Tip of the Day: Cleaners and Sanitizers

Currently available at Barley’s Homebrewing Supplies, you’ll find three different product for cleaning and sanitizing. Here is some information to help you decide what the best product is for you:

One Step Cleaner:

According to Logic Inc., makers of One Step, their product is not certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a sanitizer. They, essentially, argue that they can keep the cost of One Step Cleaner down by forgoing this certification. That being said, they do stand by their product as a sanitizer for home-brewing use, having been used successfully in home beer and wine making since 1992.

One Step Cleaner works by being dissolved in water to produce hydrogen peroxide, a compound known for its sanitizing and disinfecting properties. The hydrogen peroxide then breaks down into oxygen and water, making it environmentally friendly, and explaining why it can be used as a no-rinse cleaner. The proper dilution ration is 1 tablespoon of One Step in a gallon of water or, approximately, 1 teaspoon per liter of water. A 60 second contact time is recommended. If you double the concentration of One Step Cleaner it can be effective in removing labels from bottles, For more information on One Step Cleaner, check HERE

Star San:

Made by Five Star Chemicals and Supply Inc, Star San is Certified by the EPA as an appropriate sanitizer for sanitizing hard, non-porous surfaces. It is described as a high-foaming, acid anionic, no-rinse sanitizer. It is a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid. Recommended dilution ratio is 1oz of Star San in 5 gallons of water with a contact time of at least one minute. For maximum effectiveness, a dilution of 2oz in 5 gallons of water can be made and allow equipment to soak in this solution for 5 minutes. The fact that it’s high-foaming can throw some people off but the mantra of Star San users is, “Don’t fear the foam” (Phosphoric acid is considered a food-grade additive). A Star San solution can be put into a spray bottle for easy application. The solution can be stored and reused. Use pH papers to make sure the solution remains at an acidic pH of 3 to ensure effectiveness. For more info, check HERE


Also made by Five Star Chemicals, Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW) is a non-caustic, environmentally friendly alkaline cleaner. It is safe on skin and soft metals such as stainless steel. The dilution ratio of PBW to water ranges from 0.75oz/gallon to 4oz/gallon depending on what is being cleaned. PBW works well in cold water but for more effective cleaning, hot water up to 60C (140F) can be used. Equipment cleaned with PBW should be rinsed with potable water before it is considered safe for food. Like One Step Cleaner, PBW is considered environmentally friendly because it dissolves into oxygen but, unlike One Step, it needs to be rinsed because it is more alkaline. For more info, check HERE

A note on Potassium Metabisulfite:

Potassium metabisulfite is commonly used for beer and wine making as food-grade additive that will inhibit the growth of wild yeast and bacteria. This is called “stabilizing”. Potassium metabisulfite is also commonly found in a tablet form, known as Campden tablets. This product is often used to neutralize chlorine and chloramine in drinking water. Unlike chlorine, chloramine won’t gas-off naturally and can lead to phenolic off-flavours in beer. Although potassium metabisulfite was often used, in the past, as a sanitizer, it is no longer considered effective for this purpose.


One thought on “Tip of the Day: Cleaners and Sanitizers

  1. One Step leaves quite a residue though it dries clean. I prefer Star San and yes it’s taken me a while to embrace the “Don’t fear the foam” mantra. PBW is just amazing on dirty primaries.

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