Selecting Sanitizer for Beer Brewing Equipment
When beer brewing, sanitation is of the utmost importance. You have several options of what to use to sanitize, but the important thing is that you use something and take sanitation seriously. Recently, most beer brewing equipment kits will provide you with some sort of sanitizer to get you started, bit after that you will need to figure out which way you want to go for future beer brewing. Bleach is the most readily available product, and cheap, but it has its drawbacks. There are many no rinse sanitizers available, but bleach is certainly not one of them.
If you use bleach to sanitize, you must be sure that you thoroughly rinse bleach from your beer brewing equipment. This may require multiple rinses. In order to rinse, you will likely use tap water, which poses dangers as well. There is no telling what types of bacteria and other microorganisms are in the tap water that can be left behind on your beer brewing equipment after multiple rinses. Bleach also is not fun to smell while using it, and when left behind on your equipment after rinsing. You absolutely do not want to leave behind any traces of bleach, as this could get into your beer and ruin it. And there is always the concern of getting bleach on your clothes, your skin, or the floor and counter tops.
Mixing bleach and vinegar makes an effective sanitizer, and it can actually be a no rinse sanitizer. However, using this method requires extreme caution. Never, never, never, never mix bleach and vinegar directly together. This creates a toxic gas that can be fatal! You should research this very carefully and do this properly. Any way, you should avoid mixing the two directly, and be sure to use it properly as a no rinse sanitizer.
Needless to say, this option isn't recommended for beginners. It really shouldn't be an option for beer brewing equipment, since better alternatives exist, and aren't that much more expensive. Bleach is cheaper, however, you will likely need to use more of it as opposed to commercially available sanitizers designed specifically for beer brewing. Bleach really only offers one advantage, say, it is readily available.