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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through October 10, 2009 * Sanitizing with star san < Previous Next >

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mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 298
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 99.27.134.201
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been using iodophor for many years but was interested in switching over to star san, primarily to save on water waste.
1. What are the best ways of storing
2. What are the best ways of using star san for sanitizing fermenters and kegs.
3. I assume that tubing still needs to be submerged in star san solution and that that solution can be salvaged?
thanks
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2856
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1. closed container at room temp.
2. varies. Basically swirling and spraying.
3. you can run solution through tubing and reuse.

It's effective until ph rises, which is generally noticeable by the solution turning cloudy.

Keep a spray bottle around as it's great for brew day sanitising too.
 

Tonymaud
Junior Member
Username: Tonymaud

Post Number: 90
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 151.190.254.108
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 05:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio interviewed Charlie Talley of Five Star Chemicals for his podcast. He shares some useful info on not only using Star San, but bleach as well.

http://cdn4.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/bbr03-29-07.mp3?nvb=20090819174649&nva=20090 820175649&t=0f0c24c25560a60954e36
 

Don Lund
Member
Username: Donlund

Post Number: 120
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 71.178.114.12
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 06:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you have a large system, I suppose there's an advantage to saving the stuff. But for my five-gallon batches, it's just not worth the trouble.

I add about 1/4 ounce of StarSan to a gallon jug of distilled water, use about half of that to sanitize my fermenter and the intended keg -- I just add about a quart to each and slosh it around off and on for a few minutes, about another quart is used for sanitizing miscellaneous stuff, what's left is used for tubing and such at kegging time. For me, it's simpler to just dump it after use than worry about saving a stinkin' 1/4 oz of StarSan, and I don't have to worry about its shelf life/pH.

The older I get, the more important simplification becomes, YMMV...
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 850
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.63.203.31
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 07:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I make up 5 gallons at a time with RO water. It lasts for months. I dump it when there starts getting too much particulate matter floating around in it.
 

Pete Mazurowski
Intermediate Member
Username: Pete_maz

Post Number: 384
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 12.173.222.115
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I love the fact that I can store my carboys with about 2 cups of the stuff in them. Then on brewday I shake the bejesus out of it, pour off the remaining liquid, and let the massive amount of foam provide a nice protective layer while I transfer into the carboy. Got to love the foam.

(Message edited by pete_maz on August 19, 2009)
 

mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 299
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 99.27.134.201
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pete,
using your idea, I guess I could do the same thing with my kegs. After cleaning, pour in a couple cups of star san and set aside until I'm ready to transfer from fermenter to keg. Maybe even store 5 gals. in a spare keg for use.
Thanks for the feed back, all.
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10613
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I clean and sanitize my kegs soon after they blow, then store them pressurized to about 20 psi. As long as they maintain pressure (if they don't it's an indication of a problem that needs to be corrected) they're ready to be filled with no additional preparation.

StarSan is expensive here in Canada, so I typically use iodophor as my sanitize. But I agree that StarSan is very effective.
 

Jeff Dieterle
Junior Member
Username: Dietejr

Post Number: 57
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 67.142.130.16
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 01:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill do you pressurize your kegs with Co2 or air. I use air directly from my compressor to save on gas and was wondering if that compromises the sanitation. To be safe I slush a gallon of idophor solution around before kegging.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10615
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 65.92.49.216
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff, I would think compressed air would work just as well as CO2. I'm not very worried about contamination from airborne microorganisms. Fermented beer is reasonably stable biologically. As far as I'm concerned, the keg should remain sanitary as long as the pressure is maintained. I don't have an air compressor, so CO2 does the job for me. The amount of gas to pressurize a keg isn't much.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 851
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.63.203.31
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 05:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've seen John Palmer post info against storing any cleaners/santizers (especially acidic ones like StarSan) in kegs because of galvanic corrosion at the liquid level line. He says it will eventually cause pinholes.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1781
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 76.251.228.113
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 05:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PaulK,

I found this on another board:

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=45189&start=0

One of the contributors to that thread called Five Star and asked directly about storing normally diluted StarSan in a stainless kegs indefinitely. The person at Five Star said it wasn't a problem.

Think about it, the pH of a solution of 1 liquid ounce of StarSan in 5 galllons of water is just about the same pH as Coke or Pepsi. pH of Pepsi is 2.46 (I googled to find out). pH of diluted StarSan is just about the same. The predominate acid in both StarSan and in Pepsi is phosphoric acid.

(Message edited by pedwards on August 20, 2009)
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2857
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, henceforth, we can sanitize with pepsi or coke.

Sweeeet.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3784
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.199.10.66
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 06:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, henceforth, we can sanitize with pepsi or coke.


Yea, just don't use root beer

Bill, you should consider buying a gal of StarSan. I bought one years ago and still haven't made a dent in it. Seems like it was only $20+. There was a $20 hazardous shipping fee but several club members also bought gal and we split that. Ordered it from NCM. You'd probaly do best picking one up at the Chicago location and driving it vs trying to ship to Canada.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10617
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vance, I'm far enough east that Champlain, New York is closer (about six and a half hours) than suburban Chicago (eight and half hours). Either one is a long way to drive for sanitizer. I think I'll keep using iodophor, which can be bought from food service and restaurant suppliers here for less than $10 a liter.
 

Destroyer
Member
Username: Destroyer

Post Number: 168
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 68.82.148.207
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 01:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I really don't know about metallurgy, but I just wanted to comment on the logic of this:

If Starsan has the same PH of Coke, that doesn't make it necessarily safe for kegs. Coke and Pepsi are big corporations, and SS kegs are/were fungible assets for them. I can see them doing the math and figuring that it will take 3 years for the soda to eat pinholes into the keg, but by that time they've made enough money to rotate any failed kegs out of service and replace them without a significant profit loss.

As our supplies of kegs are much more limited - and getting more limited as prices are skyrocketing - I'd rather agree with Paul and err on the side of caution.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1785
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 76.251.228.113
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 01:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John Palmer says in the section on metallurgy in How to Brew (even in the first edition) that phophoric acid doesn't attack stainless steel. Solutions of bleach or of hydrochloric acid both will corrode stainless. And while he recommends StarSan to clean and sanitize copper (like immersion chillers or CFC's), he does recommend not leaving StarSan in contact with the copper long-term (like more than 1 hour).

So if anybody has a link where Palmer has directly said that normally diluted StarSan will cause corrosion in a SS keg, I'd like to see it.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2859
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also agree that a chlorine based solution will eat into SS over time, but not a phosphoric one.

I get starsan by the litre/quart, haven't seen a gallon, that would last me a lifetime!
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2744
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.248.74.254
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 - 08:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Be careful soaking your hoses in StarSan. Take care not to soak for too long as the acid can eat away at the surface and make it "gummy". 15 minutes is about the maximum you should ever have to soak your hoses. It will take hours of soaking, or even over-night, to cause the kind of damage I am referring to.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 456
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have always used Iodophor, and a liter lasts me a long time (=cheap). It works perfectly and requires no rinsing. I have left kegs, hoses, and whatnot soaking in it for a long time, and the worst that happens is it aquires a reddish-brown color. I dump <5 gal solution for a typical brewing session. Pretty small.

So why should I use Star San? What advantages does it offer?
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 2746
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.248.74.254
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 05:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The downside to iodophor is that if you do not rinse, you need to make sure it evaporates or you risk absorbing the flavor. Star-san is no-rinse AND will add no flavor if small amounts are left over.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 457
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 07:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The tests I have seen (some on this board) indicate that you need a heckuva lot more idophor than remains after draining to have any detectable flavor or odor. I don't see that evaporating those last drops is necessary. For information, recommended conc. is 12.5ppm, or 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) in 5 gal. But 1 gal in a carboy swished around and allowed to sit at least 60 sec. is adequate. My water (Austin, TX) is pH 9.6, so I have to add about 1 ml H3PO4 to bring the pH into a more normal range and bring the color out (a good indicator of iodine effectiveness).

Here is one such experiment http://www.bayareamashers.org/content/maindocs/iodophor.htm
If you don't want to read it, here are the conclusions:
Summary

Both testers easily detected iodophor in distilled water when the level of iodophor was 4 times "normal".

Neither tester could find the iodophor in distilled water at twice the "normal level".

Neither tester could detect iodophor contamination in SNPA at 8 times the "normal level".
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2250
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.45.166
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with Tex on this. I never let my iodophor-sanitized stuff dry and no one has ever complained of an iodine flavor or odor, not even in the lightest beers.

OTOH, one accidental experiment years ago showed that no one found several QUARTS of diluted StarSan objectionable in 5 gallons of mead. On the contrary, it was about the most popular mead I ever made. I wouldn't even try that with iodophor.
 

John Owen
New Member
Username: Jdoiv

Post Number: 13
Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 98.193.195.254
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll make up 5 gallons and store in an extra corny. I'll push a little through a jumper into empty cornies and back again to sanitize them. I'll also use a picnic tap to add to carboys and such. Pop the corny lid and drop tubing down in it and I'm all set.
 

Nephalist
Member
Username: Nephi

Post Number: 188
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 162.116.29.69
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul,
Your accidental experiment is intriguing. A half gallon or more in 5 gallons of mead? Did you finish the mead after discovering the accident? I guess I thought there would be other stuff in starsan than phosphoric acid (looks like there's dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid).
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10632
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 02:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul's experience is with StarSan diluted to the recommended ratio of 1 oz. per 5 gallons. Assuming 3 quarts of the diluted solution in a full 5 gallon carboy, that would be 0.02 percent. There is a frequently repeated story of Charlie Talley from Five Star, who at a craft brewing conference added 1 percent undiluted StarSan to a glass of Coors Light and challenged anyone to tell the difference between it and an unadulterated sample. No one could do so. The StarSan concentration in Paul's mead was 1/50 as strong. No wonder there was no flavor contribution.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1337
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.57.245.38
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 02:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Our HB club had an outing at a local brew pub where the brewer claimed he would not use StarSan because he swore he could taste it. He uses SaniClean instead. I wasn't at that outing, but I would have challenged him to prove it. I think the foaming bothers some people.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2251
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.45.166
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 03:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, it was about 3 quarts of properly diluted StarSan. As usual, I poured it into the fermentation bucket, put the top on, gave the whole thing a vigorous shake, and pulled the top off again. My daughter distracted me with something just at that moment and I never poured the StarSan back into the disinfecting bucket. The foam hid it, so I never noticed. I grabbed the kettle in which I had pasteurized the must and poured it in. "Hmmm. That's funny. Why is there almost 6 gallons in there?" Only after my OG reading came in low did I clue in. I figured that I had nothing to lose at that point by letting it ferment out, so I pitched the yeast and let it go. Everyone loved that mead. Of all the meads I've made, it was the quickest to be ready to drink and the quickest to disappear.

Back to the original thread, sort of: I switch back and forth between StarSan and iodophor out of a totally unscientific superstition that this keeps the bugs off balance. With my super-soft water, I can keep diluted solutions of either one for several weeks in a closed bucket, re-using it until it either goes cloudy (StarSan) or clear (iodophor) or picks up too many floaties.
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1338
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 12.2.161.11
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 02:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So Paul, do you recommend adding 3 qt of StarSan solution to each batch of mead?
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 2253
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.45.166
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 02:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nah.

My take-home message is that most people like their mead a bit weaker than my standard target -- I make my mead too strong for the masses -- and that a pinch of wine-makers' acid blend might be welcome.
 

PalerThanAle
Senior Member
Username: Palerthanale

Post Number: 1745
Registered: 04-2002
Posted From: 24.123.95.178
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I drank some of Paul's "Star-Mead" I could not tell it was in there. It was also very tasty.
I did not have to brush my teeth for a week.

PTA
 

dhacker
Senior Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 1779
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 74.177.61.50
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 11:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

About the evaporating Iodophor Bob talked about. Is it just the water evaporating leaving minuscule levels of iodine residue behind anyway, or is the actual iodine taking flight?
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2865
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

most of the iodine "takes flight" along with the agua. there is a small percentage that remains, depending on the length of time it's allowed to dry.

haven't made a mead in awhile, and I have plenty of starsan... ;)
 

Rob Farrell
Advanced Member
Username: Robf

Post Number: 548
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 216.27.76.200
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The iodine is more volatile than water. An open bucket of iodphor solution will result in iodine on the ceiling and the water left behind. So those last drops that haven't dried from your carboy don't have much iodine left in them.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 458
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 09:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My fellow brewer and I racked a hoppy pale ale into a keg once where I had left probably a quart or so of iodophor in the bottom (D'oh! OK, I won't tell anyone if you won't--it was for a party.). We couldn't taste it, but the beer had a lot of flavors going on, so it was probably masked. A friend had a keg filled at a brewpub once. He had put a few quarts of iodophor in it, and they forgot to drain it first. It was a mild amber, and it tasted of iodine.

What I get from all this is that both are excellent sanitizers. Star San probably has less taste effect, but the taste effect from normal quantities of iodophor (drain it next time, Homer) is essentially zero. If you are forgetful and prone to leaving a bunch of sanitizer in your carboy or keg, then go with Star San, or better yet take a memory pill. I see no compelling reason to use one over the other.
 

mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 300
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 99.55.161.126
Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John Owen,
That's good advise, I'll try that. I was wondering how to manage the 5gals. that I needed to store.
Thanks
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3787
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.199.10.66
Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 09:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My only issue with iodophor is that at 12 ppm it's no rinse but at 24 ppm it is supposed to be rinsed. Better make it the right concentration.

That and the obvious staining issue.