Safety of Star San in beer?

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

e lo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
527
Reaction score
3
Location
College Park
So, I'm finally going to post a "did I ruin my beer?" thread. Never thought I'd see the day. I brewed an ESB last weekend, and it turned out beautifully. My gravity sample was fantastic; probably the best beer I've made yet. I fermented in a dorm-style fridge for temp control purposes; it works well, but I have to use a blow-off tube, because a 6.5 gallon carbory + airlock is too tall. Fine, no problem. However -- I crash cooled it last night. Before I did, I replaced the Star San in my blow-off container (an old apple juice bottle from a batch of Apfelwein) with about 8 oz of fresh Star San.

I just checked it with the intention of racking it into a keg, and I discovered that, much to my chagrin, the star san had been sucked all the way up the blowoff tube and into my carboy! The beer had stratified, and there was a layer of milky-white liquid on the top, about 1/8" thick. It looked very much like cloudy Star San, and I'm sure that's what it was. I should have foreseen this, obviously, and feel like a dumbass. I racked it anyway, being careful to leave the milky layer behind, as it remained stratified as I siphoned.


I'm not worried about infection here; the beer was done fermenting, and what was drawn in was not only sanitized, but sanitizer. I'm worried about whether or not ~8oz of Star San in 5 gal of beer is enough to be concerned about. It can't have changed the pH much at all, and the phosphoric acid shouldn't be that much of a concern -- hell, I drink diet soda sometimes, and that'd got enough phosphoric acid to clean a penny, so...

Any thoughts?
 

mr x

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
1,576
Reaction score
6
Location
Mainly Halifax
Somebody else here had raised some concerns about some of stan san in their keg. I think the company response was over a reasonable amount of time it will decompose and be of no harm to you.
 

teu1003

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
156
Reaction score
3
I can't imagine this would be a problem. I am assuming the starsan was pretty diluted to begin with in the container. If I am not mistaken, the active acids in starsan are phosphoric (which is cola) and the stuff they put in toothpaste. Both are palatable in small doses and unless you really think about it as you're drinking the beer, I doubt you'll be able to taste it. Be a good host and don't tell anyone though ... suggestion is powerful.
 

Dr_Deathweed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,376
Reaction score
49
Location
Bryan
I have racked into a keg that I had fogotten to pour the starsan out of (20oz or so...) turned out just fine! I believe someone else here has done that as well, I remember reading about it, so thats why I wasn't worried.

RDWHAHB!:D
 

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
8
Location
Miles City, MT.
If you racked the 8 oz. layer of Star San with your beer, that would only be 1.25% Star San (assuming you have 5 gal. of beer)

Since you said you left most of that layer in the carboy, then let's say you only left 2 oz. in your beer. That would only be 0.3 % Star San.

I think you'd be fine with the entire 8 oz. mixed in. I probably leave 2 oz. in the form of foam when I rack from my primary to secondary.

RDWHAHB:)

https://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/data/1/14323-StarSanFoam3.jpg
 

Orpheus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
25
Location
Maryland 'burbs of Washington, D.C.
+1 to absolutely no worries as you're golden!

Star San is the holy water of homebrew. Not only is it completely safe to drink when properly diluted, it sanitizes AND acts as yeast nutrient!

Next up, Star San Pale Ale!:mug:
 
OP
e lo

e lo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
527
Reaction score
3
Location
College Park
Thanks, gents. That was pretty much what I had thought. I probably leave ~2 oz worth of foam every time I rack anyway. But, you know, I had to ask. :)
 

RogerMcAllen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
619
Reaction score
9
Location
NW Suburbs, IL
+1 to absolutely no worries as you're golden!

Star San is the holy water of homebrew. Not only is it completely safe to drink when properly diluted, it sanitizes AND acts as yeast nutrient!

Next up, Star San Pale Ale!:mug:
This is great news. I was about to start a thread about inoculating my first keged beer with a diptube full of Star San when I found this thread. I'm glad to see that my 1/2 oz or so is nowhere near the worst that's ever happened.
 
Top