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Old 07-24-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fort Worth
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Bleach-Free Fresh Water Sanitation

As a homebrewer, I only utilize stainless steel, glass, or food grade silicon on any surface that comes in contact with liquids. Knowing what I do regarding brass fittings, I prefer to use stainless steel in almost every application possible - even garden hose.

Using bleach to clean or sanitize stainless steel is a big no-no as it can cause pitting in the metal, leading to crevices for harmful bacteria that can contaminate the wort. The pitting will also lead to rusting.

Because of this and the other, more obvious reason (taste!), brewers do not use bleach and instead use iodine, or some type of acid-base sanitizer. Boiling wort, hops and the alcohol in the finish product should take care of the rest of the nasties that could infect the liquid.

Have any forum members used any other method for sanitizing their fresh water tanks? I use Five Star's Star San for my brewing kit, but thinking about using IO Star, which is a low foam iodophor (iodine) sanitizer. The dilution for sanitizing tanks is 1oz per 5gal.

Anyone else use stainless fittings or prefer not using bleach for sanitation? What other methods do folks use to sanitize the fresh water system? Am I ridiculous? (Probably)

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Old 07-24-2015, 02:59 PM   #2
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Location: Campbell Hall
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No, you are not being ridiculous!

Because of your hobby(?) you have a better understanding of the process of sanitizing equipment.

Us RV'ers just have to have safe water in our water systems. Some people have taste & odor filters to remove the noticeable chlorine from the fresh water tank.

The levels of chlorine in sanitizing solution (1/4 cup household bleach per 15 gallons) and sanitized water (3 talespoons per 15 gallons) are insufficient to cause significant damage to the parts (mostly plastic) in the water systems.

I refuse to travel with the propane system on. Others here keep the fridge running on propane except when refueling.

So, don't worry if you choose to err on the side of caution. The taste buds and stainless steel you save will be your own!

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Old 07-24-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
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I agree with mike837go, You are not being ridiculous. Although you are not sanitizing a beer making tank and its mostly plastic in there.

There are many ways to do the same thing in this life and same goes for rv's. What's great is you get to choose what is comfortable for you.

I'm satisfied to use a weak chlorine bleach solution that takes any taste that may be passed on to the water from the tank and lines. We keep pretty good records on water at sites we frequent and either bring drinking water from home or purchase ionized drinking water from suppliers if possible.

We don't invest in a lot of water purifying equipment but there are all kinds of options if you wanted to spend the $$$.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:53 PM   #4
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Location: Tucson
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If you have a bad fungus growth hydrogen peroxide will kill and clean a system but has to be completely flushed out. This may be best left to a professional as pure hydrogen peroxide is controlled chemical in a lot of areas way more concentrated than what. You can buy in the drug store. For other options check the feed stores for what they sell dairies to clean the milking machines and lines.
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