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Cleaners, sanitizers and sterilizers... Clarification please

Hi all.

Well, just recently got a couple of kegs sorted and had a couple of kegs down for our local pc gaming group LAN. Went well and the kegs were a big hit.

I intended to go to the LHBS and score some starsan for the sanitizing part of the process.Unfortunately there was none left, and the owner said his suppliers are not importing it any more,and he'd personally hardly sold any,and said most homebrewers are not familiar with the product.This left me a tad dumbfounded as I thought it was common knowledge among the homebrewing community that starsan is THE best product available.

So this left me in the position of finding alternatives to starsan.

Ive read and read, and read some more,to spare you all from the inevitable questions, but I do need your input please.

I gather essentials are divided into the "cleaning" group, and the "sanitizing" group..

The LHBS tells me just to use the  Coppertun/Brewcraft ECD Cold Water Cleaner/Detergent Sachet 25g, then the 25gram coppertun no rinse steriliser, both at $1.50 each. Now aside from this being too expensive for my liking, I dont get it,its saying the "no rinse steriliser" is basically sodium percarbonate based.Which,from what ive gathered, is generally classified as a cleaning agent, rather than a sterilizer or sanitiser although i gather it has certain sanitizing qualities..

If this is the case why not just use nappysan, or a similar oxyclean type product and leave it at that?

My dairy farming buddy has access to the product they use to keep the lines clean in the milking sheds, which ive read is ok (of course we have a farmlands too), also the local Specialist Cleaning Services has this:


So to avoid a credit card purchase(as i dont have a credit card) and try to acquire something local that i can pay cash for, whats the best way to go ?

I know this has probably been covered a trillion times on all the homebrew sites, but ive read soo much info my tiny brain is frazzled ^^

Our LHBS also has 2 of the fivestar PBW tins there, of which he said hes never sold one, and theyve been there so long he doesnt even know what price was on them!!

Ive been brewing for a year now, and never had an infection (although the thought terrifies me lol) , i only wash and scrub out with hot water, and use bleach once every 3-4 brews per fermenter with a mega rinse out, same goes for my bottling.This is from at least 2 brews a week, all kits,moving towards specialty grains,eventually all grain.So weve done a HUGE amount really ,with no adverse effect from our semi blase cleaning n sanitizing program.

Can anyone help a numpty like me out please!!?   :D


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Is the caustic soda you are getting granules or a solution?


Granules, in a 1 kg tub.

No rinse steriliser from Brewtec, is 100% sodium percarbonate (250g) from Pac'n'save (in Hastings at least), at around 3-4 dollars.

Awesome info right there guys, thank you all very much for responding.

All advice taken on board ;)


is sulphur/citric acid good enought for sterilising? use in the wine industry.. wineskin product for cleaning..


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