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Old 11-23-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
tjcavitt
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Default StarSan - How long is a batch effective?

I was curious if anyone had any practical experience using a batch of StarSan for an extended period of time. I have used the same batch of StarSan from my brew day up to 3 weeks later without any problems but usually throw it out after that. Any experience with it lasting longer? I've heard stories of people using a batch for months but feel it is brewing urban legend . . . like 90% efficiency.

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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Found a post on another forum by Charlie Talley, the Starsan man himself:

Star San is based on phosphoric acid, being an acid is is very friendly to s/s. When storing the use solution of Star San keep these things in mind. 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. A good way of getting around this is to make up the Star San up with D.I. Water.

Keeping Star is plastic or in Stainless Steel is OK as long as the first two comments are met.

Star San will kill just about every organism known to man in 30 seconds.

And last but not least is the foam. Since Star San will not kill when the pH goes above 3 any small amount left in a bottle or a keg will not stop the furmentation process and it is safe to drink the beer that is what comes out of the package. That is why Star San has a no rinse claim.

Oh one more thing Star San is an acid and it will make a mess of counter-tops and rugs if it is spilled on them be carfull when using it.

Charlie

And, I've gotten over 90% efficiency before, with a combination of BIAB and a triple decoction.

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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Charlie sounds drunk.

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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As far as 90% efficiency being urban brewing legend, I achieved 89% on my third all-grain batch. It would have been higher, but my kettle was full and I was still getting 1.020 from the sparge.

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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I'd be drunk too if I were Charlie.

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Old 11-23-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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I'm drunk and I'm not Charlie. More power to drunk Charlie. But not my dog Charlie. He likes to piss on the floor when he's drunk.

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Old 11-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the quick reply. I am using tap water and placing it in a plastic fermenting bucket (lid on) for storage. It's cheap enough to make it often enough, just thinking about a way to save it longer.

I should have probably mentioned 90% efficiency batch sparging . . .

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Old 11-23-2010, 11:20 PM   #8
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I had star-san damage a countertop, so be wary of that. Fortunately it's a super cheap countertop... I throw a towel over it when I bottle now.

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Old 11-23-2010, 11:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcavitt View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I am using tap water and placing it in a plastic fermenting bucket (lid on) for storage. It's cheap enough to make it often enough, just thinking about a way to save it longer.

I should have probably mentioned 90% efficiency batch sparging . . .
I would recommended using distilled or RO water if you want to store a Star San solution.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:54 AM   #10
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I've seen several threads in the past couple weeks asking the same question.
Bottom line is that your tap water is most likely different than mine and different than many others. So what works for them may not work for you.
Also, the idea that "I've kept if for XX weeks and had no problems", may just mean that you have been lucky. Without testing it, you don't really know what has happened to the effectiveness.

Personally, I buy 2.5 gallon jugs of distilled water and mix StarSan right into the jug. I use that ONLY to fill spray bottles, nothing goes back into the jug that could carry contaminants. I spray most things A LOT to sanitize. 2.5 gallons lasts a very long time like this. I check the PH occasionally and have never saw it over 3. Typically a quart spray bottle of mixed starsan will last me for a brew day. So a quart of concentrated StarSan will last me a VERY long time.

Occasionally, I host a "brew" and have 5 or 6 guest brewers over. On those days, I mix 5 gallons of starsan with tap water for everyone to soak/dip/rinse their stuff in as needed. That gets dumped at the end of the day.

Bottom line, if you are gonna keep it, used Distilled Water to mix it.

It's cheap insurance... you're gonna kick yourself if you end up with a problem and after chasing all the possible reasons find it's because you tried to save a couple pennys.

Ed

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