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Old 05-28-2009, 02:40 AM   #1
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Default Star San question

Let me start this off by saying I am very new to the brewing process. I just purchased some Star San to replace the One Step that came with my brewing equipment and I have a few questions.

If I mix up a batch of Star San and put some of it in a spray bottle how long will it last in the bottle?

Also when sanitizing my bottles I have one of the sanitizers that can be attached to the top of my bottle tree. The directions on the Star San says it should remain in contact for a minimum of three minutes. If I use this type of sanitizer will I get enough contact time before it runs/drys out of the bottle?

A similar question to the bottle question, when it comes time to sanitize my bottling or fermentation bucket can I do this by completely spraying the inside with a spray bottle? Or should I just make a batch big enough to fill the entire bucket?

When using the Star San I know it is a no rise sanitizer but should I wait for it to dry completely or will it effect my beer if I put it in the bottles or bucket while it is still wet?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:47 AM   #2
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Probably every question you could have about starsan is discussed here.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sani...tizer+question

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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starsan will last quite a while. at least a couple months unless your water is really hard I think. 3 minutes is what is on the label, but the dude who invented the stuff says 30 seconds is actually all that is needed. I think the labeling specifies that the dried film is a protective barrier to some extent.

Don't worry about rinsing, just drain it fairly well.

and "don't fear the foam!"

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:49 AM   #4
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My goodness, that is a lot of questions.
How long it will last mixed is dependent on the water you use. If you use distilled water it will last for weeks or months. If you use tap it might last anywhere from a day to a few days.

A few blasts of the vintner is all it takes. (Don't bother trying to use it on top of the tree, it's not stable. I just put in on the table next to the tree.)

Star San is a wet sanitizer. As long as it's wet it's working. No need to let it dry. In fact you want it to stay wet.

Put a 1/2 gallon or so of sanitizer in your bucket, snap the lid on, and shake it around to sanitize. You can use the spray bottle but it takes a lot longer spraying than to give it a shake.

Don't forget to spray your bottle tree with sanitizer before using.

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:51 AM   #5
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It lasts a long time, someone will chime in about its PH level or some crap. But I do know if mixed properly and sealed in a spray bottle you can get a month or more out of it. Just shake it up before each use.

Yes using one of the bottle tree style sprayers is fine, just make sure they are well rinsed prior to using it. Once you spray them up just shove em on the tree, many people do 12 or so at a time so they do not dry out. Once they dry out, they could allow airborne bacteria to cling to them.

I usually mix up a 5 gallon batch in a bucket, then transfer some into each vessel I need sanitized. I then put the lid on, (or hand over carboy hole) and shake it all up until its foamy. Then I pour the excess off and flip em upside down until I fill them, which is usually fairly soon. Way before they dry anyhow. Drying is bad.

As they say around here "don't fear the foam" never rinse the starsan out and always fill into a wet container. My bottles when filling usually have a small bunch of starsan foam forced up and out as they near the top.

As a side note, the makers of starsan posted a video up of the owner mixing up and actually drinking the starsan to prove how safe it is. As long as its mixed properly of course.

Don't FEAR IT!

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Old 05-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for the answers, guess I'll start working my way though the link posted above. Also thinks for the tips on the the 1/2 gallon in the containers and shaking. And I know its pretty obvious but I never thought about sanatizing the bottle tree before putting the bottles on it. Very obvious but I would have over looked it. Luckily I won't need to put my beer in the bottles until Sunday.

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleforge View Post
It lasts a long time, someone will chime in about its PH level or some crap.
You're right, someone WILL chime in about pH. Might as well be me!!

The following is a quote from the StarSan tech sheet on the Five Star Chemicals website:
"Solution must remain at a pH at 3 or below to maintain proper sanitizing level."

Before assuming that StarSan will remain at or below pH3 for a month or more, simply test it every so often.

This also from the Five Star website"
"Sanitizers Will NOT WORK in presence of alkali cleaners."

Make sure cleaners are well rinsed from surfaces before using StarSan.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Hehe, I knew it was bound to happen. I couldn't imagine brewing without starsan I love it so much!

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Old 05-28-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Hehe, I knew it was bound to happen. I couldn't imagine brewing without starsan I love it so much!
Hey Aleforge
I also use Starsan and love it. I think that it's important to use the product as it is intended.

I can't understand why you find that humorous.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleforge View Post
It lasts a long time, someone will chime in about its PH level or some crap. <snip>

Don't FEAR IT!
I might interject that pH is not " some crap." pH is a measure of acidity / alkalinity, on a scale from 1-14, just like a thermometer measures temperature. pH is a scientific measurement, like the scale on a hydrometer or a refractometer, not "cloudy / not cloudy" or "OOOOOO, pretty! Bubbles in my airlock!"

Some concession to accuracy needs to be made before going very far in this pastime, and the only accurate measure of Star San's ability to sanitize is its pH level, which needs to be ≤3*. A tube of pH test strips can be purchased at most homebrew suppliers for a few bucks.

* The symbol ≤ means "less than or equal to."
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