Sanitation Question

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tsmithee

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Tuesdai. I am new to the group so I apologize if these questions have already been asked. I tried reading as many posts as I could related to my questions before posting. So here are my questions.

I read the label of my Star San a couple times to make sure I did it right because I know how important sanitation is. It says to make sure it stays wet on the equipment for at least a minute but let it air dry. I just read in someone else's thread that it should stay wet a couple minutes but not to let it dry completely. So now I don't know which way is best. Do you guys let it dry completely or just start using your equipment after a couple minutes when its still wet?

Also, I was getting ready to make my first batch last night and sanitized everything with my Star San but then realized I was missing one ingredient. I'm assuming I need to re sanitize everything again today now that I have everything I need?

Thanks everyone!
 

IslandLizard

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Hi Tuesdai.

Welcome to the club!

Starsan keeps your items sanitized as long as the surface remains wet with it. Once it dries, it will remain sanitary for a short while, until something (bacteria, yeast cells, etc.) drops on it. Because the surface isn't coated with Starsan anymore, it won't be able to eradicate them.

It's a non-rinse sanitizer, so pour out the excess, leaving whatever clings to the equipment. You can then let your cooled wort or beer touch it.

Make sure to dilute the concentrate to the proper strength.
 
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tsmithee

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Yes, it says Star San from Five Star Chemicals & Supply, Inc. I read the label multiple times. At the very bottom of the directions it says
"Apply on surface with a cloth, mop, sponge, spray or immersion. **(talks about spray application)** For all applications, allow to air dry (but surface must remain wet for at least one minute), do not rinse after application."

I cleaned all of my equipment with Easy Clean from LD Carlson before I sanitized it.
 

RPh_Guy

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Starsan keeps your items sanitized as long as the surface remains wet with it. Once it dries, it will remain sanitary for a short while, until something (bacteria, yeast cells, etc.) drops on it. Because the surface isn't coated with Starsan anymore, it won't be able to eradicate them.
I am curious, do you have a reference to support this? I think it stands to reason that the surface is in fact still coated with the active ingredients when the water evaporates, making it continue to be hostile to microbes. This is why it's so important not to rinse it off.
 

IslandLizard

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I am curious, do you have a reference to support this? I think it stands to reason that the surface is in fact still coated with the active ingredients when the water evaporates, making it continue to be hostile to microbes. This is why it's so important not to rinse it off.
From the spec sheet @eric19312 posted, Bolding and separation from the main paragraph, mine for emphasis:


Homebrew use: Thoroughly wash all surfaces with detergent or a compatible cleaner, followed by a potable water rinse before application of sanitizing solution. Prepare a use solution of 1 oz. of Star San per 5 gallons of tap water. Apply on surfaces with a cloth mop, sponge, spray or by a 5 minute immersion. For spray applications, use a course mist, with pump or trigger spray. Spray 6 to 8 inches from surface; rub with a brush, cloth or sponge. With spray, cover or remove all food products.

For all applications, allow to air dry, however surfaces must remain wet for at least one minute.

Do not rinse after Star San application.


Common practice is to leave it wet with Starsan. I never saw the "allow to dry" phrase. Very curious.

Agreed, don't rinse the Starsan off, it negates the treatment.
 

processhead

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I am curious, do you have a reference to support this? I think it stands to reason that the surface is in fact still coated with the active ingredients when the water evaporates, making it continue to be hostile to microbes. This is why it's so important not to rinse it off.
While the dry surface may still be coated with active ingredients, I believe the loss of the wetting agent would reduce the effectiveness of its transfer to any microbes.
 

RPh_Guy

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While the dry surface may still be coated with active ingredients, I believe the loss of the wetting agent would reduce the effectiveness of its transfer to any microbes.
I agree this is probably true. But by how much? Also consider the fact that microbes can't survive (very long) without water, so a clean dry surface is already a harsh environment to a limited extent (no food, no water). I'd guess humidity is a major factor.

I've been allowing my equipment to air dry as per the instructions ever since I started brewing about a year ago with no ill effects.

I don't have a bio lab, but I think I could do some simple experiments to see how long the activity persists at least in my brewing ambient. Might be interesting if I get bored.
 

ncbrewer

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I think the instructions are confusing and contradictory. The "Directions" section calls for 1 - 2 minutes contact. This doesn't specify a particular use, so I take it as general directions. The other sections call for 30 seconds, 1 - 2 minutes, 5 minutes, and "must remain wet for at least one minute". The 5 minutes and the "must remain wet for at least one minute" are for homebrew use. In a 2007 Basic Brewing podcast (http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390...02309332&hwt=0192dc634456fee5bb9035ebf1b67a2e) Charley Talley said contact time is 30 seconds realistically, but EPA requires 2 minutes.

I use 30 seconds contact minimum because I trust Charley Talley to know his product. I leave items that aren't needed right away in a shallow pan of Star San and use them wet.
 

bleme

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I'd also like to point out that you don't have to Star-San everything, only what touches your beer after the boil. Everything before then is sanitized by the boil.
 

SlitheryDee

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I think there's supposed to be an understood "If you need your item to be dry" that they left out of the instructions:

If for some reason you want something to be dry AND sanitary, allow to air dry rather than actively drying to maintain sanitation to the extent possible. Otherwise, use while wet.
 
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tsmithee

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Does anyone know if I can mix up a batch of my easy clean from JD Carlson and store it? If so, how long do you think it would stay good for?
 
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tsmithee

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Also thank you everyone for the replies. They have been very helpful.
 

IslandLizard

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Does anyone know if I can mix up a batch of my easy clean from JD Carlson and store it? If so, how long do you think it would stay good for?
Easy Clean is Sodium Percarbonate, basically the same as "Oxiclean."

Once dissolved in water its loosely bound Oxygen gets released, (it gives you tiny bubbles and foam) and when that's gone, what's left over is a solution of cheap washing soda (sodium carbonate sold as "laundry booster").

You can store the used solution almost indefinitely, but the oxygen content will be far reduced or nil. Yet, it still works fine as a general brewery cleaner, although without the oxygen. Oxygen in cleaners is overrated anyway, IMO. I mostly use regular washing soda, or homemade PBW (see below) where it's needed and where it counts.

Next time you're shopping get a tub of Oxiclean or a generic equivalent from your dollar store or Wally's Mart. It will work the same as Easy Clean for a much better price. Or look for a (3-4 pound) box of washing soda (aka laundry booster).

The really good brewery cleaner is "homemade PBW." 70% Oxiclean with 30% TSP/90 (Red Devil) added. That TSP/90 really adds good cleaning power, much more than oxygen, IMO.

One note on Easy Clean, it should be rinsed off before sanitizing. I know they say it's no-rinse, but that's a load of bull. What clings to the surface is an (alkaline) washing soda solution that may reduce StarSan's effectiveness.
 
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tsmithee

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I'm sorry guys for so many questions. So I got a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot to mix up 5 gallons of my Star San. I measured everything perfectly (the water and the Star San) and it's cloudy. Is that normal?

I apologize again for so many questions.
 

day_trippr

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Cloudy is ok, as long as the pH is still at 3.5 or below. The cloudiness happens due to minerals in the water reacting with the acids in Star San.
If you want to keep the Star San mix around without worrying about the pH (much) use distilled water...

Cheers!
 

c673986

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There's a Basic Brewing Radio episode where the owner/creator of starsan is interviewed. One of best and informative ever. He says star san kills everything in 35 seconds. The FDA made him put 2 minutes on the label. He said that Star San is effective as long as the ph is below 3.5. He also gave a recipe for using bleach to sanitize. I cant remember exactly the ratios, but it involved some vinegar to lower the ph.

And for the guy in the above post, use R.O. water and it will not turn cloudy. I use the water from the machine at the supermarket, which is R.O. and 35 cents a gallon. I have a food grade (white) 5 gal bucket and the gamma seal lid from home depot. I've never had cloud, even after months, and the ph doesnt degrade, I've got a ph meter.

All you need to know: http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr03-29-07.mp3
 

RPh_Guy

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He also gave a recipe for using bleach to sanitize. I cant remember exactly the ratios, but it involved some vinegar to lower the ph.
1 oz bleach and then 1 oz vinegar added to 5 gal water (or 6mL each per gallon) is a no-rinse sanitizer at these concentrations. ... In a well-ventilated area while making it.
 

day_trippr

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There's like a bazillion hits on mixing bleach and vinegar.
Sounds like fun! :D
 
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