Author Topic: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?  (Read 15156 times)

Offline pyrite

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Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« on: November 13, 2010, 10:54:11 PM »
I just ran-out of starsan sanitizer.  I have to transfer some beer, and apple cider from the primary containers over to some corny kegs for aging and conditioning.  Can I used house hold bleach to sanitize the stainless steel corny kegs.  I'm thinking, If I rinse the corny's after sanitizing them with the chlorine bleach, the metal and the beer flavor should be okay..Right?

Does this sound okay?    
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 11:29:16 PM »
Chlorine bleach is ok to use as long as it does not have any added scents.  The main thing to remember is to rinse, rinse, rinse.  Any traces of bleach will end up contaminating your brews.

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Offline euge

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 12:13:28 AM »
I just ran-out of starsan sanitizer.  I have to transfer some beer, and apple cider from the primary containers over to some corny kegs for aging and conditioning.  Can I used house hold bleach to sanitize the stainless steel corny kegs.  I'm thinking, If I rinse the corny's after sanitizing them with the chlorine bleach, the metal and the beer flavor should be okay..Right?

Does this sound okay?    

No!

Bleach is corrosive to Stainless.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 04:18:50 AM »
To quote Euge..


 No!

 Just fill them full of hot (180f+) water, wait 5 minutes and dump.
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Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 04:30:53 AM »
My bleach story is a sad one.

We used to sanitize our glass with bleach.  Made a Belgian Dubbel one day and fermented in a bleached carboy.  When we tasted the beer it was my first introduction to chlorophenol--the wet Band-Aid flavor.  Killed an entire 10-gallon batch of what would have been awesome beer.  After that day we banished bleach from the brewery forever.  It's either Iodophor or PBW for everything.  I strongly recommend deep cleaning with PBW, especially stainless kegs.  Leave it overnight or for a couple of days.  Sparkling clean on the inside.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 05:41:42 AM »
Bleach and stainless steel don't mix. Don't use it on stainless.  Don't use it on any metals. 

Other than that bleach is an effective cleaner and sanitizer.  The important part is rinsing the bleach out/off after sanitizing.  A good triple rinse will do the trick.

I've been cleaning and sanitizing glass carboys, bottles, bottling buckets and racking lines with bleach for 20+ years with no problems - ever. 

Did I mention you need to rinse well?

I just bought 3 gallons of Chlorox at Costco for under $6.  That's enough for a year's worth of sanitizing.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 06:50:48 AM »
The problem with bleach and rinsing is that if your rinse water is not sanitary you are right back where you started.


 If the rinse water is not causing any problems why not just rinse hot and skip the bleach.


 Just saying....
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 06:54:08 AM by tubercle »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 01:20:51 PM »
Like others have said, bleach and stainless is a no-no. That said, your stainless can probably survive and application of two. Iodine would be a better solution.

That said, I used bleach to sanitize carboys, buckets and bottles for years and years. I did rinse with hot tap water and never had a problem. Really, sanitizing is kinda like an extra precaution. If your stuff is clean it is probably good to go, even rinsed with tap water. Tap water is sanitary enough for you to drink straight from the tap so you can safely use it to rinse without too much concern of infection. Is it ideal? Absolutely not. But you would probably going to be fine. I can attest that it worked for me for years and years.

Of course, now that I know better I never let myself run out of star san. The no rinse and added assurance is just too easy and convenient.  ;)

Offline Mikey

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 01:48:06 PM »
Bleach is fine as long as you don't let it soak for extended periods of time. I remember being in a small brewery and the assistant had just come back from the supermarket with several bottles of bleach. The head brewer told me that's all they ever use and stainless was everywhere.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 01:56:50 PM by Mikey »

Offline bluesman

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 01:52:32 PM »
If it's a one shot deal you'll be okay considering the low concentration one uses for sanitizing.

Agreed though as the other posters have indicated it can have a detrimental effect on the SS in the long term.
But in a pinch you'll be okay.  ;)

Next chance you get pick up a bottle of starsan or onestep. I get the large bottle of starsan as it lasts quite a while for me.

Good Luck!
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 02:53:15 PM »
I'm on the side that bleach is fine to use, even on stainless.

That said, long term use will pit the stainless, and is not good. 

DO NOT STORE bleach in stainless.

be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent problems with your beer.  For occasional and "emergency" (you don't have another sanitizer on hand, go ahead and use bleach.

I use starsan for all my personal use.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2010, 03:34:56 PM »
I love having a keg full of StarSan available, but it would NEVER be a keg full of bleach solution. As stated below, DO NOT store bleach or diluted solutions in stainless. Also, don't mix it too strong.

The following is a quote from Palmer's site:

"Bleach
The cheapest and most readily available sanitizing solution is made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water (4 ml per liter). Let the items soak for 20 minutes, and then drain. Rinsing is supposedly not necessary at this concentration, but many brewers, myself included, rinse with some boiled water anyway to be sure of no off-flavors from the chlorine."

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 05:01:12 PM »
I think most of us are on the same page re this issue. While bleach is a good sanitizer, it should be thoroughly rinsed (to avoid pitting of stainless, to avoid potential off flavors in our beer). Rinsing with tap water is 'usually' ok, but given the availability of excellent no-rinse sanitizer there is little reason to use bleach, and a number of reasons not to. That said, in a pinch ya do what ya got to do, and use of bleach isn't the end of the world or the end of your beer.

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Offline chezteth

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2010, 05:14:54 PM »
No!

Bleach is corrosive to Stainless.

I should have paid closer attention to the detail about the corny keg.  Everyone who said not to use bleach on metal is correct.  If you are going to use it on glass that is another story.  Even though I would not recommend it because you have to be sure it is rinsed very well.  Sorry for the mix up.   :(

Brandon

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Re: Out of Starsan sanitizer is chlorine bleach okay?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2010, 05:40:18 PM »
The following is a quote from Palmer's site:

"Bleach
The cheapest and most readily available sanitizing solution is made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water (4 ml per liter). Let the items soak for 20 minutes, and then drain. Rinsing is supposedly not necessary at this concentration, but many brewers, myself included, rinse with some boiled water anyway to be sure of no off-flavors from the chlorine."

Also from John's website..

"As with aluminum, the corrosion inhibitor in stainless steel is the passive oxide layer that protects the surface. The 300-series alloys (a.k.a. 18-8 alloys) commonly used in the brewing industry are very corrosion-resistant to most chemicals. Unfortunately, chlorine is one of the few chemicals to which these steels are not resistant. The chlorine in bleach acts to destabilize the passive oxide layer on steel, creating corrosion pits. This type of attack is accelerated by localization and is generally known as crevice or pitting corrosion.

Many brewers have experienced pinholes in stainless-steel vessels that have been filled with a bleach-water solution and left to soak for several days. On a microscopic scale, a scratch or crevice from a gasket can present a localized area where the surface oxide can be destabilized by the chlorine. The chlorides can combine with the oxygen, both in the water and on the steel surface, to form chlorite ions, depleting that local area of protection. If the water is not circulating, the crevice becomes a tiny, highly active site relative to the more passive stainless steel around it and corrodes. The same thing can happen at the liquid surface if the pot is only half full of bleach solution. A dry stable area above, a less stable but very large area below, and the crevice corrosion occurs at the waterline. Usually this type of corrosion will manifest as pitting or pinholes because of the accelerating effect of localization."
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