pH for sanitization - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > pH for sanitization

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
Brewnoob1
 
Brewnoob1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Puyallup, WA
Posts: 980
Liked 24 Times on 24 Posts



So, quick question. I haven't done a lot of research on the matter but some videos got me questioning. Does Star San and other sanitizers rely on acidic levels of pH for their sanitizing characteristics? I have an alkoline water machine for drinking that I can set the pH settings from 3 (acidic) up to 10 (alkaline). However, when I use the 10 setting for drinking purposes, the other side drains the acidic water which is roughly 4 on the pH level. I know this is on the edge of being enough to kill bacteria, but it's still acidic enough for sanitizing purposes. Hell, even the company themselves recommend to bottle up the acidic output and clean your counters and other surfaces to sanitize them. Thoughts on using this instead of star san in some cases?

Note: I do use Star San, but just wanted to get people's opinions on using acidic water as a back up.
__________________
Keg #1: Empty :(
Keg #2: Empty :(
Kegs 3-5: Empty :(

Ferment #1: Empty :(
Ferment #2: Empty :(
Ferment #3: Empty :(

On Deck: Something....Anything!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
BillyBroas
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
BillyBroas's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
SoCal
Posts: 493
Liked 21 Times on 11 Posts


Star-San needs to be below 3.5 to be effective. I'd stick with that, but it can't hurt to have the water on hand in case you unexpectedly run out while you're brewing.
__________________
The Homebrew Academy - We teach you how to brew beer that rocks.
L][/B]

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
Brewnoob1
 
Brewnoob1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Puyallup, WA
Posts: 980
Liked 24 Times on 24 Posts


Yeah, I figured I'd need something below 4. Just wondering in a pinch, if something around 3-4 pH alone would be effective.
__________________
Keg #1: Empty :(
Keg #2: Empty :(
Kegs 3-5: Empty :(

Ferment #1: Empty :(
Ferment #2: Empty :(
Ferment #3: Empty :(

On Deck: Something....Anything!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
BillyBroas
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
BillyBroas's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
SoCal
Posts: 493
Liked 21 Times on 11 Posts


It probably would work. I just hate rolling the dice when it comes to sanitation.
__________________
The Homebrew Academy - We teach you how to brew beer that rocks.
L][/B]

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts


It's a cool idea...if you can get it down to 3, I wonder if there's something that you could add (besides starsan of course) that could drop it further.
__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
broadbill
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Southern Maine
Posts: 3,921
Liked 532 Times on 359 Posts


A couple of things here....

Although the pH=3 water may be bacteriocidal, it has to stay at pH=3 for it to be effective. Water won't stay at that pH because it isn't buffered. As soon as it touches anything else/is mixed with something else the pH is probably swinging widely. Star-san is pH-buffered with phosphoric acid. A buffer by definition resists changes in pH. It will be a more effective santitizer because it will stay at pH=3 until so much acid or base is added to it to overwhelm its buffering capacity.

Additionally, Star-san contains a detergent with the phosphoric acid...the detergent combined with the low pH phosphoric acid buffer most likely makes it a much more effective sanitizer.

Hope this helps.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
Hugh_Jass
 
Hugh_Jass's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2008
Posts: 1,975
Liked 39 Times on 38 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
A couple of things here....

Although the pH=3 water may be bacteriocidal, it has to stay at pH=3 for it to be effective. Water won't stay at that pH because it isn't buffered. As soon as it touches anything else/is mixed with something else the pH is probably swinging widely. Star-san is pH-buffered with phosphoric acid. A buffer by definition resists changes in pH. It will be a more effective santitizer because it will stay at pH=3 until so much acid or base is added to it to overwhelm its buffering capacity.

Additionally, Star-san contains a detergent with the phosphoric acid...the detergent combined with the low pH phosphoric acid buffer most likely makes it a much more effective sanitizer.

Hope this helps.
Agree with this. I believe, however the DDBSA (surfactant), is added because it is a profuse foamer. The foam allows the acid to linger on vertical surfaces for an extended period of time.
__________________
Quote:
"My new company is going to sell Aqua-infused(tm), Alphabetamashed(tm), Wortboiled(tm), Multihops Brewed(tm), Saccharomented(tm), Lageriffic(tm) beer. - Bobby_M
Pigs are fantastic creatures. They convert vegetables into bacon.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2011, 01:12 AM   #8
Brewnoob1
 
Brewnoob1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Puyallup, WA
Posts: 980
Liked 24 Times on 24 Posts


Yeah, I'm not thinking about keeping it for long term. I drink so much alkoline water that it's always spitting the acidic stuff out on the other end. It would be a temporary thing. Just thinking outloud really and wanted everyone's opinions. I know Star San is meant to keep at a pH for longer periods with other additives, just curious is all really. Looking for other ways to use my acidic disposal water other than watching it go down the drain.
__________________
Keg #1: Empty :(
Keg #2: Empty :(
Kegs 3-5: Empty :(

Ferment #1: Empty :(
Ferment #2: Empty :(
Ferment #3: Empty :(

On Deck: Something....Anything!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rapid Sanitization bmantzey Equipment/Sanitation 11 02-18-2011 11:43 PM
growler sanitization clay3 Equipment/Sanitation 15 12-24-2010 10:45 PM
Dry Hop Sanitization? RLinNH Equipment/Sanitation 6 09-05-2007 02:12 PM
newb ? on sanitization DML Equipment/Sanitation 15 05-21-2007 10:20 AM
sanitization with UV? kissajew86 Equipment/Sanitation 3 04-17-2006 05:49 AM


Forum Jump