Don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam, don't fear the foam...

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jsweet

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Before I ever used Starsan -- but after I'd decided I was going to make the switch once I used up the rest of my old sanitizer -- I was puzzled at how many people insisted on rinsing it, even though the instructions and the most knowledgeable people on HBT said otherwise. Well last week I picked up some Starsan, and brewed my first batch using it on Wednesday...

...Okay, yeah, that's disturbing. If I hadn't read all the exhortations on HBT, I absolutely positively would have rinsed the carboy. It's hard to believe that's not going to screw up my beer. It's awesome not having to rinse, but it's going to be a few batches I think before I trust it. :eek:

Gotta say, though, a spray bottle full of Starsan has got to be the most awesome thing EVAR!!!11!!!1
 

kapbrew13

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Foam is a little annoying when in the carboy. Stuff spews out while filling. Anyway to prevent this?
 

EzMak24

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unionrdr said:
I just wish it didn't foam up so much or so easily. Foam everywhere that doesn't run off,it just sits there.
The foam actually sanitizes also. It keeps an air block in the area so unclean air can't come in. so the foaming is actually a great thing
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,I sorta figured it does. Just thinkin about when I sanitize the bottles,it sits,& sits. Guess I'll just have to give it time to turn back to liquid.?
 

Scruffy1207

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I just got star san, haven't used it yet, glad I read this, lol. I would have not believed leaving the foam in
 

EzMak24

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unionrdr said:
Yeah,I sorta figured it does. Just thinkin about when I sanitize the bottles,it sits,& sits. Guess I'll just have to give it time to turn back to liquid.?
No need to wait.rack right on top of it.

the star san actually breaks down into a yeast nutrient.
 

unionrdr

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I've heard of that reaction. I read stories on here of foam at the fluid line in bottles of beer,& thought...but I guess not. Good.
 

ThePearsonFam

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yup... totally fine... just be sure to mix to the proper solution and it's fine to rack right onto the foam. best part is that you can reuse the starsan time and time again (as long as it's stored well and holds its pH level). I just store it in a plastic container and use it for several brews.

Oh, and according to the guy that makes starsan, they have to print something about it needing a couple minutes to be effective, but that it actually achieves the desired kill level in about 30 seconds. I still wait the total time, but it's good to know it has done its job in 30 seconds.
 

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Apparently you could actually drink some of the StarSan without any ill effects according to an interview with Charlie Talley (One of the founders of Five Star Chemicals)... and it also breaks down into yeast nutrients. There is a link to a radio interview he did in this thread.
 

pwndabear

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i need to start saving mine. i usually make a small batch for when i am brewing or bottling and then dump it. def seems more cost effective to just buy a container to keep it in.
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,it doesn't take very long at all. After using five star PBW to clean all the fermenter parts,I made a solution out of 1 1/4tsp of their star-san to 1G of distilled water. That's about 1/5 the amount said to add to 5G of water. Works just fine,so that small bottle of star-san I bought will last a long time indeed.
And boy,does their PBW work great for soaking labels/settlings off bottles I've saved! I cleaned up a $5 home cheapo orange bucket,put in 13 bottles,& made enough PBW solution to fill/cover the bottles,& laid the lid on around 4pm yesterday. Got up & looked in the bucket at 6:40am,& all the labels had floated off,& were starting to sink to the bottom! Great stuff Five Star Chemical makes.
 
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jsweet

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Apparently you could actually drink some of the StarSan without any ill effects
I was wondering about that... my wife is a little paranoid about me using this sanitizer when our kids are awake. I was thinking if I drank 4oz in front of her....

:tank: <--- he drank too much Starsan
 

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I only started brewing beer in March; that's when I started using StarSan and will not use anything else for beer or wine now. Love the stuff. For transferring to kegs I let it sit for 5-10 min, dump out the liquid attach the filter end to the keg and make up a blow off tube for the gas side. Filtered beer goes right into the keg and pushes up the foam and out the blow off. Nice and clean, nearly no mess and sanitary. Same for better bottles, just dump out most of the liquid and rack right into the foam. Best thing is it's acid and doesn't leave your hands slippery like alkaline based products.
 

unionrdr

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I just cleaned that bucket of bottles I put up yesterday. That PBW does feel a little slimy-like,making it hard to hold the bottle from anything but the bottom. But,boy,they're slicker than a hounds tooth! Nothing stuck to any of the bottles. So much easier than boiling & scrubing all day.
 

Homercidal

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I think they also sell a lesser known product that does not foam. Not 100% sure on this, but I'd never use it anyway. The foam doesn't hurt anything. I think they make the other stuff for breweries who do Clean In Process, where the foam can damage the equipment or maybe just make a huge mess.
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,I heard the name once or twice. Maybe on the cooper's forum? Nappy-san,I think. But,since star-san breaks down into yeast yummies, why use anything else?!
 

jd3

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Yeah,I heard the name once or twice. Maybe on the cooper's forum? Nappy-san,I think. But,since star-san breaks down into yeast yummies, why use anything else?!

Saniclean is a non foaming product they sell. Should let air dry after use. Some say to rinse... some don't. I rinse briefly after use. They do not says saniclean is a sanitizer due to health codes, but it is a final rinse product and works. It isn't actually any more cost effective to use it(despite being cheaper per bottle).

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/breweries/homebrewing/products/
http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/breweries/craft-brewers/products/
 

troub

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Another plus for Starsan -- as recommended by some other threads I found here in a search, I dropped some Stone and Rogue bombers (you know, the ones with those screened/painted labels that don't scrub off) into my Starsan bucket for a week, and when I pulled them out the paint just rubbed right off. The bottles are naked now, but there *is* still a faint ghosting of where the paint was etched on (I don't think anything can be done about this, it's perfectly smooth and seems like it's just baked into the color of the glass). Anyway, I can now re-use those painted bottles!
 

Wyrmwood

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Uh... For those thinking of drinking star san...

HEALTH HAZARD DATA
- EYE CONTACT: Corrosive to the eyes may cause severe damage.
- INHALATION: Irritating to the nose , throat, and respiratory tract.
- INGESTION: Harmful if swallowed. Swallowing product can cause sever burns to lining of throat and
stomach

- SKIN CONTACT: Substance is corrosive. Causes severe skin burns.
- SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EXPOSURE: Destruction to skin and eye tissue
- SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION: NOTE TO PHYSICIAN: Probable mucosal damage may
contraindicate the use of gastric lavage. Measures against circulatory shock, reparatory depression and convulsions
may be needed.
_________________________________________________________________________________________
_
EMERGENCY & FIRST AID PROCEDURES
EYE CONTACT: Flush with cool running water for at least 15 minutes. For eye exposure irrigate with saline
solution Get medical attention as soon as possible.
SKIN CONTACT: Flush with cool running water. If irritation develops get medical attention.
INGESTION: If conscious, give several glasses of milk, water, egg whites or gelatin solution. Get
medical attention immediately. DO NOT induce vomiting.

INHALATION: Move victim to fresh air. Call emergency medical care. Apply artificial respiration if victim
is not breathing
From the MSDS,
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/aitdownloadablefiles/download/aitfile/aitfile_id/491/
 
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Another plus for Starsan -- as recommended by some other threads I found here in a search, I dropped some Stone and Rogue bombers (you know, the ones with those screened/painted labels that don't scrub off) into my Starsan bucket for a week, and when I pulled them out the paint just rubbed right off. The bottles are naked now, but there *is* still a faint ghosting of where the paint was etched on (I don't think anything can be done about this, it's perfectly smooth and seems like it's just baked into the color of the glass). Anyway, I can now re-use those painted bottles!
+1 to this. I have a friend who drinks Stone IPA like water, who's been giving me his old bottles in exchange for homebrew. A week (sometimes 2 when I'm lazy) in the StarSan, and they're almost perfect with only a little ghosting when you look close.

I have noticed that sometimes paint flakes end up in the bottom of my StarSan bucket when I do this, though. So what I've started doing is keeping my newer, clearer StarSan solution for sanitizing, and when it starts to get cloudy, I make up a new batch for sanitizing and put the older solution in another bucket for Stone bottles.
 
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jsweet

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Uh... For those thinking of drinking star san...
I'm pretty sure that's referring to the undiluted product, which is definitely pretty strong nasty stuff that you don't even really want to handle.

Not that I'm saying drinking diluted Starsan is a good idea, but I'm pretty sure it won't burn your stomach lining...
 
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jsweet

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its 50% phosphoric acid! i rinse and haven't had 1 problem in 2 years. don't want to add any phosphoric acid to my brews.. sorry.. can't do it..
There's a crapload of phosphoric acid in cola... just sayin'...
 

Mike_A

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By rinsing after using StarSan, you're effectively negating the effects of it. You're afraid of phosphoric acid? I hope you don't drink any dark colored sodas, because they all use it. Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, etc. all contain phosphoric acid.

The reason it's harmless and needs no rinsing is because it's a "weak acid". This means that in a solution with just water, it will lower the pH enough to kill nasties. As soon as anything else with a bit of acidity or alkalinity is added to the water/StarSan solution, the phosphoric acid just can't compete and pretty much ceases to affect the pH of the solution.

If you rinse a carboy or bucket with StarSan, then dump it out and just leave what's stuck to the walls of the container to collect at the bottom, you MAY end up with 1-2oz of solution. At a proper dilution of 1oz StarSan : 5gal (640oz) water, you get 0.0015oz of StarSan left over in that 1oz of solution. Once you put 5.5 gallons of beer into that container, your dilution is completely negligible.

But hey, if logic and chemistry just go right over your head, sorry. I tried.
 
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jsweet

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you mix cola into your beer?
Duh-herp, clever.

My point was, you can't just say, "Phosphoric acid, OOGA-BOOGA!", because it is present in plenty of other liquids we consume on a regular basis. You have to actually say what is BAD about having phosphoric acid in your beer.

All of the primary ingredients in cola have gone into beers I have drank at one point or another... water, check; sugar, check (albeit I don't generally brew with HFCS, heh); carbon dioxide, check; caffeine, check (in the case of coffee stouts, at least); and yes, phosphoric acid... phosphoric acid products are used by some breweries too, so....

If you have a good reason why phosphoric acid will $%*& up your beer, I'm all ears. But like I say: I am not swayed by the OOGA-BOOGA gambit. :p
 
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jsweet

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Now I want to brew a cola beer just to spite you :p
 
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jsweet

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The connection is that people drink Coke and their face doesn't catch on fire, so more likely than not if you use Starsan according to the directions your face won't catch on fire either.

Like I say, you can't just say, "Phosphoric acid, OOGA-BOOGA!" You have to actually back up what you are saying with some sort of argument. By the way, Obama was born in Kenya. OOGA-BOOGA!
 

BrewForMe

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Gotta say, though, a spray bottle full of Starsan has got to be the most awesome thing EVAR!!!11!!!1[/QUOTE]

I just got a spray bottle today, yipee!
 

StrmStlkr

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how long do you think a carboy stays sanitized for after you treat it and rinse it? i'd guess infinitely if you cover it. so whats the point of not rinsing? and draining. you rinse and drain the carboy upside down there's no chance bacteria will somehow crawl up into the carboy. they can't go up unassisted. why add something to your brew when it takes 1 extra minute to rinse and drain?
Your right as long as you are using boiled water to rinse with, otherwise you can't guarantee that it is still sanatized after rinseing.
 
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jsweet

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all i'm saying is why add a foreign substance to your wort on purpose? what's the logic.. star san works to sanitize almost instantly or "3 Minute contact" technically. once the carboy is sanitized whats the benefit to leaving it in there.. that's my question.
The idea, as I understand it, is that it can't be contaminated while the foam is there. Not that it's a major issue, but if you thoroughly rinse it then that is a pretty fertile ground for any bacteria that might fall in between that point and when it is sealed.

It's fine with me if you aren't comfortable with it, I just don't think it's fair to say, "It's phosphoric acid, therefore it's unacceptable at any concentration!" According to Mike A's estimates (which I haven't verified; I suspect his estimates might even be high), we're looking at just over 2 parts per million if you brew a 5 gallon batch in an unrinsed Carboy. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's fine... but the point we were making is, it's safe to drink, and it's present in much larger amounts in beverages that don't taste foul.
 

rycov

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all i'm saying is why add a foreign substance to your wort on purpose? what's the logic.. star san works to sanitize almost instantly or "3 Minute contact" technically. once the carboy is sanitized whats the benefit to leaving it in there.. that's my question.
not rinsing it with water that may or may not be contaminated? the fact that it breaks down into a yeast nutrient? its called a no rinse sanitizer?

whats the benifit to not leaving it there.. thats my question.
 
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jsweet

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Here I think is the most balanced way to put it:

On on hand, if you don't rinse the Starsan, you will have an incredibly minuscule amount of phosphoric acid in your wort; and even though there is essentially no chance in practice of this being detectable, why leave it if you can just rinse it?

On the other hand, if you do rinse, you will have an incredibly minuscule chance of introducing contamination from your wort, either from the tap water you used for rinsing or from bacteria that got to it in the half second before you got the carboy turned over; and even though there is essentially no chance in practice of this causing an infection, why risk it if you can just leave it?

I am pretty sure I've never heard of anyone having a problem either way... Although the manufacturer's instructions definitely say not to rinse......
 
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jsweet

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i was stating that if you're comfortable putting something that's not supposed to be in your beer; in your beer on purpose then go ahead.
Okay, but when by your own admission, when you rinse with tap water, you are also putting something in your beer on purpose that's not supposed to be in your beer: chlorine. Yes, it's a tiny, barely detectable amount.... but uh....

I think the second part of what you are saying makes sense, though: i.e., if you really feel so uncomfortable about introducing 2 ppm of phosphoric acid into your wort, rinsing it with clean water and covering it immediately will probably not ever cause a contamination problem.
 

rycov

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if you're using well water. pretty sure the chlorine and other things that's in tap water are there for that reason exactly. the evaporation rate of chlorine in tap water is pretty quick when you're talking about less than one oz of residual water.
so your faucet and all your pipes are completely sanitized? what about chloramine instead of clorine, which doesn't evaporate? you want that in the beer? i'm not saying that rinsing would matter. you could probably dip your balls in the beer and nothing bad happen. (no offence if you're a chick) there's just nothing wrong with not rinsing. it's all in your head.
 

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the sanitation aspect of the solution has already happened. how long do you think a carboy stays sanitized for after you treat it and rinse it?
If you rinse it, it's no longer sanitized. The bacteria in tapwater take care of that. Even pre-boiled rinse water is no guarantee. However, as long as the star san is still wet, it is sanitizing. So, my practice is to sanitize, allow the appropriate amount of contact time, and then use the item immediately. It's not a good idea to sanitize, let an item dry and use it later. Once it's (star san) dry, it's no longer effective.

I could care less what others do. I like my star san. Do what you like, but if you haven't listened to the interview with Charlie Talley (it's a 2007 Basic Brewing Radio podcast), I would suggest it. Interestingly enough he spends about half the time talking about how to effectively use bleach as a sanitizer. I'll stick with star san. (BTW Charlie Talley, which I may have spelled incorrectly, invented star san).
 
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chlorine evaporates into the atmosphere while the carboy's sitting. OBV
And phosphoric acid is broken down into phosphate and consumed by the yeast while the beer is fermenting. OBV
 
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you could probably dip your balls in the beer and nothing bad happen. (no offence if you're a chick)
Hmmm, although I will say, the odds of something bad happening from ball-dipping would be decreased even more if ettbeer were a woman...
 

rycov

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yeah, if your a woman then dipping your balls will have no effect.

(also i wasn't trying to say you didn't have balls, i just didn't check the profile and wasn't sure if you were a guy and didn't want to offend)
 
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