better bottle web site for proper cleaning process.

[quote=“Duxx”]Anything made of soft oxygen permeable plastic like fermentation buckets is always going to pick up beer/yeast odors. It won’t affect your beers. But, if you are concerned, just put the empty buckets with the lids off in the hot sun for a couple of days. A lot of that smell will “off gas.”

BTW, I would keep dish washing detergent away from my permeable plastic brewing equipment. I’d be more concerned about detergent “slime” being carried over into my beer, adding off flavors or hurting head retention, than the beer smell in my plastic.

Better bottles are not permeable to oxygen and should not have that smell if cleaned properly! See the better bottle web site for proper cleaning process.[/quote]

Wow - thanks for mentioning the better bottle site. There’s a TON of new info since the last time I looked (winter?)

Just started reading the seventeen page “Washing and Sanitizing Home Winemaking and Brewing Equipment” pdf from March of this year…

http://www.better-bottle.com/pdf/Washin ... gStudy.pdf

Edit:
Ah - here we go - from page 16 of the WashingSanitizingStudy pdf:
"Once rinsed, your equipment should be free of odors; however, bear in mind that smells can linger in partially closed spaces, such at a carboy, even when odor causing substances are only present as
traces of gas that are mixed with the air inside the space. Without a substantial forced air flow, it can take a surprisingly long time for an odor to dissipate, even though the amount of odor causing
substance is truly negligible. "

Now to start researching “Free & Clear Natural 2X Seventh Generation enzyme-enhanced,
environmentally friendly laundry detergent” that they did their studies with…

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