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Old 06-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
Pivzavod
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Default Iced starsan in cooler temperature question

I have been using a cooler full of water with some frozen bottles in the past to keep my primary cooler than room temperature. I have always attached a digital thermometer to the outside of the fermentor. Recently I filled my cooler with Starsan and instead use a floating thermometer to measure temp of the Starsan. Since I am not attaching any digital probe to my primary I can fill up my cooler with more Starsan which in theory should cool down the wort more.

I know there was a lot of talks about wort temp being a few degrees warmer than ambient room temperature. I guess with cooled liquid in a cooler it should be closer to the temperature of the liquid. Does using Starsan instead of water (different PH) help or hurt in any way?

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Old 06-29-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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there is no point in using Starsan instead of water in your cooler. its not going to have any better cooling ability and while it will sanitize the outside of the carboy there is no point in doing so.

as far as using a digital thermometer to track the temp of your brew. have you thought of using a thermowell stopper or carboy cap? that way you can get the actual temp of the wort without getting the probe wet and you can still fill the cooler as much as you want.

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Old 06-29-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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I use Coopers fermentors not carboys and the probe was originally place on the upper part of where the wort is (above liquid level of cooler).

I started using Starsan for several reasons - using water for a long period of time in the cooler caused some mold looking spots, water gets dirty, smelly. I have a few gallons of Starsan at all times, I test the ph level of it and so far it hasnt lost its strenght. If it does I sometimes add a little bit of it and have been using it for 2+ months.

I've had an infection which I have back traced to the outbreak of moldish looking slime in the cooler. Better safe than sorry.

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Primary: 04/29 Pomegranate Nectarine Apfelwein, 05/23 Petite Saison
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Kegs conditioning: 01/29 - 04/29 Cranberry Apfelwein, 04/29-05/23 Petite Saison
RIP: 11/07-11/28-01/29-05/04-11/17 Flanders Brown Ale
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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Well, a starsan solution won't have any different thermal characteristics than regular water... so it won't have any effect on the temperature of the beer.

During primary fermentation I've read beer can be 5, even up to 10 F higher than ambient air temperature. But if it's sitting in a water bath it will definitely be more resistant to temperature variations and will probably be at equilibrium with the water it's submerged in.

I usually just fill the cooler up with the sanitized solution I have soaking in my carboy before I fill 'er up. I know that even if the cooler was germ-ridden the chance of anything going inside a positive-pressure sealed carboy is nearly impossible, but hey... keeps my cooler clean.

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Old 06-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #5
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I dont know if its just me but I think I notice that Starsan stays colder than regular water, thats why I asked the question.

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Old 07-01-2010, 01:08 PM   #6
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I put a splash of bleach in my cooler water

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Old 07-01-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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When I first made a fermentation bath I put in what smelled like too much bleach but after a few weeks it apparently faded away because the water was starting to get gross. Definitely quicker than I had expected. I'm going to try adding a little bleach every 10-16 days and see if I can prevent that. I also considered using star san but my water baths are big so it could get expensive especially if I have to adjust the water level or drain it out. I could probably try Iodophor but it probably wouldn't last long. I'm not fond of using the bleach in case it somehow got in the beer, plus it interferes with compulsory airlock sniffing.

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