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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Sanitation: How long does Star-San stay good for (mixed up)?
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Sanitation: How long does Star-San stay good for (mixed up)?

Searched the forums and Star San's website, but I could not find out how long mixed up Star San can sit for while still being effective. I'd like to keep a spray bottle of it on hand, but I don't want to sanitize something with it awhile later only to find gunk growing in my beer! Also, can I store stuff in Star San (such as transfer tubing so I don't have to mix up new sanitizer just to rack)?

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:33 AM   #2
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Make it from de-mineralized water (reverse osmosis, distilled) and it will last for months and months. According to the manufacturer, as long as it is clear (not cloudy) and the solution is below a pH of 3.5, it is effective. According to these criteria, I have kept it stored for at least 6 months with no degradation.

Also, if you are sanitizing immaculately clean items, it can be reused over and over with very little degradation. I have a bottling bucket in which I mix up about 4 gals of Star San solution. The tap on the bottom of the bucket is good for dispensing (e.g., to a spray bottle) and the bucket is big enough to dunk most equipment. That stuff is pure magic!

I wouldn't recommend storing much in there (especially not vinyl tubing). Star San reacts with vinyl and nylon over time, and it will degrade the solution and cloud your tubing. It might also make nylon quite brittle. Having said this, some claim to do it with great success.

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:09 AM   #3
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This is just what I was looking for. Somebody help me with this idea:

Bottling day - 5 gal Star San solution in bottling bucket, rinse everything, empty Star San into other bucket. After emptying fermentor, wash it out, pour sanitizer in, wait for next brew day.

Would this work? It would probably cut the money spent on Star San in half. And that stuff is expensive!

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Old 06-13-2010, 02:37 AM   #4
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I have 3 buckets with with 4 gals of Star San in each. I brew 5 gals every weekend. All I ever have to do is top off the buckets from time to time. I use about 4 oz a year.

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Old 06-13-2010, 04:16 AM   #5
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That sounds great! Any other opinions? (I'm sure somebody is going to try to shoot this down.)

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Old 06-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by millsware View Post
That sounds great! Any other opinions? (I'm sure somebody is going to try to shoot this down.)

You'll be fine doing it that way.

Personally I picked up a 5gal bucket at lowes to use for Starsan solution specifically. I prefer to have a separate bucket so that when I'm sanitizing my equipment I don't need to be cautious of scratching the bucket that the sanitizer is in.
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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arrowhead bottles work great. also keeps em sanitary when i get ro water from the machine.

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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I just use the plastic cat litter tubs/buckets.

Three buckets fills my cooler for sanitizing my bottles when time to bottle. I dump it in the cooler, submerge the 30 bottles and then wait one minute. I pull them out, drain them and do 25 more. More than enough bottle for 5 gallons in less than 10 minutes total.
Afterwards it goes back in the buckets and they are stacked in the brew room for the next time it's needed.

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Old 06-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millsware View Post
This is just what I was looking for. Somebody help me with this idea:

Bottling day - 5 gal Star San solution in bottling bucket, rinse everything, empty Star San into other bucket. After emptying fermentor, wash it out, pour sanitizer in, wait for next brew day.

Would this work? It would probably cut the money spent on Star San in half. And that stuff is expensive!
I always wondered why people complained about the price of StarSan. You're mixing up 5 gallons of it on bottling day?!! Then just pouring it out?

Even before I started saving it, I found that 1 gallon is more than enough on brew day or bottling day.

Now I keep 2 gallon containers full, using one for rinsing and the other for topping up any losses and filling the spray bottle; whenever that 2nd one gets empty or cloudy, I buy another gallon of distilled water and mix up another gallon.

EDIT: Bottle sanitizing procedure: bottles are already clean. I put the gallon of starsan into the bottling bucket, with the wand attached. Take each bottle, fill it 1/2" or so off the wand, thumb over top, shake shake shake, pour it back into the bucket while dipping the neck where my thumb was in sanitizer.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:48 AM   #10
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I mix up a 5 gallon batch of Star-San with plain tap water, and keep it in a designated corney keg with just enough co2 pressure to keep the lid sealed. I have a picnic faucet hooked up, so when I need some... I just add a little pressure and dispense it into a bucket. It keeps well, and it lasts me a long long time. I probably use about a half gallon per brew day. If it is still pristine after I use it on brew day...meaning I didn't accidentally dump wort or something in the bucket...then I pour it back in the keg.

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