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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Switching to Star San
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default Switching to Star San

Based on all the recommendations I have received, I am thinking of making the switch from 1 Step to Star San. I saw some videos of it's usage online. It looks like it is quite foamy. I realize it is no rinse but from what I can see people are racking beer right into the foam. Couldn't this be harmful to the beer or the people drinking the beer?

If I santize my corny keg with it, it's OK to rack the beer into with all the foam or should I rinse out the foam prior to putting beer into it?

I've heard rave reviews of Star San but I've been using 1 Step for 10 years so I'm apprehensive to make the switch.

Thanks!

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #2
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Default 2nd part to question

I also forgot to ask....I have also read that having hard water can affect the Star San's effectiveness. Without have testing equipment available, I can tell you we have a water softener. Would that be enough to make it effective?

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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There is a saying associated with Star San: "Don't fear the foam!"

The StarSan will be so diluted by the beer that you wont taste it, and it will not be harmful to humans. You also don't need to worry about it when racking your wort to a carboy or bucket. Starsan purportedly breaks down into yeast nutrient. Do not rinse a container after it has been sanitized with StarSan, or all your work will be for naught.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grinnan5150 View Post
I also forgot to ask....I have also read that having hard water can affect the Star San's effectiveness. Without have testing equipment available, I can tell you we have a water softener. Would that be enough to make it effective?
The general rule of thumb, if you do not have a PH meter, is that once it is coudy it is no good. Now, if your tap water is as bad as mine and the StarSan solution is always cloudy I would probably use it for no more than a couple of days. A cheap way to keep StarSan around for a while is to make a solution of it using Distilled (DI) water.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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I have never had any issue with the foam and off flavors, you can search in your favorite bowser "don't fear the foam" and get plenty of information to put you mind to rest.

As to part two of you question your water can effect the shelf life of your Starsan. Once the PH is above 3.0 it starts loosing it's effectiveness. Personally I mix 5 gallons at a time of distilled water with 1oz. of the Starsan concentrate and it lasts almost indefinitely. I use my Starsan over and over again.

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Old 04-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltin
There is a saying associated with Star San: "Don't fear the foam!"

The StarSan will be so diluted by the beer that you wont taste it, and it will not be harmful to humans. You also don't need to worry about it when racking your wort to a carboy or bucket. Starsan purportedly breaks down into yeast nutrient. Do not rinse a container after it has been sanitized with StarSan, or all your work will be for naught.
That's good to know. If it is a yeast nutrient, do I have to worry about a second fermentation once it is in my keg?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnan5150

That's good to know. If it is a yeast nutrient, do I have to worry about a second fermentation once it is in my keg?
No, yeast feed off sugars, Star San does not contain any.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Starsan breaks down into phosphoric acid, which the yeast love. In fact it is good food for septic fields.

The foam is an important part of the sanitization process, 1) because it can reach into any nook and cranny (like in a kegging system) and 2) because it tends to cling surfaces, so that the sanitizer forms a barrier and anything the comes into contact with it is killed.

I put a lot of good info and tips of effectively using sanitizers in here. Including a podcast by the creator of starsan, and one by a rep from iodophor talking about that and more-http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sani...uestion-54932/

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Old 04-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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I used to be a Star San rinser -- there was just something unnerving about racking onto the foam. But I've recently given up and embraced the foam

The foam adds some phosphorous which is actually beneficial to yeast and also is a preservative. Happy yeast and longer shelf life -- yes please!

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Old 04-28-2012, 12:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad67z View Post
Personally I mix 5 gallons at a time of distilled water with 1oz. of the Starsan concentrate and it lasts almost indefinitely. I use my Starsan over and over again.
Agree, if you search on starsan and PH you can read about how long it lasts. somebody did some experiments. Personally, I don't have a PH meter but I have some strips. I have tested 2-3 week old star san which was very cloudy but still within range. I keep it sealed in a 5 gal. bucket and use it for weeks at a time. I do not let it go longer than a month however, but that is just me.
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