Author Topic: Starsan question... bear with me  (Read 2180 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Starsan question... bear with me
« on: March 17, 2016, 08:54:38 PM »
I bounced this around on another board and got a mix of replies.  I was racking a beer from primary to secondary over the weekend and anytime I sanitize a vessel, I fill the whole thing up with the solution.  I don't make a quart and swish it around.  I consider it insurance, some might consider it wasteful.  Anyway, I used to pour the thick sanitizer into the vessel and then run cold water in there.  The issue is that it made a lot of foam that way.  I don't "fear the foam" but if I'm filling a Better Bottle, having all that foam in there is going to make filling it all the way a long job.  So then I started putting a gallon or two in there and THEN pouring the sanitizer in, swirling it to mix the sanitizer and then filling it the rest of the way.  I did this a week or so ago with a 6.5 gallon plastic primary.  At some point when there were 3-4 gallons of water in there, I reached down to the bottom of the bucket and sure enough I felt the thick, syrupy undiluted Starsan on the bottom of the primary.  This is not quite as alarming but if that had been a secondary or a keg and I didn't notice that sanitizer on the bottom, I could have racked beer right on top of undiluted Starsan.  Further, my ground water right now is 46° which would possibly make the sanitizer even more stubborn to mix in properly.  Someone on another board mentioned mixing the Starsan in a bucket first, making sure it's totally mixed and THEN rack it to secondary or keg.  I occasionally have a beer that tastes "off" but doesn't taste contaminated.  It tastes sort of "dirty" or something.  Am I the only one who has thought about this?  I'm concerned I have ruined batches of beer by not thoroughly mixing the solution together.  Thoughts?

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 09:25:39 PM »
FWIW, I always mix up either a 5 gallon or 2.5 gallon mixture of Starsan in a bucket. I take the inside of a racking cane and stir like mad, making sure to get the bottom the bucket mixed up in case there is some syrup. I then take that and pour it into a keg or my fermenter.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 09:45:13 PM »
Yeah, this may be my new approach.  It will take slightly longer but this idea that I might have allowed beer to come in contact with undiluted Starsan is a little discouraging.  I don't *KNOW* that I've ever done this but I know this stuff is thick and stubborn and 46° water can't help... it would be that much more stubborn.  Some others have mentioned they use hot water but I thought the instructions said to use cold.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 09:52:17 PM »
My approach was RDWHAH, & go with making 1/2 a container's worth of sanitizer, & use the foam to sanitizes the walls of the container.  I'd go through the effort to swish it around 3-4 times while it was soaking just to make sure that the surfaces all stay wet, but that's about it.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 09:57:44 PM »
Forgot to add that yes, I think that cold water is perhaps slowing down the dilution process. Just make sure that the Starsan solution mixture (once you mix it) is turning the mixture light blue. Then you know it's still good and all mixed up. I kid.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 09:59:39 PM »
Only properly diluted starsan is no rinse!

I reuse starsan for a long time.  I check that the pH is below 3 if it seems that it has been a long time since I made some fresh starsan.  I don't go by cloudiness as there is enough hardness in my tap water to make properly diluted starsan go cloudy without rinsing anything.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 10:05:04 PM »
I make up a 5 gallon batch of starsan mixing 1 oz with 5 gallons of DISTILLED water from the store.  I store it in a classic ale pail with a lid and it lasts for months.  The only reason I end up changing it out for fresh is simply because stuff falls in it after a while (and many sanitizing of brews) and I get worried that it may inadvertently infect a batch somehow.  ???

Offline euge

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 10:08:01 PM »
Sorry to hear about the starsan mishap. I think a spray bottle works really well and prevents such occurrences.

I just spritz and spritz and spritz. Spritzing is where it is at.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2016, 10:11:27 PM »
I make up a 5 gallon batch of starsan mixing 1 oz with 5 gallons of DISTILLED water from the store.  I store it in a classic ale pail with a lid and it lasts for months.  The only reason I end up changing it out for fresh is simply because stuff falls in it after a while (and many sanitizing of brews) and I get worried that it may inadvertently infect a batch somehow.  ???



Exactly what I do. I get as much as a year from 5 gallons.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 10:12:22 PM »
I make up a 5 gallon batch of starsan mixing 1 oz with 5 gallons of DISTILLED water from the store.  I store it in a classic ale pail with a lid and it lasts for months.  The only reason I end up changing it out for fresh is simply because stuff falls in it after a while (and many sanitizing of brews) and I get worried that it may inadvertently infect a batch somehow.  ???



Exactly what I do. I get as much as a year from 5 gallons.

Do you store yours in a keg or bucket?

Offline flars

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 10:21:07 PM »
Keep Star San solution in one gallon jugs.  Add a couple cups to the clean fermentor, swirl it around to completely cover the fermentor with the solution/foam.  Invert the fermentor while you do some other stuff then pour the solution back into your jug.  Star San is a wet sanitizer.  You only need to wet the surfaces.

You can eliminate the residual foam with a spray bottle if you don't want it in the fermentor.

A fermentor is a lot safer to handle when it isn't full.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2016, 10:21:20 PM »
I make up a 5 gallon batch of starsan mixing 1 oz with 5 gallons of DISTILLED water from the store.  I store it in a classic ale pail with a lid and it lasts for months.  The only reason I end up changing it out for fresh is simply because stuff falls in it after a while (and many sanitizing of brews) and I get worried that it may inadvertently infect a batch somehow.  ???



Exactly what I do. I get as much as a year from 5 gallons.

Do you store yours in a keg or bucket?


Bucket. I'm leery of leaving that long in a keg. Aside from that, I like the ease of removing the lid and filling a spray bottle, soaking racking tube, etc. in there.
Jon H.

Offline euge

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 10:32:58 PM »
Starsan is cheap. Cheap enough to make and throw away and not worry about it. Spritz! ;D

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline Stevie

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 11:13:24 PM »

Starsan is cheap. Cheap enough to make and throw away and not worry about it. Spritz! ;D
Sure, but there are those times where you only need to sanitize a couple of items. Have a bucket around is handy here.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 11:14:44 PM »

I make up a 5 gallon batch of starsan mixing 1 oz with 5 gallons of DISTILLED water from the store.  I store it in a classic ale pail with a lid and it lasts for months.  The only reason I end up changing it out for fresh is simply because stuff falls in it after a while (and many sanitizing of brews) and I get worried that it may inadvertently infect a batch somehow.  ???



Exactly what I do. I get as much as a year from 5 gallons.
+2 - I use RO and replace when I spill or lose enough to blowoff containers.