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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: pyrite on November 13, 2010, 10:54:11 PM

Title: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: pyrite on November 13, 2010, 10:54:11 PM
I just ran-out of starsan sanitizer.  I have to transfer some beer, and apple cider from the primary containers over to some corny kegs for aging and conditioning.  Can I used house hold bleach to sanitize the stainless steel corny kegs.  I'm thinking, If I rinse the corny's after sanitizing them with the chlorine bleach, the metal and the beer flavor should be okay..Right?

Does this sound okay?    
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: chezteth on November 13, 2010, 11:29:16 PM
Chlorine bleach is ok to use as long as it does not have any added scents.  The main thing to remember is to rinse, rinse, rinse.  Any traces of bleach will end up contaminating your brews.

Cheers,
Brandon
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: euge on November 14, 2010, 12:13:28 AM
I just ran-out of starsan sanitizer.  I have to transfer some beer, and apple cider from the primary containers over to some corny kegs for aging and conditioning.  Can I used house hold bleach to sanitize the stainless steel corny kegs.  I'm thinking, If I rinse the corny's after sanitizing them with the chlorine bleach, the metal and the beer flavor should be okay..Right?

Does this sound okay?    

No!

Bleach is corrosive to Stainless.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tubercle on November 14, 2010, 04:18:50 AM
To quote Euge..


 No!

 Just fill them full of hot (180f+) water, wait 5 minutes and dump.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: Tim McManus on November 14, 2010, 04:30:53 AM
My bleach story is a sad one.

We used to sanitize our glass with bleach.  Made a Belgian Dubbel one day and fermented in a bleached carboy.  When we tasted the beer it was my first introduction to chlorophenol--the wet Band-Aid flavor.  Killed an entire 10-gallon batch of what would have been awesome beer.  After that day we banished bleach from the brewery forever.  It's either Iodophor or PBW for everything.  I strongly recommend deep cleaning with PBW, especially stainless kegs.  Leave it overnight or for a couple of days.  Sparkling clean on the inside.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: punatic on November 14, 2010, 05:41:42 AM
Bleach and stainless steel don't mix. Don't use it on stainless.  Don't use it on any metals. 

Other than that bleach is an effective cleaner and sanitizer.  The important part is rinsing the bleach out/off after sanitizing.  A good triple rinse will do the trick.

I've been cleaning and sanitizing glass carboys, bottles, bottling buckets and racking lines with bleach for 20+ years with no problems - ever. 

Did I mention you need to rinse well?

I just bought 3 gallons of Chlorox at Costco for under $6.  That's enough for a year's worth of sanitizing.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tubercle on November 14, 2010, 06:50:48 AM
The problem with bleach and rinsing is that if your rinse water is not sanitary you are right back where you started.


 If the rinse water is not causing any problems why not just rinse hot and skip the bleach.


 Just saying....
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: majorvices on November 14, 2010, 01:20:51 PM
Like others have said, bleach and stainless is a no-no. That said, your stainless can probably survive and application of two. Iodine would be a better solution.

That said, I used bleach to sanitize carboys, buckets and bottles for years and years. I did rinse with hot tap water and never had a problem. Really, sanitizing is kinda like an extra precaution. If your stuff is clean it is probably good to go, even rinsed with tap water. Tap water is sanitary enough for you to drink straight from the tap so you can safely use it to rinse without too much concern of infection. Is it ideal? Absolutely not. But you would probably going to be fine. I can attest that it worked for me for years and years.

Of course, now that I know better I never let myself run out of star san. The no rinse and added assurance is just too easy and convenient.  ;)
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: Mikey on November 14, 2010, 01:48:06 PM
Bleach is fine as long as you don't let it soak for extended periods of time. I remember being in a small brewery and the assistant had just come back from the supermarket with several bottles of bleach. The head brewer told me that's all they ever use and stainless was everywhere.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: bluesman on November 14, 2010, 01:52:32 PM
If it's a one shot deal you'll be okay considering the low concentration one uses for sanitizing.

Agreed though as the other posters have indicated it can have a detrimental effect on the SS in the long term.
But in a pinch you'll be okay.  ;)

Next chance you get pick up a bottle of starsan or onestep. I get the large bottle of starsan as it lasts quite a while for me.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: bonjour on November 14, 2010, 02:53:15 PM
I'm on the side that bleach is fine to use, even on stainless.

That said, long term use will pit the stainless, and is not good. 

DO NOT STORE bleach in stainless.

be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent problems with your beer.  For occasional and "emergency" (you don't have another sanitizer on hand, go ahead and use bleach.

I use starsan for all my personal use.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: Mikey on November 14, 2010, 03:34:56 PM
I love having a keg full of StarSan available, but it would NEVER be a keg full of bleach solution. As stated below, DO NOT store bleach or diluted solutions in stainless. Also, don't mix it too strong.

The following is a quote from Palmer's site:

"Bleach
The cheapest and most readily available sanitizing solution is made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water (4 ml per liter). Let the items soak for 20 minutes, and then drain. Rinsing is supposedly not necessary at this concentration, but many brewers, myself included, rinse with some boiled water anyway to be sure of no off-flavors from the chlorine."
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tumarkin on November 14, 2010, 05:01:12 PM
I think most of us are on the same page re this issue. While bleach is a good sanitizer, it should be thoroughly rinsed (to avoid pitting of stainless, to avoid potential off flavors in our beer). Rinsing with tap water is 'usually' ok, but given the availability of excellent no-rinse sanitizer there is little reason to use bleach, and a number of reasons not to. That said, in a pinch ya do what ya got to do, and use of bleach isn't the end of the world or the end of your beer.

Not all of us are lucky enough to live in an area with a good brew club, or close enough to other brewing friends. If you do have a local home brew club, join it & support the club & it's activities. You can get by with a little help from your friends. It's saved me a number of times.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: chezteth on November 14, 2010, 05:14:54 PM
No!

Bleach is corrosive to Stainless.

I should have paid closer attention to the detail about the corny keg.  Everyone who said not to use bleach on metal is correct.  If you are going to use it on glass that is another story.  Even though I would not recommend it because you have to be sure it is rinsed very well.  Sorry for the mix up.   :(

Brandon
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: denny on November 14, 2010, 05:40:18 PM
The following is a quote from Palmer's site:

"Bleach
The cheapest and most readily available sanitizing solution is made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water (4 ml per liter). Let the items soak for 20 minutes, and then drain. Rinsing is supposedly not necessary at this concentration, but many brewers, myself included, rinse with some boiled water anyway to be sure of no off-flavors from the chlorine."

Also from John's website..

"As with aluminum, the corrosion inhibitor in stainless steel is the passive oxide layer that protects the surface. The 300-series alloys (a.k.a. 18-8 alloys) commonly used in the brewing industry are very corrosion-resistant to most chemicals. Unfortunately, chlorine is one of the few chemicals to which these steels are not resistant. The chlorine in bleach acts to destabilize the passive oxide layer on steel, creating corrosion pits. This type of attack is accelerated by localization and is generally known as crevice or pitting corrosion.

Many brewers have experienced pinholes in stainless-steel vessels that have been filled with a bleach-water solution and left to soak for several days. On a microscopic scale, a scratch or crevice from a gasket can present a localized area where the surface oxide can be destabilized by the chlorine. The chlorides can combine with the oxygen, both in the water and on the steel surface, to form chlorite ions, depleting that local area of protection. If the water is not circulating, the crevice becomes a tiny, highly active site relative to the more passive stainless steel around it and corrodes. The same thing can happen at the liquid surface if the pot is only half full of bleach solution. A dry stable area above, a less stable but very large area below, and the crevice corrosion occurs at the waterline. Usually this type of corrosion will manifest as pitting or pinholes because of the accelerating effect of localization."
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: Mikey on November 14, 2010, 05:51:20 PM
"Many brewers have experienced pinholes in stainless-steel vessels that have been filled with a bleach-water solution and left to soak for several days. "

The key statement is "left to soak for many days". I'm talking about a few minutes.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: pyrite on November 14, 2010, 08:04:57 PM
I have to admit, about a year ago I left a chlorine bleach solution soaking in my 15 gallon stainless steel kettle.  About a week later I returned to find a pin size hole exactly where the liquid bleach solution and the air made contact with the stainless steel kettle wall.  Unfortunately, I learned my lesson when I had to pay about $25 to get the pin size hole welded.

But now that I ran-out of the Starsan solution, I've once again resorted to using the corrosive chlorine bleach that I once said I would never use on metal.  You guys have stated your points, and long ago I learned a valuable lesson; why one should not leave the chlorinated bleach solution soaking in metal containers for a long period of time.  Therefore, I will only soak my four stainless steel corny kegs and all the parts that disconnect from those kegs for no more than 20 minutes.  Thereafter, I will rinse each piece of metal with the water hose, and then transfer thy beer into those corny kegs.

        
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: punatic on November 15, 2010, 12:21:27 AM
… Rinsing with tap water is 'usually' ok…
If your tap water is provided by a municipal water system it is almost certainly safe to use for rinsing.  The EPA’s Clean Water Act requires all public water systems to provide disinfected water to their users’ taps.  However, it is this requirement that makes it important to dechlorinate tap water before using it as brew water.

If you get your tap water from a private source, such as your own well or rainwater catchment system, using it for rinsing could be a problem, unless you also have a filtration and disinfection system installed.
… given the availability of excellent no-rinse sanitizer…

I rinse even when using no-rinse sanitizers.  Just my own personal quirk.  Less is better IMO, and I have no doubt my rinse water is safe.  I use rainwater catchment with triple filtration and UV disinfection for my household water. (and I test it regularly in my lab)

Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tubercle on November 15, 2010, 01:37:46 AM
Couldn't all of this be unnecessary to worry about just by spending 8 bucks on some starsan? :D

 Order now and you'll have it by the weekend.

Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: bluesman on November 15, 2010, 02:46:46 AM
Couldn't all of this be unnecessary to worry about just by spending 8 bucks on some starsan? :D

 Order now and you'll have it by the weekend.



Indeed.  :D
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: punatic on November 15, 2010, 03:24:06 AM

 Order now and you'll have it by the weekend.


Not in this part of the middle of the Pacific.
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 15, 2010, 06:32:29 AM

 Order now and you'll have it by the weekend.


Not in this part of the middle of the Pacific.
Come on, are you telling me Rocket Rod can't hook you up in the 3 hours round trip it would take you to get to his place and back?  And that includes time to chat and sample beers :)
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: punatic on November 15, 2010, 06:39:56 AM
Every time I try to go see Rod my truck yanks the steering wheel away from me and parks at KBC (http://konabrewingco.com/) instead!

And - if you can make it from Puna to Kona and back in three hours, I want to hitch a ride on your airplane!
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 15, 2010, 06:42:21 AM
That's understandable :)

Maybe you need to have Rod meet you there ;D
Title: Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
Post by: kerneldustjacket on November 15, 2010, 01:54:27 PM
+1 on filling with hot water if you're out of sanitizer.

Prior to the excellent no-rinse sanitizers available now, my pre-filling keg sanitization method was to pour four cups of very hot water (right at the point where it started to boil) into the keg, lock the lid in place, and shake. Shaking caused the keg to pressurize with steam. After a few minutes I then attached a tap and opened it up to allow hot water to flow through the liquid out connection, just to be sure the inside of that tube had exposure to 180+ water.
Remove lid, dump remaining hot water, run cold water on the outside to cool it, and fill with beer.

But remember, just like the coffee at McDonald's, the water is hot and can burn you!