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star san foam ok?

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Righlander

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first time using star san. whats up with the foam in my carboy that won't come out? is that normal?
 

Jaha35

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You can put a little water in there to swish around and grab the foam and pour out. However I usually just let it reduce and the pour whatever out I can then just pour my wort on top of it. Some have said this is perfectly fine. Better to let a more knowledgeable brewer to answer it though.


Let me know how that Oktoberfest turns out. I want to try that kit soon!
 
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After sanitizing your carboy with StarSan, don't rinse with water unless it's been boiled and cooled. Better yet, don't rinse at all, it's totally unnecessary and will do more harm than good.

I have absolutely no qualms about racking wort or finished beer into a vessel filled with StarSan foam. In fact, I like how the foam oozes out the top, sanitizing everything in it's path!
 

alpo

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It took me some getting used to. Before Starsan, my only experience with foam like that was with soap, which I was in the habit of always rinsing off.
 

billtzk

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I have tried chanting "Don't fear the foam" for minutes at a time, but it's no use. I'm afraid of it. I tried tasting it and it didn't taste like much. I racked a mead onto it, and there is no aftertaste in the mead that I can detect. I racked 10 gallons of beer onto it in my 14.5 gallon conical. I just moved that beer into secondary to condition and it tastes none the worse.

Even so, that foam is scary stuff. I cannot get used to it. I feel slightly queasy every time I see it left over in my fermenters. You cannot get the stuff to come out, even with prolonged draining. It has surfactants in it. Soap is a type of surfactant. I just can't seem to get over this. I feel like I'm racking onto soap. It's just too much for me. I will stick with Iodophore.
 

BarleyWater

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Iodine is definately far more dangerous than star san. Don't think of it like soap, think of it like what it is, toothpaste. Star san is basically nothing more than water, toothpaste, and phosphoric acid (same stuff that's in Coca Cola). I am not afraid to put any of those things in my mouth, and that's all star san is. The people from five star chemicals have done a few interviews on Basic Brewing and The Brewing Network, and Star San is the best stuff a homebrewer could hope for.
 

radtek

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Funny... On a tube of toothpaste is usually written "do not swallow."

The only thing I worry about is the surfactants in Starsan. I used it a couple of days ago as usual to keg quickly but I still worried about it. I use Iodophor too while brewing but it is more convenient to keep a bucket of Starsan solution around for general sanitization.
 
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Righlander

Righlander

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Starsan foam is safe. People on this forum have been using it for years. Don't fear the foam!
Good, because I didn't swish it out with water. I just tried to drain as much of it as possible but there was still some foam in there. TY for the help
 

billtzk

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You certainly shouldn't drink Iodophore, but it is perfectly safe when used according to directions. It is normally used at a concentration of 12.5 PPM. You would have to drink two ounces of Iodophore at that dilution per day for an extended period of time for it to be an issue. Most people don't drink their sanitizers.
 
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You certainly shouldn't drink Iodophore, but it is perfectly safe when used according to directions. It is normally used at a concentration of 12.5 PPM. You would have to drink two ounces of Iodophore at that dilution per day for an extended period of time for it to be an issue. Most people don't drink their sanitizers.
Oh, I'm sure Iodophor is safe at the right dilution. And obviously LOTS of people use it, and are very happy with it. It's a good product, no doubt. Still, once in a while I do read a thread where somebody says their beer tastes like iodine, and it's pretty obvious why. OTOH, I never read a thread where somebody says that foam ruined their beer! In fact, there are even stories of people racking their beer onto a few quarts of Starsan, and still ending up with a delicious result.

Tonight, I kegged three gallons of apfelwein, into a keg that I sanitized by pouring in Starsan and shaking it up. Of course it was filled with foam...and I loved that the foam floated on top as the keg filled, protecting the precious beverage. When I serve that apfelwein, nobody will ever know or care that the foam was there, they'll just know they're drinking something really good.

If StarSan weren't available, I'd go with Iodophor. However, it is available. :D
 

bull8042

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BLL pretty much said all that needs to be said to quell your fears, but I will add one thing. According to the scientist that created StarSan, it is a great killer as long as the pH is in the proper range/dilution. As soon as the pH increases, ie racking wort into it, it breaks down into benign components that actually act as yeast nutrients. He has on occasion actually drank it to show that it is not harmful like some people think. If you are a molecular level nasty, you have much to fear. Otherwise, it is the perfect sanitizer that will NOT harm your brew or it's flavor.
DON'T FEAR THE FOAM!
 

billtzk

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Oh, I'm sure Iodophor is safe at the right dilution. And obviously LOTS of people use it, and are very happy with it. It's a good product, no doubt. Still, once in a while I do read a thread where somebody says their beer tastes like iodine, and it's pretty obvious why. OTOH, I never read a thread where somebody says that foam ruined their beer! In fact, there are even stories of people racking their beer onto a few quarts of Starsan, and still ending up with a delicious result.

Tonight, I kegged three gallons of apfelwein, into a keg that I sanitized by pouring in Starsan and shaking it up. Of course it was filled with foam...and I loved that the foam floated on top as the keg filled, protecting the precious beverage. When I serve that apfelwein, nobody will ever know or care that the foam was there, they'll just know they're drinking something really good.

If StarSan weren't available, I'd go with Iodophor. However, it is available. :D
It would take a gross error in dilution strength of Iodophor to end up with a detectable smell or flavor of iodine in beer. Read about Robert's, (not terribly scientific) NO RINSE Experiment halfway down this page. In fact the whole article is worth reading for anyone wondering about the efficacy and safety of Iodophor.

Star San is an excellent sanitizer. Irrational or not, some people don't like the foam. Iodophor is also an excellent sanitizer. You do a disservice to new brewers by implying that Iodophor is unsafe or can leave a detectable iodine flavor in your beer. Neither claim is true.
 

radtek

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What about surfactants and head retention? I've used Starsan for a very long time but this has always concerned me.

Case in point: I filled a quart measuring cup with starsan solution and poured it out and let it dry. A few days later I filled the measuring cup up and it started foaming up like it had dish detergent in it. Took several rinses to wash it out. Try it...

I've had less trouble with Starsan than Iodophor in the great scheme but there's always a trade off.
 

McNasty

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I love Starsan. One of the pod casts I listened to mentioned a product like Starsan but without the foam. I think it's Saniclean. I like the foam, so I never looked into it.
 

Jaha35

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I love Starsan. One of the pod casts I listened to mentioned a product like Starsan but without the foam. I think it's Saniclean. I like the foam, so I never looked into it.
Saniclean is the same stuff just as you said, lower foam. It is good for some applications but as I understand it, Star Sans is the best solution a Home Brewer can use. The foam is actually good because it works faster and helps get into areas that may have been missed.

I was researching cleansers and Sanitizers for a couple weeks and now have a couple. C-Brite does Sanitize but Star Sans is so much easier. When I did my 2nd two brews I mixed it up in my carboy, racked it to my brew pot, drained it to my bottling bucket, then washed everything, then kept it in a bucket. I have been using it for a week now and it is still foaming away and sanitizing. I toss it generally after both my primaries are full because it won't be used for a few weeks. I probably could keep it longer than that. I even use it on a few other things like my cutting board, etc...

It has no strong aroma and is not harmful to ingest like C-Brite or others. Right now I am using C-Brite to clean with and when that runs out I am just gonna stick with Oxyclean because it is very effective and doesn't smell. I guess you could use B-Brite too but why pay the money when so many have success with Oxy. bar Keepers Friend for my brewpot, and Star Sans for EVERYTHING.

For my last batch I racked onto the foam and watched it rise to the top just as the other poster said. :cross:
 
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You do a disservice to new brewers by implying that Iodophor is unsafe or can leave a detectable iodine flavor in your beer. Neither claim is true.
I haven't claimed or even implied it's unsafe, you're reading between the lines or hearing voices. MANY times I've heard brewers complain about iodine flavor, and Iodophor is always involved. Yeah, they probably used a bit too much. This common mistake wouldn't be an issue with an essentially flavorless sanitizer like StarSan, but with Iodophor it's a ruined batch.

So just to be clear, Iodophor is perfectly safe and it won't flavor your beer if you dilute it properly. As previously mentioned, it's good stuff and I'd use it myself if something better weren't available.

Disservice to new brewers, please... :drunk:
 
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I love Starsan. One of the pod casts I listened to mentioned a product like Starsan but without the foam. I think it's Saniclean. I like the foam, so I never looked into it.
Saniclean is great if you are using a pump to circulate sanitizer, sometimes the foam of StarSan can make it hard to prime your pump.
 

McKBrew

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Long term computer modeling has shown that starsan will eventually cause you to turn into a female. The thing is that it takes something like 62.2 years for this to happen, so most of us won't see any changes until 80 or 90, and we'll probably attribute it to one of the other diseases we already have.
 

Moonshae

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OTOH, I never read a thread where somebody says that foam ruined their beer!
Here's one for you, even if it isn't a thread by itself.

I bottled some beer and left the foam in the bottles (after shaking/draining as much as I could) and all the beers tasted like metal (the starsan taste; to me, it's metallic) when they were opened a week later. The beer coming out of the taps was fine, it was just the bottles, and all of them. The only link between all the different brews in the bottles was the star san.
 
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I bottled some beer and left the foam in the bottles (after shaking/draining as much as I could) and all the beers tasted like metal (the starsan taste; to me, it's metallic) when they were opened a week later. The beer coming out of the taps was fine, it was just the bottles, and all of them. The only link between all the different brews in the bottles was the star san.
Starsan doesn't taste metallic, just a slightly tart flavor. Perhaps it was the caps?

You say it tasted fine on tap, what was used to sanitize the kegs?
 

Jaha35

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Metallic flavor doesn't sound like Star Sans really. Possibly but it could be other factors. Exposure to metal does it but so can some infections take on a metallic or mediciney taste. I have had some beers (commercially) that were awfully metallic and it was all to do with brewing processes and infections. For instance some infected tap lines in bars can produce metallic flavors in beer.
 

BlackCoffeeandBourbon

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glad someone asked about the foam. thanks for all the good info guys. i was freaking out about it last time i racked my beer to secondary. now i know it's all good. :)
 

malkore

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Here's one for you, even if it isn't a thread by itself.

I bottled some beer and left the foam in the bottles (after shaking/draining as much as I could) and all the beers tasted like metal (the starsan taste; to me, it's metallic) when they were opened a week later. The beer coming out of the taps was fine, it was just the bottles, and all of them. The only link between all the different brews in the bottles was the star san.
except I know dozens of brewers that left an inch or so of star san in their bottling bucket, racked on it, bottled, and said the beer tasted perfect. Not a hint of any off flavors.

So a tiny bit of foam in the bottles is not the reason you taste a metallic off flavor.
 
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