Contamination

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Contamination

Postby Payson » Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:58 am

It has come up before but I never really heard anything definitive.... Will active bacterial Lambic yeasts contaminate fermentation vessels, racking canes, etc... forever? Seems hard to believe that "C-Brite" or even an Iodine solution wouldn't kill it??? I hope it can be eliminated, otherwise it would be mighty costly to replace everything that has come into contact with it.
Thanks
Chris
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Don't see how

Postby fitz » Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 am

I don't see how it could. Yes Bacteria is somewhat stronger, and more prolific than yeast, it still can be killed by cleansers, Anti bacterial soap, (be careful) or Clorine (be extremely careful)
Yes they can be killed.
One big problem is many fermenters are plastic, and hold smells. Sometimes these smells can be given to the future contents, and plastic does harbour bacteria and yeasts if not sanitized thoroughly. If you are using this type of bacteria, or a bacteria/yeast combination, be a little extra aggressive with the cleaning.
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Cleansers...Antibacterial Soap...?

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:40 pm

Soaps and cleansers, as far as brewing is concerned, are just that.. cleaners. They are only the first step in the sanitization process.

The only "cleanser" that has sanitizing potential is sodium hydroxide (caustic), but only in high concentrations, at high temperatures (where the high temp. does more than the caustic as far as sanitization) or in combination with chlorine (really effective).

When confronted with the fauna contained in the bacterial soup that is sometimes combined with wild yeast in the case of Belgian Lambic blends... other than the caustic/chlorine combination, it will take far more than these agents to ensure cross contamination will not occur. The minimum you should use would be bleach, but is not preferred. Rather an acid anionic sanitizer (Saniclean (TM)), a very strong oxidizer (chlorine dioxide), or peracetic acid are the vehicles of choice short of steam sterilization. These agents are what the multi-strain commercial brewers use to prevent such occurances.

Regarding bacterial soap, or almost any grocery store available agent that claims a 99% kill rate: (exception: I've seen a couple of hospitial grade sanitizers at Sam's Club, but most have sequestrants and fragrances that render them unusable for brewing)

If you read the lables for these products, you will note that their 99% kill rate is applied to a list of pathogens that are commonly considered dangerous or harmful for humans. Note: To date, no known pathogen can live in beer that would be harmful to humans (due to pH).

Hmmm... so can this 99% kill rate be applied to infectorates that will affect beer? Somewhat, but not all. Let's skip this fact and mistakenly assume that anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizers or floor/surface sanitizers will kill 99% of the bacteria that might be wort or beer spoilers. So... 99% X 100,000 bacteria would leave 1,000 bacteria alive. Lets say you had 1,000 yeast cells that also survived in the same solution (VERY highly unlikely, they are much easier to kill). Since the growth rate of bacteria is greater than 10 times that of yeast... got the picture?

The sanitizers I listed are specifically designated as able to produce a kill rate of 99.9% of all wort and beer spoilers when used properly. All were designed originally for dairy usage where lactic acid producing and pediococcus bacteria are, obviously, of paramount concern. Lactic acid producing bacteria are included in most of these Lambic blends and are the hardest to eliminate. Second would be the wild yeast that some blends use.

If you combine proper cleaning techniques and properly use one of the listed sanitizers, you should experience no problems with cross contamination.

PS: ...ugh,, that brings up the point that my article on this very topic for this site is very past due... sorry Lathe!

Eric
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eric

Postby fitz » Mon Apr 28, 2003 6:01 am

Eric,
The only Anti bacterial I use is something from MANDATE it has Phenosept 25P in it as an anti Microb.
This is only after soaking in a high concentration of clorine, and onlt for the really nasty ones. I usually do a three part for someting like that Clorine, the MANDATE DISPERSE, and then the One Step. This would be for beer bottles that were got from a Bar, or some really nasty Ferment equipment that may have bacteria infection. Usually a thorough cleaning after transfer to a secondary is all that is needed. either that, or a pretty good cleaning and start a new batch. If the fermenter is fermenting, it is hard to be left open to get contaminated.
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