Turn Your Old Fruit Into Wine and Beer With This Nearly-Magical Device

If you buy a lot of fresh fruit, you probably see it go bad here and there. Now you can do better than lemonade out of lemons by making wine or cider out of your old fruit. Supposedly you can even turn the fruit into mead -though obviously that requires more honey than it does fruit. The Alchema device is currently available for pre-order and while it's a pretty penny at $429, that could be a bargain for people who drink a lot of craft brews and end up tossing a lot of fruit. Best of all, you won't be wasting food anymore. 

Via Incredible Things

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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I am sorry, but I don't understand as I think that video has zero relevance to what I am talking about. Equipment sanitization for brewing is rather different than sanitizing your hands. You're cleaning an inorganic material that can take pretty harsh treatment vs. trying to kill stuff at the same time as protecting your hands and immune system. With brewing you're trying to stop stuff that can out compete the yeast vs. trying to stop stuff that can make you sick.

The video talks a lot about triclosan, but the sanitizers I've seen for food and brewing equipment don't use this. Food and brewing santizers, at least ones I've seen, iodine, phosphoric acid, chlorine, or ammonia based. Bacteria don't seem to develop much, if any resistance to simple inorganic agents like these, especially when you can use them concentrations way beyond survivable because we're not talking about something that has to be compatible with the human body (it does have to disappear/break down before filling with wort though).

Equipment santization is also not a substitute for washing the equipment. Plastic can have a lot of surface structure, cracks, and crannies that can be difficult to remove all biological materials from and end up potentially being reservoirs of bacteria that thorough scrubbing will not reach. But you still need to scrub to remove as much bulk contamination as possible.

Having both a cleaning and a santizing process is standard in food industries. Some of these processes are similar to what is done in medical and biological research (especially for things that can't be autoclaved). Brewing doesn't need perfect sanitization, as once the yeast gets going it can often out compete bacteria, but the threshold of "good enough" can sometimes be further than people expect. I've been involved in more than one brewing club, so I've watched other's learning curves in addition to my own.

If you want to stick to just soap, that is your choice. But for people new to brewing, using an easy to use, off the shelf sanitizer can go a long ways fixing beginner mistakes or slacking. Otherwise it is very discouraging to some people to wait a month or two and create something undrinkable.

The fact that triclosan based sanitizers can cause problems with bacteria resistance, mess with the human immune system and is not a substitute for hand washing or otherwise ineffective is irrelevant to brewing sanitation.
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In my experience, dish soap certainly is not good enough, especially on plastic. Bleach dilute is pretty effective, but takes a lot of effort to use it without affecting the flavor or messing up the sanitation getting rid of the bleach. Other air dry sanitizes aren't that expensive per batch and are much more fool proof.

Bad sanitation in brewing is a gamble: sometimes you get good results, other times you get bad results (especially if you make other mistakes) and it can discourage a lot of people from trying again if they don't know what they did wrong. It also depends on where you live, as some places have flora that are much worse than other places.
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