Although a homebrew kit and other brewing equipment will have some basic instructions for sanitation, it is not always enough to simply clean off all of the minerals on the equipment. When minerals or organic materials used in brewing are left behind, the next batch of beer will not come out the way it is expected. Fortunately, cleaning the homebrew kit and equipment properly is not a hard process.
Scrub the Equipment
The best way to clean any kit and equipment used in brewing is by scrubbing away the visible dirt, debris, materials and stains. Start the process by rinsing off as much large debris or items as possible.
After rinsing, apply an appropriate cleaner to the equipment. The best cleaner is a powdered brewery wash, or PBW, which is designed specifically for cleaning the kit and equipment. If the brewery wash is not available, then a powdered oxy cleaner, liquid dish soap, or baking soda is also appropriate.
Remove any dirt, stains, or debris with a small amount of water with a cleaner and a scrub pad or brush. If the equipment is plastic, then use a terry cloth to avoid leaving behind scratches. Rinse the equipment until the cleaner is completely removed.
Sanitize the Equipment
Cleaning and sanitizing are not the same process. Sanitizing is only performed after the cleaning is complete because it is not possible to sanitize the debris left behind. Sanitation is the process of killing any microscopic organisms that are left behind after cleaning.
Sanitizing your homebrew equipment is a simple process. A sanitizing chemical, such as One Step No Rinse Cleanser or sodium metabisulphate, is dissolved in water and allowed to sit on the equipment and kit for the duration of time specified in the directions. In most cases, sanitizers will sit for roughly five minutes to bring the level of yeast, bacteria, and other microscopic concerns to a minimum. Don’t worry about knowing specifics; these sanitizers will have specific instructions on how to determine the amount of time and ingredients required.
Similar to wine, there are so many types of cleaners on the market you probably won’t know what is going to work best for you until you try them. If One Step and sodium metabisulphate don’t do the trick you can always try B-Bright Cleaner, Cleanpro SDH or campden tablets. Check out our full line of home wine making cleaning supplies and homebrew cleaning supplies for your system today. Cleaning is not only vital to getting the best taste; it is also a simple process.