Rinsing Sanitizer with Distilled Water

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

ExpatPete

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Location
Southwest Virginia, USA
First off thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I am passionate about beer and finally just started brewing. Most of my knowledge from Palmer's "How to Brew", some from Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing, and from my local home brewing supply house (LHBS). Also just joined the local brew club.

Yesterday I bottled Batch #1 (Scottish Ale from BB Extract Kit) and racked Batch #2 (British Bitter extract kit from LHBS) into secondary fermentation. I used Star San to sanitize everything. I have read "Don't fear the foam" and know that it is a no rinse sanitizer. HOWEVER when I saw the foam in the individual 12 oz. bottles I decided that could be too much in a small volume. So I gave a quick rinse with distilled water after wiping the water jug mouth with sanitizer. I did not boil the distilled water first, just straight from the jug.

Was that a potentially grievous error? Before this I had been very, very careful on cleaning and sanitizing.

Thanks! Life and brewing is a journey!
 

davidabcd

Detroit, Mi.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
3,324
Reaction score
4,413
As mentioned, it's fine.
Make sure your Starsan dilution with water is pretty accurate but it doesn't have to be perfect.
A bottling rack, purchased, or a dishwasher rack, helps drain bottles quite well.
Also, you can skip the secondary fermenter as it adds unnecessary exposure to air. If it helps you get beer in the pipeline, that might be a different story.
 
Last edited:

D.B.Moody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
1,351
Reaction score
2,286
Location
Kirkwood
Yesterday I bottled Batch #1 (Scottish Ale from BB Extract Kit) and racked Batch #2 (British Bitter extract kit from LHBS) into secondary fermentation. I used Star San to sanitize everything. I have read "Don't fear the foam" and know that it is a no rinse sanitizer. HOWEVER . . .

1. My first batch (in 1994) was that kit.
2. Mentioning use of a secondary (I use a secondary all the time) will just invite suggestions not relevant to your question.
3. I have never used Star San (I just wash stuff), but shouldn't the people that want me to avoid using a secondary because it introduces oxygen be concerned about what is inside every bubble in that foam?
4. Welcome to a fun hobby and HBT. :mug:

EDIT in light of later posting: This was all meant as a lighthearted response to the OP's "HOWEVER" response to "Don't fear the foam" and a welcome to HBT
 
Last edited:

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,893
Location
Living free in the 603
I never rinse out Starsan foam. Simply let things drain (inverted most often) and don't worry about it. Give the item a soak for a minute (or more) then proceed (it needs a minute of contact to sanitize). When bottling, this can be done simply by using a bottle tree. I typically dunk my bottles into a bucket of Starsan, let soak for a minute, drain, then place on the tree until I'm going to fill one. This is when I bottle mead, since I don't bottle beer anymore. For my beers, I put the cans into a container of Starsan, let them get covered completely inside, then dump out before filling. Zero issues with this.

IME/IMO, if you let Starsan drain from the item (even just inverted for a few seconds, you won't have enough left inside to matter.
 

davidabcd

Detroit, Mi.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
3,324
Reaction score
4,413
1. My first batch (in 1994) was that kit.
2. Mentioning use of a secondary (I use a secondary all the time) will just invite suggestions not relevant to your question.
3. I have never used Star San (I just wash stuff), but shouldn't the people that want me to avoid using a secondary because it introduces oxygen be concerned about what is inside every bubble in that foam?
4. Welcome to a fun hobby and HBT. :mug:
2. Wouldn't you want a new brewer to be aware of what actual pros and craft breweries do?
3. Do you want to promote a personal habit (your choice) that is not a Best Practice? I could eat a hamburger that sat out overnight in the summer and never get sick but is it a Best Practice and something that should be promoted, even indirectly? No.
3. I'm no scientist but wouldn't the beer push what miniscule amount of foam out of the way? How much air are we talking about? Transferring beer from a primary to a secondary is not equal to Starsan bubbles. In any case, once properly drained, a sanitized bottle has nothing or next to nothing in it, from experience,, when properly drained.
 
OP
OP
ExpatPete

ExpatPete

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Location
Southwest Virginia, USA
First off thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I am passionate about beer and finally just started brewing. Most of my knowledge from Palmer's "How to Brew", some from Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing, and from my local home brewing supply house (LHBS). Also just joined the local brew club.

Yesterday I bottled Batch #1 (Scottish Ale from BB Extract Kit) and racked Batch #2 (British Bitter extract kit from LHBS) into secondary fermentation. I used Star San to sanitize everything. I have read "Don't fear the foam" and know that it is a no rinse sanitizer. HOWEVER when I saw the foam in the individual 12 oz. bottles I decided that could be too much in a small volume. So I gave a quick rinse with distilled water after wiping the water jug mouth with sanitizer. I did not boil the distilled water first, just straight from the jug.

Was that a potentially grievous error? Before this I had been very, very careful on cleaning and sanitizing.

Thanks! Life and brewing is a journey!


Thanks to all the members who replied, I appreciate the information and the conversations. Everyday is a school day especially in this hobby! I look forward to be ing active on Homebrew Talk!
 
OP
OP
ExpatPete

ExpatPete

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Location
Southwest Virginia, USA
I never rinse out Starsan foam. Simply let things drain (inverted most often) and don't worry about it. Give the item a soak for a minute (or more) then proceed (it needs a minute of contact to sanitize). When bottling, this can be done simply by using a bottle tree. I typically dunk my bottles into a bucket of Starsan, let soak for a minute, drain, then place on the tree until I'm going to fill one. This is when I bottle mead, since I don't bottle beer anymore. For my beers, I put the cans into a container of Starsan, let them get covered completely inside, then dump out before filling. Zero issues with this.

IME/IMO, if you let Starsan drain from the item (even just inverted for a few seconds, you won't have enough left inside to matter.

Thanks, I got a bit impatient when I was sanitizing the bottles and also did not have a bottle rack. With one it will be much easier to sanitize and drain naturally.
 

davidabcd

Detroit, Mi.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
3,324
Reaction score
4,413
1645120636504.png

Many ways to sanitize bottles, depends what you prefer. I use this because it's fast.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,893
Location
Living free in the 603
Thanks, I got a bit impatient when I was sanitizing the bottles and also did not have a bottle rack. With one it will be much easier to sanitize and drain naturally.
I've also used the bucket to keep the bottles, drained, held inverted for long enough (a handful of seconds) and then filled them up. That was when I couldn't locate the tree (or didn't have one). You don't want the bottles to go dry with Starsan.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,067
Reaction score
4,680
Location
Bremen
I've also used the bucket to keep the bottles, drained, held inverted for long enough (a handful of seconds) and then filled them up. That was when I couldn't locate the tree (or didn't have one). You don't want the bottles to go dry with Starsan.
Actually, that would be best, if the bottles would completely dry before using them, that is part of the theory how star san works. The microorganisms form little liquid attracting points, so the liquid vaporises last next to them. This means the the concentration of the active ingredients gets higher and higher in the liquid surrounding the microorganisms, killling them at the end.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,893
Location
Living free in the 603
Actually, that would be best, if the bottles would completely dry before using them, that is part of the theory how star san works. The microorganisms form little liquid attracting points, so the liquid vaporises last next to them. This means the the concentration of the active ingredients gets higher and higher in the liquid surrounding the microorganisms, killling them at the end.
Without having the bottles inverted (such as on a tree) I wouldn't want them to go dry. Having the one minute (plus) of contact time does the job.

I've never rinsed Starsan from something that is getting filled. Only time I do it is when I'm dumping the container that's had Starsan in it so that it's ready for use again later. Typically getting a fresh batch of Starsan into it for the next brew day or packaging day.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,067
Reaction score
4,680
Location
Bremen
Without having the bottles inverted (such as on a tree) I wouldn't want them to go dry. Having the one minute (plus) of contact time does the job.

I've never rinsed Starsan from something that is getting filled. Only time I do it is when I'm dumping the container that's had Starsan in it so that it's ready for use again later. Typically getting a fresh batch of Starsan into it for the next brew day or packaging day.
I also would not let them stand and go dry. But in a rack, facing upside down, that would actually be best, of course without rinsing.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
1,574
Reaction score
3,899
Location
Torrance
So I will throw out a different process in order to get feedback on behalf of myself and the OP.

I use OneStep as my primary sanitizer for bottles, it gets out any crud leftover from the f-f-f-f-f-friends who don't wash out their bottles when they bring them back to me. I also pretty much use it to scrub everything down when brewday is finished. But, I use starsan after the onestep when I am cleaning (especially stainless), in my kegs and the spray bottle that hoses every surface down.

Is OneStep a bad idea for bottling? Anyone have any thoughts on this, as I haven't heard from anyone about it in the years I have been brewing.
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
684
Reaction score
442
Location
Nashville
The dilute ratio of Star San to water is pretty thin. There is almost no StarSan in that bucket of solution. The foam is virtually all air, no Star San solution. So the foam foam looks intimidating, it is a small fraction of almost nothing.

It is easy to think of Star San as "poison." But it is not. it is only poisonous at a certain pH level. As it is sitting in your beer, it is good stuff for yeast.

I will submit you are more likely to do harm by finding with distilled water than taking advantage of what Star San provided to your yeast and beer
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
15,068
Reaction score
6,127
Location
Solway
I use OneStep as my primary sanitizer for bottles, it gets out any crud leftover from the f-f-f-f-f-friends who don't wash out their bottles when they bring them back to me.
You may need to cull your list of friends or at least cut some of the out of the beer distribution. I've had to discard some bottles because I couldn't get them clean to my satisfaction after they had been returned empty with crud dried to the bottom.
 

wsmith1625

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
657
Reaction score
531
Location
Manchester, NJ
Pouring Starsan usually creates foam, so I always dunked my bottles into the Startsan solution. Then let them drain upside down on a bottle tree. Also, when you do have excess foam in your bottles or fermenter or whatever, rinse it with more Starsan instead of distilled water. The liquid Starsan will usually bring the foam with it when you dump it out.
 

Homebrew Harry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
379
Reaction score
377
First off thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I am passionate about beer and finally just started brewing. Most of my knowledge from Palmer's "How to Brew", some from Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing, and from my local home brewing supply house (LHBS). Also just joined the local brew club.

Yesterday I bottled Batch #1 (Scottish Ale from BB Extract Kit) and racked Batch #2 (British Bitter extract kit from LHBS) into secondary fermentation. I used Star San to sanitize everything. I have read "Don't fear the foam" and know that it is a no rinse sanitizer. HOWEVER when I saw the foam in the individual 12 oz. bottles I decided that could be too much in a small volume. So I gave a quick rinse with distilled water after wiping the water jug mouth with sanitizer. I did not boil the distilled water first, just straight from the jug.

Was that a potentially grievous error? Before this I had been very, very careful on cleaning and sanitizing.

Thanks! Life and brewing is a journey!
I rarely use starsan, but when I do I rinse things with water that I have pre-boiled. I started using a hot water kettle recently for convenience. I would bet that distilled water would fine for rinsing also. I use the oven to sterilize bottles thus avoiding stuff I don't want or need in my brews.
 
Top