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saur0n
12-27-2009, 09:39 AM
I understand the need for sanitation. I sanitize every time I dunk something in my (proto-)mead (SG-measuring, thieving a sample for err... "test" purposes, aerating...)

Normally I use Oxiclean with active oxigen. This proces is a bit of a hassle with al the mixing and spilling/wasting of hot water... What if I were to sacrifice a prrrrecious carboy (5 litre) and fill it up with a potassium metabisulphite / acid solution? Would submerging and subsequently rinsing my tools work sanitationwise?
And if so, how long would one be able to use said solution?

I remember reading somewhere that a fellow gotmeader (wrathwilde IIRC) uses(d?) a tube with a similar solution to store equipment in, but I can't seem to track down the thread. :rolleyes:

fatbloke
12-27-2009, 11:36 AM
I understand the need for sanitation. I sanitize every time I dunk something in my (proto-)mead (SG-measuring, thieving a sample for err... "test" purposes, aerating...)

Normally I use Oxiclean with active oxigen. This proces is a bit of a hassle with al the mixing and spilling/wasting of hot water... What if I were to sacrifice a prrrrecious carboy (5 litre) and fill it up with a potassium metabisulphite / acid solution? Would submerging and subsequently rinsing my tools work sanitationwise?
And if so, how long would one be able to use said solution?

I remember reading somewhere that a fellow gotmeader (wrathwilde IIRC) uses(d?) a tube with a similar solution to store equipment in, but I can't seem to track down the thread. :rolleyes:
for basic hygiene and sanitising, I just keep a spray made up..... 6 x campden tablets (crushed) and 1 teaspoon of citric acid, all made up with 500mls of water and kept in a spray bottle.

Yes if it's carboy/demi-john type containers etc then I'll do it properly, but for stirrers, hydrometers and test jar, funnels, etc etc, I just rinse under warm/hot water, then spray and leave for 5 minutes. I don't rinse it off.

Seems to work fine, without the hassles of mixing up large quantities of sanitiser....

saur0n
12-27-2009, 11:57 AM
for basic hygiene and sanitising, I just keep a spray made up..... 6 x campden tablets (crushed) and 1 teaspoon of citric acid, all made up with 500mls of water and kept in a spray bottle.

Yes if it's carboy/demi-john type containers etc then I'll do it properly, but for stirrers, hydrometers and test jar, funnels, etc etc, I just rinse under warm/hot water, then spray and leave for 5 minutes. I don't rinse it off.

Seems to work fine, without the hassles of mixing up large quantities of sanitiser....

... or I might try this. Even less fuss and an extra free carboy to boot!!

Fatbloke, you're a lifesaver! My wife might disagree when she spots the extra carboy on the counter, though. ;)

wayneb
12-27-2009, 03:10 PM
Fatbloke's advice is excellent, and soemthing I'd recommend with one minor caveat. Use it promptly, as the addition of citric acid to the metabisulphite solution begins the process of releasing free SO2. That sulphur dioxide is the chemical that actually performs the sanitisation, but it is a volatile gas in solution with the water in your mix, and will rapidly dissipate.

So, if you can mix and go every time you wish to sanitize, this is a good approach. If you want more shelf-life in your sanitizer bottle, then mixing up a batch of one of the commercially available "no rinse" sanitizers (something such as StarSan or Iodophor) is a better approach.

TXBeowulf
12-27-2009, 06:39 PM
Fatbloke's advice is excellent, and soemthing I'd recommend with one minor caveat. Use it promptly, as the addition of citric acid to the metabisulphite solution begins the process of releasing free SO2. That sulphur dioxide is the chemical that actually performs the sanitisation, but it is a volatile gas in solution with the water in your mix, and will rapidly dissipate.

So, if you can mix and go every time you wish to sanitize, this is a good approach. If you want more shelf-life in your sanitizer bottle, than mixing up a batch of one of the commercially available "no rinse" sanitizers (something such as StarSan or Iodophor) is a better approach.

I keep a spray bottle full of StarSan for spot sanitizing of various bits. I refill it whenever I have to do a full batch of sanitizer for a carboy, bottles, or whatever.

Arcanum
12-28-2009, 12:47 AM
I'm also a fan of StarSan. Not having to worry about rinsing is nice.

saur0n
12-28-2009, 02:44 AM
First of all: Thanks for all the input!

I would love to get my hands on Starsan but as far as I know it isn't available here in the old world.
But: since Starsan seems to be a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, I may have found a product to substitute it with (http://www.brouwland.com/setframes/?l=&to=http%3A//www.brouwland.com/shop/product.asp%3Fcfid%3D4%26id%3D1821%26cat%3D530%26d t%3D24&shwlnk=0). Seems to me I should be able to fill a spray bottle with this in a 1% solution to get the job done. Or am I seeing this wrong?

Gert

fatbloke
12-28-2009, 07:57 AM
In response to waynes point about mixing citric acid with campden tablets.....

Yes, that's probably correct i.e. the citric acid might start to liberate some of the sulphur. I'm not a chemist, but when it's mixed up to start with, you tend to get a smell that's not dissimilar to bleach in water - baring in mind that in the UK, it tends to be sodium metabisulphite that's sold as campden tablets, not potassium metabisulphite that seems common in other areas (not sure why that might be, though it could be handy if you like "low sodium").....

Anyway, it seems that while there is an escape of a certain amount of sulphur from the mix, it does seem to retain some (presumably enough) of the sulphur element, as it (the spray bottle) doesn't seem to leak sulphur or create any pressure in the spray bottle.

This particular trick is one of the late, great, CJJ Berrys'. He of the "First Steps in Winemaking" book (the one that you have to watch the sugar levels in the recipes as the method/technique is 20 or 30 years old and seem toward the "add sugar until the yeast poops out").

It's always worked for me and seems to be a handy way of always having some sanitiser available i.e. one that doesn't need excessive rinsing before use. It can just be sprayed, and then I usually leave it for maybe 5 minutes before using the implement - be it a hydrometer, testing jar, wine thief, stirring paddle, etc etc.

I'd guess that a working strength solution of a proprietary "no rinse" sanitiser would do just as well. It's just that campden tablets and citric are easily available/stocked and cheap.

S'up to you which you prefer....

regards

fatbloke

Medsen Fey
12-28-2009, 11:10 AM
Saur0n,

That acid sanitizer should work. It is not as concentrated as Star-San, but it should be fine. Brouwland also carries iodophor sanitizer which is also a no-rinse sanitizer if prepared at the proper strength.

To make thing easy on myself, I usually keep a 5 gallon bucket full of sanitizer handy at all times. Anything that needs it just gets dunked. I do keep a lid on which allows it to last for many days.

I think Fat Bloke's approach works just fine, and one advantage of the sulfite sanitizer in the spray bottle is that you can easily tell if the SO2 is still potent - just take a sniff. If it doesn't have that lovely sulfite aroma, you know you need a fresh batch. The sodium metabisulphite is much cheaper that the potassium, making it very good for sanitizing.

Medsen

wayneb
12-28-2009, 12:42 PM
The sodium compound is definitely more than sufficient for sanitizing, since the little residual sodium left on the surfaces of your equipment would not add appreciably to net sodium intake nor would it contribute any noticeable "salty" flavors to your mead. I have a large container of sodium metabisulphite crystals that I draw from to mix up as a final sanitizer rinse for my bottles, even though I give them a rinse with star-san as well. I like to leave nothing in the bottle that I wouldn't mind consuming, and I have no qualms about rinsing out those complex organic acids from the Starsan with a little Na-META solution, leaving in turn a little (very little) sulphite in my bottles prior to filling.

I also agree with Medsen, the product available at Brouwland is essentially a more dilute concentration of Starsan, so it should also do the job for you with no trouble at all.

While Medsen's sniff test is definitely an indication of enough SO2 remaining in a metabisulphite solution to do the job as a sanitizer, I suspect that after the first 12 to 24 hrs there will be no sulphur aroma left even in solutions kept in a spray bottle, since those are not fully airtight. My only point earlier was a caution to ensure when using the metabisulphite/acid/water mix as a sanitizer, to make it up fresh each time -- since I don't believe that much effectiveness remains past the first 24 to 48 hrs, given SO2's volatility.

fatbloke
12-29-2009, 06:53 AM
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While Medsen's sniff test is definitely an indication of enough SO2 remaining in a metabisulphite solution to do the job as a sanitizer, I suspect that after the first 12 to 24 hrs there will be no sulphur aroma left even in solutions kept in a spray bottle, since those are not fully airtight. My only point earlier was a caution to ensure when using the metabisulphite/acid/water mix as a sanitizer, to make it up fresh each time -- since I don't believe that much effectiveness remains past the first 24 to 48 hrs, given SO2's volatility.As far as I can tell, there still seems to be SO2 present in my spray mix, even after a couple of weeks.

I do tend to keep it in a cupboard so that there's as little as possible heating caused by direct sunlight.

There's a lot of logic in waynes and medsens suggestions. Though I've yet to have a problem carrying out sanitation as I've already explained earlier. Plus there's no problem for me trying to get some sent over from Brouwland or wherever else.... and it still works out quite cheap, yet apparently, effective (never made a batch of "vinegar" yet ;) ).

regards

fatbloke

TheTooth
12-30-2009, 03:59 PM
I make beer/cider/soda, so I have kegs. When a keg is empty, I clean it and fill it with sanitizer. Then I simply pour what I need out of the keg until it's time to fill it with a beverage. It's worked out to be pretty handy.