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Author Topic: Starsan question... bear with me  (Read 4536 times)

RPIScotty

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2016, 05:54:52 pm »
I'm a soaker.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2016, 06:49:18 pm »
spray bottle for me. everything is already uber clean before it gets hit with starsan.  not one issue in 4+years now.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2016, 07:22:03 pm »
I've been taking a two-pronged approach to sanitization: Star-san and Iodophor.

I keep a 5-gallon batch of star-san around at all times, and use that for the bulk of my sanitizing. Usually it'll last around a month or two before enough crud accumulates at the bottom of the bucket that I'll dump it and make a new batch.

Iodophor is my "nuclear" option, as it works on wild yeasts and molds. Typically I'll use this on occasion to kinda "reset" everything for the Star-san. I also use this for bottling, and as the only sanitizer on anything I feel is "critical".

To sanitize a carboy, I'll add about a pint or so, hold it sideways and shake, then rotate and repeat for two full revolutions. Then drain as best I'm able and move on. Only infection so far has been traced to a dirty blowoff tube, and that was before I started the iodophor routine.
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Offline crakers540

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2016, 07:51:19 pm »
On most of my utensils (brew day and after), I use bleach (old fashioned 5% sodium hypochlorite) for almost everything.  It does not depend on temp or pH to completely kill everything, period.  I know, there is the worry about carry-over into the finished product.  I have never had that happen (I will get grief for that statement).  I use a 10% solution (approximately).

For my 5-7 gallon glass carboys:  After I empty a beer from them ( primary or secondary) I find that adding 2-3 cups of bleach, then filling them with cold water, let them set for several days, requires NO scrubbing.  All of the residual stuff gets removed, and all I have to do is rinse the vessel, and I have a clean, sanitized, ready to us carboy.

For the utensils:  on brew day, I soak my stuff in a solution that contains 2 cups or more of bleach in 4 gallons of water,  I bury my transfer tubing, funnels, air locks, stoppers, racking canes, etc. for at least 20 minutes.

I rinse all of these items with HOT water before I use them.  I rinse the carboys with about 2 gallons of water swirl and dump, about 3 times,  I rinse with HOT water for a few minutes before use.

I like using bleach, because it will kill everything, regardless of temp or pH.

For my bottles:  I used to only use a sanitizer, but I recently got some funk in several batches.  Going back to bleach as a cleaner for them as well.

Call me paranoid, but I do like the killing power of bleach.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2016, 08:05:46 pm »
If im using well water, I fill soak and dump. Usually fermenters on brew day.

Everything else I use gallon jugs of distilled with 6ml mixed in. Stores long and I use it in spray bottles.

Lately ive been using iodophor at the no rinse dilution for kegs

Offline crakers540

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2016, 08:10:30 pm »
Define Iodophor vs Star San.  Are they the same?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2016, 08:17:24 pm »
Define Iodophor vs Star San.  Are they the same?
Nope, different. Starsan operates off acid by lowering the ph to a point that kills most things. Iodophor is iodine based and at least in my understanding, kills other things. I use Iodophor in my kegs because occasionally I was having a contamination issue in my kegs. This seems to have solved that.

Offline fmader

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2016, 08:38:45 pm »
To the OP. You only need to sanitize the surface of your fermenter. Filling it with diluted starsan is a complete waste. Like said above, use a designated 5 gal bucket to house your sanitizer. Swishing about a cups worth in your fermenter is plenty enough. It's all about contact, not volume.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2016, 05:53:32 am »
Define Iodophor vs Star San.  Are they the same?
Nope, different. Starsan operates off acid by lowering the ph to a point that kills most things. Iodophor is iodine based and at least in my understanding, kills other things. I use Iodophor in my kegs because occasionally I was having a contamination issue in my kegs. This seems to have solved that.
For the same reason, I have been using Iodophor to sanitize my kegs.

I have a keg full of Star San mixture, made with RO water, lasts until it is used up. I also fill spray bottles from the keg.

Iodophor is what the nurses will often use to swab your arm when you give blood. Brownish liquid, smells of iodine.

It was pointed out by C.S. (Mark) that Star San does not kill everything. If you do a web search on yeast washing you will find guys that use SS to wash the yeast. That kills bacterial contamination, maybe some of the yeast, but they end up with a clean sample of the yeast.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 05:57:05 am by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2016, 07:53:56 am »
Guys, thanks for the replies.  I think I will start a new process by making Starsan solution and keeping it in a bucket with a lid.  I have actually done this in the past but usually only when I envision a lot of sanitizing going on.  Otherwise I make fresh Starsan solution every time. 

To the OP. You only need to sanitize the surface of your fermenter. Filling it with diluted starsan is a complete waste. Like said above, use a designated 5 gal bucket to house your sanitizer. Swishing about a cups worth in your fermenter is plenty enough. It's all about contact, not volume.

I hear this but my concern is that I will not make "contact" with every little spot in a secondary or keg well enough to sanitize it properly.  I am a soaker as someone else mentioned here.  I am fine with that strategy and I'm not willing to risk a batch of beer and 4 hours of brewing so I can potentially cut a corner in an effort to not be as wasteful.  Plus, if I'm saving the Starsan solution and reusing it, the waste part of the equation is out the window.  Next time I make Starsan I will mix it in a bucket, rack it to whatever I'm sanitizing and then rack it back into the bucket and hang onto it.  I just moved a huge stack of old brew buckets out to my shed and one of those will probably work well for this purpose.  Thanks again.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2016, 08:34:10 am »
To the OP. You only need to sanitize the surface of your fermenter. Filling it with diluted starsan is a complete waste. Like said above, use a designated 5 gal bucket to house your sanitizer. Swishing about a cups worth in your fermenter is plenty enough. It's all about contact, not volume.

I hear this but my concern is that I will not make "contact" with every little spot in a secondary or keg well enough to sanitize it properly.
This is where the foaming properties of StarSan trump its slightly narrower spectrum of antimicrobial activity. It's not just about making contact with your sanitizer, it is equally important to maintain contact throughout the full required contact time for that agent. StarSan will cling to those hard-to-reach areas because of it's foaming agent. With something like Iodophor, you can't assume that it is sanitizing the lid of your bucket fermenter (for example) unless every spot on the lid remains wet with Iodophor throughout the full contact time. You can't just spray/swish and let it stand vertically as the sanitizer will just drain off the surfaces that are not submerged fairly rapidly.

I'm not saying that any product or process is wrong. You just need to be sure that your sanitization procedure is appropriate for the product you are using.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2016, 07:06:02 am »
To the OP. You only need to sanitize the surface of your fermenter. Filling it with diluted starsan is a complete waste. Like said above, use a designated 5 gal bucket to house your sanitizer. Swishing about a cups worth in your fermenter is plenty enough. It's all about contact, not volume.

I hear this but my concern is that I will not make "contact" with every little spot in a secondary or keg well enough to sanitize it properly.
This is where the foaming properties of StarSan trump its slightly narrower spectrum of antimicrobial activity. It's not just about making contact with your sanitizer, it is equally important to maintain contact throughout the full required contact time for that agent. StarSan will cling to those hard-to-reach areas because of it's foaming agent. With something like Iodophor, you can't assume that it is sanitizing the lid of your bucket fermenter (for example) unless every spot on the lid remains wet with Iodophor throughout the full contact time. You can't just spray/swish and let it stand vertically as the sanitizer will just drain off the surfaces that are not submerged fairly rapidly.

I'm not saying that any product or process is wrong. You just need to be sure that your sanitization procedure is appropriate for the product you are using.
Erock:  You just touched on what I have always feared... contact time.  The instructions on Starsan say that contact time should be at least 2 minutes.  If you filled a keg with 1 gallon of sanitizer and shook the keg to 'coat' everything... is that enough?  Will the solution cover everything and keep it covered for 2 minutes?  I have no idea but I'm not risking a batch of beer that took me at least 4 hours to make to that sort of guess.  I think I have my new strategy where I will just mix the solution in a bucket making sure that the Starsan is completely diluted and then rack that solution to whichever vessel I'm sanitizing.  We don't necessarily have to argue over what is best, what is sufficient, what is wasteful and what is overkill but a dialog may make people think about their own process and improve it for the better... or ensure them that what they're doing works well.  Cheers Beerheads & thanks for the replies.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 07:08:15 am by Village Taphouse »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2016, 07:40:07 am »
FYI - here are the results of a test a ran a while back comparing a few sanitizers. There were some valid concerns brought up regarding my procedure, but regardless it certainly gave me confidence about using StarSan keep a vessel sanitized prior to use.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24913.0
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Offline denny

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2016, 09:28:33 am »
To the OP. You only need to sanitize the surface of your fermenter. Filling it with diluted starsan is a complete waste. Like said above, use a designated 5 gal bucket to house your sanitizer. Swishing about a cups worth in your fermenter is plenty enough. It's all about contact, not volume.

I hear this but my concern is that I will not make "contact" with every little spot in a secondary or keg well enough to sanitize it properly.
This is where the foaming properties of StarSan trump its slightly narrower spectrum of antimicrobial activity. It's not just about making contact with your sanitizer, it is equally important to maintain contact throughout the full required contact time for that agent. StarSan will cling to those hard-to-reach areas because of it's foaming agent. With something like Iodophor, you can't assume that it is sanitizing the lid of your bucket fermenter (for example) unless every spot on the lid remains wet with Iodophor throughout the full contact time. You can't just spray/swish and let it stand vertically as the sanitizer will just drain off the surfaces that are not submerged fairly rapidly.

I'm not saying that any product or process is wrong. You just need to be sure that your sanitization procedure is appropriate for the product you are using.
Erock:  You just touched on what I have always feared... contact time.  The instructions on Starsan say that contact time should be at least 2 minutes.  If you filled a keg with 1 gallon of sanitizer and shook the keg to 'coat' everything... is that enough?  Will the solution cover everything and keep it covered for 2 minutes?  I have no idea but I'm not risking a batch of beer that took me at least 4 hours to make to that sort of guess.  I think I have my new strategy where I will just mix the solution in a bucket making sure that the Starsan is completely diluted and then rack that solution to whichever vessel I'm sanitizing.  We don't necessarily have to argue over what is best, what is sufficient, what is wasteful and what is overkill but a dialog may make people think about their own process and improve it for the better... or ensure them that what they're doing works well.  Cheers Beerheads & thanks for the replies.

FWIW, Charlie Talley, chemist at Five Star, has confirmed that a 30 second contact kills 99.9% of stuff.....almost the same as a 10 minute soak.  Legally they're not allowed to say that, but that's what their testing has shown.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Starsan question... bear with me
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2016, 09:38:26 am »
Denny, that's very good to know and adds a nice comfort factor.  I have always been more comfortable "soaking" rather than "swishing" but now I'm going to concentrate on making sure that all of the Starsan is diluted before I go any further.  Cheers.
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