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01/10/08 08:01 PM  
Questions for lab guys
For all of you lab guys out there, I have a few questions regarding sterilizing and/sanitizing.

1)I have a Presto brand pressure cooker which I use for canning starter wort and sugar solutions for priming. I know that I can use it for sterilizing parts, silicone hoses etc. Question is, can I sterilize parts with it (parts submerged in jars of water covered with foil) the night before brew day and leave them to sit covered, in the canner over-night until I'm ready to use 'em the next day?

2)When flaming an Erlenmeyer flask that contains yeast slurry, is it damaging to the yeast when pouring it out of the flask due to the heat of the flasks' lip? Should I just wipe the opening with alcohol then flame the opening and allow the alcohol to burn off?

3)Do you think plain old aluminum foil is sanitary enough to use for covering parts etc, or should it be sanitized before use?

4)Are those little in-line filters that Northern Brewer and Morebeer sells for filtering aquarium pump air really good enough? I used to use CO2 to push sanitizer out of my carboys but have been using these filters attached to an orange carboy cap to filter out the incoming air to the carboy while the sanitizer siphons out. Also, how can you estimate when the filter is no longer effective?

Thanks for any insight you can contribute guys.

Al B
01/10/08 08:53 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
1 - yes, provided the cooker has been on long enough at the requisite temp. Which sounds stupid, but I never used one of those (I'm spoiled in having an autoclave).

2 - Flaming openings of flasks only takes a few seconds. You don't need to heat it for glass-blowing or anything. Even when its hot, it cools quickly if media hits (a little sizzle), yeast cell damage is minimal if anything at all. You can also use alcohol and burn it off as well - just as effective for our purposes.

3 - Aluminum foil is sanitary enough for parts, if covering fresh media intended for propagation, I would prefer the foil if used to be sanitized/sterilized.

4 - I don't know the pore size, but anything lower than 0.45 micron is sufficient, 0.22 micron excellent (but this tighter pore size will restrict flow somewhat). You really do this w/ a sanitizer purge, eh???? You are the Howard Hughes of sanitizing (I don't do this AND I'm a Microbiologist!) :) An estimation of filter life would depend on the brewing environment (much like a house filter). The only time I use air filters is aerating wort.

Al Bunson-burner

01/10/08 09:18 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
Hey Al Bunson-burner-

The filter is .023 micron evidently.

The oxygen stone I use for wort oxygenation is .5 micron. I usually don't use an inline filter with the stone as I thought the stone would catch anything coming down the line. I just connect the tubing to the oxygen cylinder/regulator and then to the stone. Do you think this is a problems that the oxygen gas is not filtered before going to the wort? I'm wondering if this may be a problem but I don't see how anything can live in an oxygen cylinder or regulator. More questions. Damn.

Al B
01/10/08 09:36 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
No, there won't be anything living in the O2 cyclinder or regulator. The O2 and reg. is or should be dry (no water).

But to clarify, I use a filter w/ an air pump, sometimes I add the O2 cyclinder to the pump line for more pressure and dissolve O2.

01/10/08 09:43 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
So you don't think I need to sanitize the O2 regulator then? Usually I give it a quick dunk in Iodophor before connecting the line and stone assembly.
Al B
01/10/08 10:24 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
no. Again, I'll use a filter for propagation in starter, but for brew in the primary, you'll be pitching a big population of yeast.
01/11/08 03:35 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys

I'm hijacking here: How long does your O2 cylinder last? I wonder if I have a leak somewhere. I usually only aearate two or three beers before its empty. Does that seem strange?

Also, you are a clean freak dude!

01/11/08 03:53 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
Ross has consistently demonstrated absurd levels of anal-ism in his brewing procedures that cry out for a BBB intervention and deprogramming weekend. I think it's time for a trip to Tucson to begin the cerebral cleansing and reintroduction into normal brewing behavior and practices. Of course there will be plenty of live music and intoxicants to purge the "devils" from his inner soul. Life and brewing CAN be enjoyable again!!!Contact me for further instructions please. 8^)
01/11/08 07:36 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys

I'm on my way. and I've got two cases of bottles that I just pulled from my autoclave packed to bring along!

I just drank a bottle of Avery's "the beast"

Needless to say I'm wasted (14.9% ABV!!)

Al B
01/11/08 11:12 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
yes.....cerebral cleansing.... or a Class 100 sterile clean-room suit........
01/11/08 11:36 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
Brothers, (hanging head in shame) I'm in desperate need of your wisdom and spiritual guidance. I humbly and sincerely ask for your help to purge me of this crippling, nightmarish quagmire Iíve fallen into. The abyss is deep; the light is quickly dimming as I feel my soul finally being captured by the reaper that watches patiently over my shoulder while I indulge in the Art of Creative Saisonics. Brother Cisco is soundly correct, Iíve demonstrated this behavior often and it appears Iíve finally lost my battle with the Dark Side. However, I see a beacon in the darkness, emanating from the area of the southwest United States and I feel it pulling me. I know my salvation waits for me there and with your support and patience Brothers; I must embark on this journey with Brother Cisco in hopes of finally exorcising The Demon. Please pray for my brewing salvationÖ..
01/11/08 11:46 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys

I have 5lb and 10lb CO2 cylinders. I will usually use the 10lb cylinder to purge the 3 gallon keg of sanitizer. That uses quite a bit of CO2 'cause after the keg is emptied, I'll shut off the CO2 and wait maybe ten minutes for more sanitizer to settle. Then I'll give it a good purge blast again to rid the keg of it (sanitizer that is). After that, I never open it up. Rather, I'll push the brew into the "in" of the keg with the kegs' relief valve opened. After that, it's in the fridge with the 5lb cylinder. I'll purge the keg about 5 times then let it sit at ~ 20psi at 42*F. So.....my best estimate on how long a keg will last. Just using the 5 pounder for carbonating and not purging, I'd say between three and six three gallon brews. I'm guessing by the seat of my pants here though.

01/12/08 07:48 AM  
Re: Questions for lab guys

I'm afraid you misread my Q. I'm referring to your O2 cylinder that you used to oxygenate the wort. Mine goes like gangbusters for about a minute or two on each of two or three separate weekends, and then is spent. Its one of those little welding size tanks you get from the hardware store.

01/12/08 10:17 AM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
My little red O2 from Home Depot lasts almost two years worth oxygenating starters and full fermentations. I use a .5 micron stone and use 1 to 2 minutes each fermentation - starters are just about 10 seconds.

Ross - email me about possible dates for your brewing demon exorcism.

01/12/08 11:43 AM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
Sorry Ry Guy! I did mis-read your post. I get about the same mileage as Cisco on mine and use it exactly as he does.

I would like to point out to not leave the regulator on the O2 cylinder while not in use as they do seem to leak out over time. Perhaps that is the trouble??

01/12/08 02:14 PM  
Re: Questions for lab guys
Rossyboy (are we lovers? my wife calls me ry guy).


I have been leaving the reg on the tank.

will try your route and see if it improves.

thanks dude


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