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Getting ready for 1st brew - how do I bring a used brewing kit back to life (cleaning & sanitizing)?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by InVinoVeritas, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Advocate (605) Wisconsin Apr 16, 2012 Verified

    I recently purchased a used kitwith extras (reference: http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/picked-up-1st-brewing-setup-hell-yes.78425/). The kit is reasonably clean, with no mildew and so on. My intentions are to brew for my very first time this weekend. I was wondering what cleaning & sanitizer recommendations might be. Shall I PBW everything (kettle, fermentors, bungs, airlocks, bottling bucket, misc tubing, siphon, hydrometers and so on) the night or two before and then Star San the morning of brewing? Thanks!!!
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (930) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    Sounds like a plan. Though only the things that are introduced to your wort after the boil need to be sanitized (as close as possible to when they are used). Everything else (like brew kettle, stirring instrument, etc.) does not need to be sanitized. Also, check your siphon cane/hose and make sure there's no gunk or cracks that can't be properly cleaned. You can't sanitize something that's not clean first.
  3. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (395) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    I agree with VikeMan, if you have PBW then give the equipment a good hot soak overnight.

    Except for the kettel, unless there is some buildup and you feel like cleaning it up.
  4. PortLargo

    PortLargo Advocate (550) Florida Oct 19, 2012 Verified

    It may not work out for this weekend, but I would consider replacing the tubing. The inside of tubing is an area difficult to clean, and your wort will be exposed to it. Otherwise you are really depending on the previous user to have done a thorough post-brew cleaning. Food grade tubing is the way to go, check your local store or eBay.
    Reneejane likes this.
  5. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    New brewers often benefit from checklists. If you make one, post it on here and we can help add/subtract as needed.
  6. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (490) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    I agree, replace the tubing.

    Kettle-no, just wash it.
    Fermenters-wash and sanitize, if they're plastic, check them carefully for cracks, lids fit ok, does it hold liquid ok.
    Bottling bucket-you're not using this now, maybe 10 days after you brew.
    airlocks-do they *look clean* if they look clean, clean and then sanitize, if they do not throw out and replace
    stoppers-same as airlocks
    siphon tubing-you're not using this now, maybe 10 days after you brew
    Hydrometer-wash well, and carefully becuase they're super fragile (santiize only if you're expecting to pour your tested wort back in, which I never do.
  7. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (490) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    If your fermenters are glass carboys, you need a big funnel, which needs to be washed and sanitized before you use it. I also use a strainer to strain the wort going into the fermeter which also needs to be washed and sanitized.
  8. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Advocate (605) Wisconsin Apr 16, 2012 Verified

    Hey Renee,
    Thanks for the helpful feedback. Sorry for another newbie question, but when you mentioned clear are you recommending PBW? Looking at the consentrations of the PBW, filling the big kettle and carboys will consume the stuff real fast. I figure for the kettle, since it's not stained and really just needs a wash vs. a scrub, I'd dawn it.

    Thanks again!
  9. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (490) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    I don't use PBW, and I'm not sure that I ever have. I wash what I can in my dishwasher (my funnels, strainer, etc.), I use dawn or camp soap (because, I sometimes recycle my cooling water and dot eh wash outside), for the washing tasks. But i scour and scrub out my pots.

    For things that aren't sanitized, clean to me means clean of all visible dirt and the rinse water is running clear and bubble free.

    There are some homebrewers who are equipment nerds, and engineers, etc. and I have, indeed, added useful pieces of equipment to my setup over time, I'm very much on the other side of that spectrum. And pbw, would be on that other side of things for me (buying soap at a specialty store when I have detergent...) And I started brewing in '02 and ... I'm not sure it was widely used back then.

    If you want to use it, and you ahve it, go for it, but, it's not like the only cleaner you can use, and I cannot imagine it would completely obviate the need to scrub occasionally.