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Old 06-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default How long will something stay "Sanitized for use"?

I use Star-san in a spray bottle, and I'm afraid I'm over-dispensing. So, how long can my freshly sanitized instruments+equipment sit before I have to re-sanitize?


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Old 06-28-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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I think technically as long as the pH is below 3. But that's in wet form, like in a carboy. Dried up on the surface, it's hard to say. Probably as long as it takes dust to settle, and begin harboring bacteria.

To be safe, I'd just sanitize everything before you need it.


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Old 06-28-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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I usually clean everything really well and then sanitize right before use.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:55 PM   #4
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I pre-sanitize my bottles in Star San, making sure the contact time is sufficient. I dump and put foil over the necks and use them whenever I am ready. I personally would not hesitate doing this with my carboy either. I would assign a 3 month expiration for dust bunnies, however.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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I would be worried about leaving things sanitized for a long time. It is extremely easy to sanitize things so I would just right before use. I know bacteria isnt magic and it doesn't just appear in places, and a foil cover theoretically should protect it, but who knows. 5 gallons of beer is worth more than three minutes of my time to sanitize something.

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Originally Posted by lextasy23 View Post
I think technically as long as the pH is below 3. But that's in wet form, like in a carboy. Dried up on the surface, it's hard to say. Probably as long as it takes dust to settle, and begin harboring bacteria.

To be safe, I'd just sanitize everything before you need it.
ph lower than 3.5
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:39 PM   #6
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I listened to a Basic Brewing Radio podcast with someone from 5star chemicals, Charlie something I think. Anyways, he as asked this same question, and he said to sanitize immediately before use. Clean well before storage, but don't bother sanitizing until right before use.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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when i store my carboys i put half a cup of starsan in them, cap em, shake it up, and store them. a sealed container would remain sanitised inside indefinately. if you are talking about something that isnt sealed, i would sanitize it again right before use.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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when i store my carboys i put half a cup of starsan in them, cap em, shake it up, and store them. a sealed container would remain sanitised inside indefinately. if you are talking about something that isnt sealed, i would sanitize it again right before use.
Depending on how long you're storing the carboy, this isn't necessarily the best idea.

Starsan doesn't kill 100% of bacteria or other creepy-crawlies. It kills like 99.9% of them, and makes for a very hostile environment for new ones to pop into.

But, bacteria being bacteria, that .1% that survive will multiply. Sure, maybe 99.9% of the offspring don't survive - but bacteria multiply fast. Before long, even if 99.9% of each generation is dying off, you're still running the risk of a bacteria colony growing large enough to introduce risk to whatver you ferment in there.

Best bet is always to sanitize just before use - kill off as much of the bad stuff as you can so only the good stuff (your yeast) get a chance to really take off.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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im not sure that i see how killing 99.9% now or 99.9% later are any different...

the starsan (as long as you mix it with RO or distilled water) will not loose its disinfectant power just sitting there in a clean sealed glass container, so anything that grows in the carboy after one application of starsan still wouldnt be killed after another application of the same exact stuff.

if you are suggesting that a properly mixed starsan soloution will support the growth of bacteria, i am going to challenge you to back that up with evidence.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:35 PM   #10
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If whatever the starsan was in was completely filled with solution then your skepticism makes sense. But if parts of the conical, bottle or whatever was dry then something could certainly grow inside. I always put some starsan in right after cleaning, then before use I will dump that and respray just before use.


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