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Old 08-03-2012, 06:26 AM   #1
Jun 2011
Moriarty, New Mexico
Posts: 92
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Ok, I have not been on in around a year, having been busy with a divorce and moving to a new house brewing did not make it high up on the to do list any way I decided to pull a sample of some Mead I have ageing and had to mix up a quick one gal batch of Star San for my wine thief. Having never mixed it in a clear carboy before I was shocked to say the least when I poured approx 1/5 of an oz into the tap water and it instantly turned milky white. Being curious I then filled two pint glasses with water, one straight from the tap, the other from my RO drinking water system. I then put 3 drops of star san in each glass. The glass with the tap water instantly turned milky white, while the one with the good drinking water stayed clear and you could barely see the sanitizer mixing in with it. Should I be using RO water for my sanitizing or is the color change not going to hurt anything? Has anyone else had this problem before?

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:37 AM   #2
Jaybird's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 7,969
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Whats the temp of yoru water. I have seen Star San turn a little milky with real cold water. RO should be just fine. How old is the bottle of Star San? Has it been sitting in the heat or taken care of?

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:48 AM   #3
Jun 2011
Parker, Colorado
Posts: 25
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According to a 5 star rep that spoke at one of our brew club meetings, if the star san turns milky white immediately it means you have hard water and in that case you should use RO water for best results. However, my star san turns milky immediately and I still use it with no problems but I only use it 1 time and dump it. According to the rep, star san isn't meant for multiple uses and starts losing its effectiveness after a short amount of time.

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
Dan's Avatar
Oct 2010
Makakilo, Hawaii
Posts: 7,296
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I'm still not postitive about just linking a thread on the concern at hand so I'll ramble a little bit. I had the same problem once and started searching for an answer and it seems to be hard water can cause StarSan to go milky white very quickly. Here's and excerpt from the thread I read. I'll post the link to the whole thread below the quote. The fellow that posted it was also asking about off flavors in his beer that might be caused by his water as well. So two answers for the price of one.

Edit By the way he emailed Five Star the make of StarSan. This is the conversation.

I have noticed an off flavor in the beer I've made. I suspect it is related to the water here. Though the water report doesn't mention this, a recent intereview in our local paper with a water board official stated that chloramines are used in our water. I suspect this is the cause of my off flavor. However, in an effort to leave no stone unturned, I was wondering if the water profile changes the effectiveness of StarSan? I can certainly get distilled water for brewing, and will do that with my next batch, but I'd like to know if I should count on getting additional distilled water for mixing StarSan?

Their response:
You are correct to assume that the off flavor in your beer is coming from the water. Chloroamines are very common in city water, but their effect on
the beer is still being debated. Your solution of using DI water is the best answer. It is not necessary to use DI when you sanitize or clean your
equipment. It would not hurt, but it is not necessary. If you notice that your sanitation solution turns cloudy immediately after mixing, then you
might have a hard water problem, and the best solution is to use DI water. The cloudy solution and a pH drift are the indicators of the water causing
problems with the Star San. If you have clear solutions and the pH remains below 3, you should be just fine.

Heres the link to that thread.

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Old 08-03-2012, 07:13 AM   #5
Jun 2011
Moriarty, New Mexico
Posts: 92
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Hmm, being well water Here the tap water is cold even this time of year, but the RO should be about the same temp. As far as water quality its not the best out of the tap. Chloroamines are not really a concern on a well, but I did consider it at my old house. Thankfully the water company there used good old cheap Chlorine so no expensive filters needed. Perhaps I will start mixing my star san with the RO water just to be on the safe side, I would hate to save 5 cents on filter use and risk ruining a batch. Perhaps I will video my little expirment and post it to help others. Thanks for the info.

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