By Mila Zinkova. Edited by Alvesgaspar
Heya, moonshining misfits!
It’s time to hike up your fishnets and…
I know. That doesn’t sound badass at all. But if you want to make your own beer, wine, and spirits, you need to know how to do this stuff. This post will be my resource for you
Whenever you’re making alcohol and dealing with the long-term process of fermentation, you’ll need to first cleanse, then rinse, then sanitize any equipment that isn’t getting boiled. The results if you slack off could be grody, unsafe, and unpredictable.
Sometimes grody, unsafe, and unpredictable conditions make for good times! Not in moonshining, though.
The Boy brews beer professionally, and he turned me onto a simple system that I love and use every time I make beer or wine.
Get three 5-gallon buckets from the hardware store. Label the first “Cleansing,” the second “Rinsing,” and the third, “Sanitizing.” Now let’s talk about the mixtures that go into each–you have “best” options, and you have “cheap-ass” options:
The best option: PBW or B-Brite diluted per the manufacturer’s instructions with HOT water.
The cheap-ass option: A bit of dish soap dissolved in HOT water, though it may leave a residue that can affect the finished product.
Fresh, HOT water.
The best option: BTF Iodophor diluted per the manufacturer’s instructions with COLD water.
The cheap-ass option: A mixture of unscented bleach and water –1 ounce bleach per 5 gallons of water. After doing this, you should rinse with water again and again AND OH HOLY HELL AGAIN to eliminate any remaining chlorine smell. For obvious reasons, I’m not a fan of the bleach method, but it works.
If filling buckets in your sink seems a bit unwieldy, do like we’ve done and buy a new garden hose and sink adaptor that you can attach to your faucet. This gives you the flexibility to work anywhere in your kitchen, and prevents you from having to do so much lifting and spilling.
The Process (you may need to do this in batches):
1) Fill the three buckets with their appropriate mixtures (see above).
2) Put items into the cleanser solution, being sure to hold any hollow items under the surface until they expel enough air to sink. For hoses and tubing, slowly insert one end into the mixture, then gradually drop its length into the bucket, snaking around the sides-this prevents air bubble formation and ensures proper coverage. All sides of all pieces, including the insides, need to be in contact with the cleanser for at least a minute, 2-3 minutes being preferable.
3) Move the freshly cleansed items into the rinse bucket in the same thorough fashion, agitating the items until the cleanser is off (items won’t have that slippery soap feel anymore).
4) Drop the items into the sanitizer, again taking care to coat everything and prevent air bubbles, and leave them there for at least 3 minutes.
Whoohoo! Now you’re about as clean as you dirty, dirty misfits are gonna get. Who knew sanitizing could be such a turn-on?
Ready to make some booze-o-hol? Okay!