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Old 09-25-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
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Default Starsan as good as PBW by Five Star?

I need to clean a fermenting bucked that hasn't been rinsed when it was empty. Will Starsan do the job?



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Old 09-25-2009, 09:26 AM   #2
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Starsan is not a cleanser, but a sanitizer.

Many here, including me, use Oxiclean Free or similar products to clean - I can't speak from experience on PBW because I've never used it.

For sanitizing, most people seem to use Starsan or Idophor (which I use).

Take a look at the sanitizing/equipment forum for lots more info.

Cheers!



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Old 09-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #3
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Was curious and googled, it came upon this, from these forums, so I thought I'd post it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
No, PBW is different---it's a caustic rather than an oxygen based cleaner. If you put an oxyclean solution into an aluminum kettle, it will turn dark gray from oxidation; pbw won't.
Either cleaner will work fine on a plastic bucket. I've used both. I prefer oxyclean, just for it's soaking capabilities. That stuff takes everything off, love it. Make sure it's oxyclean FREE though.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by size View Post
Was curious and googled, it came upon this, from these forums, so I thought I'd post it:



Either cleaner will work fine on a plastic bucket. I've used both. I prefer oxyclean, just for it's soaking capabilities. That stuff takes everything off, love it. Make sure it's oxyclean FREE though.
That post you quoted is wrong, PBW is not a caustic and this is why it is so great for homebrewers. Can you imagine what would happen if they were selling caustic to hombrewers? There would be a lot of dermatologists with full waiting rooms.

It also is oxygen based as it's primarily sodium percarbonate, the same thing that is in Oxiclean. The primary difference is that PBW has water softeners in it.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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This is what happens and you get a forum post as an answer.... DOH!

PBW, yah, isnt caustic.

Star San and PBW, two different things. One IS a cleaner, the other is NOT... it is only a sanitizer.

Like Pappers said, many use Oxi to clean instead of PBW, as it is MUCH cheaper and cleans extremely well. Works better if you dont have hard water though (film)

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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Thank you for the info. Didn't know this. Some days ago I cleaned a plastic bucket I had brewed beer in. I used Starsan, and I let it soak over night. I'm now brewing wine in it. The bucket was shiny clean, but can using Starsan have left some nasty invisible tastes in it?

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Old 09-25-2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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I guess all tastes are invisible, as far as I can tell.
At least I don't remember seeing any.

StarSan has almost no flavor.
It is actually safe to drink when diluted (don't drink the concentrate!).

See the Don't Fear the Foam threads.

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Old 09-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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The problem is:
Starsan doesn't CLEAN things, it just kills germs.
Starsan CAN'T kill germs if there is any residue on the surface, (oil, dirt, anything organic).

The solution is:
First CLEAN using Oxyclean, PBW, or hell, even dish soap!
RINSE well, to get rid of any trace of your cleaner.
SANITIZE your now clean vessel with Starsan.

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonedef131 View Post
That post you quoted is wrong, PBW is not a caustic and this is why it is so great for homebrewers. Can you imagine what would happen if they were selling caustic to hombrewers? There would be a lot of dermatologists with full waiting rooms.

It also is oxygen based as it's primarily sodium percarbonate, the same thing that is in Oxiclean. The primary difference is that PBW has water softeners in it.

Five Star's Liquid Line Cleaner (LLC) product is caustic. I got it at my LHBS.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
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There's Caustic and then there's Caustic Soda, the latter specifically meaning Sodium Hydroxide. Caustic in chemical terms just means anything strongly Alkaline. Oxyclean is a caustic. A sure test if something is caustic is to get a little on your fingers. If it feels really slippery, it's caustic. What it is doing is saponifying some of the oils on/in your skin and making a mini batch of soap.

Also while Starsan is a sanitizer and technically not a cleanser, the active ingredient is a type of detergent. It can be used as a cleanser, BUT, not at the same time you expect to use it as a Sanitizer. Use it for one or the other. I'll save my "used" Starsan to clean with. Then when I want to sanitize, I'll make up a fresh batch. I don't sanitize with Starsan I've used for cleaning. It seems silly to me to pour used Starsan down the drain only to mix up some Oxyclean for cleaning. You'll have to do some scrubbing like you would with any dish soap. You can't just let it soak like with Oxyclean. Now if I've got some nasty kreusen in a carboy to deal with, I break out the Oxyclean



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