Author Topic: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...  (Read 6866 times)

Offline jbutterw

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« on: August 13, 2010, 12:28:42 PM »


So, after I finished off a keg, I cleaned it out and filled it will about two gallons of star-san sanitizer (made with distilled water). I put about 5psi of CO2 pressure in it, and then I decided to leave it like that until I have another batch to put into it.

So....

Question #1: Are there any problems storing star-san in a corny keg for a few months?

Question #2: Any other recommendations for storing a cleaned and sanitized keg?

Also, to clear/clean/sanitize my beer lines, I ran fresh water from a pressurized keg through the lines and out the faucet. Next, I ran some PBW solution out of the keg I was cleaning. Then some more fresh water. Last, I ran some  of the star-san solution through to sanitize. I decided to leave the star-san in the beer line until it was going to be needed again.

So...

Question #3: Is there a problem with storing a beer line with star-san in it?

Question #4: Any other recommendations for storing a cleaned and sanitized beer line?

Thanks in advance for any input!

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 12:46:17 PM »
No problem with storing starsan in a keg, but I always store mine empty and sanitize prior to filling.  A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.  Possibly on Basic Brewing Radio.  So I clean mine, rinse them, and store them until ready to fill.  Then sanitize and fill.  If you're doing it to store starsan though, no problem.  But that two gallons can sanbitize a lot of kegs, so if you are storing all of your kegs with starsan in them you're just wasting it as far as I'm concerned.  YMMV

Beer line is another story.  It's possible that as little starsan as will be in a beer line will be fine, but when I leave hose in a bucket of starsan for too long it starts to break down and get gummy.  So again, I clean lines and store them dry, then sanitize prior to use.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 12:48:15 PM by tschmidlin »
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 01:29:30 PM »
Clean well and store upside down.

Rinse and sanitize before use.

Saves a lot of time and trouble and is just as clean and sanitized as storing w/sanitizer.

Or, do the lazy thing like me...when the keg kicks just leave it sealed and set it to the side. Clean and sanitize right before use.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1843
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 01:35:51 PM »
A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.
I do not buy it.
There is no way what after I sanitize and seal keg that this keg will become unsanitary.
How it would become unsanitary?

I clean, sanitize and seal my kegs till they are ready to be filled.
I have been doing that for about two years.

Do not leave starsan in plastic tubing.
Here I agree with tschmidlin.

By the way you said that you seal your keg with 5 psi of CO2.
If you leave StarSan in the keg, CO2 will get dissolved in StarSan and you will have a pressure drop.
I also do not know what impact would it have on StarSan because dissolved CO2 creates carbonic acid.

Good luck.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline jbutterw

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 01:41:04 PM »


Thanks for all the replies.

Ok, so it sounds like am fine storing star-san in a keg.

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?

Thanks!

Offline jbutterw

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 01:42:28 PM »

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?


By the way, the star-san has been in the beer line for a week now! Is it a lost cause?

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1843
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 01:49:25 PM »

I'm worried about my beer line now though! I need to get home and dump that star-san out of it.

Any ideas on how to tell if the inside of the line is damaged (assuming I'd rather not have to take it apart)?


By the way, the star-san has been in the beer line for a week now! Is it a lost cause?
I am talking from my own experience.
Tubing will eventually hardens again.
It might take 2 weeks or 2 months.
It depends on contact time with StarSan.
Can you replace it?
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline jbutterw

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 01:55:11 PM »
Can you replace it?

I was wondering the same thing! It is a pre-assembled tower set-up. Never dug around in it, but I had been wondering how to detach/attach beer lines to the faucet way up in the top of the tower. There has got to be a way (of course).

Anyway, I can wait two weeks or so for hardening. I'm behind on my brewing!

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2326
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 02:02:15 PM »
My experience is that you should be able to remove the tap from the tower.

The beer line will be attached to a shank with a 90 degree bend.

Disconnect here and at the tap and you should be able to pull a new line through.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 02:18:49 PM »
A sealed empty keg is not sanitary after a while, according to an interview I heard with 5-star.
I do not buy it.
There is no way what after I sanitize and seal keg that this keg will become unsanitary.
How it would become unsanitary?

Well, I'm just guessing, but - sanitary is not sterilized.  So there will be some residual microbes in the keg that could potentially grow on any residue left in the keg, including broken down starsan.  But like I said, I'm just guessing that's what he meant, and I've never tested it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 04:33:15 PM »
Of all the consumables in brewing, plastic tubing one of the cheapest. Replace if there is any question and get back to the reason you home brew, enjoy not worry.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline wfaris

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Lincoln Lagers
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 07:37:04 PM »
I always keep a keg of star san (mixed using RO water) around.  When I need to use a little, I put just enough pressure in the keg to be able to dispense with a picnic tap.  Very handy.  When I am ready to fill a keg with beer, I use a jumper to push the star san into another clean keg and use the just emptied star san keg for the beer.  This way I always have a purged freshly sanitized keg ready to use.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company
Nebraska Brews Since 2002

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 08:08:46 PM »
I always keep a keg of star san (mixed using RO water) around.  When I need to use a little, I put just enough pressure in the keg to be able to dispense with a picnic tap.  Very handy.  When I am ready to fill a keg with beer, I use a jumper to push the star san into another clean keg and use the just emptied star san keg for the beer.  This way I always have a purged freshly sanitized keg ready to use.

Wayne
That's a great method Wayne, because then your keg is full of CO2 and not much else.  I guess there could be a little air in it depending on how full it started, but I like it.  Thanks for the tip.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline mindphlux

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 07:59:08 PM »
I'm a little disappointed in this thread and feel like some of this might be misinformation. I keep a keg full of starsan around, just like wayne, and have never had any problem with sterility. I also don't see how it's possible that a keg sanitized and full of starsan could 'become unsanitary', even if the starsan lost some of its sanitizing power over time. No air or anything else would be getting into the sealed keg, so it seems like the environment would have to remain sanitary. besides, starsan sanitizes based on its acidity correct? I'm not sure what would cause the ph of the solution to change...

Also, I have stored "empty" cleaned keg lines full of star san ever since I started kegging. Routine is, fill a keg with hot PBW solution, run it through the lines, let it sit a day, then run a fair amount of starsan through them to 'rinse' them out, then hang the lines full of starsan to dry. I've never noticed any 'gumminess' or off flavors with any of my kegged beer being run through these lines. could you please somehow substantiate the claim that starsan breaks down beer line? I'm using http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=151 - pretty standard afaik.

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: star san and the storage of kegs and beer lines...
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2010, 09:29:25 PM »
Y'all are freakin' out over nothing. RDWHAHB.

 When the Tubercle started brewing 20+ years ago he was worried where he could find some SCUBA gear so he wouldn't breathe his nasty breath in the same room as the wort because he read all the crazy warnings. I'm telling you now; understand the difference between clean, sanitary, and sterilized. Learn and understand these concepts.

  Clean - no visible residue
  Sanitary - bad bugs below a level to do any harm
  Sterilized - don't worry about it because you can't afford it.

 Just simply clean and store your equipment dry after use. Sanitize with a one minute or so contact with star-san or your choice of sanitizer before use as long as it ain't Clorox. A keg or hose that has been cleaned and stored full of star-san is no more sanitary than the same that has been cleaned and stored dry and sanitized right before use.

  Enjoy your craft and spend sleepless nights thinking about your next recipe.

  If storing a hose in star-san causes you concern then the simplest solution (pun intended) is not to do it. CLEAN it with running water after use and hang it up to dry. Run some star-san through it before the next use and you're set. Same with a keg or any other equipment.

 Youngun's these days...<sigh>

  Tubercle is only here to help.
 
 
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee