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Thread: StarSan?

  1. #1
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    Red face StarSan?

    I just bought a combo pack cleaning kit that has starsan and pbw. I was wondering if i can use starsan alone for fermenters and my autosyphone and hoses. As long as the equipment is semi clean
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  2. #2
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    Clean first, then sanitize. There are a few products, like One-step, that are meant to both clean and sanitize, but they typically take longer than I care to wait. Single-purpose products, like PBW for cleaning, and starsan or iodophor for sanitizing, typically do their job more efficiently, but aren't much good for anything else. So clean the stuff, because the starsan won't get rid of the crud, and microbes can hide within the crud where the starsan won't reach them, and then get out and spoil your brew.
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  3. #3
    +1 -- I agree with MillRat.
    -B'Dawg

    Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach him to brew and he'll waste a lifetime. - Nuco Gordo

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewDog
    +1 -- I agree with MillRat.
    +1 - I agree with BrewDog's agreement with MillRat
    My posts are definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    217
    quick note about starsan if you use distilled water the mixture will hold its PH for a long time and can be used again. I noticed before when using tap water that the mix became cloudy very quick and I was always concerned that my PH changed and it was useless. Last time I took the tip from a starsan rep to use distilled water and I stored my extra in a glass 1 gal jug. Two weeks later it is crystal clear although I haven't done a PH test on it I am 95% sure it is just as good as the day I mixed it. he said the acid reacts with the minerals in tap water and that also effects the PH. Now I can make a 2.5 gal batch save a gal and use the rest for the current job. Also he said not to leave it in plastic lines for to long it only takes 30 seconds to sanitize then drain it or it can negatively effect your plastic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Like Mill Rat says, you MUST clean before you sanitize, or you may as well not sanitize. In fact, you are better off cleaning and not sanitizing than not cleaning and then sanitizing.
    Contrary to MR's implications (and those of the label) One-Step is NOT! a single step cleaner and sanitizer. To quote the lead chemical engineer for 5-Star during the seminar on cleaning and sanitizing at last week's National Homebrew Conference "there is no such thing as a single step cleaner and sanitizer. You must conduct them separately."
    As for One-Step itself, I believe you can find directions on the label for cleaning, and different directions for sanitizing. It is more of a single agent for 2 purposes, than a single step product, again I say, despite the label.
    For a great over view of cleaning and sanitizing, check out the power point slides when they are posted (probably in a week or two).
    The bottom line, IMHO, is that there are many different cleaners and sanitizers out there, but the 5 Star products are specifically designed to work together, something others cannot claim. They are also, AFAIK, the only products created specifically for commercial brewers that are readily available to homebrewers. That's good enough for me.
    -Beerking
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    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    308
    I generally do a good scrub with a mixture of bleach water and dishsoap followed by a good rinse. Then sanitation with starsan or iodaphor.

    I just recently "switched" to iodaphor. Not for any other reason than I ran out of starsan and won a bottle of iodaphor at a homebrew club raffle a few months back. I contemplated driving 40 minutes to the brew shop for more starsan as I've never used anything else before, but it was closed.

    My few batches with iodaphor haven't had problems. It's just as easy to use as star san. It's less bubbly. For some reason I feel more comfortable getting starsan all over me than iodaphor. I'll switch back when I run out in... probably 8 months or longer. Stuff lasts forever.
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    Last edited by Beer Martin; 03-24-2011 at 08:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2005
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    First, if you are using bleach (I won't let the stuff anywhere near my brewery!), make sure of 2 things:
    1. Rinse, rinse, rinse! You must make sure that you get all traces of bleach out of the equipment before brewing. Since you are using it for cleaning, and then sanitizing with another product, you are fine.
    2. Minimize your contact time with any of your stainless equipment. Chlorine WILL pit your stainless if allowed more than 30 minute contact time, esp at the waterline. This will lead to corrosion, and even worse leaves small crevices for bacteria to hide in, which even StarSan won't get into.

    Second, with Iodophor, make sure you are using it at the directed concentration. If you go above that, you run the risk of leaving too much poisonous iodine on your equipment. If used at the right concentration, it is a no-rinse product, but if you go too high... (And rinsing after sanitation runs a strong risk of contaminating what you have just sanitized.

    Finally, your hesitance with getting Iodophor on you is probably because the way it stains. Many people have the idea that this is an indication that sanitation is complete. This is not correct.
    Oh, and if you want to get the stains off (it will leave your plastic a red-brown color), isopropyl alcohol will remove them.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    308
    Thanks, BK. I don't put chlorine near anything stainless. I just use the solution for carboys and plastic. I dont see the need to clean my brew pot with anything more than soap and water, and I only have 1 corny that I clean it with soap and water as well.

    And thanks for the tip to remove iodine stains.
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    Last edited by Beer Martin; 03-24-2011 at 08:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    5,075
    Quote Originally Posted by splocal
    quick note about starsan if you use distilled water the mixture will hold its PH for a long time and can be used again. I noticed before when using tap water that the mix became cloudy very quick and I was always concerned that my PH changed and it was useless. Last time I took the tip from a starsan rep to use distilled water and I stored my extra in a glass 1 gal jug. Two weeks later it is crystal clear although I haven't done a PH test on it I am 95% sure it is just as good as the day I mixed it. he said the acid reacts with the minerals in tap water and that also effects the PH. Now I can make a 2.5 gal batch save a gal and use the rest for the current job. Also he said not to leave it in plastic lines for to long it only takes 30 seconds to sanitize then drain it or it can negatively effect your plastic.
    +1....I mix starsan in five gallon batches with R.O. water, and keep it till it runs out. One batch will last usually two to four months, depending on how much brewing I've been doing. I check the pH from time to time, to ensure that it is still below 2.

    Also, if all I am doing is sanitizing an airlock and stopper or somethingsimple like that, I will pour the sanitizer back in the jug that I use.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist
    +1....I mix starsan in five gallon batches with R.O. water, and keep it till it runs out. One batch will last usually two to four months, depending on how much brewing I've been doing. I check the pH from time to time, to ensure that it is still below 2.

    Also, if all I am doing is sanitizing an airlock and stopper or somethingsimple like that, I will pour the sanitizer back in the jug that I use.

    I do the same. A little bottle of star san lasted me nearly 2 years. After using some and I noticed I lost about half a gallon I'd add water to top it back off at 5 gallons then add more of the solution to drop the pH below 2.
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    Last edited by Beer Martin; 03-24-2011 at 08:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have a 16oz bottle that is 1/2 full that I have been using for at least three years.
    ________________
    Nobody's ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured over his brand of Beer...though some should be...

    He who has never been drunk is not a good man - Old German Proverb
    ________________
    Best Porter - 2007 Longshot, Chicago Division

    Primary: Replacement Beer IPA
    Secondary: Bug Shit Bock
    On Tap: IIRA, Apprentice Amber, Pig Slayer Pale Ale, Yeast Piss Lager
    Up next: thinking....not sure yet

  13. #13
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    Jul 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist
    I have a 16oz bottle that is 1/2 full that I have been using for at least three years.
    After 6 months or so, I usually emptied the batch an refilled it for posterities sake.
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    Last edited by Beer Martin; 03-24-2011 at 08:55 PM.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2004
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    I don't worry about keeping it so much, but I put it in a spray bottle and just use only the amount i need to cover. The surface only needs to be wet with the stuff for the 2 minutes to be sanitized
    My posts are definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    308
    Quote Originally Posted by HogieWan
    I don't worry about keeping it so much, but I put it in a spray bottle and just use only the amount i need to cover. The surface only needs to be wet with the stuff for the 2 minutes to be sanitized

    I have a friend that does this. I was always a bit nervous with just the spray covering it, but he hasn't had any contamination in nearly 3 years.

    It seems to be a good method, and uses very little solution.
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    Last edited by Beer Martin; 03-24-2011 at 08:56 PM.

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