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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through June 14, 2005 * Star San Fan < Previous Next >

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Miker
Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 185
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 03:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been using Star-San as a sanitizer now for awhile and am wondering now why I haven't been using it all along. I even had a small bottle that a fellow brewer gave me that sat unused for a couple of years just because I am slow to change, I guess. Started out with bleach years ago, then, after finding out the negatives, switched to iodophor, but now I can't see any reason to use anything but Star-San. Mostly because its re-usable and can be used safely on glass, plastic, SS and other metals.

Incidentally, even though my Star San solution turns milky it is still below 3.0 pH (measured with both a pH meter and colorphast strips), and if it climbs above 3.0, I just add a small amount more concentrate to bring it lower.

Not affiliated, of course, just wanted to corroborate with other peoples positive experience with this sanitizer.

Now I suppose I will find out all the downfalls of this product...and no I don't consider the price a negative, since you can re-use it over and over (how long I don't really know - my solution slowly disappears since I lose a little each time here and there - and then I make up more solution).

"You know your over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill"
Paul Barrere (Little Feat)

(Message edited by miker on May 25, 2005)
 

Steve Sampson
Member
Username: Sampsosm

Post Number: 128
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just hate all the foaming, something bothers me about putting my wort into a fermenter full of foamed up sanitizer.
 

davidw
Senior Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 1123
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've always though of the foam as advantageous, Steve. When you fill a carboy with wort or a keg with beer the foam essentially purges the head space. Not a bad deal at all!

Boom, like that. ~ M. Knopfler
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1541
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

SS, don't fear the foam! If you swirl it around instead of shaking it, there is much less foam, and you can invert and let it drain for awhile as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that (foam)...
 

John K. Lee
Advanced Member
Username: Newoldrunk

Post Number: 546
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been using 1-step for some time now but have considered trying star-san. From what I get off this board, It's more cost effective to make the switch but of course I would need to ask some dumb questions first. I brew about 100 gallons a year and go through about two 5lb containers of 1-step which comes to about $35. How much are you star-san guys spending, including the PH strips? It's a non-rinse sanitizer, right? Do you have to let it dry completely or is it safe to touch your beer a little? The reusable factor sounds mighty nice considering I never know if the 1-step is still effective after a couple of days. It kinda sucks to make a 5 gal of new solution just to transfer 1 beer.
-J.K.L.
 

Scott Folsom
Junior Member
Username: Sfolsom

Post Number: 73
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They also make a non-foaming version called Sani-Clean. It needs a bit more contact time to work (3 whole minutes or so). I usually don't care about the foam, but I do use the non-foaming when I'm sanitizing lines and stuff where a lot of foaming can occur. I have never detected the stuff in the finished product.

I read somewhere (possibly here) that the president of the company put some ungodly amount (like 1/4 Cup) in a pint of beer and drank it. Apparently no one else brave enough to try it could detect it. Not sure if the story is true or not. Anyone know?

I can't seem to bring myself to keep it around a long time after it gets cloudy though. I know a lot of people do. I suspect it has something to do with exposure to air. I have a spray bottle filled with the stuff and it takes forever to get cloudy, but an open bucket deteriorates in about a week. I haven't tried putting a larger amount in a sealed container yet though. I usually make small amounts anyway. 1/3-1/2 tsp to the quart. I love the stuff, I'll never go back. YMMV
 

Scott Folsom
Junior Member
Username: Sfolsom

Post Number: 74
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

JKL:
Star-San would be much more economical for you. I've had my big bottle for over a year and half and it's only about 1/3 gone. And you can make as small an amount as you like. See my above post.

32oz bottle costs around $13-$15. I paid about 12$ for a ton of ph strips from a scientific supply company the name of which escapes me ATM.
NOT affiliated, just a big fan...
 

davidw
Senior Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 1124
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The first time I was introduced to Star San a rep mixed something like 3 or 4 times the require amount in a pint glass of water and drank it. If I remember correctly he stated that the ppm of the phosphoric acid for that particular mixture was no more than what is in your toothpaste.

Boom, like that. ~ M. Knopfler
 

Tim W
Member
Username: Timw

Post Number: 142
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It can dissolve some types of plastics if soaked to long. It is a good idea to use R.O. water to mix it if your going to reuse it. I would also say it would need to be checked for pH if reusing. My 16.00 bottle has lasted 3 years now and I have more then half left. The foam is the best part!
 

Flobey
Junior Member
Username: Flobey

Post Number: 29
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, Star San is the bomb. I keep a carboy full of it with a stopper in my garage. Made it with RO water. Whatever it touches needs to be clean, but it has lasted for months. I stick my wine thief in it to sanitize when I'm checking gravities. I also use it "leap frog style" to sanitize carboys, kegs, etc. while at the same time sanitizing the racking cane used for the transfer. I also keep a spray bottle full of it handy to spray poppets, fittings, etc.
 

Drew Pattison
Junior Member
Username: Droopy

Post Number: 50
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do pretty much what Flobey does but keep it in a corney. I keep a spray bottle of it handy too. Works great. And I like the bubbles, I figure they help get all the nooks and crannies.

Yes, it's no rinse, you dont need to let it dry, you can mix up small quantities as necessary, and a $13 bottle will last you long enough that you forget what you paid for it and when you bought it (at least in my case).
 

Tony Legge
New Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 14
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unfortunatly star-san isn't available where I live. I've asked my LHBS to stock this product and until they do I'll have to put up with oxy-clean,idophor and that pink stuff.
 

Graham Cox
Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 132
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 01:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding the cost, I bought a quart over a year ago, and it's just now running out. I mix up 5 gallons for practically every batch I make, and I've made about 35 batches in the past year.

It's a no-brainer. $16 (including taxes and/or shipping) for 160+ gallons of sanitizer. I ain't too good at math, but I think that comes out to 10 cents per gallon for a sanitizer that's good for at least a week. Compare that to the cost of Dasani (or any other drinking water) at your local grocer or convenience store.

Iodophor is even cheaper, but that's another thread. Two snaps up for Star-San.
 

Bob Boufford
Intermediate Member
Username: Bobb

Post Number: 253
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tony,

You can get Star-San from Paddock Wood out of Saskatoon. (http://www.paddockwood.com) The 8 oz bottle will last a long time if you use the right water as mentioned in other messages.

Bob
 

Scott Folsom
Junior Member
Username: Sfolsom

Post Number: 78
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 04:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So are you guys saying that the stuff lasts longer if you make it with RO water as opposed to straight from the tap? And does it last longer when in a sealed container instead of open air? I may do a comparison after I get done moving and get everything organized.
 

Tony Legge
New Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 16
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 09:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

THanks Bob, If my LHBS don't want to carry this, I'll order from them.
Scott, thats what they are saying.On Bob's offered website above the ad says at a ph of 3 it is stable and can be used for 4 weeks in a closed container. Cheers
 

Aaron Meyer
Member
Username: Meyeaard

Post Number: 183
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I love the stuff and have pretty much been using it since I started brewing though I did try one-step and idophor.

One thing to keep in mind: If you soak your equipment, don't soak dissimilar metals together. I learned the hard way by soaking some transfer hoses with SS flare ends with some brass and copper fittings. Since the solution is acidic it allows for transferance of metal ions between dissimilar metals... e.g. my SS flare ends are effectively electroplated with copper...

No problems if you soak one, then the other; or soak everything together, but only for a short period and not for sanitary storage. I forgot about these parts and they sat for a couple days.
 

Flobey
Junior Member
Username: Flobey

Post Number: 30
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 03:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Scott: Star San definitely lasts longer when made with RO or distilled water. Someone stronger in chemistry can tell you why, but I believe it has something to do with minerals in the tap water interacting to raise the pH to ineffective levels. Or something. ;)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3134
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 08:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Flobey has it basically correct. The biccarbonates and carbonates dissolved in the water raise the pH and buffer the phosphoric acid in Star San, making it less effective. By using RO-filtered or distilled water to make sanitizer solution, the pH is lower and it remains effective for a longer time. According to Five Star, the pH of the solution should be 3.0 or below. Star San will turn cloudy at a higher pH, indicating that it is losing its effectiveness.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 676
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I made up a gallon of Sani-Clean with distilled water for filling spray bottles that lasted over 1.5 years. Every time I checked it assuming it must be shot it was always under 3.0. I just polished off that gallon and made another one with distilled water again. I'd rather pay $0.79 (or whatever it is) for a gallon of distilled and have the solution last basically forever vs. using tap water and having it go bad in a month.



(Message edited by mikhu on May 27, 2005)
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 82
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As for potability of Star San, as Bill P points out, it is phosphoric acid. Do you drink soft drinks? A large portion of soft drinks is phosphoric acid.

The contribution from the residue and foam of Star San to 5 gallons of beer is like adding a couple grains of sand to the beach. You are adding a minute quantity of substance that is already present in huge amounts.

T
 

Miker
Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 192
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I notice that the five star website cautions that starsan can corrode soft metals. Wouldn't aluminum be classified as a soft metal? Coca Cola has a pH below 3 like starsan and it doesn't seem to do anything to aluminum.

Also has anyone else checked pH of starsan after it turns somewhat milky and still find it below 3 as I do?
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 83
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've actually never measured it where it was NOT less than 3.

But I only reuse Star San that contacted clean equipment, the rest goes down the drain.

T
 

Ernie G. Tolentino
Junior Member
Username: Flipbrewer

Post Number: 43
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

StarSan also works like a charm for preventing water spots and mineral deposits on transfer hoses, siphon canes, etc. After cleaning I give my hoses, etc. a quick dip in StarSan; no stains, deposits, or mildew... 14
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4682
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 05:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd go to StarSan exclusively, but I have to use distilled water in order for it to be effective. I just use it in a spray bottle.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Tony Legge
Junior Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 27
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bob, I have an order from them on the way. Not a bad selection. Would not have picked that from the net.
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 723
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've got a spray bottle filled with Star San that I use for sanitizing hoses and racking canes. I just spray the outside, then spray a few pumps on the inside to fill it with suds. Very economical.