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Old 03-16-2008, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default Star San?

What is the reason the star san turns cloudy? Is it done?



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Old 03-16-2008, 01:34 AM   #2
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The minerals in water do that. It's still good if you can whip up some foam. RO water will not do that.



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Old 03-16-2008, 01:39 AM   #3
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Thank you sir!

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Old 03-16-2008, 03:56 AM   #4
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My understanding was that you shoudln't use it once it turns cloudy as that was an indication the pH was too high and it was no longer effective. Mine will last about 6 weeks before it starts to get cloudy, I then toss it and make another batch.

Theres a podcast about using Star San by its creator over at Basic Brewing Radio.
http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=basic-brewing-radio-2007. Alot of usefull information about how to use my second favourite sanitizer/cleaner bleach there as well.

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Old 03-16-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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GT,

problem is, freshly mixed star san from my tap water is ALWAYS cloudy. I have a higher pH and lots of bicarbonate in my tap water, which causes this.

For people like me, I recommend either a simple acid titration kit (like what you'd use for wine making) or just some simple paper test strips.

I believe as long as the solution stays under pH 3.4, its still plenty active.

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Old 03-16-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
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From the man himself:
http://www.realbeer.com/discussions/showthread.php?pagenumber=2&perpage=15&threadid=10 932

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Talley
First it is still active as long as the pH is below 3, and the solution is clear. When the solution turns cloudy the soap in Star San has reacted with the mineral in the make-up water and has made the final solution useless.
If your starsan is turning cloudy as soon as you make it malkore, you may very well not be sanitizing effectively. IIRC, talley recommends mixing it up with distilled or RO water for longest life, and if you can't get ANY life out of it with your tap water, you may be forced to go that route.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #7
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If it was the minerals in the water. Do you think my standard mechanical water filter will do? (It is not RO). I would imagine it would help.

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Old 03-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #8
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Most standard filters take out rust and scale, possibly chlorine and chloraines, they don't reduce the level of bicarbonates. If your tap water makes your Star San solution cloudy, regardless of ph or foam it is ineffective, you will need to find a water with a low level of bicarbonates. I've found the cheapest place it an aquatics centre, they usually sell RO water by the gallon to fill aquariums, just take along a corni keg or jerry can.

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Old 03-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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I have hard water at my house and star-san mixed up with that water will immediately turn cloudy as well. If i use the water that's been through my water softener then it will last for months.

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #10
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Malkore is correct, as long as the pH is below 3.4, it doesn't mater if it is cloudy or not. StarSan contains phosphoric acid which will react with Calcium to form insoluble Calcium Phosphate, which is why it becomes cloudy. Mine is always cloudy and I've checked the pH numerous times and it has always been below 3.4. I've never had a problem.

If you want to reduce the calcium in your water you can simply add a little food grade phosphoric acid, give it a good mix and let it settle overnight.



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