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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How long will something stay "Sanitized for use"?
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:08 PM   #11
audger
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im still skeptical about what you said.

imagine you have a completely sealed container. you take a cup of starsan, put it inside, shake it up and coat the entire inside surface with starsan. then you let it sit there and the starsan pool at the bottom. i dont know where the bacteria would be able to get in from. i suppose you could argue that it is suspended in the air inside, but as soon as it touched the inside surface it would be killed because of the starsan residue. even if, by chance, the residue wasnt enough to kill that single bacterium, it would be killed the next time you shook the container and re-wet the surface.

assuming that the starsan didnt go bad while it was in there, i dont get the difference between putting the starsan in the carboy now, versus putting it in later right before you put beer in it. its the same exact sanitizer, regardless of time.

i would even argue that it is better to put it in sooner, as bacteria grow in numbers exponentially. if you do not sanitize the carboy before you store it, you are storing it with a drasticly higher bacterial concentration to start with, which, would have an even better chance to grow.

so for example, if you stored it unsanitized for 10 days, starting with a bacterial count of (pulling number out of thin air for example) 5 million. say they gain 5% per day. that is 81 million bacteria after 10 days. if starsan kills 99.9%, you are left with 814,000 bacteria after you sanitize it before use.

if you start with 5 million bacteria (unsanitized) at day 1 and put sanitizer in there from the begining, you end up starting with 500,000 bacteria. say they grow the same 5% per day, that is 814,000 after 10 days. you then sanitize it to kill 99.9%, leaving only 81,000 bacteria. that is 10 times less bacterial load.

that is all assuming: bacteria can grow at the same rate in a soloution of starsan as they would naturally, which i would question, and that the starsan lost its effectiveness after only a short amount of time, which we know it doesnt. im sure its mostly moot, though, and i am making it way more complicated then necessary. people have been making beer with great results even before starsan was invented ( i know, right!).

thats how it works in my head anyway... its a crazy place in here.

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Old 06-30-2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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A best practice: sanitize immediately before use to avoid any contamination, sure.

But, I will continue to pre-sanitize my bottles. Scientifically, I agree with audger. To further support this case, bacteria/fungi need nutrients and moisture to *proliferate*; they can remain dormant without these things. By cleaning we remove the nutrients (and bioburden) necessary for proliferation, by sanitizing we reduce the bioburden from the item, and by letting the item dry we reduce the moisture.

If we can demonstrate that your method of preparing StarSan remains stable and effective in your conditions, you could go even further by leaving the StarSan in the carboy.

Although not the same method of sanitization, I have seen autoclave sterilized growth media in erlenmeyers remain sterile with foil covers for over a year. Granted, sterile and sanitized are very different terms. My point is that unless you heat a container like this up and cool it down repeatedly, it is not going to suck contaminants inside of it.

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Old 06-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #13
ruralbrew
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I used to leave sanitizer in both my carboys and bottling bucket between uses. Until today. I just went to transfer some wine to a secondary and was going to mix up some sanitizer in the bottling bucket. There was mold growing on the inside. Went to get my carboy. There was a colony of mold floating on top of the sanitizer.
Needless to say everything is getting the living crap bleached out of it, rinsed and sanitized. From now on I store things dry and sanitize before use.
Everyone's situation is different, but trying to keep my equipment "pre-sanitized" didn't work too well for me.

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruralbrew View Post
I used to leave sanitizer in both my carboys and bottling bucket between uses. Until today. I just went to transfer some wine to a secondary and was going to mix up some sanitizer in the bottling bucket. There was mold growing on the inside. Went to get my carboy. There was a colony of mold floating on top of the sanitizer.
Needless to say everything is getting the living crap bleached out of it, rinsed and sanitized. From now on I store things dry and sanitize before use.
Everyone's situation is different, but trying to keep my equipment "pre-sanitized" didn't work too well for me.
Interesting....StarSan? Distilled Water? Covered?
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #15
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Once the ph neutralizes StarSan is a nutrient... tasty food for any random bacterium.

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