Ido-phor Fun

5 Nov

Every homebrewer has the responsibility of sanitation. How we go about our sanitation can completely change the name of the game. There are many modes available for homebrew sanitation, some cheaper, some more accessible. The key here, is to remember the goal of thorough and proper sanitation. Despite the means, always have the health of  your brew as priority.

That being said, I am here to help you change the name of the game. Mentioned before, as long as you take necessary steps with your mode of sanitation, you can effectively sanitize many ways. Bleach, for instance, is accesible and works fine. Except all surfaces in contact of cool wort must be soaked for 15 minutes and quite thoroughly rinsed. In this case, rinsing is imperative to decrease risk of creating defective flavors. Just because you have some laying around, doesn’t mean you should avoid alternatives.

As a beginner brewer I’ve searched for some alternatives for you. In fact, here is a complete guide to any sort of alternative and the process required for successful sanitation. It has a guide for bleach, acetic acid, and even dishwashers. It even goes over my beloved choice sanitizer: Idophor.

Idophor is awesome. It’s used by most food industries and even for commercial applications. I got my bottle for super cheap, four ounces for five bucks. You only need to dilute a teaspoon for every 5 gallons of water, its effective at 12.5 ppm. Idophor completely obliterates microbes, bacterias, and viruses that would affect your elixer with only 60 seconds contact time. Take that bleach! The best part, it doesn’t need to be rinsed either. Just pour it out and let it air dry, better yet, put it in a sprayer, mist, and let sit.

So you can see why I’d never bleach when I picked up a bit of Idophor that will last me ages. Not quite sold, or heard confliction in reviews? The most informational and non-biased page I have read regarding the demystification of Idophor is located here through BayAreaMashers.Org. When I compare to others like Star-San, I always worry about keeping tabs (literally) on solution pH levels and if I still have viable sanitizer. The Idophor has switched so pH balance isn’t ever an issue. After reading that enlightening Idophor article, it seems if you tuck your solution away you can get it to keep around a week. According to the manufacturer, if the color and smell is in tact the solution should be quite active.

So change the name of your game to  cheap and convenient, reduce your hassle. Don’t waste your time and energy soaking and rinsing. Use it on helping pitch your yeast or brewing up your wort- let Idophor do the work. So get brewing and stop rinsing!


Zach Attack


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