Author Topic: sanitation questions  (Read 1107 times)

Offline n518lf

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
sanitation questions
« on: April 28, 2013, 10:00:59 AM »
First, thanks everyone for giving input on my question about what size kettle. I decided to go with a "high" quality 5 gallon kettle figuring that should last me for a bit and I can go larger when my needs warrant. I have almost everything together and I am hoping on having my first brew day next weekend.

So onto my sanitation question. Using Star San, is it okay to let plastics and rubber sit in the solution for an indeffinate amount of time. Would it be okay to use this proceedure:

Sanitze my 5 gallon better bottle first which I plan on using as my secondary (I know, I have read that it isn't neccessary and there is potential risk of oxidation but lets not discuss that here). then sealing up the bottle with the bung and airlock until I need it (probably about a week or two).

Take the same solution and sanitze my 6.5 fermenation bucket, then dump the solution into my bottling bucket which I will then leave sit for up to a month with things like the auto-siphon and tubing sitting in the solution.   

I guess I am trying to do as much sanitzing as possible up front so I am not going back and forth sanitzing one piece at a time and wasting water and sanitizer each time. Since I will be moving the beer into the secondary. After cleaning them, I could put the siphon and tubing back into the bottling bucket since the solution will still be there. Then when I am ready to bottle, move the solution from the bottling bucket into my 6.5 bucket to santize that for the next brew day. I can think of ways to always move it from one bucket to another but I suppose I would mix a new batch of sanitizer at least once per brew batch.

I suppose I just don't know how long the sanitizer stays effective and I am also unsure if it is okay to sanitze something like the seconday and then seal it up and let it sit for a couple of weeks, or if it is better to only sanitize once I am ready to use it.

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for your help.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 10:02:52 AM by n518lf »

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 10:07:40 AM »
The sanitizer can stay effective for a long time, I leave things like a wine thief, airlocks, and stoppers in it.  You can't leave some types of plastic in it though, vinyl beer line ends up with a gummy sticky coating on it from something in the starsan.

If you have a way of checking the pH of the solution that's your best indicator (below 2 I think) although some people rely on the clarity of the solution.  How long it stays effective depends on your water, so if you want to keep it a long time use distilled or soft water.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11626
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 11:52:31 AM »
If you have a way of checking the pH of the solution that's your best indicator (below 2 I think)me use distilled or soft water.

Below 3, I'm pretty sure.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline dean_palmer

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
    • The Beer Journals
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 08:09:40 AM »
Don't make sanitation tougher than it has to be :-) Sanitize right before you use the tool or vessel and be assured it is sanitized. Fresh sanitizer is always the way to go.

"Soaking" for extended times does nothing better and can damage some plastics. Use the contact time stated or a few minutes more. Nothing is gained by keeping things continually soaking.

For carboys and such put in just enough to slosh around and coat the surfaces. No reason to fill the whole thing and have all that weight to deal with and waste sanitizer for no reason. Filling a vessel is a waste at any time for sanitizing. For cleaning a complete fill and soak may be needed due to residuals, but that is for cleaning, not sanitizing.

Mix up only enough sanitizer that is needed to coat the surfaces by submerging or spraying. I usually mix up 1.25 gallons at most, some gets put into the spray bottle to be used as needed, and after the session the rest gets dumped if it will not be needed in the next few days.

StarSan is less than 25 cents per gallon of prepared solution so why waste time and money figuring out ways of keeping it for extended periods? Just because the ratio states one ounce to 5 gallons doesn't mean you make up 5 gallons each time.

Ph below "3" is still good if you can measure. I use strips or my meter if ever needed.

If you keep the sanitizer store it in glass or suitable plastic, not metal or stainless as it will etch the metals.

Hope my two cents helps :-)


Offline hubie

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 08:54:45 AM »
Hope my two cents helps :-)

Well said.

FWIW, StarSan is really good at putting the shine back on those two cents as well. :)

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 09:09:41 AM »
If you keep the sanitizer store it in glass or suitable plastic, not metal or stainless as it will etch the metals.
No, it won't etch stainless.  I read that and have confirmed it directly with 5-star.
Tom Schmidlin

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5656
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 10:27:28 AM »
Don't make sanitation tougher than it has to be :-) Sanitize right before you use the tool or vessel and be assured it is sanitized. Fresh sanitizer is always the way to go.

"Soaking" for extended times does nothing better and can damage some plastics. Use the contact time stated or a few minutes more. Nothing is gained by keeping things continually soaking.

For carboys and such put in just enough to slosh around and coat the surfaces. No reason to fill the whole thing and have all that weight to deal with and waste sanitizer for no reason. Filling a vessel is a waste at any time for sanitizing. For cleaning a complete fill and soak may be needed due to residuals, but that is for cleaning, not sanitizing.

Mix up only enough sanitizer that is needed to coat the surfaces by submerging or spraying. I usually mix up 1.25 gallons at most, some gets put into the spray bottle to be used as needed, and after the session the rest gets dumped if it will not be needed in the next few days.

StarSan is less than 25 cents per gallon of prepared solution so why waste time and money figuring out ways of keeping it for extended periods? Just because the ratio states one ounce to 5 gallons doesn't mean you make up 5 gallons each time.

Ph below "3" is still good if you can measure. I use strips or my meter if ever needed.

If you keep the sanitizer store it in glass or suitable plastic, not metal or stainless as it will etch the metals.

Hope my two cents helps :-)

I mix up 5 gallons at a time because I like to purge my kegs by filling them with star san and forcing it out with co2. I keep the star san in a better bottle (actually a 5 gallon water jug) and replace it every couple batches.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline beersk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1870
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 10:58:47 AM »
The sanitizer can stay effective for a long time, I leave things like a wine thief, airlocks, and stoppers in it.  You can't leave some types of plastic in it though, vinyl beer line ends up with a gummy sticky coating on it from something in the starsan.

So is it bad to leave your beer line or a jumper hose for keg to keg transfer filled with sanitizer for a while? Say, a couple weeks or longer in between batches?
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 01:41:02 PM »
The sanitizer can stay effective for a long time, I leave things like a wine thief, airlocks, and stoppers in it.  You can't leave some types of plastic in it though, vinyl beer line ends up with a gummy sticky coating on it from something in the starsan.

So is it bad to leave your beer line or a jumper hose for keg to keg transfer filled with sanitizer for a while? Say, a couple weeks or longer in between batches?
In my opinion, yes.  The gumminess is fine for a use, but then it gives critters a place to hide and will decrease the effectiveness of your sanitization.  On the other hand, it is caused by something coming out of solution and there is so little sanitizer actually left in your line that it might not be a big deal for a while.
Tom Schmidlin

Online james

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 01:52:03 PM »
I'll agree with Tom that star san is fine in stainless.  I have one keg dedicated to star san and it has had some random quantity of star san in it for the past 6 years.  I have gone through numerous picnic taps on that keg over time though.  The rubber inside the picnic tap breaks down in star san, so now I leave the tap disconnected most of the time and replace the tap every year or two.

Offline dzlater

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
  • New Jersey
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 03:04:26 AM »
I have left starsan in a bucket for an extended time, and when I dumped it out the bucket had kind of a slimey residue.

Offline beersk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1870
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: sanitation questions
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 07:11:23 AM »
The sanitizer can stay effective for a long time, I leave things like a wine thief, airlocks, and stoppers in it.  You can't leave some types of plastic in it though, vinyl beer line ends up with a gummy sticky coating on it from something in the starsan.

So is it bad to leave your beer line or a jumper hose for keg to keg transfer filled with sanitizer for a while? Say, a couple weeks or longer in between batches?
In my opinion, yes.  The gumminess is fine for a use, but then it gives critters a place to hide and will decrease the effectiveness of your sanitization.  On the other hand, it is caused by something coming out of solution and there is so little sanitizer actually left in your line that it might not be a big deal for a while.
Hmmm, perhaps when I sanitized the jumper after use I will let it empty and leave it like that. Or maybe I'll just rinse it out after use and sanitize before use. Thanks, Tom.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!