If you want to produce high-quality beer that everyone wants to drink, you’ll need a lot more than just a killer secret recipe. For starters, you’ll need the right homebrewing equipment and the knowledge on how to keep it clean and santised at all times.
Dirty equipment isn’t only disgusting, but it can also spoil the taste of the final product. And the taste is the most important thing in brewing and the one thing that makes people crazy about your beer. In order to keep the equipment clean and sparkling and above all, the beer tasty, you’ll want to start using the following cleaning tips and tricks.
Get a Good Brewing Detergent for Bottles and Equipment
Of course, every cleaning task starts with the proper detergent. That’s why it’s recommended to use specialized brewing detergents for cleaning homebrew equipment. A brewing detergent is specifically made to answer all the requirements when it comes to cleaning your bottles and home brewing equipment. In addition to cleaning, it also sterilises them for the next time you need them.
Some of the equipment and bottle sanitisers on the market have a special easy rinse formula which means there won’t be any residue on your bottles that can later influence or spoil the taste of the bear. You should pay attention to this because even the slightest trace of detergent or smell can completely destroy the well-known beer aroma.
The process of cleaning homebrew equipment consists of two stages. First is the removal of visual soil, stains and dirt. The second part is proper sanitation – reducing the sources of unwanted microbes and bacteria that might affect your brewing process. So, you’ll want a formula that will be strong enough to remove all the dirt and biofilm from the surfaces while offering proper sanitation.
Brewing detergents are non-toxic and efficient, meaning they will save you up on cleaning time. Plus they’re economical because you’ll need only a small amount of it per cleaning, so one bottle of home brew sanitizer will last you for quite some time. In addition to the powdered and granulated products, you can also find bear bottle cleaner in the form of spray for easy application.
A Beer Glass Washer Can Speed Things Up
In addition to the brewing detergent, you can also get a beer glasswasher which is the perfect appliance for every homebrew enthusiast. It will be of great help if you don’t own a dishwasher and don’t have the time to hand wash the glasses. This accessory has strong brushes and it’s made especially for washing glasses. You only need to add warm water and some homebrew detergent and start washing the beer glasses. You’ll be left with perfectly clean beer glasses every time without having to worry if the dishwashing liquid left behind a film that will later spoil the taste of the beer.
Use Bleach Only When Necessary and With Caution
Bleach is part of the essential cleaning supplies for the home. So, some homebrewers think that it’s okay to use it for cleaning their equipment too. Bleach a good option to keep everything 100% sanitary, but you have to be extra careful because bleach is a strong chemical and it can damage your skin if you don’t wear gloves or proper protection.
What’s more, bleach has a strong scent and formula that might interfere with the beer aroma during the brewing process. It’s advisable to limit the use of bleach only to equipment or bottles that are extremely dirty and pay special attention when rinsing so that no trace of it is left behind once you’ve finished cleaning.
Bleach can be aggressive to the material your equipment is made of, or to any plastic, you might use. That’s why you need to use only small amounts of it, preferably mixed with water. After you’re done, use soft cloths because abrasive pads can further damage your equipment.
Why Is Soaking the Equipment Important?
Different people prefer different ways of cleaning but, know that soaking your equipment before you start cleaning it will make your job a lot easier. Especially if the equipment has been dirty for quite some time. The longer the equipment stays dirty the harder it will be for you to remove the dried out biofilms and scum. For that reason, it’s recommended to soak it for at least 20 minutes with the brewing detergent, drain the water, remove the stains and dirt and then rinse thoroughly.
The liquid solution will remove dirt and stains even from the most tricky and hard-to-reach parts of your equipment and you can be sure that it’s perfectly clean and ready to use. Additionally, if you want to be sure your equipment is sanitised, try using heat. Heat is an old and known way to sterilise equipment and glassware and you can’t go wrong with it.
Remember to Clean Everything the Day Before
The best thing you can do is to clean everything the day before you start brewing. That way you’ll have everything clean and under control and you can start brewing beer without having to worry about anything else.
Note that brewing includes several steps before getting a finished product. It’s a process that takes time you don’t want to be wasting on cleaning, plus it requires your full attention if you want to make high-quality bear.
The process of home brewing consists of mashing, lautering and boiling. Mashing is actually the first step and here you immerse the grain with hot water. After that, you separate the wort from the grain and then you do the boiling. After the boiling is over you need to cool down the wort (you can achieve this with an ice bath). After this step is completed, you can move on to transferring it to a storage place where it can start fermenting.
Once this is done, you can add the yeast and start with the final fermentation which is consisted of two parts. You need to monitor the process every now and then if you want it to be successful. You need static temperature levels and ideal conditions. After primary fermentation is done, transfer the beer into the second fermenter in order to finish off the second stage of fermentation.
Calculating the percentage of alcohol is the final step before bottling.
Why am I saying this? All of the equipment and bottles you’re going to use during the previously mentioned process need to be properly sanitized before getting in contact with the bear. So make it your habit to clean everything the day before and avoid ending up with spoiled beer after putting all that effort.