Category Archives: Sanitation

Use a Wallpaper Prep Tray for Cleaning, Sanitizing and Storage of Longer Brewing Items

Pictured: Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray – via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts


More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.


toppost:wptray rp:tips#32 tag:tpru

Update International 12″ x 12″ Interlocking Drying Mats – Lots of Uses – $2.39 + Free Prime Ship

Update International BMI-12CL Interlocking bar Mat Square, 12" x 12", Clear

Update International BMI-12CL Interlocking bar Mat Square, 12″ x 12″, Clear


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Interlocking bar mat perfect for lining shelves and counters to protect glassware and china
  • Interlocking design system snaps together to fit most places
  • Made of non-skid pvc and is lightweight
  • Diamond-shape cutouts allow for even airflow and sanitary drying
  • Each square measures 12″ x 12″; dishwasher safe

I use similar mats (different model and manufacturer) and find them very handy.  I use them for drying brew day gear and glassware and also underneath my fermenter in my fermentation deep freeze to improve airflow and keep the fermenter out of any condensation that might show up).  I also use this in bottom of my kegerator.  Lots more info here – Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

10/20/20 1 AM Central: These are selling for just $2.39 (clear version only). That’s the best historical direct from Amazon price I found, notwithstanding Lightning Deals or coupons. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

Update International BMI-12CL Interlocking bar Mat Square, 12″ x 12″, Clear – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

What’s the Shelf Life of Star San? – Testing Star San’s Effectiveness

cln_img_0525

Star San is my sanitizer of choice.  It’s food safe and no rinse.  Required contact time is one minute.  It has worked very well for me for quite some time and I’m convinced that it’s one of the most economical solutions available if you use the spray bottle method [See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines]

What’s the Shelf Life of Star San?

With regards to mixed Star San Solution: The official answer is probably… you should mix a fresh batch each time you use it.  To really test the effectiveness, you need to titrate the solution and test the PPM.

Practically speaking, many homebrewers use and re-use Star San.  If you’re going to do that, the solution should be relatively clear and the mixture should have a pH of under 3.5.  Previously the recommendation I received from Five Star Chemicals was that the solution should by crystal clear, however, for bottles of Star San not older than 1 year (check the manufacture date on the bottle) crystal clarity isn’t necessarily a requirement.

From “Better Safe Than Sorry” Department: If you doubt a mixture it’s better to be safe, dump it and make a fresh batch

More About Clarity

Years ago, I received this information from Five Star Chemicals:  “The cloudy solution could be okay, but it could be bad. The cloudiness is the surfactant coming out of solution. It has reacted, or is reacting with the metals in the water. I don’t know if it is still good, because I don’t know how much surfactant has reacted. I error on the side of caution and suggest that you don’t even mess with it. Use DI water.

Previously testing the effectiveness of diluted Star San involved two things… Crystal clear solution and pH under 3.5.

As of this update on 9/2018, clarity is not considered an issue – via Emily Lovato at Five Star Chemicals

My personal opinion (not official) is that crystal clear Star San is preferable to cloudy Star San.  If you have hard water and your diluted Star San mixture immediately turns cloudy, and you want it to be clear, you can use RO or distilled water.

 

With regards to Star San concentrate: Five Star Chemicals recommends replacing bottles of Star San concentrate that are over 2 years old.  – via Emily Lovato at Five Star Chemicals.

What size to buy?  Because of the 1 or 2 year freshness recommendation via Five Star, my recommendation to most homebrewers is to purchase the smaller 8 oz bottle of Star San.  If you’re using the spray bottle method [See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines] 8 ounces of Star San should last many homebrewers for at least a year.  My reasoning on the 8 oz recommendation is… why buy a larger bottle that you won’t be able to get through before it needs to be replaced?  There’s a calculator in my tips post to help you estimate your usage.

Testing pH of your diluted Star San Mixture…

Testing pH question involves using either a pH meter or strips.  The pH meter option is straightforward [See: Amazon’s Best Sellers in Lab pH Meters].  pH Meters can be costly and do require calibration, maintenance and, eventually, replacement.  Because of that, I wanted to find pH strips that work well for this task.  I ended up trying a few different styles and manufacturers before finding strips that I think work well.

cln_img_0509I settled on Hydrion Pro 9200 (0.0 to 6) pH Indicator Strips – via Amazon

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San Jamar Versa-Mat 12″ x 12″ Interlocking NSF Certified Drying Mats – lots of uses – $4.69 + Free Prime Ship + Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats

12″ by 12″ interlocking bar mat by San Jamar.  These interlocking mats are versatile.  Multiple mats can be joined for larger areas and they are flexible and easy to cut to shape.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Raised design provides a sanitary surface for your glassware, and allows for better air circulation and faster drying
  • Durable, non-slip material prevents marring and breaking of glassware
  • Interlocking design allows you to connect multiple mats, and the lightweight material can be easily cut to fit into any shape or size needed for your shelves, bar or sink
  • Always lays flat for a neat, clean appearance
  • Dishwasher safe and NSF approved

 

10/9/20 2:30 AM Central: These are selling for just $4.69.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. Also: Recent Amazon Finds and Amazon Fillers Resource Page 

San Jamar VM5280 Versa-Mat Interlocking Bar Mat, 12″ Length x 12″ Width – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also available in different colors and quantities – Search Amazon for “san jamar versa mat” – to see what may be available

Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

More: Recent Amazon Finds

prod:B003V0GAIM

Build a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

recirculating draft line cleaner

The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most affordable cleaning setups that are out there include a hand pump.  Operating one of those for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.

To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get the required amount of contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.

I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.

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Four x 16 Oz, BPA Free Spray Bottles + Star San Tips

HavenLab 16oz 4 Pack Reusable Plastic Spray Bottle Sprayer for Bleach, Auto Detailing, Water Plants, Grilling, Haircuts, Cleaning, Disinfectant, Chemicals, HDPE, Non-BPA, Easy Squeeze Trigger.
HavenLab 16oz 4 Pack Reusable Plastic Spray Bottle Sprayer for Bleach, Auto Detailing, Water Plants, Grilling, Haircuts, Cleaning, Disinfectant, Chemicals, HDPE, Non-BPA, Easy Squeeze Trigger.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • INDUSTRIAL-GRADE BOTTLE – Our empty spray bottle can handle harsh chemicals GUARANTEED. Its white, opaque HDPE material protects liquids from UV rays. Temperature changes or falls won’t hurt it.
  • EFFICIENT SPRAY MECHANISM – Our cleaning spray bottle’s nozzle can spray in a tight, far stream or spray wide and evenly. It consistently dispenses on first squeeze, with no leaking in off mode!
  • LEAKPROOF, ERGONOMIC – Child-resistant ‘ratcheting’ head tightly locks the bottle. NOTE: You will need a strong grip or pliers to re-open! Pistol grip and non-slip trigger for better control.
  • UNIQUE FLAT SHAPE, EASY STORAGE – Featuring a unique flat shape, our bleach spray bottles can be stored side by side, maximizing space on your shelves. It’s also easier to write on the surface.

 

Also: Star San Tips & Tricks – includes Spray Bottle Method of Sanitizing

Notes from HBF:  I like the fact that the description (at least as of this posting, check the product page for current info) says these are industrial grade and mentions both chemicals and grilling (food-related).

HavenLab 16oz 4 Pack Reusable Plastic Spray Bottle Sprayer for Bleach, Auto Detailing, Water Plants, Grilling, Haircuts, Cleaning, Disinfectant, Chemicals, HDPE, Non-BPA, Easy Squeeze Trigger. – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines – Using Star San In a Spray Bottle

star san tips and tricks

Star San is my homebrew sanitizer of choice.  When mixed properly, it’s food safe and no rinse.  Required contact time is one minute.  It has worked very well for me for quite some time and I’m convinced that it’s one of the most economical solutions available if you’re using the “Spray Bottle Method” outlined here.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and… Sterilizing

The first step in sanitizing is cleaning.  Cleaning and sanitizing are two separate steps.  Cleaning physically removes dirt and large contaminants.  After your item is physically clean it can be microscopically sanitized.  Sanitization kills many (but not all) germs, bacteria and microorganisms on an already clean surface.  I typically use a mixture of PBW for cleaning.  Sanitizing and Sterilizing are different.  Sterilizing is killing every living thing.  In home brewing typically, we’re not interested in sterilizing, we’re only interested in sanitizing.

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(100) 3ml Transfer Pipettes [Refractometer & pH Samples, measuring Star San] – $4.99 + Free Prime Ship

Karter Scientific 206H3 3ml Graduated Transfer Pipette, Cap 7ml, 1/2ml Grads, 155mm (Pack of 100)

(100) Transfer Pipettes from Karter Scientific.  Total of 5 ml capacity, 3 ml of which are graduated in 1/2 ml increments.  Comes with a dispenser box.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Capacity: 7.0ml
  • Graduations: 0.5, 0.5ml to 3.0ml
  • Material: LDPE
  • Length: 155mm

Karter Scientific is a registered trademark in United States of America. To maintain quality control, authorized permission is required in the resale of our products. Karter Scientific liquid handling offerings include a full selection of sterile and non-sterile Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) transfer pipettes. LDPE is non-toxic and chemically inert to biological fluids and most acids and can withstand a temperature range from -50°C to 90°C. Pipettes may be heat-sealed and frozen in liquid nitrogen for sample preservation.


 

Use for collecting refractometer samples, pH samples and more on brew day and beyond.

What are Other’s Saying?   Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “refractometer” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

You could also use these to dose out Star San for mixing 1 gallon batches.  See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines – you’d use the 3 mL marking, twice (total of 6 mL) to do that.

9/20/20 8:30 PM Central: These have dropped to $4.99.  That figures to just 5 cents each. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

Transfer Pipette, 7.0ml Capacity, 3.0ml Graduated, Large Bulb, 155mm, 3.2ml Bulb Draw, Karter Scientific 206H3 (Pack of 100) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Also Consider: Globe Scientific 139050 LDPE Extra Long Transfer Pipet, Non-Sterile, 300mm Length, 23.0mL Capacity (Box of 100) – these are about 12″ long and, depending on the fermenter and batch size, are long enough to take refractometer samples from the fermenter.

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.  prod:B005Z4QVZ4


Ferrari 90 Seat Bottle Tree – $33.99 + Free Ship Eligible

Ferrari Bottle Tree - 90 Seat - Fixed Base B516

Ferrari Bottle Tree – 90 Seat – Fixed Base via MoreBeer

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

90 seat bottle tree with a fixed (non-rotating) base. This style bottle tree is taller than the Economy bottle trees, and has more room between levels so you can fit wider bottles like 22 oz beer and wine bottles. The sanitizer injector (B520) can be fitted to the top for a complete sanitizing and bottle draining package. Made by Ferrari Group in Italy.


 

  • As of this posting, MoreBeer has this on sale for just $33.99
  • Shipping is free with a qualifying $59 order to many US addresses. Price, promotions and availability can change quickly.
  • Filler items to help you qualify for free shipping….  PBW, discounted ingredients via the KOTW or some hop deals via the Hop Market

Ferrari Bottle Tree – 90 Seat – Fixed Base B516

Also Consider: Sanitizer Injector for Red Bottle Tree B520

MoreDeals! at MoreBeer:

More: Recent MoreBeer Finds

Looking for a MoreBeer Deal? – Today’s Deal of the Day | Sale Items | MoreBeer Deals

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly.  Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit the product page.  Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

10 x 10 mL Syringes – $8.99 + free prime ship & Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

10 Pack of 10ml 10cc Plastic Oral Medication Syringes with Transparent Tip Cap W/o Needle for Scientific Labs, Measuring, Watering,refilling

10 x 10 ml Syringes

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • 10 Pack of 10ml 10cc Plastic Oral Medication Syringes with transparent Tip Cap W/o Needle for Scientific Labs, Measuring, Watering,refilling .
  • Exclusive outfit soft silicon caps can protect you not to be hurt, and also more convenient to store liquid in the syringes for future using.
  • Material: plastic;10ml.
  • Package includes:10 x Syringe .
  • Suitable for wood adhesive, glue injector, essential oil dispenser, grain alcohol, science lab measuring, vg pg for vaping, ej e cigs mixing, hobby crafts, precision applications of CA glues, ink refill, perfume measure and injection, lubricants, sealants etc.

 

Why would these have anything to do with homebrewing, you ask?  Great question.  These are an easy way to measure 6 mL of Star San.  Put 6 mL of Star San in 1 gallon of distilled water and you’ve got sanitizing solution.  Fill up a spray bottle and you’re ready to sanitize for pennies a batch.  See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

6/10/20 6 AM Central: These are selling for $8.99.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. Also: Recent Amazon Finds and Amazon Fillers Resource Page 

10 Pack of 10ml 10cc Plastic Oral Medication Syringes with Transparent Tip Cap W/o Needle for Scientific Labs, Measuring, Watering,refilling


More: Recent Amazon Finds


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.