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Bleach with a Fermzilla

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jceg316

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I had an infected batch in my Fermzilla which I dumped. I cleaned the FZ thoroughly (or so I thought), used starsan before adding wort but the next batch was also infected.

After the first infected batch I took it apart and used dish soap and water to clean all the parts. This time I've used sodium percarbonate, however I can still smell the last batch in the FZ which makes me think the persistent bug is still there. Usually bleach works but as these units are rather sensitive to a lot of things I was wondering if I could nuke it with bleach?

Anyone have any experience here?

Thanks.
 

Brew_DD2

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I wouldn't worry too much about persistent smells in it. If you're satisfied that you've cleaned and sanitised each surface then I wouldn't be concerned about any lingering smells. Personally wouldn't use bleach.
 

AdeDunn

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When my Speidel got an infection in it it was a wild yeast, which starsan wont touch, so I had to nuke it with VWP, taking the tap apart etc and soaking it all so it all got exposed to it. I've used VWP on my Fermentasaurus too when the yeast I used refused to come off after soaking it in PBW. End of the day, it was that or the bin...

I wouldn't use it on my Klarstein Brauheld Pro, as prolonged contact can pit stainless steel. No need to anyway, as that gets contact with boiling liquids every time I use it....

I won't use household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) at all, the stuff makes me want to puke. lol
 

jceg316

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I wouldn't worry too much about persistent smells in it. If you're satisfied that you've cleaned and sanitised each surface then I wouldn't be concerned about any lingering smells. Personally wouldn't use bleach.
I thought I was satisfied after infected brew no.1 but I guess it wasn't enough. I just want to be really sure it's gone so I don't ruin the third batch in this fermenter. I might have another go with sodium percarbonate just to make sure. I'm using this stuff to clean everything, seems to be working as a cleaner.

When my Speidel got an infection in it it was a wild yeast, which starsan wont touch
This is interesting, I knew Starsan was a sanitiser, not a steriliser, but wasn't sure on what it does kill and doesn't. Where do you find out what it won't kill? I imagine it leaves s.cerevisiae but perhaps there's some "grey area" when it comes to brett?
 

AdeDunn

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Honestly, no idea why it's not that effective with wild yeasts, I just know from experience that it isn't. I had 2 brews get infected with the Speidel FV, and only put a stop to it after tearing it down, including taking the tap apart, and soaking it in a strong VWP solution. Used it since, no infection. The infection was of the brett wild yeast type, with the classic hints of tobacco scent whilst fermenting etc, and the flavour that some folks look for hints of in there beer, but when you have heap tons of it in your beer tastes fricking horrid... lol

My old regime was to clean everything with percarbonate, rinse, then before use give a good spraying with Starsan. I only use VWP when I absolutely have to, but I've been using PBW in place of percarbonate (percarbonate with extra bells and whistles) recently. Honestly, not a huge fan though, having to rinse with water the same temperature is a pita when working outdoors, having to heat 2 lots of water to about 50 degrees is time consuming at best, if you go for 2 rinses it's even more time consuming...

I still spray FVs etc with Starsan immediately before use. Bottles though I have taken to cleaning with VWP, then rinsing well, the day I bottle. Had some mild infections (less unpleasant wild yeasts possibly) when I was washing then rinsing my bottles with Starsan on bottling day, leading to some lively bottles of beer with flavours not quite what they should have been. All of which suggests that when it comes to wild yeasts, Starsan isn't all that effective. You need to nuke it first.
 

jceg316

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Honestly, no idea why it's not that effective with wild yeasts, I just know from experience that it isn't. I had 2 brews get infected with the Speidel FV, and only put a stop to it after tearing it down, including taking the tap apart, and soaking it in a strong VWP solution. Used it since, no infection. The infection was of the brett wild yeast type, with the classic hints of tobacco scent whilst fermenting etc, and the flavour that some folks look for hints of in there beer, but when you have heap tons of it in your beer tastes fricking horrid... lol

My old regime was to clean everything with percarbonate, rinse, then before use give a good spraying with Starsan. I only use VWP when I absolutely have to, but I've been using PBW in place of percarbonate (percarbonate with extra bells and whistles) recently. Honestly, not a huge fan though, having to rinse with water the same temperature is a pita when working outdoors, having to heat 2 lots of water to about 50 degrees is time consuming at best, if you go for 2 rinses it's even more time consuming...

I still spray FVs etc with Starsan immediately before use. Bottles though I have taken to cleaning with VWP, then rinsing well, the day I bottle. Had some mild infections (less unpleasant wild yeasts possibly) when I was washing then rinsing my bottles with Starsan on bottling day, leading to some lively bottles of beer with flavours not quite what they should have been. All of which suggests that when it comes to wild yeasts, Starsan isn't all that effective. You need to nuke it first.
What you're saying is really interesting and I've experienced the same throughout homebrewing. I use starsan as advised but every so often a batch gets infected and sometimes that infection can be hard to shift. Also in every batch of beer there is always at least one bottle which is a gusher which I can never quite work out why. If there is a yeast in there which Starsan doesn't kill that would explain it.

If VWP neds to be heated to 50C to work I don't think I can use it on the FermZilla as it can't handle those sorts of temperatures, but would like to find something which could compliment Starsan.
 

AdeDunn

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VWP doesn't need to be heated, I use it in cold water regularly. I don't use hot water in anything except my boiler, which is where I use PBW hot, and it's a PITA as this means I have to rinse hot too. I use PBW at about 30/35 degrees C in my Fermentasaurus usually, well below the max water temp PET can take. athumb.. PBW won't sanitise though, it's just percarbonate with some extras that make it more effective. VWP is cleaner/sanitiser, but is basically chlorine bleach powder so isn't no rinse, I rinse with the hose I use for brewing only though, so easy to rinse well enough to get it all off. You know fast enough if you don't, as you get lovely TCP flavours in your beer (same as if you don't remove the chlorine from tap water you brew with).

I might go back to percarbonate once the PBW is all gone to be honest. My wife can use that too (she's switched to washing our clothes with soap nuts, and you can use percarbonate with these for extra cleaning, 100% eco friendly).
 

jceg316

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VWP doesn't need to be heated, I use it in cold water regularly. I don't use hot water in anything except my boiler, which is where I use PBW hot, and it's a PITA as this means I have to rinse hot too. I use PBW at about 30/35 degrees C in my Fermentasaurus usually, well below the max water temp PET can take. athumb.. PBW won't sanitise though, it's just percarbonate with some extras that make it more effective. VWP is cleaner/sanitiser, but is basically chlorine bleach powder so isn't no rinse, I rinse with the hose I use for brewing only though, so easy to rinse well enough to get it all off. You know fast enough if you don't, as you get lovely TCP flavours in your beer (same as if you don't remove the chlorine from tap water you brew with).

I might go back to percarbonate once the PBW is all gone to be honest. My wife can use that too (she's switched to washing our clothes with soap nuts, and you can use percarbonate with these for extra cleaning, 100% eco friendly).
Do you/have you use(d) VWP in your Fermentasaurus?
 

jceg316

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Yes, had to use it last time as the yeast ring refused to come off until I did. It wasn't for extended contact time overly though.
I guess that answers my original question, as VWP is basically bleach. I see you said that in your first post which I must have missed :oops:. Anyway, thanks for the help!
 
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