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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Where's the foam?
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:40 AM   #1
Duane_Austin
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Default Where's the foam?

Ok, after reading all about the wonders of Star San, I went out and bought myself some, and did my sanitation for this week's batch with Star San.

BUT....I was so expecting to see this foaming action I've been reading about (and being told not to fear)....and really didn't get much foam at all.

I made two batches:

1) 3 days ago when I made my yeast starter, I made 1 gallon w/ just under 1/2 oz Star San. Soaked some stuff, and filled spray bottle.

2) Last night, on brew night, I made 2 1/2 gallons with 1/2 oz. Star San.

Neither times did I experience this "foaming" of which I read about. I used it anyway. Sprayed with the spray bottle, and cross my fingers, hope I don't have an infection.

Was I doing something wrong????????

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Old 06-11-2009, 12:45 AM   #2
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You're not trying hard enough! j/k

Or maybe your expectations of StarSan "foam" is different than what it really is. After significant agitation, StarSan will generate lots of bubbles and create a fairly sturdy foam-- think dishwashing soap type foam but longer lasting.

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:00 AM   #3
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Bwahaha, this is the first "I wanna see the foam" thread I have ever come upon. Are you 100% positive that your bottle indeed says "Starsan" and not "sani-clean" sani-clean is basically starsan without the foaming agent (sort of)....IIRC the bottles look identical...or perhaps Five Star Chemicals mis-labeled the batch...

It really is hard to mis starsan foaming...



Or maybe you have extremely hard/mineral laden water and it prevented the foaming action? I dunno....

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:06 AM   #4
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Try putting 1/2 to 1 gallon is your carboy and swirling and shaking it. That usually evokes the foam demon. If you still don't see foam you may have very hard water. If you make your Starsan from distilled water which can be had for about $1 a bottle at the drug store you are assured of good water and your mix will last several months.

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:09 AM   #5
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Keep an eye on your dilution amount. It should be 1/4 ounce for 1.25 gallons of water. More is NOT better. It's a no-rinse sanitizer at proper dilution.

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Old 06-11-2009, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Bwahaha, this is the first "I wanna see the foam" thread I have ever come upon. Are you 100% positive that your bottle indeed says "Starsan" and not "sani-clean" sani-clean is basically starsan without the foaming agent (sort of)....IIRC the bottles look identical...or perhaps Five Star Chemicals mis-labeled the batch...

It really is hard to mis starsan foaming...



Or maybe you have extremely hard/mineral laden water and it prevented the foaming action? I dunno....

Now see?! That picture is what I'm talking about....that's exactly the vision I painted in my head after reading about it.

It's definitely Star San: 8oz Bottle of Five Star San Acid Sanitizer for Surface Sanitation.

And I don't think the problem is hard water either...we don't get the tell-tale deposits and working up a lather when washing dishes and what-not is a breeze.

Maybe it is that my expectations were too high. Both times I mixed it up, I did it open 5 gallon buckets, so maybe that was it.

I'll give it a shot when I get ready to do my secondary racking in the 5gal carboy and see if I can get that cool volcano action going like in Revvy's picture....

Nothing exciting ever happens to me.....
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Hmm... where have I seen something like that before?


-Steve
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Keep an eye on your dilution amount. It should be 1/4 ounce for 1.25 gallons of water. More is NOT better. It's a no-rinse sanitizer at proper dilution.
That was a typo above...first batch I did just under 1/4 oz for 1 gallon....

I do, however, have a real bad habit of squeezing out way too much detergent when doing the dishes....maybe I need to put the household supplies under "beer budget" then I'll start being more conscious across the board
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:40 AM   #9
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Yeah, maybe you just have hard water.

Here's my carboy after making a concerted effort to not stir up too much StarSan foam.

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:11 AM   #10
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dude, I use 1 oz. per 5 gallons of star san, correct me if i'm using too much but i'm zero out of three for infections.

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