How to properly clean and sanitize your fermenter drum post a brew

Don't leave your spoon in the drum!
How to properly clean and sanitize your plastic beer fermenting drum after brewing a batch of yummy beer


This post will help you properly clean and sanitize your fermenter after you've finished brewing.

Note that we said both clean and sanitize.

This is because while cleanliness is next to godliness, clean is not good enough to kill and remove bugs and bacteria that may lurk in the tiny scratches of your beer fermenter.

This is basically a 'suck eggs' post - we sound like your mother telling you to clean your room but dude or dudette, you gotta clean up after yourself!

Cleaning your fermenter


It's our practice that when we have finished bottling that last beer, we clean the fermenter to remove all the scum and fermentation residue that has collected on the inside of the drum. If you do this now rather than in a few days or weeks or months ...it will be a much easier job.

First up, I dump what's left at the bottom of the drum on the vegetable garden as I suspect that's quite nutritious for the plants.

Then I grab the garden hose and clean the drum out.

Kill the bugs until they are dead, dead I say


Then I get a kettle of still hot and boiled water and dump it in and then I add a large spoonful of sodium percarbonate.

I then seal the drum and shake it vigorously. The heat from the boiled and sodium will act as a cleanser. I then drain and put the drum in a clean spot ready until I need to use it (at which point I will give it a another proper dose of sanitation. 

You could use some ordinary house hold detergent to clean the drum but it could leave smells and residue behind. If you do choose to do this, don't use a harsh scrubbing brush as that could put tiny scratches in the fermenter.

These scratch marks could make a nice home for unfriendly bacteria so bear that in mind.

We suggest you use a clean rag. Or your best linen, we're not fussy. 

You could also implement a scorched earth policy and use something stronger to clean your fermenter. Caustic soda or bleach based cleaners could be used, but again I would caution on residues.

As with all chemical agents, be careful when using them and take precautions such as using eyewear and gloves.

The call to action:


If your beer fermenter has had its day in the 'beer making sun' and you need a replacement, order one online

We mentioned gloves - you can get boxes and boxes of them cheaply from Amazon.

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