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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 05:40:59 PM

Title: Star San
Post by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 05:40:59 PM
I bought some 5 Star - Star San on line and it arrived in a jug inside a sealed plastic bag.  For some reason, most of the direction were smudged off on to the plastic bag. 
So, can some one please give me the direction for mixing this to sterilize equipment.  I need to do a carboy and siphon hose etc today and then bottles in a few weeks.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: tom on December 24, 2010, 05:56:10 PM
1 oz per 5 gallons of warm water. Or scale down at your convenience.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: denny on December 24, 2010, 06:31:53 PM
1 oz per 5 gallons of warm water. Or scale down at your convenience.

I have to admit I've never used it with anything but cold water.  So I take it warm is OK?
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on December 24, 2010, 06:54:08 PM
Best to use distilled or RO water. It'll keep for months or until it grows cloudy. Reusable as well. Supposed to be a minimum of one minute contact time. I've done less with no problems.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 06:59:26 PM
Thanks for the reply.
I'm afraid all I've got for water is plain old tap water.  But, we do have both warm and cold...
I'll scale it back to 2 1/2 gallons (10 L?) and add 1/2 an ounce by the measuring thingee on the bottle.  Only have a small pail to mix it in so we'll see how it goes.
Thanks again.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: Slowbrew on December 24, 2010, 07:00:23 PM
I wouldn't use hot water but warm should be okay.  I've read that 30 seconds contact time is enough.  That's always worked for me but of course YMMV.

The bottle I bought is looking like it will last the rest of my life.  I mixed up my first batch in a bucket with a lid using distilled water.  After close to a year I tossed it out only because I couldn't convince myself it was still good.  It had odds and ends sitting on the bottom of the bucket but the water was still crystal clear.

Paul
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 07:13:28 PM
And I don't need to rinse it right?  I've had OK results with bleach but I rinse the heck out of stuff.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on December 24, 2010, 07:16:04 PM
No rinsing.  ;D
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: tumarkin on December 24, 2010, 07:17:43 PM
Best to use distilled or RO water. It'll keep for months or until it grows cloudy. Reusable as well. Supposed to be a minimum of one minute contact time. I've done less with no problems.

big +1
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 07:18:06 PM
Feels weird to not rinse it.  ???
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on December 24, 2010, 07:19:35 PM
It'll be fine. There's a saying about Starsan: Don't fear the foam!
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on December 24, 2010, 07:22:29 PM
OK.  No sense asking if I don't listen to the answers I'm given. 
Thanks again for all the help.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: jeffy on December 24, 2010, 07:33:58 PM
I wouldn't use hot water but warm should be okay.  I've read that 30 seconds contact time is enough.  That's always worked for me but of course YMMV.

The bottle I bought is looking like it will last the rest of my life.  I mixed up my first batch in a bucket with a lid using distilled water.  After close to a year I tossed it out only because I couldn't convince myself it was still good.  It had odds and ends sitting on the bottom of the bucket but the water was still crystal clear.

Paul

If I use tap water, it turns cloudy within minutes, which I'm told is not so good.  I have some distilled water which I use in the spray bottle, but my usual use of it in tap water is only for what I happen to be doing on that particular weekend.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: richardt on December 24, 2010, 08:41:44 PM
FL water is high in carbonates (high alkalinity)--that's why your starsan solution goes cloudy so soon.
Use distilled water with your starsan.  I get 5 gallons for $1.50 at the local Publix (just take a better bottle or old plastic water jug and fill it up).  I store it in a 5 gallon Homer bucket.   Keeps a long time (crystal clear).

I still recommend a second agent during the earlier stages of the cleaning / sanitizing process to kill off any bacteria or wild yeast that are acid-tolerant.  There's a thread earlier about that.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: hamiltont on December 24, 2010, 10:43:23 PM
I use soft water for starsan. It works great & lasts a long time. Our hard water is high alkaline. CaCO3 = 236 and PH is 7.6.  I need to have Ward Labs test our soft water.  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: ipaguy on December 25, 2010, 09:15:28 PM
I use soft water for starsan. It works great & lasts a long time. Our hard water is high alkaline. CaCO3 = 236 and PH is 7.6.  I need to have Ward Labs test our soft water.  Cheers!!!

High pH is not good for StarSan.  The way the stuff works, at pH under 3.5 it kills bacteria deader-than-dead in around 30 sec.  When the pH goes above 3.5, it turns pretty much harmless.  So, you don't want really alkaline water, or a lot of PBW residue left around, etc.  The inventor of the stuff mentioned that you can acidify your water with a little white vinegar to make sure the StarSan doesn't get deactivated.  There was a really good episode of the Brewing Network where they interviewed the inventor & president of the company (Five Star).  Check the archive and look for 'Sanitation Show'.  I think it was a couple years back.  Edit: Date of the show was 3/18/2006. A must-listen.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: richardt on December 26, 2010, 02:26:43 AM
I've heard of using phosphoric acid to "acidify" the StarSan solution.

5% Acetate (vinegar) does have a pH around 2.4, but I wonder whether it would be the ideal acid to use given that we want to use the StarSan solution as a "no rinse" sanitizer.  Most beer styles we attempt to brew would get dinged for any "vinegar" or "acetic" aromas or flavor.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: ipaguy on December 26, 2010, 02:55:05 AM
I've heard of using phosphoric acid to "acidify" the StarSan solution.

5% Acetate (vinegar) does have a pH around 2.4, but I wonder whether it would be the ideal acid to use given that we want to use the StarSan solution as a "no rinse" sanitizer.  Most beer styles we attempt to brew would get dinged for any "vinegar" or "acetic" aromas or flavor.
If you already have phosphoric acid around (like for sparge water acidification) I think that would be the ideal way to go, seeing as that's what they use in the formula in the first place.  I brought up the vinegar because the guy from 5 star mentioned it.  He also said that the cloudiness you get from hard water is a product of the surfactant reacting with magnesium in the water.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: hamiltont on December 28, 2010, 03:22:42 PM
I use soft water for starsan. It works great & lasts a long time. Our hard water is high alkaline. CaCO3 = 236 and PH is 7.6.  I need to have Ward Labs test our soft water.  Cheers!!!

High pH is not good for StarSan.  The way the stuff works, at pH under 3.5 it kills bacteria deader-than-dead in around 30 sec.  When the pH goes above 3.5, it turns pretty much harmless.  So, you don't want really alkaline water, or a lot of PBW residue left around, etc.  The inventor of the stuff mentioned that you can acidify your water with a little white vinegar to make sure the StarSan doesn't get deactivated.  There was a really good episode of the Brewing Network where they interviewed the inventor & president of the company (Five Star).  Check the archive and look for 'Sanitation Show'.  I think it was a couple years back.  Edit: Date of the show was 3/18/2006. A must-listen.

That's correct.  Our soft water PH is lower.  After sitting in a container for 6 months the PH is still below 3 and the solution remains crystal clear.  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on January 05, 2011, 09:14:38 PM
Would Star Sa hurt an aluminum pot?  I have to bottle a batch of beer and I don't have a good 5 gal pail to put the sugar into and so I wondered if I could just clean my aluminum pot that I use to boil the wort and sterilize it.  Any thoughts about using Star San for this?  Will it react in any way?
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: jeffy on January 05, 2011, 09:37:16 PM
Would Star Sa hurt an aluminum pot?  I have to bottle a batch of beer and I don't have a good 5 gal pail to put the sugar into and so I wondered if I could just clean my aluminum pot that I use to boil the wort and sterilize it.  Any thoughts about using Star San for this?  Will it react in any way?


Boiling water in it will do the same thing.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: denny on January 05, 2011, 10:17:23 PM
I think I've heard of negative effects of StarSan on AL, but I can't find anything now.  To be safe, I'd email the manufacturer.  They've always been responsive and helpful when I had a question.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: uintafly on January 06, 2011, 01:36:40 AM
Does anyone know if it has any negative effects on copper? Can I dip my wort chiller into a bucket of it to sanitize it, or will this cause issue with the metal?
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: gmac on January 06, 2011, 02:11:36 AM
Boiling water in it will do the same thing.

I thought about that but wasn't sure if it would get all the way to the top and I don't want to have to bring 6 gals to a boil.  I suppose if I put the lid on and put an inch or so in the bottom and let it steam for a few minutes it would be fine.  I'm probably over-thinking it.  Even thought of just passing the propane torch over it for a second.  Should do it too.

Thanks
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: jeffy on January 06, 2011, 02:18:32 AM
Boiling water in it will do the same thing.

I thought about that but wasn't sure if it would get all the way to the top and I don't want to have to bring 6 gals to a boil.  I suppose if I put the lid on and put an inch or so in the bottom and let it steam for a few minutes it would be fine.  I'm probably over-thinking it.  Even thought of just passing the propane torch over it for a second.  Should do it too.

Thanks

No, I think you're on the right track.  Put an inch of water in, cover it and let it steam for several minutes.  That's a step better than pasteurizing.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: Malticulous on January 06, 2011, 03:58:13 AM
Does anyone know if it has any negative effects on copper? Can I dip my wort chiller into a bucket of it to sanitize it, or will this cause issue with the metal?

I've read that cleaning a IC with it will return it to new color. I like the patina on my ICs.

I just buy a gallon of distilled water and put 6 ml Starsan into it and to in my spray bottle.  If I need large amounts of a sanitizer I use Iodophor. There are times that the foam causes me problems.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on January 06, 2011, 06:01:28 AM
I'll usually clean my copper IC with starsan before it goes in the brewkettle because it goes in at flameout. No problems so far.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: hamiltont on January 06, 2011, 04:24:28 PM
I'll usually clean my copper IC with starsan before it goes in the brewkettle because it goes in at flameout. No problems so far.
Same here. I have a tank sprayer full of starsan for the big jobs like an IC.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: denny on January 06, 2011, 04:45:33 PM
Does anyone know if it has any negative effects on copper? Can I dip my wort chiller into a bucket of it to sanitize it, or will this cause issue with the metal?

Nope, that's fine.  But why not sanitize it by putting it into the boiling wort?
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: Steve on January 18, 2011, 04:49:37 PM
(http://web.me.com/sespach/KettleandCask/Blank_files/Star%20San%20Direction.jpg)
"Prepare a dilution of 1 oz. Star San/5 gallons of tap water."
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: Steve on January 18, 2011, 04:53:05 PM
I've heard of using phosphoric acid to "acidify" the StarSan solution.

In 1 oz. of STAR SAN/5 gallons of tap water there is 780 ppm of phosphoric acid. why would you add more?
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: denny on January 18, 2011, 04:54:28 PM
Because even with that level there sometimes isn't enough to drop the pH to where it needs to be.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: oscarvan on January 18, 2011, 06:37:28 PM
Does anyone know if it has any negative effects on copper? Can I dip my wort chiller into a bucket of it to sanitize it, or will this cause issue with the metal?

Nope, that's fine.  But why not sanitize it by putting it into the boiling wort?

I used to do that. The water in the coil starts boiling and the plastic hoses I have on there get too soft as they are not rated for 200+ now I just dump the thing in the bucket full of sanitizer, and let it sit until I need it. (I make a 5 gallon batch before I start brewing).
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: hamiltont on January 18, 2011, 06:58:13 PM
I used to do that. The water in the coil starts boiling and the plastic hoses I have on there get too soft as they are not rated for 200+ now I just dump the thing in the bucket full of sanitizer, and let it sit until I need it. (I make a 5 gallon batch before I start brewing).
I drain the "coil" wort chiller after each use & don't seem to run into this problem? Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on January 18, 2011, 07:18:20 PM
I sanitize my IC chiller with starsan. Then it goes in at the end of the boil. Why? Because when I drop the IC into the boiling wort it stops the boiling and lowers the temp automatically.

Got tired of waiting for the boil to restart when I'm also tossing in late hop additions. I figure clean sanitized chiller + hot wort = no problem. And so far it has been... no problem.  :)
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: denny on January 18, 2011, 07:57:57 PM
I just turn the heat up when I put in the chiller and turn it back down once it comes to a boil.
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: hamiltont on January 18, 2011, 08:32:11 PM
I just turn the heat up when I put in the chiller and turn it back down once it comes to a boil.
Same here. As soon as it goes in the wort the flame goes back to high and  it usually rebounds in less than a minute for 10 gallons. Turn the flame back down and then the Irish Moss and 15 minute hops addition goes in, if there is one. One thing I should mention. I drain the IC after each use. I could see if it were full of water it would have a much greater effect on the boil. Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: euge on January 18, 2011, 08:36:17 PM
Don't drain mine...
Title: Re: Star San
Post by: richardt on January 18, 2011, 09:18:27 PM
You should if you live somewhere that freezes.

I live in NE Florida and I still drain my IC by holding it upside down and even pushing a little air pressure through the tubing to push the remaining water out of the IC.  I store my IC with the corny kegs in the garage--a corny keg helps maintain the IC's shape. 
No sense in having a ruptured IC because the temps got below freezing.   
Also, no sense in encouraging pitting or galvanic corrosion by having water in the IC when it isn't being used.