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Old 09-19-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
Veronis
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Star San does not melt vinyl hoses or render them unsafe in any way. I use Vinyl hoses (just called my LHBS to verify the hoses I buy there) and leave them in buckets of Star San for sometimes hours at a time while brewing, as they await use. Where did you read about this? I don't know of any brewing equipment that star san can't be used for.

Off the top of my head and to your questions -

Star San will not destroy a counter top once diluted (it would evaporate long before it could cause a problem). In its concentrated form, however, yes it can leave permanent marks; always wipe off the outside of the Star San bottle (sides, bottom, etc.) before putting it down somewhere. At the very least, put it on a plate or in the sink with the water running if you can't wipe it down right away.

Rinse your hands in the sink anytime you handle the bottle/dilute it, just in case you got any concentrated star san on yourself.

I second the note about it drying out your hands. It did for me at first, too, but like Lando, my skin no longer reacts to it at all. I dilute the recommended amount on the bottle (1 oz to 5 gallons water).

Star San's active ingredient is the same acid that's in soda (phosphoric). Yeast will literally eat it. It has no flavor, and some people have racked beer on quite a bit of Star San with no adverse affects, specifically to flavor. I believe John Palmer was one of the people who did a test like this.

It does not affect head retention.

Don't fear the foam. I frequently rack beer onto tons of bubbles/foam that won't drain from a carboy (Star San tends to foam up a lot when shaken/disturbed). No issues at all. The foam helps, if anything - if would-be infection does fall into a carboy, the bubbles are enough to kill it. Don't spit in it to test or anything, but you get the idea.

You can mix up to a concentration of 1 oz to 3 gallons and still be no-rinse. Any more concentrated than that requires rinsing. But, just stick with 1 oz per 5 gallons; 1 oz to 3 gallons is overkill unless you're currently fighting a house germ that's been infecting all your batches.

Tap water (especially hard water) tends to make Star San foggy/cloudy. It doesn't last more than about a day in most ~100 or so ppm tap water. Once star san's pH goes above 3.0, it is no longer effective as a sanitizer. The cloudier the solution, the higher the pH probably is. Now, if you dilute Star San with distilled water or RO (reverse osmosis purified) water, it can last months and months if you only put pre-cleaned items into it (e.g. don't take a hydro reading, empty the thief and then drop it in the star san bucket). I buy 5 gallons of distilled water at the grocery store, keep in a 5 gallon work bucket with lid. Your Star San will last much longer this way, and it will save you money in the long run. If you steal Star San from the bucket, only put it back if you've kept the stolen portion clean.

Water first, then add the Star San, and stir in gently. It mixes readily and the less you splash it the less foam you will need to deal with. Foamy buckets can make hydrometer readings hard because the foam will block your view of the hydrometer in your thief.

Star San is not sticky.

You only need to soak for 30 seconds to sanitize (per the creator of Star San). It says a minute on the bottle because it has to by law. It's not a minute; it's 30 seconds.

Invest in a spray bottle. Fill with diluted distilled-water star san and use it to sanitize things. You can reuse it for months and months. Also, you can unscrew the top and use it to fill airlocks. Much safer than filling with water; similar to filling airlocks with vodka.

If you buy one extra 1 gallon jug of distilled water, you can eyeball a dilution of about 1/4 to 1/5 of an ounce. Mark the jug so no one drinks it and use that for small sanitizing projects like soaking airlocks and rubber bungs in a bowl.

Yes you can store Star San in other plastic containers like soda bottles, etc.

You will splash diluted Star San in your eye at some point. Don't panic. Just flush with water for a minute. I've done this to myself at least twice (I'm an idiot); I can still see fine.

Star San is only effective when wet. If you sanitize something, then let it dry, it is no longer sanitized.

Good call on the vinator. Vinator + star san + bottle tree = easy easy bottling. Drop the caps right in the vinator bowl, and pick em out as you go.

Here's an interview with the creator of Star San that you will probably find very informative. They also discuss bleach.
http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96...6&c_id=1452161

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronis View Post
Tap water (especially hard water) tends to make Star San foggy/cloudy. It doesn't last more than about a day. Once the pH goes above 3, it is no longer effective as a sanitizer. The cloudier the solution, the higher the pH probably is. Now, if you dilute Star San with distilled water or RO (reverse osmosis purified) water, it can last months and months if you only put pre-cleaned items into it. I buy 5 gallons of distilled water at the grocery store, keep in a 5 gallon work bucket with lid. Your Star San will last much longer this way, and it will save you money in the long run. If you steal Star San from the bucket, only put it back if you've kept the stolen portion clean.
This isn't the case. Mine turns cloudy immediately and has a PH of less than 3 for 1-2 months. No infections here.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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Good point. I shouldn't say "it doesn't last more than a day". If you can't test the pH, I wouldn't trust it past a day. Cloudy doesn't necessarily mean the pH is above 3.0.

If you take tap water from three locations and star san them, they will all turn cloudy. Let's say they're 100ppm, 200ppm, and 300ppm water. The cloudiest one (300ppm) is very likely going to have the highest pH.

Star San in distilled water remains crystal clear.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:07 PM   #14
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I find that unless I use distilled water, I can notice a powerful chemical aroma and taste that I don't like in my beer.

I find the easiest way to make StarSan is to take a gallon jug of distilled water and pour out a glug of it, then measure approximately 6ml of StarSan and pour directly into the jug. It stores just fine in there for several months. Pour it into a bucket if you need to, and when you're done pour it back into the jug or a 1-gallon glass jug if you don't trust the PET water jug.

Definitely get a heavy-duty spray bottle and fill it with StarSan. It is incredibly useful not just in brewing but in the kitchen - for sanitizing surfaces like a plastic cutting board after you've had chicken on it, for example. A 32oz spray bottle lasts for a while.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronis View Post
Good point. I shouldn't say "it doesn't last more than a day". If you can't test the pH, I wouldn't trust it past a day. Cloudy doesn't necessarily mean the pH is above 3.0.

If you take tap water from three locations and star san them, they will all turn cloudy. Let's say they're 100ppm, 200ppm, and 300ppm water. The cloudiest one (300ppm) is very likely going to have the highest pH.

Star San in distilled water remains crystal clear.
I always forget to buy distilled water at the store.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #16
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Avoid long exposure of soft metals like aluminum. If you expose aluminum to Star San for very long, it will pit the metal.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #17
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My local water turns milky when I add an ounce of StarSan to 5 gallons of tap water. I have used this same batch for as long as 6 months and it remains at a pH of 2.5. Generally I pitch it out because it is "dirty" (i.e. I drop crap in the bucket or things wash off something I put in the bucket) before the pH ever gets about 2.6 or 2.7. So what does this mean? Get a pH meter or strips if you are concerned about it. You can use them in brewing anyway to measure the pH of your mash and sparge water and adjust with phosphoric acid, if you care. Or just pitch it after a few weeks or months. StarSan is cheap, especially if you buy a gallon like I did in a group buy. I doubt I ever run out and I brew a lot.

Bottom line is the product is inexpensive, lasts a good while, is safe, and is yeast "food" so use it and RDWHAHB!

Cheers!

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Old 09-19-2013, 05:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoLincoln View Post
I've never heard of the vinyl tubing melting thing. ...
Here's the link BTW.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/i-ha...y-hose-324224/

and in response to m3n00b's comment, I only really soak for 30 minutes (more like 50) so that my current sanitiser dissolves fully. It's powder and always has some sediment. Plus I do other things while it's mixing, like get my equipment and ingredient ready to go. I've taken to brewing 3 batches in a day production style and the sanitizer can easily sit for 30 minutes while I fish out the carboys, bottles, whatever from storage. So now instead of being the first thing I do, prepping my sanitizer will be the last thing I do before starting the day.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonebrewer View Post
Store it in a bucket or carboy. Don't store it in a keg or other stainless steel container.
I use swing top bottles! Is Star San bad for steel? will it destroy my bales?
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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My hoses and carboys caps will get slimy if I leave them in StarSan for an extended time (at least overnight). But in normal use, it's not an issue.

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