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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: jbutterw on August 13, 2010, 07:28:42 PM

Title: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: jbutterw on August 13, 2010, 07:28:42 PM


So, after I finished off a keg, I cleaned it out and filled it will about two gallons of star-san sanitizer (made with distilled water). I put about 5psi of CO2 pressure in it, and then I decided to leave it like that until I have another batch to put into it.

So....

Question #1: Are there any problems storing star-san in a corny keg for a few months?

Question #2: Any other recommendations for storing a cleaned and sanitized keg?

Also, to clear/clean/sanitize my beer lines, I ran fresh water from a pressurized keg through the lines and out the faucet. Next, I ran some PBW solution out of the keg I was cleaning. Then some more fresh water. Last, I ran some  of the star-san solution through to sanitize. I decided to leave the star-san in the beer line until it was going to be needed again.

So...

Question #3: Is there a problem with storing a beer line with star-san in it?

Question #4: Any other recommendations for storing a cleaned and sanitized beer line?

Thanks in advance for any input!
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 13, 2010, 07:46:17 PM
No problem with storing starsan in a keg, but I always store mine empty and sanitize prior to filling.  A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.  Possibly on Basic Brewing Radio.  So I clean mine, rinse them, and store them until ready to fill.  Then sanitize and fill.  If you're doing it to store starsan though, no problem.  But that two gallons can sanbitize a lot of kegs, so if you are storing all of your kegs with starsan in them you're just wasting it as far as I'm concerned.  YMMV

Beer line is another story.  It's possible that as little starsan as will be in a beer line will be fine, but when I leave hose in a bucket of starsan for too long it starts to break down and get gummy.  So again, I clean lines and store them dry, then sanitize prior to use.

Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tubercle on August 13, 2010, 08:29:30 PM
Clean well and store upside down.

Rinse and sanitize before use.

Saves a lot of time and trouble and is just as clean and sanitized as storing w/sanitizer.

Or, do the lazy thing like me...when the keg kicks just leave it sealed and set it to the side. Clean and sanitize right before use.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on August 13, 2010, 08:35:51 PM
A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.
I do not buy it.
There is no way what after I sanitize and seal keg that this keg will become unsanitary.
How it would become unsanitary?

I clean, sanitize and seal my kegs till they are ready to be filled.
I have been doing that for about two years.

Do not leave starsan in plastic tubing.
Here I agree with tschmidlin.

By the way you said that you seal your keg with 5 psi of CO2.
If you leave StarSan in the keg, CO2 will get dissolved in StarSan and you will have a pressure drop.
I also do not know what impact would it have on StarSan because dissolved CO2 creates carbonic acid.

Good luck.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: jbutterw on August 13, 2010, 08:41:04 PM


Thanks for all the replies.

Ok, so it sounds like am fine storing star-san in a keg.

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?

Thanks!
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: jbutterw on August 13, 2010, 08:42:28 PM

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?


By the way, the star-san has been in the beer line for a week now! Is it a lost cause?
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on August 13, 2010, 08:49:25 PM

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?


By the way, the star-san has been in the beer line for a week now! Is it a lost cause?
I am talking from my own experience.
Tubing will eventually hardens again.
It might take 2 weeks or 2 months.
It depends on contact time with StarSan.
Can you replace it?
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: jbutterw on August 13, 2010, 08:55:11 PM
Can you replace it?

I was wondering the same thing! It is a pre-assembled tower set-up. Never dug around in it, but I had been wondering how to detach/attach beer lines to the faucet way up in the top of the tower. There has got to be a way (of course).

Anyway, I can wait two weeks or so for hardening. I'm behind on my brewing!
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 13, 2010, 09:02:15 PM
My experience is that you should be able to remove the tap from the tower.

The beer line will be attached to a shank with a 90 degree bend.

Disconnect here and at the tap and you should be able to pull a new line through.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 13, 2010, 09:18:49 PM
A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.
I do not buy it.
There is no way what after I sanitize and seal keg that this keg will become unsanitary.
How it would become unsanitary?

Well, I'm just guessing, but - sanitary is not sterilized.  So there will be some residual microbes in the keg that could potentially grow on any residue left in the keg, including broken down starsan.  But like I said, I'm just guessing that's what he meant, and I've never tested it.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tubercle on August 13, 2010, 11:33:15 PM
Of all the consumables in brewing, plastic tubing one of the cheapest. Replace if there is any question and get back to the reason you home brew, enjoy not worry.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: wfaris on August 15, 2010, 02:37:04 AM
I always keep a keg of star san (mixed using RO water) around.  When I need to use a little, I put just enough pressure in the keg to be able to dispense with a picnic tap.  Very handy.  When I am ready to fill a keg with beer, I use a jumper to push the star san into another clean keg and use the just emptied star san keg for the beer.  This way I always have a purged freshly sanitized keg ready to use.

Wayne
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 15, 2010, 03:08:46 AM
I always keep a keg of star san (mixed using RO water) around.  When I need to use a little, I put just enough pressure in the keg to be able to dispense with a picnic tap.  Very handy.  When I am ready to fill a keg with beer, I use a jumper to push the star san into another clean keg and use the just emptied star san keg for the beer.  This way I always have a purged freshly sanitized keg ready to use.

Wayne
That's a great method Wayne, because then your keg is full of CO2 and not much else.  I guess there could be a little air in it depending on how full it started, but I like it.  Thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: mindphlux on August 17, 2010, 02:59:08 AM
I'm a little disappointed in this thread and feel like some of this might be misinformation. I keep a keg full of starsan around, just like wayne, and have never had any problem with sterility. I also don't see how it's possible that a keg sanitized and full of starsan could 'become unsanitary', even if the starsan lost some of its sanitizing power over time. No air or anything else would be getting into the sealed keg, so it seems like the environment would have to remain sanitary. besides, starsan sanitizes based on its acidity correct? I'm not sure what would cause the ph of the solution to change...

Also, I have stored "empty" cleaned keg lines full of star san ever since I started kegging. Routine is, fill a keg with hot PBW solution, run it through the lines, let it sit a day, then run a fair amount of starsan through them to 'rinse' them out, then hang the lines full of starsan to dry. I've never noticed any 'gumminess' or off flavors with any of my kegged beer being run through these lines. could you please somehow substantiate the claim that starsan breaks down beer line? I'm using http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=151 - pretty standard afaik.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tubercle on August 17, 2010, 04:29:25 AM
Y'all are freakin' out over nothing. RDWHAHB.

 When the Tubercle started brewing 20+ years ago he was worried where he could find some SCUBA gear so he wouldn't breathe his nasty breath in the same room as the wort because he read all the crazy warnings. I'm telling you now; understand the difference between clean, sanitary, and sterilized. Learn and understand these concepts.

  Clean - no visible residue
  Sanitary - bad bugs below a level to do any harm
  Sterilized - don't worry about it because you can't afford it.

 Just simply clean and store your equipment dry after use. Sanitize with a one minute or so contact with star-san or your choice of sanitizer before use as long as it ain't Clorox. A keg or hose that has been cleaned and stored full of star-san is no more sanitary than the same that has been cleaned and stored dry and sanitized right before use.

  Enjoy your craft and spend sleepless nights thinking about your next recipe.

  If storing a hose in star-san causes you concern then the simplest solution (pun intended) is not to do it. CLEAN it with running water after use and hang it up to dry. Run some star-san through it before the next use and you're set. Same with a keg or any other equipment.

 Youngun's these days...<sigh>

  Tubercle is only here to help.
 
 
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 04:43:13 AM
I'm a little disappointed in this thread and feel like some of this might be misinformation. I keep a keg full of starsan around, just like wayne, and have never had any problem with sterility. I also don't see how it's possible that a keg sanitized and full of starsan could 'become unsanitary', even if the starsan lost some of its sanitizing power over time. No air or anything else would be getting into the sealed keg, so it seems like the environment would have to remain sanitary. besides, starsan sanitizes based on its acidity correct? I'm not sure what would cause the ph of the solution to change...
Sorry for the misunderstanding.   :)  First, we were referring to empty kegs that had been sanitized becoming unsanitary, not kegs full of starsan.  Second, I am just reporting what someone from 5-star said in an interview.  It doesn't bother me if you don't believe it, and if it works for you then great.  The only evidence is what the manufacturer claims. <shrug>

Also, I have stored "empty" cleaned keg lines full of star san ever since I started kegging. Routine is, fill a keg with hot PBW solution, run it through the lines, let it sit a day, then run a fair amount of starsan through them to 'rinse' them out, then hang the lines full of starsan to dry. I've never noticed any 'gumminess' or off flavors with any of my kegged beer being run through these lines. could you please somehow substantiate the claim that starsan breaks down beer line? I'm using http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=151 - pretty standard afaik.
As for starsan breaking down beer lines - really the easiest way to substantiate it is to throw a chunk of line in a bucket of starsan for a couple of weeks and see for yourself.  Maybe you haven't noticed it because it's not an issue with the small quantity that actually fills a line, as I suggested.  Or maybe because it is gummy on the inside, and you don't actually touch the inside of the line.  It's probably one or the other of those things, and seriously, I'm glad it's not a problem for you.  But a line in a bucket gets gummy, and that's been a problem for me in the past.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: mindphlux on August 17, 2010, 05:03:02 AM
Sorry for the misunderstanding.   :)  First, we were referring to empty kegs that had been sanitized becoming unsanitary, not kegs full of starsan.  Second, I am just reporting what someone from 5-star said in an interview.  It doesn't bother me if you don't believe it, and if it works for you then great.  The only evidence is what the manufacturer claims. <shrug>

I'm not trying to troll or anything, I'm just trying to think the claim through using the science/logic behind it all because it really doesn't make sense to me at first thought. And of course, given I do exactly that, I'd definitely want to change how I do things if it's indeed true that there's a problem. I've searched a little for the interview but no luck, you wouldn't happen to have a link would you?

Quote
As for starsan breaking down beer lines - really the easiest way to substantiate it is to throw a chunk of line in a bucket of starsan for a couple of weeks and see for yourself.  Maybe you haven't noticed it because it's not an issue with the small quantity that actually fills a line, as I suggested.  Or maybe because it is gummy on the inside, and you don't actually touch the inside of the line.  It's probably one or the other of those things, and seriously, I'm glad it's not a problem for you.  But a line in a bucket gets gummy, and that's been a problem for me in the past.

I've noticed this with thin PVC tubing I use for racking and stuff. after a few weeks sitting in a bucket of starsan (don't ask) my tubing has gone a bit milky and sort of feels a little gummy, but I'm not really sure of the science of it all, or what's happening. Anyone smarter than me care to explain? In any case, with the beer line I use, I don't notice any of the milkiness or anything, everything stays crystal clear (and also sits for months at a time), so I'm assuming it's not doing the same strange gummy thing - but you're right, I'm not opening up my tubes or touching the inside. again, hoping someone smarter than me can explain potential problems - but as far as I can tell it sort of seems ok?
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 05:36:56 AM
I'm not trying to troll or anything, I'm just trying to think the claim through using the science/logic behind it all because it really doesn't make sense to me at first thought. And of course, given I do exactly that, I'd definitely want to change how I do things if it's indeed true that there's a problem. I've searched a little for the interview but no luck, you wouldn't happen to have a link would you?
As far as I know, it was this interview, although I could be wrong.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=basic-brewing-radio-2007
March 29, 2007 - Sanitizing with Bleach and Star San
Charlie Talley from Five Star Chemicals tells us best practices in using household bleach and Star San in sanitizing equipment.

My speculation is that once you remove the starsan there is an opportunity for things to grow.  This makes sense from a strictly "what is possible" point of view, but from a "what is likely" point of view it is probably not anything to worry about.  A lot of people do what you're doing without any contamination problems.

I've noticed this with thin PVC tubing I use for racking and stuff. after a few weeks sitting in a bucket of starsan (don't ask) my tubing has gone a bit milky and sort of feels a little gummy, but I'm not really sure of the science of it all, or what's happening. Anyone smarter than me care to explain? In any case, with the beer line I use, I don't notice any of the milkiness or anything, everything stays crystal clear (and also sits for months at a time), so I'm assuming it's not doing the same strange gummy thing - but you're right, I'm not opening up my tubes or touching the inside. again, hoping someone smarter than me can explain potential problems - but as far as I can tell it sort of seems ok?
The starsan is acidic enough to slowly dissolve the tube.  The beer line that I use is 3/16" pvc from morebeer (http://morebeer.com/view_product/16367//Beer_Tubing_3_16%22_ID_Roll_of_100)  Maybe the line you get isn't pvc, the website doesn't say.  Either way, if it isn't a problem for you don't worry about it.  :)
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 06:47:04 AM
My speculation is that once you remove the starsan there is an opportunity for things to grow.  This makes sense from a strictly "what is possible" point of view, but from a "what is likely" point of view it is probably not anything to worry about.  A lot of people do what you're doing without any contamination problems.
Just for clarity I should also point out that I am sure that when he said that he meant that is the case with any product you might use, and not something peculiar to starsan.  Sorry if it seemed like I was saying something different.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: bluesman on August 17, 2010, 10:48:06 AM
Here's my SOP upon kicking a keg:

1. rinse keg clean of debris using tap water.
2. fill keg and dip tube with hot PBW solution and let sit overnight then rinse.
3. pour about a quart of starsan solution in the keg (secure lid) and shake well
4. purge and pressurize keg to 30psi with CO2.
5. store keg until next use.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: wingnut on August 17, 2010, 12:51:00 PM

I've noticed this with thin PVC tubing I use for racking and stuff. after a few weeks sitting in a bucket of starsan (don't ask) my tubing has gone a bit milky and sort of feels a little gummy, but I'm not really sure of the science of it all, or what's happening. Anyone smarter than me care to explain? In any case, with the beer line I use, I don't notice any of the milkiness or anything, everything stays crystal clear (and also sits for months at a time), so I'm assuming it's not doing the same strange gummy thing - but you're right, I'm not opening up my tubes or touching the inside. again, hoping someone smarter than me can explain potential problems - but as far as I can tell it sort of seems ok?

Contrary to other posts, after reading through the chemistry of Star San, and an experiment I tried (left plastic parts in the Star San for a couple months) I beleive the milky coating is actually the surfacants in the Starsan being pulled out by the slighty charged plastic parts.  I have placed hoses in the stuff for months, and the diamters of the hoses have not changed.  The white goo had a distinctly metalic smell to it, but if you rinse off the stuff and let air dry, all of my clear plastic parts have returned to "clear" after a few days of air drying. 

Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 05:08:47 PM
Contrary to other posts, after reading through the chemistry of Star San, and an experiment I tried (left plastic parts in the Star San for a couple months) I beleive the milky coating is actually the surfacants in the Starsan being pulled out by the slighty charged plastic parts.  I have placed hoses in the stuff for months, and the diamters of the hoses have not changed.  The white goo had a distinctly metalic smell to it, but if you rinse off the stuff and let air dry, all of my clear plastic parts have returned to "clear" after a few days of air drying. 
Interesting, but that doesn't explain why my starsan gets cloudy at the same time the hose gets gummy.  Maybe it's just a coincidence though, I don't know.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: hamiltont on August 17, 2010, 05:49:35 PM
Here's my SOP upon kicking a keg:

1. rinse keg clean of debris using tap water.
2. fill keg and dip tube with hot PBW solution and let sit overnight then rinse.
3. pour about a quart of starsan solution in the keg (secure lid) and shake well
4. purge and pressurize keg to 30psi with CO2.
5. store keg until next use.

Ditto, except I use a gallon of starsan for storage & when I think about it I'll give the kegs a good shake while they're awaiting their next call to duty...
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 07:29:50 PM
Here's my SOP upon kicking a keg:

1. rinse keg clean of debris using tap water.
2. fill keg and dip tube with hot PBW solution and let sit overnight then rinse.
3. pour about a quart of starsan solution in the keg (secure lid) and shake well
4. purge and pressurize keg to 30psi with CO2.
5. store keg until next use.
I put my kegs to one side when they kick, then clean them all in one day with my keg washer.  Then I store them open until I need them, sanitize with starsan, and fill.  Whatever works for you though, I'm sure either way is fine.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: jbutterw on August 17, 2010, 08:37:30 PM
Y'all are freakin' out over nothing. RDWHAHB.

...

  If storing a hose in star-san causes you concern then the simplest solution (pun intended) is not to do it. CLEAN it with running water after use and hang it up to dry. Run some star-san through it before the next use and you're set. Same with a keg or any other equipment.

 Youngun's these days...<sigh>

  Tubercle is only here to help.
 

Ha! Thanks Tubercle! That made me laugh.

I don't think any of us were freaking out though; we were just trying to learn the best practice from our wise elders!

That said, I only stored star-san in my beer lines because it was easier than trying to get them empty and dry. I could be wrong, but at the moment I think I can only fully empty my beer lines by dissembling them which I'd rather not do as it is just one more task to do (and later undo)... Again, I can't be the first one with such a problem.

For the record, most of my beer lines consist of:
Picnic Tap (force fit)::::: tubing::::Ball-Lock disconnect (hose clamp, some needing a special tool that I don't have)

I suppose I just need to learn how to allow flow through the Ball-Lock disconnect when not attached to a keg post. One idea: a spare ball-lock keg post that is not attached to a keg.

Thanks.





Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: richardt on August 17, 2010, 08:42:52 PM
Check the pH.

I have high bicarbonate water so the residual alkalinity is rather high.  I've noticed my starsan solution gets cloudy pretty quick if I use the tap water.  And the bottom and sides of the bucket get coated with a white residue or precipitate.  

So do hoses that get left in the bucket for awhile.  However, I've not noticed any permanent cloudiness of my better bottle plastic associated with storing cloudy starsan solution for weeks on end in it--it does get a residue coating that needs to be scrubbed off.  

Vinyl hoses might be a different story--it is a lot more porous and softer--probably why it is harder to clean.  

My suspicion is that the varied responses on this post have to do with 1.) the pH of the starsan solution, and 2.) the type of hose material  (i.e., vinyl or PVC or Tygon)

OTOH, if you use distilled water to make your 5 gallon starsan solution, it'll stay clear practically forever.  And I doubt you'll have any white residue build up on your tubing.

Which brings me back to my original point:  Check the pH.  The clarity of starsan solution is pH dependent (it must be < 3).

FWIW, I've not heard of acid "dissolving" vinyl tubing in any of the beer and dispensing literature I've read, so if anyone has a reference, please provide it.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: hamiltont on August 17, 2010, 09:11:46 PM
I suppose I just need to learn how to allow flow through the Ball-Lock disconnect when not attached to a keg post. One idea: a spare ball-lock keg post that is not attached to a keg.

Thanks.
Just press in the pin inside the disconnect with your index finger & hold it above the tap to allow air in & fluid out.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 10:11:26 PM
That said, I only stored star-san in my beer lines because it was easier than trying to get them empty and dry. I could be wrong, but at the moment I think I can only fully empty my beer lines by dissembling them which I'd rather not do as it is just one more task to do (and later undo)... Again, I can't be the first one with such a problem.
Like I said, if it's working for you then don't worry about it.  But you could try something like LLC.  http://morebeer.com/view_product/8898//LLC_Liquid_Line_Cleaner_32_oz.  I assume it is safe to leave in lines, then you could just flush with saniclean when you are ready to serve.


I suppose I just need to learn how to allow flow through the Ball-Lock disconnect when not attached to a keg post. One idea: a spare ball-lock keg post that is not attached to a keg.
As richardt mentioned, you can press the pin in to let everything flow out, but that hurts my finger.  I prefer to take the disconnect apart with a screw driver, I can clean it more easily that way anyway.  There's a slot on the disconnect and giving it a twist and you're set - just don't lose any bits and make sure you remember how to put it back together.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 17, 2010, 10:17:35 PM
FWIW, I've not heard of acid "dissolving" vinyl tubing in any of the beer and dispensing literature I've read, so if anyone has a reference, please provide it.
Like I said, I assumed it was dissolving it, but something is certainly happening.  We can speculate all day, but instead I sent an message to Five Star and asked.  I'll let you know what they say.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: wingnut on August 17, 2010, 11:14:51 PM
Contrary to other posts, after reading through the chemistry of Star San, and an experiment I tried (left plastic parts in the Star San for a couple months) I believe the milky coating is actually the surfactants in the Starsan being pulled out by the slightly charged plastic parts.  I have placed hoses in the stuff for months, and the diameters of the hoses have not changed.  The white goo had a distinctly metallic smell to it, but if you rinse off the stuff and let air dry, all of my clear plastic parts have returned to "clear" after a few days of air drying. 
Interesting, but that doesn't explain why my starsan gets cloudy at the same time the hose gets gummy.  Maybe it's just a coincidence though, I don't know.

Actually, that makes perfect sense... Essentially, the charge of the plastic slowly adds positive charge to the solution over time, until the PH is high enough that it can no longer keep the surfactant (detergent) dissolved.  If you were only getting the goo on your plastic parts and the water was NOT getting cloudy, then that would be an indication that the plastic is being eaten away. 

The effect is that the water can't hold the detergent any more so it get cloudy everywhere in the solution at the same time.  If it were eating your plastic away, it would be cloudy only near the hoses, since that is where the highest concentration of dissolved plastic would be.

Bottom line is, don't keep your plastic hoses in StarSan for weeks at a time, because you will get a sludge on them, and the StarSan will loose effectiveness...
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: animaldoc on August 18, 2010, 01:09:52 AM
Charlie Talley did a great interview that you can listen to on the Brewing Network - download the podcast

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Sunday-Session/The-Sunday-Session-03-19-06-Sanitation-w/-Charlie-Talley

Tells you all about Star San and tubing, lifespan, cloudiness.

Reader's Digest version -- BDDS (benzyldodecylsulfate, I believe) the detergent in StarSan is electrostatically attracted to the plastic in the tubing and migrates into the pores of the plastic creating that white haze.  It's not actually damaging the plastic.  Star San becomes cloudy beause of the BDDS binding with metal ions in the water and coming out of solution.  Using RO or distilled water *dramatically* prolongs the cloudy-free usage of Star San -- it still works when cloudy as long as the pH stays under 3.5, but it will leave a detergent film.

-- Scott
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 18, 2010, 01:13:38 AM
Actually, that makes perfect sense... Essentially, the charge of the plastic slowly adds positive charge to the solution over time, until the PH is high enough that it can no longer keep the surfactant (detergent) dissolved.  If you were only getting the goo on your plastic parts and the water was NOT getting cloudy, then that would be an indication that the plastic is being eaten away. 
If it's adding positive charge to the solution it would get more acidic, not less, but I get your point.  My point is, if the hose is absorbing H+ and making the solution less acidic, what makes you think it is not breaking down the hose?  That's how acid works to break stuff down, the H+ reacts with it. :)  So it's possible the cloudiness is the surfactant coming out of solution because of the rise in pH, because the hose is breaking down and getting gummy.  Or it's possible the gumminess is the surfactant.  We'll see what Five Star says.

Ah, I see animaldoc's post - great info, thanks, I'll have to go back and listen to that one.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: richardt on August 18, 2010, 02:24:16 PM
Also consider the fact that concentrated StarSan solution is:
stored and shipped to us in a plastic container (HDPE, #1),
often diluted (1 oz. Starsan in 5 gallons of distilled water) and stored in a 5 gallon Homer bucket (HDPE, #1),
often stored in and used to sanitize Better Bottles (PETE, #2),
routinely used to sanitize vinyl tubing (V, or PVC, #3).

It does not corrode or break down plastic.
Just make sure the pH of the diluted Starsan solution stays below 3 (use distilled water or water w/ very low residual alkalinity).
The StarSan solution will remain clear and there will be no slimy/gummy residue on your equipment and hoses.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 18, 2010, 05:59:49 PM
Also consider the fact that concentrated StarSan solution is:
stored and shipped to us in a plastic container (HDPE, #1),
often diluted (1 oz. Starsan in 5 gallons of distilled water) and stored in a 5 gallon Homer bucket (HDPE, #1),
often stored in and used to sanitize Better Bottles (PETE, #2),
routinely used to sanitize vinyl tubing (V, or PVC, #3).

It does not corrode or break down plastic.
Just make sure the pH of the diluted Starsan solution stays below 3 (use distilled water or water w/ very low residual alkalinity).
The StarSan solution will remain clear and there will be no slimy/gummy residue on your equipment and hoses.
Fair enough.  Although just because something is used to sanitize something doesn't mean it won't corrode it, chlorine and stainless for example.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: richardt on August 19, 2010, 12:54:04 AM
True (re Cl and SS).  No disrespect intended at all, Tom--I just wanted to make sure that forum readers get the right idea before 'acid degradation of plastic tubing" became an urban myth and had its own Wiki entry. 

In fact, I sympathize--I, too, have a tendency to think aloud (or online) when I encounter a problem--and my comments and reasoning are not always correct.  That's what makes this forum so fantastic--we're all on the same journey towards a better understanding of brewing great beers and there are a lot of enlightening comments and tips from the pros/veterans here on this forum.
Title: Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
Post by: tschmidlin on August 19, 2010, 02:14:53 AM
True (re Cl and SS).  No disrespect intended at all, Tom--I just wanted to make sure that forum readers get the right idea before 'acid degradation of plastic tubing" became an urban myth and had its own Wiki entry. 

In fact, I sympathize--I, too, have a tendency to think aloud (or online) when I encounter a problem--and my comments and reasoning are not always correct.  That's what makes this forum so fantastic--we're all on the same journey towards a better understanding of brewing great beers and there are a lot of enlightening comments and tips from the pros/veterans here on this forum.
No worries, I'm from NJ, I have a thick skin and a tendency to vigorously defend my position. :)

But I'm also a scientist, and I prefer to know the truth than cling to a failed hypotheses.  I just take some convincing sometimes.  ;)