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  1. #1

    Sanitisers/Sterilizers - what's the best, really?


    Goooood morning ladies and gents! So this weekend I bottled, and discovered something interesting. But story first:

    A while back I got a bunch of Grolsch bottles to bottle in, because we all know how easy it is to bottle in them. Fill, clip, done. So I also had a brainwave when I bought them, and because I was sanitizing stuff for brewing anyway, I decided to sanitize all the Grolsch bottles in one go, close them up and store them, ready to use on my next bottling day so I don't have to sanitize again.

    This weekend was bottling day. I pulled closer the crate with the bottles, stored properly and in cool temps and all that, and opened the first bottle to see if it worked. Flipped open, smelled the bottle. Bad smell. Bad. Like a water bottle that's sat in the car for a few weeks. I flipped open the next one. Same story. Opened all of them, and found the same in all of them. Bummer, have to sanitize again.

    When I dunked the bottles to wash them out first, I noticed an actual mold growth on the rubber seal on the cap. I figured "what the hell" because last time I properly cleaned them AND sanitized them according to specs, this should not be happening:



    So I cleaned them and sanitized them again, bottled and then dumped on the couch, phone in hand. Time for research. Asked Langchop what he's using for sanitizing. He uses Sodium Percarbonte. I used Mangrove Jack's No-Rinse Sanitiser. I pull the bottle closer. Same stuff. So apart from the fact that Mangrove Jack's sells a 250g bottle of this stuff for R100 when you can get it for R45, I have a problem with this stuff. I check out what it does, and get my answer on the Mangrove Jack's product page:

    Mangrove Jack's No Rinse Sanitiser effectively sanitises your equipment and breaks down to leave only oxygen, water and minerals found naturally in water.
    Fantastic. So the stuff we use to sanitize our equipment and bottles and everything that comes into contact with beer AFTER fermentation, when you don't want oxygen in your beer, breaks down into oxygen. That would also explain why the mold managed to grow in the bottles - even a single spore in the air gets into the bottle, and instead of the sanitiser killing it, it provided it with moisture, minerals and O2. Nice. Guess who won't be using sodium percarbonate anymore.

    Now the question - what do you guys use? I would love to get into StarSan, but at the price it's not an option for me. Iodophor isn't an option for me as it discolours everything it touches. I found a product called Acidisan which is apparently StarSan, but cheaper. A Google search also reveals the active ingredients:

    StarSan:
    STAR SAN is a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid.

    Acidisan:
    Active Ingredients in this Product
    PHOSPHORUS PENTOXIDE
    PHOSPHORIC ACID
    DODECYLBENZENESULFONIC ACID

    So to me it looks like exactly the same thing. Acidisan is just retailing for ~R64 per 500ml and StarSan is ~R794 for 950ml.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    I did a bit of reading too, and apparently sodium percarbonate is supposed to be pretty good at killing mould, as it's a bleach. So it theoretically should have killed spores before feeding it oxygen.

    Any way, back to your topic... Just look out for prices versus dilution. From what I understand there are cheaper options of 'the same thing's but they are far more diluted so you use more and it lands up more expensive. I vaguely recall someone (Jakes maybe?) buying dairy industry disinfectant very cheaply and it's identical. Star San does seem to be the brewing standard. Having said that, I wouldn't leave any sanitizer in a bottle for months. Hope you find a good alternative.
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."
    www.ginormity.com

  3. #3
    Yeah I've looked at the dilution rates. Sodium Percarbonate uses two tablespoons per 5l of water. I use around 5l of water when I sanitize a fermenter and a batch of bottles, so it's 2 tablespoons per shot. That's 30ml per use, meaning I get 8 sanitises from a bottle.

    Acidisan uses 10ml to 1l of water. That's 50ml to 5l, meaning 10 sanitises from a bottle. Works out to about the same, but the Acidisan is a high-foaming sanitizer which I like. StarSan is 10 times more concentrated, so it actually makes sense to take the plunge and buy a bottle. Star San is 1ml per 1l of water.

    Other option is Perasan. Same concentration as Acidisan, but almost half the price. I think I'll buy a bit of all of these and test them. See which I like most...

  4. #4
    I use Perasan for sanitising bottles and feel it's been doing a fine job at 2% dilution. A litre of that stuff has lasted me more than a year and I bottle on average 2 batches a month. It's a fine and cheap solution.

    For Fermenters and other sanitising work with spray bottle I use a no-rinse sanitiser from NFP which also seems to be doing a fine job. Don't know what the specifications of the product is but i'd imagine it is similar to Star-san... but not sure.

    My bigger problem is with cleaning the bottles prior to sanitising. The times I've come across a gushing beer, I'm sure it's due to cleaning and not the lack of sanitising. I use caustic to soak most of my Fermenters or equipment but with bottles, I don't want to mess around with caustic soda and don't want to use soap. Tried using a brewery cleaner recently which only sort-of worked. Online people seem to be soaking with PBW but I don't know of a replacement for that product over here... happy to hear what other guys use for cleaning bottles to the extent that they look like a new bottle...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Yeah I've looked at the dilution rates. Sodium Percarbonate uses two tablespoons per 5l of water. I use around 5l of water when I sanitize a fermenter and a batch of bottles, so it's 2 tablespoons per shot. That's 30ml per use, meaning I get 8 sanitises from a bottle.

    Acidisan uses 10ml to 1l of water. That's 50ml to 5l, meaning 10 sanitises from a bottle. Works out to about the same, but the Acidisan is a high-foaming sanitizer which I like. StarSan is 10 times more concentrated, so it actually makes sense to take the plunge and buy a bottle. Star San is 1ml per 1l of water.

    Other option is Perasan. Same concentration as Acidisan, but almost half the price. I think I'll buy a bit of all of these and test them. See which I like most...
    https://brewcraft.co.za/mangrove-jac...html?cat=24242

    2ml/l R420

    http://beerbros.co.za/shop/no-rinse-sanitizer/

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by The Flying Brew View Post
    I use Perasan for sanitising bottles and feel it's been doing a fine job at 2% dilution. A litre of that stuff has lasted me more than a year and I bottle on average 2 batches a month. It's a fine and cheap solution.

    For Fermenters and other sanitising work with spray bottle I use a no-rinse sanitiser from NFP which also seems to be doing a fine job. Don't know what the specifications of the product is but i'd imagine it is similar to Star-san... but not sure.

    My bigger problem is with cleaning the bottles prior to sanitising. The times I've come across a gushing beer, I'm sure it's due to cleaning and not the lack of sanitising. I use caustic to soak most of my Fermenters or equipment but with bottles, I don't want to mess around with caustic soda and don't want to use soap. Tried using a brewery cleaner recently which only sort-of worked. Online people seem to be soaking with PBW but I don't know of a replacement for that product over here... happy to hear what other guys use for cleaning bottles to the extent that they look like a new bottle...
    I wash my bottles with normal green Sunlight liquid and a big-ass bottle brush. I make a weakish solution similar to washing dishes, with hot water, dunk in the bottles and wash them one by one. After washing I take them outside in their crates and rinse them with the hosepipe and a jet attachment. It gets all the soap out perfectly. Had no gushers or flat beers because of that.

    If my bottles aren't dirty (in other words I remembered to rinse them out after pouring the beer), I simply add about 1/4 tap water, shake to get the last bits of dust out and tip upside down, then sanitize and use.

    That one from Beerbros uses 1.5ml per 1l. It's by far the cheapest solution yet. I think that's the one I'm going to go for! R120 for 1l, and I can make... 600 litres of sanitizing solution with it. That means 120 brews with a bottle, at least, at R1 per brew for sanitising! Yes please!

    EDIT: Holy shit, Beerbros charges R200 just for delivery. They're crazy, no way I'm paying that!
    Last edited by Toxxyc; 15th July 2019 at 09:55.

  7. #7
    I purchase my Sodium Percarbonte from faithfull to nature. (Sodium Percarbonte = soda ash + hydrogen peroxide)
    You have the option to have delivered to your closest clicks store for R62. I bought a few kilos.

    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za...yABEgJ-DPD_BwE

    I am quite happy with it and never had any issues, but then I only sanitise my bottles on the day I bottle.
    Rinse my bottles 3 times after pouring and store upside down until sanitation.
    Everyone must beleive in something, I beleive I'll have another beer

  8. #8
    Good find Beerholic. The 'fortified with oxygen' part is a bit amusing.
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."
    www.ginormity.com

  9. #9
    Hi Toxxyc
    If you are going to order from BeerBros, make sure you contact them first to confirm stock availability. I've had quite a few headaches in the past with orders paid for and then I have to wait or substitute because they forgot to update the website.

    Sent from my S60 using Tapatalk

  10. #10

    [QUOTE=The Flying Brew;22934]I use Perasan for sanitising bottles and feel it's been doing a fine job at 2% dilution. It's a fine and cheap solution.

    For Fermenters and other sanitising work with spray bottle I use a no-rinse sanitiser Perasan.

    I use caustic to soak most of my Fermenters or equipment QUOTE]

    That's exactly what I do, also do a caustic soak of fermenters and no-chill cubes.
    I also use F10 from the local co-op it is a little bit cheaper than Perasan after dilution but much cheaper in the long run because there is no additional transport costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    I wash my bottles with normal green Sunlight liquid and a big-ass bottle brush. I make a weakish solution similar to washing dishes, with hot water, dunk in the bottles and wash them one by one. After washing I take them outside in their crates and rinse them with the hosepipe and a jet attachment. It gets all the soap out perfectly. Had no gushers or flat beers because of that.

    If my bottles aren't dirty (in other words I remembered to rinse them out after pouring the beer), I simply add about 1/4 tap water, shake to get the last bits of dust out and tip upside down, then sanitize and use.
    This is how I treat my bottles.

    I also alternate between Perasan and F10.

    I also use the perasan at 2% dilution to check if my pH meter is still within the calibrated range. When the 2% Perasan pH rises above 4.5 Ill make a fresh batch of sanitiser or just add Perasan to my current sanitiser batch. I always have a 5 litre sanitiser somewhere in a fridge that's ready for use.

    The Starsan guys do the same when the pH of the sanitiser solution increases above 3.
    Last edited by Harhm; 16th July 2019 at 12:55.
    I value your experience more than your opinion - You could but you shouldn't - You should but I wouldn't - Time is on your side, never rush a beer - Have fun, its only beer - Don't believe all the crap you read on the www

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