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Old 09-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default New to Star San - Please give me warnings

I usually use one step (hydrogen peroxide) since that was all that was available until recently and I just got me hands on some star san. I'm trying to figure out how best to change my process to use it. And was wondering what I'll destroy if I get it wrong. Please give me any warnings.

Fer instance, i just read a post about how star san will melt vinyl tubing and turn it into soap. And that's significant since my process was generally to fill my bottling bucket with sterilizer and then my hose, funnel, airlocks, bungs, etc for over 30 minutes. And then drain partially, cap the bucket and then shake it around before draining the rest. I also used to rinse but I can drop that with star san. Thing is, I would have destroyed my hose and (i dunno) maybe exposed my beer to some plastic toxins.

I don't have a silicon hose yet, and it seems I'll have to order that online. That not an issue with silicone? what about rubber bungs or plastics in the funnel?

I also plan to create a 5 gallon batch and store it in an extra carboy with a rubber bung capping it, covered with an old T shirt. When needed I'll just siphon off a gallon for use (now that I have a vinator, I'll need a lot less), and then dump it back into the carboy for future use.

So, please take me to school and tell me how not to destroy my stuff. BTW, my current sterilizer is sticky so small drippings on the floor manage to track everywhere so I use old towels in the kitchen floor in case there are and incidents. Have one on the counter where the bottling bucket resides. I use the bottling bucket to 'drop' the wort via a tub into a glass carboy which is very effective at aerating the wort and also lowers the temp. Is star san sticky too? Will it destroy a counter top AFTER it's been mixed with water?

Thanks



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Old 09-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
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Also, does it matter if I mix up 2.5 gallons of the stuff and store in a 5 gallon carboy? Or can I store in old 2 liter pop bottles?



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Old 09-19-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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Don't fear the foam! For instance, when bottling I give the inverted bottle a squirt or two, let the excess drip out, and then immediately fill the bottle. I bought an empty squirt bottle at wally world and keep some mixed all the time. SWIMBO likes to use it to sanitize the kitchen counters after cleaning it. Others have kept buckets of it around for weeks with no problems.

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Old 09-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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I've never heard of the vinyl tubing melting thing. Maybe if you store the vinyl tubing in a working solution of Star San it would do that over a period of weeks or something. I've used Star San to sanitize vinyl tubing before on bottling days. Never had a problem.

Star San in working solution form is pretty mild. I've never stained anything with it, and I spray that stuff all over the place on brew days. You should be careful with it in concentrated form, of course.

I'd go with a five gallon plastic bucket with a lid for your working solution. Using it from a carboy wouldn't be as useful, since it's helpful to dunk things in it. And also get a spray bottle and store some in there. It's helpful to spray down your hands and other things that can't be dunked in the bucket.

My hands got really dry after using Star San for the first few times, but now it doesn't bother my hands anymore.

I have hard water at my house, so I use distilled water whenever I make up a new batch of Star San.

Don't fear the foam!

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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When I leave my tubing in my blow off bottle for a week it gets a little slimy. Also you don't need to soak things in San for 30 minutes. 2 minutes is more than enough.

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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I dunno about this melting plastics like vinyl. I have had StarSan in a homer bucket for 6 months and not had any issues with it. I typically store my carboys filled with StarSan solution, pour it into homers when I am using the carboys, and then back when done. I test the solution periodically with a pH meter and get rid of it when it starts to apprach a pH of 3.

StarSan is an acid, weak, but none the less an acid. It is not sticky. I would not let it sit for any significant amount of time on any surface I cared about, though I have never had an issue with it.

Store it in a bucket or carboy. Don't store it in a keg or other stainless steel container.

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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with distilled water it will last a long time if it gets milky make a new batch

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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I use it on vinyl all the time, no problems for me.

Don't use it above 120F. Not sure why, but i've even called 5-star and they said the same w/o stating why....

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Mine starts out "milky" because it interacts with something in my water. Never had a problem with it...

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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I have called star san. They told me that as long as the ph in the star san/ water mix is below 3.0, it is effective. And that if I don't have ph strips then about 3 months storage in a 5 gal bucket is good. Thats what I do. No slimyness so far. Hope this helps!



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