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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: traveler744 on November 29, 2009, 10:46:30 PM

Title: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: traveler744 on November 29, 2009, 10:46:30 PM
Hi all!    I'm new here.  Looks like a great place to learn something!
 I'd like to ask if there is a way to tell if a mixed batch of sanitizer is still good?    Iodophor seems to loose it's color after a week or so. I am told that when the color goes, don't trust it.    I have a 16"x22' x 6" tall plactic tub with lid,( about 2 1/2 gallon) that I keep my racking canes, stoppers,hydrometer, etc. in. and mix a batch of Star San to sanitize my fermenter,carboy, kegs, then dump it in the plastic tub and not wanting to waste it, put the lid on, for next weeks brew day. What are your thoughts on this?
Any tips for sanitizers in general? Too bad a little steam boiler isn't practical for home crafters to use for cleaning/sanitizing.....

Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: a10t2 on November 29, 2009, 10:50:08 PM
If you have pH strips, that's the best way to check Star San. It's effective as long as the pH stays below 3. If you use distilled water to dilute it I believe it will last longer.

If you store Iodophor in an air-tight container it will keep indefinitely.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 29, 2009, 11:38:23 PM
If you store Iodophor in an air-tight container it will keep indefinitely.
I disagree with this statement.
Concentrated Iodaphor is pretty stable but once it is mixed up with water it is effective for a few hours.

If you want to know more listen podcast on Basic Brewing "March 22, 2007 - Sanitizing with Iodophor":
http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=basic-brewing-radio-2007
Audio file is here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr03-22-07.mp3
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: traveler744 on November 30, 2009, 12:17:46 AM
Thanks for the replies!  That's good to know about the PH test strips. Thanks!
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2009, 04:30:43 AM
I rarely test the pH of my Star San solutions. If they are still clear I trust them. Even if it gets a bit cloudy it still works. I prepare them with reverse osmosis water and think that it takes a lot of contamination to bring the pH up. Recently I started keeping the old batch of Star San around to rinse any equipment, in particular the turkey baster, before it goes into the current batch of sanitizer. This seems to keep it clear for much longer.

Kai
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: cracklefish on November 30, 2009, 03:09:01 PM
I rarely test the pH of my Star San solutions. If they are still clear I trust them. Even if it gets a bit cloudy it still works. I prepare them with reverse osmosis water and think that it takes a lot of contamination to bring the pH up. Recently I started keeping the old batch of Star San around to rinse any equipment, in particular the turkey baster, before it goes into the current batch of sanitizer. This seems to keep it clear for much longer.

Kai

+1

I make a batch of Starsan every 2 or 3 months. I brew about twice a month and bottle just as often.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2009, 03:18:46 PM
I make a batch of Starsan every 2 or 3 months. I brew about twice a month and bottle just as often.

I love that stuff. Before I used it I was using iodophor and had to mix a fresh batch anytime I had to sanitize something. Now I always have a bucket with StarSan sanitizer around in which I keep my turkey baster for sampling. Having a sanitizer ready for use when I need it is so much easier than mixing it on demand. To sanitize a carboy or keg I don’t even fill them completely. Just using 1-2 gallons, good shaking and draining works. The only time I need to fill a keg completely and thus need 5 gal is when I purge a serving keg with CO2 by pushing the StarSan out with CO2.

I bought my bottle 3 years ago and it is about half empty now. Because of its reusability and stability StarSan is one of the cheapest and most practical sanitizers out there.

Kai
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: a10t2 on November 30, 2009, 04:08:44 PM
If you store Iodophor in an air-tight container it will keep indefinitely.
I disagree with this statement.
Concentrated Iodaphor is pretty stable but once it is mixed up with water it is effective for a few hours.

Stored in the open, I'm sure that's true. But in an air-tight container? There's simply nowhere for the iodine to go.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: ndcube on November 30, 2009, 04:49:49 PM
I mix up about a 5 gallon bucket every 6-8 weeks.  Prepared w/ distilled or RO water it stays clear as stated by Kai.  I only get rid of it when it gets hops and other sediment that I don't want when I'm bottling.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: denny on November 30, 2009, 04:50:28 PM
I've kept StarSan mixed with distilled water in a spray bottle for up to 2 years and it's remained good.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: bluesman on November 30, 2009, 05:35:14 PM
One can't say enough about this great sanitizer. It has never let me down...alright now I have to find some wood to knock on.  ;D
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: traveler744 on November 30, 2009, 11:59:48 PM
All the replies are much apprecieated!   I am learning lots here, already.   I sure like the Star-San, but the foam doesn't drain too good from a carboy. I am told this is no problem. Supposedly there's a new one that doean't foam as much. I wonder if it lasts as long?  I have got some PH test strips on order now.

Again, Thanks for sharing knowledge!
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Kaiser on December 01, 2009, 12:43:55 AM
The foam is your friend. It keeps out bugs while you are racking. I let the foam drain for a few minutes and after that I don't worry about the foam that is left in the fermenter when I rack the wort onto it.

Kai
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: yeastmaster on December 01, 2009, 10:31:54 PM
I've been using iodophor for a little while now.  I've been thinking about getting some star san and after reading this thread think I will definitely pick some up next time I'm buying brewing supplies!
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Kaiser on December 02, 2009, 02:31:21 PM
I've been using iodophor for a little while now.  I've been thinking about getting some star san and after reading this thread think I will definitely pick some up next time I'm buying brewing supplies!

You'll have a multiple life time supply of iodine for starch tests now :) That's what happened to me.

Kai
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: ndcube on December 02, 2009, 02:35:11 PM
I've been using iodophor for a little while now.  I've been thinking about getting some star san and after reading this thread think I will definitely pick some up next time I'm buying brewing supplies!

You'll have a multiple life time supply of iodine for starch tests now :) That's what happened to me.

Kai

You just need to do more starch tests.  Turn the kids loose on some potatoes.  ;D
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: bluesman on December 02, 2009, 02:44:30 PM
I am a Starsan junkie.  ;D

I keep spray bottles handy all the time. When I prepare it... I will make several gallons at a time and store it in spring water jugs. It lasts a long time. If it gets cloudy it is probably on it's way out. You can check it's viability by measuring the pH. If the pH is 3 or less...it's OK to use.

One more thing...never fear the foam.   8)
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: stout_fan on December 02, 2009, 04:35:55 PM
You'll have a multiple life time supply of iodine for starch tests now :) That's what happened to me.
Kai

Yea, Me too, and I have a small bottle......
Oh, crap.
Realizes he bought a 'spare' 32 ouncer and that's still in the basement. :facepalm:  <=== we need this emoticon mods!

The other thing was pointed out to me. My rubber stoppers in:
1. the starter Erlenmeyer flask
2. Airlock stoppers drilled into cornie keg lids I use for lagering

Always keep forcing (slipping) out. This is due to the slippery aspects of acids. A shot of Idophor stops the slipping and is sanitary....

So it really does have more than one use in a 5 star house like mine.
Just not 32 oz. of uses.  :-[
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Kaiser on December 02, 2009, 05:26:18 PM
The other product from 5 Star Chemicals, however, doesn't have my approval. I'm talking about 5.2.

Kai
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: denny on December 02, 2009, 05:46:06 PM
The other product from 5 Star Chemicals, however, doesn't have my approval. I'm talking about 5.2.

Kai

I'm in agreement with you on that one, Kai.
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: Brew.Drink.Repeat. on December 02, 2009, 06:36:14 PM
Everything you read about Star San is true; I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to use it, and I see no advantages to using any other sanitizer product in its place. There are few things in life that works 100% as advertised, and Star San is definitely one of them.

When I mix up a batch on brewday, I always fill several spray bottles as well as my sanitizer tube (a long PVC tube, capped on both ends, that I use to sanitize my longer items like sample thieves, racking canes, stir rods, etc.). As long as I keep these vessels sealed I never worry about efficacy, IMO it takes a lot longer for the Star San pH to rise than the time between batches.

My .02... plus a dime or so.
 :)
Title: Re: Life of mixed Star San? Newbie
Post by: ndcube on December 02, 2009, 06:47:31 PM
The other product from 5 Star Chemicals, however, doesn't have my approval. I'm talking about 5.2.

Kai

I'm in agreement with you on that one, Kai.

I'm kind of ticked at myself.  I bought a new thing of it and then got into my water chemistry.  Never even opened it.  Not the cheapest stuff either.