Author Topic: Conserving/Storing Starsan  (Read 2734 times)

Offline rylo1984

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Conserving/Storing Starsan
« on: August 11, 2010, 01:33:31 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have just recently converted to Starsan for my sanitizing needs and was wondering if this strategy would work to conserve Starsan:

1.  Mix up 5 gallons of Starsan solution and use to sanitize equipment, utensils, and primary fermenter (6.5 gal. carboy) on brew day.

2.  Pour the 5 gallons of Starsan solution out of the primary fermenter and into the secondary fermenter (5 gal. carboy) and seal secondary fermenter with plug.

3.  When it's time to rack the beer to the secondary, pour the Starsan solution into the keg... let sit for several minutes and then push the solution through the beer line to sanitize the line.

4.  Rack beer into keg, pressurize, etc.

My question is if the Starsan will stay effective through this entire process or if will go bad after a certain amount of time.  I read somewhere that if Starsan is sealed off from the air it will remain effective, so I was hoping that if I stored it in the sealed secondary fermenter it would be OK.

I appreciate your input.

/RyLO

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 01:41:48 PM »
Star San's effectiveness is based off of pH. They always say as long as it's clear, you're good.

Here's the real trick to conserving star san. Mix it up with distilled water. If you do that, you can store the stuff in a bucket/keg for months and constantly re-use.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 01:43:22 PM »
I make Starsan solution in 2 gallon batches and store it in a plastic container.  I use spray bottles to wet down any and all surfaces that will come into contact with wort or beer during the brewing process.  Starsan will store for months at a time and as long as the pH remains at 3 or less will be effective.  If the solution becomes cloudy it's an indication that it is time to dispose of it.  Here's some info.

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/tech/starsan.pdf

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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 01:45:01 PM »
That is how I do it.
Use distilled water and use it over and over.

If you are concerned if it is still effective measure pH.
It should be below 3.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 05:18:22 PM »
Clean everything first.  "You can't sanitize dirt."  Rinse off all the detergent and cleaning solutions with regular water.
Make the starsan solution with distilled water.  It keeps the pH below 3 and the solution remains clear.
If you have alkaline water (like I do), the pH will quickly get above 3 and the solution will become cloudy (and lose effectiveness).
Since I've gone to distilled water--my StarSan solution works better and lasts a lot longer (practically forever).
I also use the thick blue "chemical safe" gloves that go up to mid forearm (I got them at HD--I can't remember if they're PVC, or Nitrile, or what) to prevent skin exposure during the equipment dunking and transfer process.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 06:36:01 PM »
I also use the thick blue "chemical safe" gloves that go up to mid forearm (I got them at HD--I can't remember if they're PVC, or Nitrile, or what) to prevent skin exposure during the equipment dunking and transfer process.

You really think the stuff (at proper ratio) is that bad? I can see with iodophor (fake tan /jk) but I'm surprised with starsan. I figure if I dip a finger in the wort or starter then it's no biggie - I've been sanitized.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 06:55:43 PM »
I'm not too worried about "infecting the beer" if I don't use the gloves--I've sanitized bottles and gear w/o gloves on several times w/o ruining the batch.

It is the toll it takes on my hands and skin--my skin gets rather dry and itchy for the next 24-48 hours if they've spent considerable time in StarSan solution (pH<3).  Sanitizing 50-60 bottles for a 5 gallon batch really takes a toll.

I'll pre-empt:  I've since gone to kegging with just the occasional bottling for comps or sharing.


Offline euge

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 07:25:42 PM »
I use RO water and it lasts for months. Usually, I just do one gallon at a time. Had dead bugs and stuff floating in it before and it still worksed extremely well. I can't say the same for Iodophor. I just use that for bottling. 
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Offline ajk

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 07:49:36 AM »
I also use the thick blue "chemical safe" gloves that go up to mid forearm (I got them at HD--I can't remember if they're PVC, or Nitrile, or what) to prevent skin exposure during the equipment dunking and transfer process.

You really think the stuff (at proper ratio) is that bad? I can see with iodophor (fake tan /jk) but I'm surprised with starsan. I figure if I dip a finger in the wort or starter then it's no biggie - I've been sanitized.

I sanitize my hands with the stuff all the time when working on the cold side.  No ill effects yet.  And without any brain damage-amage-amage-amage-amage ...

Offline saintpierre

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 08:07:49 AM »
Star San's effectiveness is based off of pH. They always say as long as it's clear, you're good.

Here's the real trick to conserving star san. Mix it up with distilled water. If you do that, you can store the stuff in a bucket/keg for months and constantly re-use.

+1 Couldn't have said it any better.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 08:11:52 AM »
I also use the thick blue "chemical safe" gloves that go up to mid forearm (I got them at HD--I can't remember if they're PVC, or Nitrile, or what) to prevent skin exposure during the equipment dunking and transfer process.

You really think the stuff (at proper ratio) is that bad? I can see with iodophor (fake tan /jk) but I'm surprised with starsan. I figure if I dip a finger in the wort or starter then it's no biggie - I've been sanitized.

Basically, it is an acid and will give your hands a nice "chemical peel" if you leave your hands in contact with it long enough.  On the bright side, once the skin is done peeling, you are left with younger more youthful looking hands... :D  If your wife is into that sort of thing, you may be able to save some $$$. 

Seriously, however, I do not think a few minutes here or there is an issue, but when bottling 50 to 100 bottles, and pulling each one out of a bucket of starsan over the course of 2 to 3 hours... that will cause your skin to peel a few days later! 

So like everything in life, just do it in moderation... ;)
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 03:08:06 PM »
I've heard one of the 5-star people has drunk a glass starsan to demonstrate how safe it is.  I don't worry about the starsan on my hands so much as the pbw, my skin doesn't like that stuff.
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Offline ajk

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 05:18:21 PM »
I've heard one of the 5-star people has drunk a glass starsan to demonstrate how safe it is.  I don't worry about the starsan on my hands so much as the pbw, my skin doesn't like that stuff.

I accidentally swallowed a mouthful of StarSan once.  Forgot I'd stored the draft line full of it.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 05:40:42 PM »
OK, no joke - been using Starsan all over the place lately and coincidentally have skin issues with my hands being super dry and peeling. DUH!  Never really connected it until this thread.  ::)
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Offline euge

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Re: Conserving/Storing Starsan
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 06:12:03 PM »
Use some lotion and it'll be ok. Really.
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