Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > 5.2 Stabilizer doesn't work, can we trust other 5-star products?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-10-2012, 03:06 AM   #1
gbx
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 637
Liked 76 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default 5.2 Stabilizer doesn't work, can we trust other 5-star products?

There are countless threads documenting the lie that is 5-Stars 5.2 mash stabilizer, but what about other 5-Star products? According to the literature, Star San is "Accepted by U.S.D.A. as a General Sanitizer in all Departments" but has anyone tested it? Its probably not as straight forward as testing mash pH but I'm sure it can be done.

__________________
gbx is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 6,129
Liked 613 Times on 506 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

This is why I don't understand why they persist in selling this product with its current labeling. It clearly has an effect on their reputation which is, AFAIK, otherwise excellent. WRT to their sanitizer: again, AFAIK, no one is reporting failure of that product to do what it purports to do whereas with 5.2 no one is reporting that it does do what it is supposed to do.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
afr0byte
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,420
Liked 71 Times on 60 Posts
Likes Given: 49

Default

Five Star PBW works well for me. Star San also works well for me (or at least I don't tend to get infections). I'd imagine the USDA would test something like Star San, since bacteria are a health risk. The pH not being exactly correct isn't going to hurt anyone.

__________________
afr0byte is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
Homercidal
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 23,867
Liked 2253 Times on 1608 Posts
Likes Given: 1237

Default

Lets not compare apples to lima beans.

5.2 claims to do something that it very often doesn't do. It might work well for some people. The effectiveness is somewhat hard to qualify. IMO there are better ways of preparing water, but they are slightly more expensive and somewhat more involved.

StarSan HAS to have been tested by the USDA. They have to verify it's claims to kill bugs because otherwise it could endanger people's lives. StarSan is used in brewing, where there is little chance of something causing illness, but it's also used in other areas where nasty bugs could cause severe illness or even death.

If you don't trust the USDA's findings, then feel free to do some studies and let us know how it does.

Or, if you don't care to use it, you could always mix up some bleach and vinegar in some water. The guy from 5-Star advocated this concoction as an alternate to starsan on a podcast. It's supposed to be a very effective no-rinse sanitizer.

__________________
Homercidal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
dbhokie
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Posts: 407
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

5.2 brings you into a workable realm from my tests as long as the water is heavily alkaline. It does not do much to stabilize if you are trying to go from 6 to 5.2 or such.

__________________
On Deck
Abbey Ale #2
Rye Imperial Pale Ale
Primary
20 Gallons of Apple Cider
Secondary
Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter
Conditioning (Bottle)
---So Sad
dbhokie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 6,129
Liked 613 Times on 506 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Seems to me it is pretty easy to verify whether 5.2 works or not. Add it to your mash and measure pH. Is it 5.2? If so it meets the label's claim that it "LOCKS" (caps theirs) your mash pH. If it isn't then the product does not meet the claim.

One can show theoretically why it should not work and demonstrate by simple tests in the lab that it doesn't. I have never seen anyone who actually measured mash pH show that it does do what it is supposed to do. One guy who made that claim turned out not to have calibrated his meter since he bought it or to be using the original buffers or something of the sort so we are still awaiting news from someone who knows how to use a pH meter and who has seen this product work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhokie View Post
5.2 brings you into a workable realm from my tests as long as the water is heavily alkaline. It does not do much to stabilize if you are trying to go from 6 to 5.2 or such.
The more alkaline the water the more poorly the product will perform. It has small buffering capacity by virtue of the fact that it uses a phosphate buffer which is a poor choice because the pK's of phosphoric acid are more than 1 from the target pH. The more alkaline the water the more buffering capacity the product needs in order to pull the pH to the design value.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
dbhokie
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Posts: 407
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The more alkaline the water the more poorly the product will perform. It has small buffering capacity by virtue of the fact that it uses a phosphate buffer which is a poor choice because the pK's of phosphoric acid are more than 1 from the target pH. The more alkaline the water the more buffering capacity the product needs in order to pull the pH to the design value.
I said in my tests. I had a starting PH water of 8.7, it brought it down to 6, I had a 6, and it wouldn't bring it down to but 5.8. However I did not compare a full panel of the ions in each water, so I am sure there could have been other interactions I was unaware of. I wasn't stating theoretically, I was stating observationally. That with a bit more alkaline water that I had, it brought me into a range. I understand it is a buffer, but I go with the reactions I see. It has never brought any liquor or mash to exactly 5.2 for me. So I decided to use my tap water, got a water report and have been adjusting it with salts ever since. As with all things in life, with my available variables, I will trust the results that I get. I don't think it is a great product, but I think it is helpful, and it is being disingenuous to act like it is the worst thing in the world, especially for people who may not want to completely dive into water chemistry. I have a good PH meter, if you are brewing beer a lot, see what works for you, by measuring.

Oh, and I know how to use a PH meter, I measure soil PH, I measure PH for food products I produce, and I measured PH's under supervision of VDACS.
__________________
On Deck
Abbey Ale #2
Rye Imperial Pale Ale
Primary
20 Gallons of Apple Cider
Secondary
Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter
Conditioning (Bottle)
---So Sad
dbhokie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
AZ_IPA
PKU
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Cold Part of AZ
Posts: 42,995
Liked 6199 Times on 5390 Posts
Likes Given: 770

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
One guy who made that claim turned out not to have calibrated his meter since he bought it or to be using the original buffers or something of the sort so we are still awaiting news from someone who knows how to use a pH meter and who has seen this product work.
My pH meter works, has been tested using 4.0 and 7.0 solutions under a variety of temps (40*F, 68*F, and ~160*F), and 5.2 has worked for me for certain beers to bring and hold the mash in the ~5.2 range. Now, if we want to have the discussion about whether or not "5.2" adds all sorts of potentially undesirable components to your beer, that's another discussion; but I stand by my assertation that 5.2 has worked for me.

I understand that the overwhelmingly conclusive data presented by you, Martin, and others shows that my situation is a bizarre anomoly, and certainly not the rule.

Despite the product appearing to "work" for me; I still recommend folks learn about water adjustments that bring all of your parameters to where you want them and to not rely on a Tbsp. of something that clearly doesn't work for everyone.
__________________
AZ_IPA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
wailingguitar
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Florence, Alabama
Posts: 1,604
Liked 95 Times on 83 Posts
Likes Given: 440

Default

In the pro community, 5-Star is sort of the McDonald's of chemical suppliers. People like BIRKO and Loeffler have a better rep.

__________________

"Why did you.... what was the point of... how drunk were you when you decided this was a good idea?" - DMartin

wailingguitar is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 6,129
Liked 613 Times on 506 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
Now, if we want to have the discussion about whether or not "5.2" adds all sorts of potentially undesirable components to your beer, that's another discussion;
The discussion I'd like to have concerns the details of your water, your grist and how you measure pH. When someone's experience runs counter to what most others see and counter to what theory predicts we like to understand why.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5.2 stabilizer vs brewing salts sorefingers23 Brew Science 17 09-18-2011 12:02 PM
5.2 stabilizer to test ph meter Double-R Brew Science 7 07-06-2011 09:54 PM
pH Meter vs 5.2 pH Stabilizer bopgun23 Brew Science 30 03-09-2011 04:31 PM
5.2 pH stabilizer - post your results AZ_IPA Brew Science 13 01-18-2011 02:01 PM
5.2 Stabilizer - Does it affect mineral content jamest22 Brew Science 6 09-16-2009 02:37 PM