Author Topic: cloudy starsan  (Read 662 times)

Offline brewer102

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cloudy starsan
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:21:04 PM »
I moved to a new area with a different water source.  When I made a batch of starsan it immediately turned cloudy.  Checked the pH and was 2.1.  Made a small test batch with distilled water and was perfectly clear.  Left a bottle brush in the solution for an hour and the metal part turned black.  Water profile from the city list normal range calcium and magnesium but alkalinity is above normal.  Is everything ok here?

Thanks, all.  Why does the metal part of my brush turn black in the solution?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 07:24:56 PM by brewer102 »

Offline Robert

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
Always make up StarSan with deionized (distilled or RO ) water.   It will last indefinitely in a covered bucket.
Rob Stein
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Offline flars

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 02:00:58 PM »
The solution becoming cloudy is a reaction with the minerals in the water.  The pH is not changed neither is the effectiveness for sanitizing.  The solution is effective for the short contact times given when the pH is not over 3.0.

Offline Robert

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 02:10:07 PM »
The solution becoming cloudy is a reaction with the minerals in the water.  The pH is not changed neither is the effectiveness for sanitizing.  The solution is effective for the short contact times given when the pH is not over 3.0.
But if you do use DI water, then you have the visual indicator: cloudiness will mean it's ineffective, without having to check pH.  And you won't need to be making a fresh batch all the time.
Rob Stein
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 02:16:40 PM »
Always make up StarSan with deionized (distilled or RO ) water.   It will last indefinitely in a covered bucket.


Yep, provided pH stays 3 or less. I generally end up dumping mine if the bucket starts accumulating gunk/debris in the bottom. Definitely lasts a long time in distilled water.
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Offline Robert

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 02:24:30 PM »
Always make up StarSan with deionized (distilled or RO ) water.   It will last indefinitely in a covered bucket.


Yep, provided pH stays 3 or less. I generally end up dumping mine if the bucket starts accumulating gunk/debris in the bottom. Definitely lasts a long time in distilled water.
Gunk in the bucket --  that's my cue, too!  Glad I'm not alone.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 03:09:44 PM »
I mix up a gallon with distilled water and use that for my spray bottle but the bucket stuff I use regular tap water and don't worry about the cloudiness.  I've tested a batch 4 weeks later and it was still under 3.0.  For the bucket, I typically on mix up a half batch (2.5 gallons) for sanitizing carboys, kegs, transfer equipment, etc. 

It takes me forever to go through a bottle of star san, brewing 15-20 batches per year.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 04:33:43 PM »
I mix up a gallon with distilled water and use that for my spray bottle but the bucket stuff I use regular tap water and don't worry about the cloudiness.  I've tested a batch 4 weeks later and it was still under 3.0.  For the bucket, I typically on mix up a half batch (2.5 gallons) for sanitizing carboys, kegs, transfer equipment, etc. 

It takes me forever to go through a bottle of star san, brewing 15-20 batches per year.

I think I'm on year 5 (maybe 6) on my jug of StarSan concentrate.  It still is over half full.   ::)

Paul

** Edited stupid typing error.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 05:27:20 PM »
Calcium in your water is what makes a StarSan solution cloudy. RO and distilled water are preferred for making the solution, but you can also use ion-exchange softened water.
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Offline brewer102

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 07:27:00 PM »
Thanks, all.  Why does the metal part of my brush turn black in the solution?

Offline Phil_M

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 07:37:55 PM »
Thanks, all.  Why does the metal part of my brush turn black in the solution?

That's just the acid in star san eating on the cheap pot metal the brush is made from. On that note, don't let any unknown metals soak in star san, I've ruined several ball lock taps that way.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 08:15:30 PM »
Thanks, all.  Why does the metal part of my brush turn black in the solution?

The black is probably iron being turned into iron phosphate. This is like the reaction when you treat steel with phosphoric acid or clean rusty stuff with Naval Jelly. StarSan contains phosphoric acid.
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Offline coolman26

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Re: cloudy starsan
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 11:43:44 PM »
Plus when it turns cloudy it will not have a long shelf life. Only batch I’ve ever had get infected came from using tap. I now do 5 gallons of distilled in a water bottle.


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