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Old 09-23-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
dogboysdad
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Default Pushing My Luck?

I was racking some ale a few nights ago and my neighbor stopped by. He nearly lost his mind when he saw me take an empty carboy, rise it with hot tap water, and rack my brew into it. He claims I am just asking to infect an otherwise good batch of beer.

Now, the carboy wasn't exactly dirty. I clean them with Oxyclean and sanitize them with Star-San. After I dump the Stan-San, I cover the top with a plastic bag and rubber band. I store them in the basement like this. I rinse just before using to get that last few tablespoons of old liquid out. I haven't had a problem . . . yet.

Does my sanitation need reevaluating or do you think my method is okay? Should I skip the rinse?

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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Why do you rinse the sanitizer out of it with tap water? You lost me at that point. If you are going to store carboys with a little sanitizer in it, and sealed, then just swirl the carboy and dump it out. That is what is meant by a no rinse sanitizer, afterall

You do run the risk of infecting your carboy when you rinse them with tap water. Plus you've reduced the efficacy of the sanitizer by half. You may have killed stuff with the sanitizer, but when you rinse it away, anything after that comes in contact with the sanitizer is killed...that's the "wet contact" part of it. "No rinse wet contact" is what those sanitizers are, and it means exactly that.

If you mix your starsan with distilled water for your carboy storage, the sanitizer is still as effective as it was on the day you mixed it.

I wouldn't say you are gaurenteed infecting a beer doing what you do, BUT you do up the risk...

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Old 09-23-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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Also READ the Star san lable. It is an ACID based sanitizer and needs to be AIR dry before contacting food or liquid. I wash with Oxy-Clean, sanitize with Star San and the dry them INVERTED on these blue carboy dryer thingys. Carboy Dryer Thingy Once it is dry inside THEN i rack to it either primary or secondary.

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simphoto02 View Post
Also READ the Star san lable. It is an ACID based sanitizer and needs to be AIR dry before contacting food or liquid. I wash with Oxy-Clean, sanitize with Star San and the dry them INVERTED on these blue carboy dryer thingys. Carboy Dryer Thingy Once it is dry inside THEN i rack to it either primary or secondary.

IIRC, The air-dry thing is something that the FDA requires 5-star to put in their instructions. Charlie Tally from 5-star once mentioned that this particular step isn't required. (again I'm going from memory).
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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IIRC, The air-dry thing is something that the FDA requires 5-star to put in their instructions. Charlie Tally from 5-star once mentioned that this particular step isn't required. (again I'm going from memory).
Yep. IIRc it is mentioned in the original podcast on basic brewing posted in this thread; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sani...uestion-54932/

That and the longer than needed contact time printed on the label/instructions are for FDA, but the more effective way is to use it as a no rinse, wet contact sanitizer.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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FDA also doesn't allow him to say it can be re-used.

That was one of the most informative and usefull episodes of Basic Brewing Radio.

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Old 09-24-2010, 01:34 AM   #7
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I store them "wet", that is with some of the foam still in them. When I take them out, there is still some foam, now liquid, still in the carboy. I rinse it out with hot tap water. The thought of month old Star San seemed kind of nasty.

As far as letting it dry, I seem to remember seeing guys here rack into the foam and watching it overflow the carboy or keg.

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Old 09-24-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dogboysdad View Post
I store them "wet", that is with some of the foam still in them. When I take them out, there is still some foam, now liquid, still in the carboy. I rinse it out with hot tap water. The thought of month old Star San seemed kind of nasty.

As far as letting it dry, I seem to remember seeing guys here rack into the foam and watching it overflow the carboy or keg.
I guess the main issues I have with the procedure are:

Why sanitize then store since you feel the need to rinse before use? It would be a net time saver if you simply stored a clean carboy in an unsanitized state and sanitized just before use, eliminating the rinse step.

I know if I were following your procedure, I'd be unsure if my sanitized carboy STAYED sanitized during storage and would just end up sanitizing again anyway.

The other point is that you risk re-contamination from your rinse water. Is this a problem? I dunno....in the pre-star-san days I would use bleach and do a rinse and never had problems so....

In the end, it seems like more work than it has to be, especially if you are using a no-rinse sanitizer. My 0.02
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogboysdad View Post
I store them "wet", that is with some of the foam still in them. When I take them out, there is still some foam, now liquid, still in the carboy. I rinse it out with hot tap water. The thought of month old Star San seemed kind of nasty.

As far as letting it dry, I seem to remember seeing guys here rack into the foam and watching it overflow the carboy or keg.
You mean like the ones found in here? Stupid Starsan Tricks and Why you shouldn't fear the foam.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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You are negating the purpose of the starsan by running unsanitized water into your carboy. Your neighbor is basically right. You're not guaranteeing infection, but you are risking it by defeating the purpose of your sanitizer.

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