Sanitizing w/ C-Brite

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Sanitizing w/ C-Brite

Postby lootcorp » Tue May 24, 2005 10:56 am

So I picked up a little can of C-Brite @ the homebrew store, and was just wondering if anyone here uses it and with what kind of success?

I'll be racking my first batch this weekend, and am worried about sanitizing the racking cane, etc... When I brewed I soaked all the stuff in the primary fermenter, in about 2G of water w/ one packet (came w/ kit) of c-brite.

Would I be able to use my bahtub to sanitize everything? If I rinse it properly to make sure there is no soap residue, fill it w/ hot water, and add c-brite, is that a good sanitizing bath?

Also, since I couldn't realistically handle a primary full to the brim of sanitizer, I used 2G of water, soaked all the little stuff, and then poured out the sanitized while rotating the bucket so all surfaces were coated...is this ok, or is it really only going to work if I soak everything?

Also, the measurements on the side of the c-brite use OZ units...stupid question, but I've seen various conversions for ozs to tablespoons...how much c-brite/G of water would you guys use?

As always, thanks so much for the replies! You guys are lifesavers! (or beersavers at least, which is even better!)
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Sterilizing vs. sanitizing

Postby Azorean Brewer » Tue May 24, 2005 9:17 pm

Loot,

You have touched on a very subjective topic. We have all asked the same question at one time or another in our brewing experience. First you need to understand that sanitizing is not the same thing as sterilizing. Although they may sound the same they are not. Sanitizing means to make clean, sterilize means to make clean by removing all living organisms. If you are religious with regards to cleaning up before and after and keeping clean you'll be alright with sanitizing. The only time you should have to worry about being sterile is when you are culturing yeast. With that said, sanitize before and after every use. get in the habit of doing this and you'll envariably never have a problem.

OK, I use 2 oz. of TSP/90 and 1 oz Washing soda to 5 gallons of water. TSP/90 is a non-phospate cleaner, as oppossed to TSP (tri-sodium phosphate), you can get TSP/90 at just about any Ace / Tru-value hardware store, $7.00 for 4 pounds vs. $4.00 for 8 oz. of PBW. Washing soda is available at most grocers. TSP/90 & Washing soda is the least expensive form of PWB (powdered brewer's wash). It relies on high alkalide levels for sanitizing. I soak everything for 30 minutes that will come in contact with my brewing ingredients. I then rinse with hot water and let air dry.

Try your best to sanitize what you can (practically) and you'll be OK. Fill your carboy to the top with cleaning solution, and stick your racking cane in there, and after 30 minutes start a syphon to empty the vessle, and rinse as stated, everything should be good to go. Does this help? Does anyone not agree with my proven method.

Regards,

Paul.
"I drink therefore I am"
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Cleaning

Postby BillyBock » Wed May 25, 2005 6:06 am

Loot: For sanitizing unwieldy items, I've heard of some folks using long paint trays successfully. Personally I have a bucket of sanitizer and put the item in. After the required soak time, I flip it over so the other half is sanitized. I think I'd steer clear of the bathtub idea.

On the idea of pouring the sanitizer out of the bucket to coat the surfaces, it would work if you met the minimum contact time of the sanitizer. Another idea would be to put a lid on (no airlock hole) and turn the bucket over so it contacts the upper half of the bucket; then let it soak.

I noticed C-Brite is marketed as a cleanser and sanitizer. I prefer individual prodcuts to do each job, because it's impossible to sanitize something if it isn't cleaned of organics.

On the conversion of Ozs to Tbs...that will vary by the item's physical property. The instructions are more than likely reffering to ounces of DRY weight, not liquid volume. How does it read? I've never used C-Brite. Do you have access to a measuring scale?


v/r
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Postby lootcorp » Wed May 25, 2005 9:22 am

Thanks for the info, guys. Billy, I'll post the exact wording of the c-brite when i get home, but IIRC it says something like, "You must achieve a 100ppm chlorine to water ratio...1 oz of c-brite to 2-2.5 G of water achieves this ratio" They also recommend a 1-2 minute contact time

What I did for my first batch was wash everything with unscented ivory dish soap and a brand new sponge I bought (I read not to use the scrubby pads due to the risk of scratching the plastics) After washing and rinsing all the equip, filled up my bucket w/ 2G of water and soaked just about everything - I then poured the sanitizer in the bucket slowly onto the lid (for some reason it never occured to me to put the lid on and shake or invert the bucket - thanks for that tip!) while rotating the bucket - I did slowly so the entire bucket got exposed to the sanitizer several times and the lid sat in a bath of it for a bit.

In other news, I tested the gravity for the first time last night - filled my sink up halfway w/ water and added sanitizer and sanitized my hands, the test jar, and baster for about 3 min, rinsed w/ warm water, and sampled.

I held my breath and cracked the bucket - heard a little air released from the bucket and took a sample - noticed condensation dripping from lid of bucket into the wort. Unfortunately I underestimated how much sample I would need to float the hydrometer and had to re-open the bucket and take some more.

After correcting for temp (sample was about 77 deg F) the gravity was 1.012

Tasted the sample - tasted like beer! very very slightly carbonated, really reminded me of the last 2 inches of a beer left overnight...flat, warm, but undeniably beer tasting! Checked the bucket later in the night and from the airlock fluid it appears the bucket is again pressurized.

Here's hoping all goes well w/ racking this weekend...then it's onto the next batch while waiting for this one to be ready for bottling.

Sorry for the long post, thanks for all the cleaning tips guys!
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