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Sterilizing Sour Ale Yeasts and Playing with Wine

Hey Everybody,

I used to post a lot here, had a couple of kids, and had to re-register apparently. Anyway, I’m sort of back in the game and have a two-parter.

First, way back in the B.C. years (before children), literally six years back, I made a split batch of sour ale. I think I used carboys, may have used buckets. The buckets and all plastic stuff I’m replacing a/o designating “Sour” for if/when I make more sour ales. However, I think I might have used the carboys. I know sour ale yeasts (lambic/Brett/etc.) are notoriously hard to get rid of. So I’m wondering what’s the best way to ensure I kill all the souring yeasts/bacteria in a glass carboy? If it matters I used the Roselare blend for one batch (5 gallons) and some blend made by somebody over at Babble Belt.

Second, and the reason I care about killing the little buggers in the carboys, I’m doing two batches of wine and I need the 6-gallon containers. Since I’ve got some time, I am wondering how long can I let the wine sit in primary fermentation and if I want to use plastic buckets for secondary fermentation (it’d be a lot easier for the stirring and they’re cheaper/lighter than carboys), how long can they stay in the plastic buckets? I’d be getting new ones, just wondering about oxidation (or any other issues I may not have thought of). This is obviously more pressing if I cannot completely kill the bacteria in the carboys from the sour ales.


Assuming your carboys are glass, a bleach solution should do the trick. I’d follow it up with iodophor just to be safe.

While a bleach solution has been widely accepted as a sanitizer, it isn’t the most effective. To make it a super germ/bug/spore fighter, add 1oz bleach to 5 gallons of water. Then add 1oz of white vinegar. This lowers the ph of the bleach solution to knock the buggers out. It is also a no rinse sanitizer with a contact time of 30 seconds.

See the March 29th 2007 podcast with Charlie Tally from 5 Star Chemicals (Star San) for his endorsement. ... radio-2007

As for the time spent in a plastic pail. 1-2 months I think you should be fine. Out side of that you may want to move to a glass or Better Bottle.

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