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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: zkosslow on September 30, 2015, 11:29:54 am

Title: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: zkosslow on September 30, 2015, 11:29:54 am
I would appreciate any input and experience that others might have pertaining to head retention and bottle sanitizer.  Has anyone noticed a difference in head retention if they switched from sanitizing bottles with StarSan vs. Iodophor?? Or vice versa??  I use a vinator to spray the sanitizing solution from the reservoir into the bottles for a few pumps.  I would like to keep the focus on the relationship between head retention and bottle sanitizing.

PS - my main theory is that the possible switch to Iodophor to sanitize my bottles might be killing head retention...or possibly not diluting the solution enough (I'm using a 1/4 tsp to 2 cups of water in the vinator reservoir).
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: denny on September 30, 2015, 11:33:19 am
i've used both and never seen that.
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: pete b on September 30, 2015, 11:37:25 am
I know you said you want to focus on sanitizer as a factor but I have to ask: have you made several batches of a particular recipe with each sanitizer or did you make one batch after switching and the head retention wasn't good?
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: zkosslow on September 30, 2015, 11:47:40 am
I have indeed made multiple batches with both.  I never remember it being a problem before when I was using starsan (yet the foaming action of starsan made a mess when using the vinator).  However, when I switched to the iodophor, I guess I just noticed a bit more for certain styles that didn't have any special head-enhancing ingredients (e.g. - wheat, lots of hops, etc.).  Again, this is a theory and I'm not 100% sold its the iodophor and possibly a fermentation problem or something in my process elsewhere. [also, I know my profile has only 3 posts...but I have been brewing for over 5 years on a every-other-weekend basis, considering myself a somewhat advanced homebrewer...I promise!]
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 30, 2015, 01:35:43 pm
PS - my main theory is that the possible switch to Iodophor to sanitize my bottles might be killing head retention...or possibly not diluting the solution enough (I'm using a 1/4 tsp to 2 cups of water in the vinator reservoir).

That solution is not no rinse.  The no-rinse solution is 1tbsp per 5 gallons of beer.  A tbsp contains 3 tsp and 5 gallons contains 40 pints; therefore, you should be using 3 / 40 = 0.075 tsp, or 1/13th of a tsp (0.375ml) of iodophor
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: pete b on September 30, 2015, 01:38:00 pm
I have indeed made multiple batches with both.  I never remember it being a problem before when I was using starsan (yet the foaming action of starsan made a mess when using the vinator).  However, when I switched to the iodophor, I guess I just noticed a bit more for certain styles that didn't have any special head-enhancing ingredients (e.g. - wheat, lots of hops, etc.).  Again, this is a theory and I'm not 100% sold its the iodophor and possibly a fermentation problem or something in my process elsewhere. [also, I know my profile has only 3 posts...but I have been brewing for over 5 years on a every-other-weekend basis, considering myself a somewhat advanced homebrewer...I promise!]

Yea it sounds like you have enough info to be legitimately considering that.  Don't doubt your experience, just wondering how many times this happened. It seems like an experiment involving sanitizing half with iodophor and half with star san for the same batch would be in order.
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: zkosslow on October 05, 2015, 08:31:47 am
Yeah I definitely knew I was possibly not diluting the iodophor enough but didn't have a way of measuring such a small amount for 2 cups of water.  And yeah, I should definitely try a quick experiment with the same batch...half with iodophor, half with starsan...would be easy enough.  Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Head Retention and Sanitizers
Post by: kgs on October 05, 2015, 09:00:12 pm
The OP mentioned "the foaming action of starsan made a mess when using the vinator." I have not experienced this because I follow the rule (borrowed from a rhyme my mother taught me long ago about chemistry), "Do as you oughter, add StarSan to water." In other words, I fill the vinator with water, and then add StarSan. This applies to most of my uses for StarSan, including how I fill the spray bottle I use to sanitize surfaces, and how I fill bowls or other containers when I'm sanitizing small components. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but it works for me. I still get foam, just not nearly so much.

I too have used iodophor and StarSan and have not seen a head retention issue associated with either.