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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: stpug on October 17, 2016, 06:33:31 PM

Title: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: stpug on October 17, 2016, 06:33:31 PM
Probably most folks on this forum are familiar with the lack of effectiveness from Starsan on certain microbes.  Bryan from Sui Generis, not GBF, has released his first video in a new series and it explains the "myth" of the lack of effectiveness as well as providing a digestible description of how starsan actually works on the microscopic level.  It's very nice to see such an easy to understand description of how starsan works from someone who lives does this field of work for a living.

Blog post: http://suigenerisbrewing.blogspot.fi/2016/10/new-videoand-new-video-series.html

Direct Video: https://youtu.be/0JC9n50RdVo
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Phil_M on October 17, 2016, 07:11:24 PM
It's not microbes that are the issue with Star San, it's yeast and mold.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: kramerog on October 17, 2016, 07:29:48 PM
Video says that contrary to myth Starsan kills yeast.  Video seems plausible to me.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Stevie on October 17, 2016, 07:38:31 PM
This has been a topic of discussion on the MTF FB group. I emailed Five Star and got the response below.

"StarSan was tested and approved for Ecoli and Staph which are both gram-positive bacteria aka larger bacteria. So short answer no we haven't officially tested for the kill rate on yeast bacteria and mold. However knowing that StarSan kills those two bacteria in an EPA good lab practice testing I would be confident in it's effectiveness."

They never tested, just assumed.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: kramerog on October 17, 2016, 09:05:18 PM
This has been a topic of discussion on the MTF FB group. I emailed Five Star and got the response below.

"StarSan was tested and approved for Ecoli and Staph which are both gram-positive bacteria aka larger bacteria. So short answer no we haven't officially tested for the kill rate on yeast bacteria and mold. However knowing that StarSan kills those two bacteria in an EPA good lab practice testing I would be confident in it's effectiveness."

They never tested, just assumed.

Video appears to be theoretical rather than based on actual kill data.  Again the theory is plausible, but it isn't clear how much contact time is required.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: jja on October 17, 2016, 09:23:42 PM
Is there a difference in effectiveness between the various stages of the yeast lifecycle? In particular, can dormant yeast survive StarSan or some other santiation treatments? I've seen odd references (but can't quickly track them down now) to different gram reactions for yeast in different stages, and I wonder if this is indicative of sanitizer resistance.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: selbyaus on October 18, 2016, 03:04:04 AM
Quote
This has been a topic of discussion on the MTF FB group. I emailed Five Star and got the response below.

"StarSan was tested and approved for Ecoli and Staph which are both gram-positive bacteria aka larger bacteria. So short answer no we haven't officially tested for the kill rate on yeast bacteria and mold. However knowing that StarSan kills those two bacteria in an EPA good lab practice testing I would be confident in it's effectiveness."

They never tested, just assumed.

Just wanted to point out that E. coli is a gram-negative bacteria and gram staining doesn't refer to size of bacteria.  A bit pedantic I know and doesn't change whether or not their product works, but Five Star reps should probably get that right given their line of products.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: charles1968 on October 18, 2016, 07:18:22 AM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 18, 2016, 12:36:55 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: JJeffers09 on October 18, 2016, 12:49:07 PM
chlorine dioxide is a much better yeast washer - but starsan is a good sanitizer for anything preboil.  Post boil for me peroxidic acid/Peracetic and iodophor.  I don't trust star san to clean my starter equip or my bottling equipment.

http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/white-papers/coming-clean-a-new-method-of-washing-yeast-with-chlorine-dioxide/
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 18, 2016, 01:13:43 PM
chlorine dioxide is a much better yeast washer - but starsan is a good sanitizer for anything preboil.  Post boil for me peroxidic acid/Peracetic and iodophor.  I don't trust star san to clean my starter equip or my bottling equipment.

http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/white-papers/coming-clean-a-new-method-of-washing-yeast-with-chlorine-dioxide/
Very nice reference. Doubters should read the "Tried and True" section. It says acid washing is generally ineffective against wild yeast and mold.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: narvin on October 18, 2016, 01:17:33 PM
So, I haven't listened yet, but I think a couple of differences are
1) Always clean before you sanitize.  An entire pitch of yeast is different than a few cells.

2) Star San has other properties than just low pH for killing
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: dmtaylor on October 18, 2016, 01:19:35 PM
Good information.  I've noticed as I'm sure others have that any leftover StarSan mixed with water and left in a bucket for a month or two will turn cloudy and might even have something "growing" in it after time, which has recently led to me switching back and forth now between StarSan and good old Clorox bleach for sanitization.  I figure between the two, the critters are dying somewhere in there.

Not to mention I use glass to ferment now instead of plastic, except for very small experimental batches where I'm not afraid to use gallon "milk" jugs for one-offs (I would not re-use these).
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Stevie on October 18, 2016, 02:00:56 PM
chlorine dioxide is a much better yeast washer - but starsan is a good sanitizer for anything preboil.  Post boil for me peroxidic acid/Peracetic and iodophor.  I don't trust star san to clean my starter equip or my bottling equipment.

http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/white-papers/coming-clean-a-new-method-of-washing-yeast-with-chlorine-dioxide/
What are you sanitizing pre-boil for?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: JJeffers09 on October 18, 2016, 02:08:34 PM
I sanitize my mash tun, my BIAB set up gets a starsan treatment, my utensils, my thermocouple, my chiller sits in starsan until about 10mins before end of boil.  That's the only sanitizer I use on it before it gets put up.  I don't use iodophors or peroxidic acid on my mash tun stuff or my utensils because they don't really need it because they are only used preboil and utensils during boil.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Stevie on October 18, 2016, 02:12:56 PM
I sanitize my mash tun, my BIAB set up gets a starsan treatment, my utensils, my thermocouple, my chiller sits in starsan until about 10mins before end of boil.  That's the only sanitizer I use on it before it gets put up.  I don't use iodophors or peroxidic acid on my mash tun stuff or my utensils because they don't really need it because they are only used preboil and utensils during boil.
They don't need starsan before end of boil either. Do your thing, but it's not doing anything for you.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: JJeffers09 on October 18, 2016, 02:21:15 PM
Well I am not going to leave them unsanitary on the shelf, but I understand most just soap and rinse.  Which is fine, I just like to sanitize my stuff before they get put back on the shelf.  I guess that's just me??  I know it is an extra step, but I like it.  I also burn alcohol in my boil kettle after I clean and rinse it, so idk, again just me, and then it gets a hit with starsan too before it gets put up.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: charles1968 on October 18, 2016, 04:14:42 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.

I haven't tried more than a couple of generations but I can imagine that things would go awry after a while due to wild yeast and mutations.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: denny on October 18, 2016, 04:56:12 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.

I've gone back to using Iodophor 90% of the time.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 18, 2016, 06:21:35 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.

I've gone back to using Iodophor 90% of the time.
. Me too, I just had some very minor issues with Star San which could be operator error, but they cleared with Iodophor.  Also considering using boiling water or pressure cooker as a pre-treat on sour-exposed equipment to get where the chemicals might miss. Steam is impractical for me.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: beersk on October 18, 2016, 06:27:12 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.

I've gone back to using Iodophor 90% of the time.
Is your post boil equipment that unclean that you're worried about it? I suppose if you have spot that you don't know about in your transfer tubing that could harbor bacteria, the Iodophor would be a better option for that.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 18, 2016, 08:57:17 PM
I use Stars an for yeast washing and the yeast works fine afterwards, so clearly it doesn't kill yeast very effectively.
As was pointed out by Mark, a search on the Internet shows that many do this.

My own experience was that a couple kegs would go to Brett flavor and aroma after a while. Using Iodophor rather than SS to sanitize fixed that.

I've gone back to using Iodophor 90% of the time.
Is your post boil equipment that unclean that you're worried about it? I suppose if you have spot that you don't know about in your transfer tubing that could harbor bacteria, the Iodophor would be a better option for that.

Any number of hard to reach places - say a poppet valve on a keg that had Flanders Red in it for a year or the rear seal in a kegerator faucet that dispensed a sour or brett beer.  Before I return those to un-soured use, I want a little better assurance of no lingering microbes.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Phil_M on October 18, 2016, 11:06:03 PM
Honestly, the biggest reason I now use Iodophor most of the time is that it's just easier to use. It's easy to make a fresh 1.5 gallon batch  for sanitizing a keg or something simple. The color tells you the effectiveness, no need for pH strips like that old bucket of star san.

I still use star san though, and it has an important place in my brewery. But yeast starter vessels/fermenters/kegs all get iodophor.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Stevie on October 18, 2016, 11:07:30 PM
Honestly, the biggest reason I now use Iodophor most of the time is that it's just easier to use. It's easy to make a fresh 1.5 gallon batch  for sanitizing a keg or something simple. The color tells you the effectiveness, no need for pH strips like that old bucket of star san.

I still use star san though, and it has an important place in my brewery. But yeast starter vessels/fermenters/kegs all get iodophor.
Pretty much the same, but fermenters are only every few batches unless I need iodophor for some other task.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Phil_M on October 18, 2016, 11:12:00 PM
Honestly, the biggest reason I now use Iodophor most of the time is that it's just easier to use. It's easy to make a fresh 1.5 gallon batch  for sanitizing a keg or something simple. The color tells you the effectiveness, no need for pH strips like that old bucket of star san.

I still use star san though, and it has an important place in my brewery. But yeast starter vessels/fermenters/kegs all get iodophor.
Pretty much the same, but fermenters are only every few batches unless I need iodophor for some other task.

I've got one of those Mark's Keg Washers. Really easy to dump a gallon of iodophor in it, then sanitize a carboy. Let it sit and airdry on the washer a few minutes, then remove and cap with aluminum foil.

Which was my same procedure with star san, but then I'd have to try and pour it all back into the bucket...which is a smaller target than the kitchen sink...
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: Stevie on October 18, 2016, 11:22:02 PM
I have a five gallon bucket of starsan on hand at all times. It's refreshed every few months, so I have faith in its effectiveness (as much as one can).

I add a gallon and shake to make foam. I then flip and store upside down while the foam settles and the liquid keeps the mouth sanitized similar to how water coolers work.

I mix my iodophor as need at 12.5ppm (1.5ml/2qt). I use this for my yeast jars and sanitizing starter vessels. There are days where i keg and save yeast while brewing. When I do this I use he iodophor in the fermenter.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Starsan Effectiveness in Brewing
Post by: danpixley on January 24, 2018, 09:20:44 AM
Anyone who brews with Brettanomyces or even saison yeast (diastaticus) using the same equipment knows that StarSan kills yeast.