Sanitizer Question

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HomeBrewMasterRace

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Hi All,

I've heard things from friends but i wanted to run this by everyone on here. I have friends who swear that you can save the sanitizer for 2 weeks until you're ready to bottle (he stores it in a 5 gallon keg) and i've heard never to save sanitizer (at my local brew supply store). I guess my question is a 2 part questions.

1) Should you store a sanitizer/water blend until bottling

2) If you can save sanitizer, is there a proper way to save it?

I want to state, that i have personally never tried saving it, but am curious if it's possible to.
 

Calder

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What sanitizer?

Idophor, or other iodine based sanitizer is recommended for only 24 hours. Probably good for 48 hours.

StarSan, or other acid based sanitizer will last for months. Provided the ph stays low. Nothing special to store, just keep dust out.

I use Idophor in a 5 gallon bucket when bottling, and pour it away when done. I use it to sanitize bottles, hoses, and carboys. I keep a gallon of Starsan in a bowl on the bench (with a lid on it) that I use for months; just drop things in it as needed for 30 seconds and done, or pour a couple of pints into a carboy and swirl around a few times and then pour back into container.
 

MaxStout

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With Starsan, you can mix it and store for as long as its pH stays below about 3. I mix up 5 gallons and store it in a plastic 5-gallon bucket with a lid on. I use it over and over for months.

Another way to conserve Starsan is to fill a quart size spray bottle. Spray down items that are too bulky to be dunked, so you won't need to make a huge batch.
 
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HomeBrewMasterRace

HomeBrewMasterRace

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I use B-T-F IODOPHOR -- It's iodine based so i won't save.

I like the idea though of a starsan spray bottle
 

Calder

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I use B-T-F IODOPHOR -- It's iodine based so i won't save.
It will not keep for 2 weeks. Supposed to be only good for 24 hours, but I guess you could get away with using it after a few days.

Idophor is cheaper than Starsan, but Idophor is basically a single use, while Starsan can be kept for a long time. If you have to make up a large volume, use Idophor, if you only need a little, Starsan is much more convenient to keep on hand. Both have their place.
 
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HomeBrewMasterRace

HomeBrewMasterRace

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Sounds like a good plan, I'm going to do both, a starsan spray bottle and then when it comes to a large amount of sanitizer needed, I'll use the idophor.

Thanks all!
 

jcaggiano

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With Starsan, you can mix it and store for as long as its pH stays below about 3. I mix up 5 gallons and store it in a plastic 5-gallon bucket with a lid on. I use it over and over for months.

Another way to conserve Starsan is to fill a quart size spray bottle. Spray down items that are too bulky to be dunked, so you won't need to make a huge batch.
Same. Just freshen up with StarSan to keep PH around 2.5. You'll know as it will cloud up. Generally, I do dump after a month as what I keep on hand was used for post-boil sanitation and clean up. Sort of Short and Shoddy but so far so good.

I have a smaller spray bottle that I fill from the bucket...
 

Calder

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Same. Just freshen up with StarSan to keep PH around 2.5. You'll know as it will cloud up.
That is not a completely correct statement. I have 2 water sources (at different times of the year). With one the StarSan mix is clear, with the other, the StarSan mix is cloudy right from when I mix it up.
 

cubalz

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I keep Starsan mixed up in solution in my brew room for months on end with no issues. Been doing it that way for more years than I can count.
 

eric19312

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That is not a completely correct statement. I have 2 water sources (at different times of the year). With one the StarSan mix is clear, with the other, the StarSan mix is cloudy right from when I mix it up.
My star-san is always cloudy within a few hours of mixing it. I keep if for a month or two then make fresh, 5 gallons at a time. I keep it in keg but the keg is not sealed. Probably not even closed. I check the pH when it is getting older but I've never seen pH get anywhere close to above 3.
 
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I believe it helps to use low mineral water with StarSan. I use my reverse osmosis water. I've kept a 5 gallon keg and used it over and over to sanitize and purge kegs for months.
 

balrog

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StarSan will cloud with some water's mineral content, but as said, if it's below 3 pH it will still sanitize.
 

newtobrew1981

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What's the point of saving it. It doesn't make sense to jeopardize your wort or beer to save a couple of cents
 

Calder

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What's the point of saving it. It doesn't make sense to jeopardize your wort or beer to save a couple of cents
Because it makes it really freakin handy, and makes it really cheap to use.

I keep a bowl with 1 gallon in it. I toss in mason jars when I want to harvest yeast, my Turkey baster when I want to take a sample, airlock when I want to swap out my blow-off, anytime I need to quickly sanitize something. It is really, really handy. And I also use it for the fluid in my airlocks.
 

newtobrew1981

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It's already cheap one ounce per five gal . When you think about the cost of other ingredients and your time it takes to make the wort saving a dollar worth of star San makes no sense imho
 
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