Why is sanitization so important in homebrewing?
Everyone talks about sanitization, is what I use really that important? If you don’t know anything else about brewing, the first thing you should know is this: sanitization is your #1 priority when making beer. The reason it is so important is because if all of your equipment is not properly sanitized, your beer will be awful. We don’t want to panic anyone here because some people do go overboard, but make sure that anything that is going to come in contact with your beer after boiling is sanitized. This includes spoons, hydrometers, tubing, stoppers, airlocks, etc. Then it just comes down to what product will work best for you.
We want to make it clear that there are two types of products for making sure that your equipment is not a haven for bacteria: cleaners and sanitizers. You want to make sure that your equipment is clean before you sanitize it. We want to stress here that cleaners do not sanitize! If you are using a cleaner as a sanitizer, you run the risk of having a batch go bad due to bacteria.