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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Do you rinse Star-San?
View Poll Results: Star-San Users: When bottling, do you rinse out your star-san?
Yes, just to be safe 11 18.03%
No, why bother? 46 75.41%
What's star-san? 4 6.56%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-18-2007, 08:48 AM   #1
FlyGuy
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Default Do you rinse Star-San?

A guy that my brother-in-law works with is a very experienced, and very accomplished homebrewer (wins more competitions than anyone I know, BJCP judge, one of very few BJCP instructors in Canada, etc., etc.). Anyways, after ALWAYS rinsing star-san out of his bottles, he now decided to not bother. It is supposed to be a 'no-rinse' sanitizer, after all. But now he claims all the beer in the bottles he didn't rinse (across various batches) have a 'steely' taste, not unlike the smell of star-san.

So, does anyone bother rinsing star-san? Has anyone had problems NOT rinsing star-san? I never rinse it off anything, but then again, there are always enough flaws in my beers that I wouldn't notice this 'steely' taste.

Of course, now me, my brother-in-law, and his co-worker are all going to brew up a batch, bottle part of it, and rinse only half of the bottles sanitized with star-san to see what's up.


Last edited by FlyGuy; 03-18-2007 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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Never rinsed the stuff. Never noticed any off flavors in my beer. If it is mixed according to the instructions on the bottle you should not need to rinse and there should be no noticeable affect on the beer.

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:13 PM   #3
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Starsan Rocks! I never rinse, I just rack on the foam.

My beer is excellent. Life is good!

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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It's a no rinse sanitizer. I haven't noticed any off-flavors. Why pay for a no-rinse sanitizer if you're gonna go through the trouble of rinsing it? You might as well use bleach and save the money.

Your friend might want to ease up on the amount he is using maybe.??? Dilute it a little bit more.

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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I always put my bottles through the dishwasher first. Run an empty cycle first without bottles to clean the dishwasher. Then bottles in, set on hi-temp wash and sanitize. THEN, i dunk them in a tub of sanitizer water and put them back on the clean dishwasher rack so they're ready to fill.

As for any off tastes, I've never noticed any.

I would think that rinsing would defeat the purpose of using the sanitizer in the first place and would greatly increase the chance of a sanitized item becoming unsanitary.

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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While it is a no-rinse sanitizer it will be a nice empirical determination that you, your brother, and his colleague are set to undertake. Maybe his palette is simply more sensitive than most and that's why his beers win so many competitions. I use SaniClean and Iodophor and never rinsed and haven't noticed any problems but maybe my palette isn't as sensitive as I've worked in some form of a molecular lab for 19 years and have likely fried my olfactory senses with all the volatile chemicals.

I do remember when a guy did a similar experiment with BTF Iodophor and simply diluted some into a mega-swill at different ppm from 0 to 12.5 up to 3 or 4 times that and had friends sample the beers. It wasn't until the ppm were way up there that they began to notice the iodophor but down at the recommended 12.5 ppm not a single person could smell or taste the iodophor.

Keep us posted.

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #7
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Yeah, I don't rinse either, which seems to be the concensus.

And I should have also mentioned that my BIL's colleague isn't sure that the culprit of his off-tasting beers is star-san, but he highly suspects it because he can't think of anything else that has changed in his routine. He typically makes 6 gallon batches, and kegs 4 or 5, and puts the rest into bottles for competitions - the wierd part is that the kegged beer tastes perfectly fine and only the recent bottles are the ones that are 'off'.

Anyways, thanks for the feedback -- all the more reason to 'do the experiment'!

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:49 PM   #8
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Never rinsed and I have a fairly sensitive palate; never noticed even a hint of steel or any other off flavors that I could attribute to the sanitizer. Just my own mistakes




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Old 03-18-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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I have an idea that might be useful. Why not save your homebrew and simply rinse and no-rinse a few bottles and go buy a Mega-swill 12 pack and pour them into your rinsed and non-rinse bottles and then taste test. Most of the mega-swills are so lacking in flavour that not many flaws can be hidden in those beers so that might be an idea to save your HB since the kegged beer tastes good. Did he stop rinsing the kegs too? Metallic ..........? Can't remember but someone here posted what might be the culprit or cause.

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Old 03-18-2007, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runhard
I have an idea that might be useful. Why not save your homebrew and simply rinse and no-rinse a few bottles and go buy a Mega-swill 12 pack and pour them into your rinsed and non-rinse bottles and then taste test. Most of the mega-swills are so lacking in flavour that not many flaws can be hidden in those beers so that might be an idea to save your HB since the kegged beer tastes good. Did he stop rinsing the kegs too? Metallic ..........? Can't remember but someone here posted what might be the culprit or cause.
Yeah, that little experiment might work, too. But I am not sure whether I can bring myself to pay money for BMC swill! For now, I won't change my bottling routine except to always do a few bottles that have been rinsed for comparison.

And actually, the guy claims that he didn't rinse the kegs or bottles, yet only the bottles had the off flavour. He was thinking that it has to do with the surface-area to volume ratio (which could be valid), but I am still unsure. There are enough differences between bottling and kegging that could be the culprit (e.g., method of priming, method of washing bottles, etc.). He also admits this, but the star-san seems the likely culprit to him. But I guess we can test that hypothesis fairly easily!

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