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  1. #91

    Quote Originally Posted by JIGSAW View Post
    Dishwasher ?
    Unfortunately my 22L fermenter will not fit in a dishwasher

    Quote Originally Posted by groenspookasem View Post
    Cleaning With Caustic Soda

    I take no credit for this information. I copied it off the web and cannot re-establish the link. It is very useful and thanks to whoever posted it, if anyone knows its origin please let me know so I can give them the credit. Richard
    "Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH) is a dangerous chemical and can cause serious injuries when not handled correctly. Always take precaution and wear protection like gloves and glasses when handling Caustic Soda. Never add water to Caustic Soda crystals, always the other way around.
    In South Africa home brewers have a limited range of cleaning and sanitizing agents. In the US they have the home brew chemical Starsan and other specialised cleaning chemicals.
    One chemical we do have is Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) or more commonly named Caustic Soda. It is widely used to produce soap and also does a good job at cleaning out your drains and does wonders for cleaning your home beer making equipment. It is available from hardware stores and some supermarkets and is very affordable. However it is sold in a crystal form and must dissolved in water. This is where care must be taken, and mix in the order stated:
    Caustic Soda 30% Solution
    1. Pour 2l of cold water and pour it into a pyrex or stainless steel pot, do not use normal glass as this will shatter seeing as when the caustic soda reacts with water it get boiling hot.
    2. Next add 500g of Caustic Soda crystals, obtainable from supermarkets or hardware stores, to the cold water. Wait for the solution to cool down and pour it back into a normal glass bottle.
    This solution is approximately 30% sodium hydroxide and can be used to clean fermentation equipment, beer kegs, beer lines etc. Use gloves and protective eyeware when using it and avoid splashing it on your skin.
    Cleaning Uses
    Fermenter: Dilute 4ml of the solution per liter of water, warm water is better, and let it stand overnight.
    General Cleaning (excl Aluminum): 4-10ml of the solution per liter of water, warm water is better, and let it stand overnight.
    Kegs: Pour 100ml of the solution into the keg and fill the keg with water, leave it overnight and then rinse 3-4 times with water before use. Alternatively you can just pour 30ml into the empty keg and top it off with 2l of boiling water, turning the keg in a different position every half hour to ensure the mixture gets into all the crevices of the keg. You can leave the mixture in the keg until you are ready to use it, just rinse with boiling water before making use of the keg.
    Beer Lines: It's recommended that you clean your beer lines every three weeks, this usually goes hand in hand with cleaning your kegs. When you'r done cleaning your kegs leave the solution in the keg, apply some pressure to the keg and simply push some of the caustic soda mixture through your beer lines. Leave it for 20 minutes and then flush with beer through the tap and lines.
    Please take care when handling Caustic Soda, never pour water directly onto the Caustic Soda crystals. If you should get some of it on your skin wash it off immediately. You will know it's off when your hands don’t feel soapy anymore. As with any chemical, use it in a well ventilated area.
    The solution can be kept in a normal glass bottle for long periods and should last you quite some time.

    This article was adapted from the SouthYeasters Caustic Soda cleaning guide".

    Copied from http://kegsolutions.co.za/kegs/demo
    Thanks groenspookasem, I think I will give this a go! Don't want to risk infecting my next batch. From what I've read caustic soda shouldn't damage the plastic at all right? I'm gonna open the fermenter up tomorrow and see how things are looking. Might try sieve out the pellicle and give the beer another taste. I've been reading up on sour beers and figured I might as well put some of my 5L PET bottles to use and monitor it as it ages.
    Last edited by HoboSpit; 25th May 2020 at 20:34. Reason: Double Posted

  2. #92
    Caustic can be stored in hdpe, but do note that the blending 500g with 2l water creates a very spirited exothermic reaction (kark hot chemical reaction) I made mine in a borosilicate ehrlenmeyer flask that could withstand the heat, then once cold transferred it. Caustic does erode glass over time, but at 30% it takes a while. My batch is 18m old in the same container - it lasts a long time. If your plastic isnt scratched, use those pink foam pads (not the scratchy part) and Sunlight to clean it properly, then sanitize. I'm assuming you use a white hdpe bucket - they do have a lifespan as they scratch easily, but yours is probably brand new

  3. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by groenspookasem View Post
    Caustic can be stored in hdpe, but do note that the blending 500g with 2l water creates a very spirited exothermic reaction (kark hot chemical reaction) I made mine in a borosilicate ehrlenmeyer flask that could withstand the heat, then once cold transferred it. Caustic does erode glass over time, but at 30% it takes a while. My batch is 18m old in the same container - it lasts a long time. If your plastic isnt scratched, use those pink foam pads (not the scratchy part) and Sunlight to clean it properly, then sanitize. I'm assuming you use a white hdpe bucket - they do have a lifespan as they scratch easily, but yours is probably brand new
    My infected bucket is about 3 years old now, but it's only seen 3 brews (took me a while to do my first one obviously), so there probably isn't much age or scratches on it I'm sure. So you'd recommend just doing sunlight and sanitization over caustic in this bucket?

  4. #94
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    I would just scrub it nicely with a dishwasher brush to make sure all the gunk is out there, then rinse it with boiling water and finally sanitize like I do my fermenter after every brew. I just don't do the boiling water part as well, it's not needed.

  5. #95
    Triple check the tap at the bottom. If yours has a strainer in front take it out and throw it away. Take that tap and clean with an old toothbrush then put it in a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 min or so

    Sent from my SM-A750F using Tapatalk

  6. #96
    Senior Member JIGSAW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannieverjaar View Post
    Triple check the tap at the bottom. If yours has a strainer in front take it out and throw it away. Take that tap and clean with an old toothbrush then put it in a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 min or so

    Sent from my SM-A750F using Tapatalk

    Better yet, if it has a tap, fuck that thing away as far as possible and install a stopper ... then invest in an auto-siphon
    The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!


  7. #97
    Thanks for all the helpful feedback guys!

    I decanted the infected brew into some 5L bottles as I thought it would be interesting to monitor what happens to it. Toxxyc I went ahead and followed your advise and I cleaned the fermenter out with boiling water, sunlight and sanitizer, as well as disassembling my bottling spigot and boiling the parts for 15 Minutes. Everything looks pretty clean now. Only time will tell though I guess, as I'll do my next brew in this bucket after this cold front has passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jannieverjaar View Post
    Triple check the tap at the bottom. If yours has a strainer in front take it out and throw it away. Take that tap and clean with an old toothbrush then put it in a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 min or so

    Sent from my SM-A750F using Tapatalk
    Mine does have a strainer (one of those that angles upwards to minimize the amount of trub being pulled through) but it actually pops right off the rest of the spigot so I managed to boil and scrub ever nook and cranny. Let it soak in some sanitizer as well so hopefully it's all good!

    Quote Originally Posted by JIGSAW View Post
    Better yet, if it has a tap, fuck that thing away as far as possible and install a stopper ... then invest in an auto-siphon
    Where do you find stoppers for these buckets? I actually bought an auto siphon recently for racking to secondary, would it be easier to use for bottling vs the spigot on the bucket?

  8. #98
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    I have to be honest, I've never bottled using a siphon before and I have no idea how well the starting/stopping would work with the siphon. Would love to see how it turns out for you.

  9. #99

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    I have to be honest, I've never bottled using a siphon before and I have no idea how well the starting/stopping would work with the siphon. Would love to see how it turns out for you.
    I've seen people attaching a bottling wand to the end of a siphon and using it that way, which does look pretty convenient. But I feel like I have a pretty good system with my spigot and I wouldn't wanna risk oxidizing my IPA the first time I use the siphon for bottling haha!

    I wanted to dry hop today but the temps on my fermenter are hitting <16. I've heard that dry hopping under 18 tends to impart more grassy notes, rather than fruity notes. Should I wait for the weather to heat up a bit more? Maybe I should invest in a reptile heating belt or pad.

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