Why do we need to sanitize? Sanitization is an insurance on your home brew against unwanted bacteria and wild yeasts, providing a great environment for your chosen yeast to flourish.
To ensure you get a proper sanitization, you must clean all debris away with a good brew cleaner. Don’t use soap if you are brewing beer, it can severely reduce the head retention.
Once you have cleaned your equipment according to the packaging instructions and visually inspected for debris, you need to sanitize. I suggest purchasing Star San- 32 oz.
Star San is one of the best sanitizers for multiple reasons. Take a look at this table of popular sanitizers for reference:
|Star San||One ounce per 23 liters||A no rinse sanitizer that completes the sanitization process in less than one minutes.|
|Iodophor||One ounce per 23 liters||A no rinse sanitizer that completes the sanitization process in 10 minutes|
|Bleach||Six ounces per 23 litres||Rinse with pre-boiled water after letting the solution sit for 20 minutes.|
When using Star San, be very cautious: it is still mildly corrosive after dilution. So wear gloves and avoid spilling on counter-tops ( it will cause white stains, learn from me!). To dilute, mix one ounce to nineteen – twenty three liters. Star San can be saved in a sealed container for up to six months, as long as the PH level is below 3.5.
How to Sanitize using Star San
Once you have decided on a recipe, make sure you follow the next few steps with EVERY piece of equipment that is going to touch your post-boil wort or must. If you are using used or unclean equipment, make sure you use a good brew cleaner prior to the Star San.
1) Inspect for debris. Mix up your cleaner and use a scrubber or your hand in a glove to get rid of all particles you can see. Rinse out. It is SO important to inspect. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. You could end up with something fuzzy stuck in your bottle, serve it to friends, have them enjoy it, only realizing afterward that you served them something awful
2) Mix up your Star San in your carboy as seen below. Check out those awesome sanitizing bubbles! Let it sit for just under a minute.
3) Next, rack the sanitizer into a holding bucket, I got mine from home depot. it comes with a great snap on lid to keep your sanitizer. Place all your equipment in the bucket to ensure it stays clean throughout your brewing process. If you re not using you sanitized carboy immediately, wrap the top in plastic wrap until you are.
4) Star San is a no rinse sanitizer, so do not rinse it out. As the professionals say: “DON`T FEAR THE FOAM!”
5) Once you are done with everything, pop your lid on the bucket and keep your sanitizer for next time! As long as the PH is below 3.5, it will still work 🙂 Save some money, guys!
How to sanitize on bottling day!
1) Your sanitizer should already be mixed up in your sealed home depot bucket. Mix up about four cups of cleaner and put it in the spray holder of the bottling tree.
2) Inspect each bottle for debris, spray some cleaner in the bottle, rinse and set on the bottling tree, waiting to be sanitized
3) Sanitize your bottling bucket, siphon, and bottle filler by racking the sanitizer into the bottling bucket from the holding bucket, simmalar to the process below
4) Once sanitized, rack one more time back into the holding bucked and put the lid back on.
5) If you are brewing wine, skip this step. For beer, make sure you prime your beer, using a calculator such as Brewer’s Friend found here.
6) Finally, transfer the brew into the bottling bucket, grab a bottle, squirt with sanatizer, let it sit for one minute, fill the bottle and cap. Repeat this process until no more beer is left!
Now you can relax and have a home-brew. Cheers!
What is your favorite sanitizer? Let me know in the comments below!