Star San question??

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Byrdbrewer

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quick question about star san -

I just used star san today for the first time - I mixed up a 5 gal batch and since it was the first time using it, I used black latex gloves. I cleaned 24 22 ounce bottles, but there seemed to be a sulphur smell emanating from the batch of star san. I read on another forum of some one having the same problem when using dish gloves. Can anyone comment on this, is it a reaction to the gloves? or is this common?
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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good to know, I'll keep that in mind

Has anyone experienced this or heard of star san reacting to any surfaces other than metal
 

Ohio-Ed

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I know you have to be very careful with un-diluted starsan on formica countertops.
I have heard of people just sitting the lid down and leaving a permanent ring.
 

Arkador

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Starsan is harmless as long as it is deluted. You can even drink it.

Concentrated is a different story
 

Ohio-Ed

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Mixing a 5g batch is a waste. I only, ever, mix it into my spray bottle. I use that to santize everything, including carboys.

I agree... sorta ;)
I mix 2.5 gallons at a time in a container of distilled water, then fill spray bottles from that.

I do mix 5 gallons with tap water when I am hosting a group brew, and let everyone use it. It gets dumped at the end of the day.
 

giligson

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If you have any equipment that has previously been sanitized with a concentrated sulfite solution (for instance from wine making) especially plastic tanks, the starsan acidity will knock any residual sulfur out as H2S gas, giving a nice rotten egg smell.
 

jessup

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i had diluted starsan sitting in a bottling bucket for about a week out of laziness. figured what can it hurt. when i went to rinse the bucket, the plastic spigot on the bottling bucket literally fell apart. i am wondering if the starsan somehow reacted with the plastic and deteriorated it. strange...
 

Homercidal

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I wonder if the starsan reacted with the gloves. Some things may be susceptible to the acid to a certain degree. I doubt it will affect the beer though.

I usually mix up 1 gallon for my whole brew day, and then refill my spray bottle with it too. If you don't have a spray bottle, get one. They are so much easier for almost everything. I mix up 1 gallon simply because I use it to pump through my autosiphon and to wash out the fermenters, carboys, etc. I've used the spray bottle for that and it works ok too.
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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ya I only mixed up 5 gal because I have about 3 days of brewing ahead of me, I filled up 3 1 gal water jugs and filled my spray bottle so I would be good all week -

Also when Im sanatizing bottles I just fill one bottle up and and dump it into the next, untill all my bottles have been sanitized. Star san is reusable right? at least on brew day I would think.
 

Ohio-Ed

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I hear re-usable a lot.
Personally, I don't "re-use" Starsan other than maybe a communal bucket for a quick dunk on brew days. And then that gets dumped at the end of the day.

For instance, I hear folks say they add it to one bottle then pour from one to the next.

I don't bottle that much, but when I do, I spray a few squirts into each bottle, swirl them around and dump it down the drain when finished.

May not really be an issue, but I feel like you'd be contaminating the next bottle with whatever was left in the first (even if it's now dead) if you dump one to the next. Starsan is not THAT expensive. If you add 2 ounces to each of 48 bottles and dump it, it's still less than a gallon total.

For what it's worth... just the way I do it.
 

Jps7117

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I know you have to be very careful with un-diluted starsan on formica countertops.
I have heard of people just sitting the lid down and leaving a permanent ring.

+1 I have a couple permanent spots on my new countertop. Stuff is great though!
 

Jimbo5Star

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Wow, u mates covered a lot of groud. Yes, Star San is an acid so acts with acidity. Full strength it is corrosive (first word under 'cautions' on label is CORROSIVE!) so kitchen counters are fair game if not wiped promptly. In solution, Star San can pull moisture from less dense plastics so long term storage can sometimes be problematic.

As for the aroma, the active root acid is DDBSA (DodecylbenzeneSULFONIC acid). So very little of that molecule chain is sulphur that it is superhuman to detect it, but there it is. Nothing to worry about and it is possible that certain other items might enhance the intensity of the smell. Nitrile gloves are great idea and what we supply to Pro brewers through our equipment side. No worries though, as it relates to your brew, Star San is aroma and flavor neutral and proven to impart no off-odors or flavors to your wonderful craft beer (wine, root beer, whatever).
 

Monty420th

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my local store said that star san can only be stored effectively for a couple of days (maybe) and still be useful. He mentioned that most of the sanitizing power is lost within the first 2-4 hours so anything longer than that don't use anything you have saved.

Granted he might just be trying to drum up more business for himself...personally I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to cleaning out my equipment

as far as the gloves go, I wouldn't use them if I were you, that stuff will not harm you assuming you are washing your hands
 

GLoBaLReBeL

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Just a quick question . . . how long do you guys let it contact things before its sanatized? I remember reading somewhere that 30 seconds is enough.

Ie. I use my spray bottle to spray my stirring spoon. I then let that sit for about 1 minute. I then spray a new paper towel with some star san and wipre down the spoon just to get most of the star san off before using the spoon. Is this sufficient, or overkill?

Found the answer myself at the top of this page hahah READ ME U NOOB!
 

nootay

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i will be using starsan for the first time this weekend. When does it foam? does it foam when you mix up the solution? I guess im just trying to figure out how everyone uses it. ill be sanitizing my ferment bucket, spoon, brew kettle, etc to start my brew. should i just spray it on everything?
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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i will be using starsan for the first time this weekend. When does it foam? does it foam when you mix up the solution? I guess im just trying to figure out how everyone uses it. ill be sanitizing my ferment bucket, spoon, brew kettle, etc to start my brew. should i just spray it on everything?
make sure you read the directions, if your going to spray it on, mix up a 5 gal batch, fill your spray bottle and maybe a few 1 gal water jugs then use the rest to sanatize with, I think its like 30 ml to 5 gal, I cant remember but the botlte comes with a measuring device on it so you cant screw it up. also, dispite all the cowboys that drink it and splash it around to make a point, dont ever put your faith in the FDA, there are plenty of things out there that you can drink that wont kill you, but over time can make you very sick, or even cause death - don't be paranoid, but use common sense.
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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i will be using starsan for the first time this weekend. When does it foam? does it foam when you mix up the solution? I guess im just trying to figure out how everyone uses it. ill be sanitizing my ferment bucket, spoon, brew kettle, etc to start my brew. should i just spray it on everything?
I use a spray bottle for the larger stuff and a wall paper trough for all my soakable items while I'm brewing - spoons, airlocks, tubing, bottling equipment. I don’t have any way to test ph at the moment so I only save it for 24 hrs, but keep in mind I've only used Star San 3 or 4 times. I just started using it last week. So far I like it, but I wont be using gloves any more, it doesn’t seem to irritate my skin .

on a side note, I did notice that the next day after spraying down the lid to a fermenter, when I picked it up a long black drip streaked across the lid (from the airlock grommet), so there are definitely some corrosive qualities to rubber, for that reason I rinse, but its not necessary and some would argue that it actually risks contamination
 

Ohio-Ed

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i will be using starsan for the first time this weekend. When does it foam? does it foam when you mix up the solution? I guess im just trying to figure out how everyone uses it. ill be sanitizing my ferment bucket, spoon, brew kettle, etc to start my brew. should i just spray it on everything?

You really want to have a 60 second contact time.
I guess I'm one of the cowboys referred to earlier... I spray everything very liberally. I spray hands, counters, utensils, hoses, connectors, buckets, airlock, bungs, etc... Any thing that MIGHT touch the wort post boil is likely to get sprayed.
I try to keep an item wet for 60 seconds, I dump any puddles that may result from the spray, then the item is ready to use.
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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You really want to have a 60 second contact time.
I guess I'm one of the cowboys referred to earlier... I spray everything very liberally. I spray hands, counters, utensils, hoses, connectors, buckets, airlock, bungs, etc... Any thing that MIGHT touch the wort post boil is likely to get sprayed.
I try to keep an item wet for 60 seconds, I dump any puddles that may result from the spray, then the item is ready to use.
naaa that sounds sensible to me, thats pretty much what I do, but you wont catch me drinking it, but then again I dont drink my tap water either - I dont spray my counter tops becasue I have cheep counter tops and Ive heard it will pitt and erode. Now that I know I wont have any adverse reactions to it, I will spray my hands too. I like the way it doesnt leave that white haze every where like one step. Its funny to see all the bubles and foam coming out of my air lock, I was out of vodka so I used some Star San I had mixed up.
 

Ohio-Ed

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naaa that sounds sensible to me, thats pretty much what I do, but you wont catch me drinking it, but then again I dont drink my tap water either - I dont spray my counter tops becasue I have cheep counter tops and Ive heard it will pitt and erode. Now that I know I wont have any adverse reactions to it, I will spray my hands too. I like the way it doesnt leave that white haze every where like one step. Its funny to see all the bubles and foam coming out of my air lock, I was out of vodka so I used some Star San I had mixed up.

I have never drank it straight... I have however, sprayed about 1/2 ounce in a bottle during bottling and sampled it later to see if I could tell. I noticed no difference.

Undiluted, it will eat a countertop, but I have never had a problem with it mixed at the proper ratio.

Johnnyo1977 - You got me wondering... I wonder how effective it might be as a contraceptive. Hmmm, who is gonna approach the SWMBO with that experiment :drunk:
 

johnnyo1977

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HAHAHAHA :rockin:

well you know what they say... If it doesn't burn it is not working!

but seriously I all ways have a spray bottle handy and a gallon jug close by I sanitize everything.
 

EO74

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I went to sanitize my secondary using star san i used on brew day about a week ago and it smelled like boiled eggs?I keep it stored in a one gallon jug,this is the second time this has happend to me when i stored it in a plastic watter bottle?I used to dump it after brew day but read somewhere on here u could store it awile:confused:I'll probabbly just start dumping again.Ohh well saylavee
 

jeffmeh

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I went to sanitize my secondary using star san i used on brew day about a week ago and it smelled like boiled eggs?I keep it stored in a one gallon jug,this is the second time this has happend to me when i stored it in a plastic watter bottle?I used to dump it after brew day but read somewhere on here u could store it awile:confused:I'll probabbly just start dumping again.Ohh well saylavee

Did you mix it with distilled water or tap water? With distilled water, I have found that it lasts many months.
 

Zen_Brew

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my local store said that star san can only be stored effectively for a couple of days (maybe) and still be useful. He mentioned that most of the sanitizing power is lost within the first 2-4 hours so anything longer than that don't use anything you have saved.

This is untrue. Myself and several other members pre-mix Starsan and re-use. I usually keep 2-3 gallons pre-mixed. I have some small containers I will fill to drop in things like airlocks, or carboy caps, or keg posts and popits. I have larger containers I put starsan in and soak my transfer hoses, racking cane etc. Sometimes it is easier for me then spraying, although I spray also. When I am done I pour the starsan back into my containers through a funnel and 150 micron strainer bag to strain out any dirt that has gotten in.

Starsan is an acid based sanitizer. If you mix it with distilled or reverse osmosis water it will last for months. The way to verify if it is still good is to take a PH reading. If it is below 3.0 then it is still good.

If you mix Starsan with tap water it can degrade over several hours, days or weeks. The harder your tap water the quicker the Starsan will degrade. That is because Starsan is an acid, and alkaline water is the opposite of an acid. Basically the alkaline water is fighting the acid in Starsan. Starsan in hard tap water will turn a milky color and the PH will rise above 3.0 rendering it ineffective at killing off bacteria.
 

Yambor44

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Only time I get a smell is when my mixture gets stagnant from sitting too long or dirty from throwing things back in the solution after usage (like my auto siphon). FWIW I store Star San in a 5 gallon Homer bucket with one of those screw on lids you can add. I have kept it up to 3 months if I keep it "clean" and the PH was still well below 3 (where you want it to be to be effective). Could have kept it longer I suppose but didn't. I usually keep it for 2 months now and then mix a fresh batch. Anytime I need to fill my spray bottle I just stir it up, dunk it and fill it up.

When I am racking to a keg or into the primary from the boil kettle, I will soak one of those white hand towels in it, wring it out and lay it over the openings of the primary and keg to keep as much "wild" anything from falling or flying in.

No problems at all up to this point and been doing it this way for over a year now.
 

springer

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my local store said that star san can only be stored effectively for a couple of days (maybe) and still be useful. He mentioned that most of the sanitizing power is lost within the first 2-4 hours so anything longer than that don't use anything you have saved.

He is wrong as stated before if used with distilled water it lasts a long time I have had it stored for a couple of months and it still under 3 I check it prior to the brew with PH strips . I think he may have been thinking Iodopher that does not last long at all
 

Monty420th

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If you mix Starsan with tap water it can degrade over several hours, d

perhaps I did not hear the entire conversation (it's that attention disorder thing when I am in a beer store and the only thing I really care about is the next batch). he may have been referring to our tap water in Vegas which, well, is harder than Tiger Woods at a night club. He did not bring up the fact of using distilled water to do this is memory serves.

what is the best container to keep it in if you do want to store and reuse for a couple of months?
 

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I get the rotten egg smell when my solid rubber stopper comes in contacts with Star San. This is especially true with newer stoppers. Despite the smell, it has not degraded or pitted the stopper.

I also spray it liberally all over the place during brewing and bottling. The counter tops, cabinets and floor have suffered no damage despite being soaked in Star San half the day.

The directions on the Star San bottle say to use tap water. My tap water turns Star San milky instantly. So I use R/O from the culligan machine at Walmart ($0.37/gallon). The Star San will remain crystal clear (I don't reuse it though). EDIT I should qualify that even if it is milky, that does not necessarily mean it is ineffective as a sanitizer, but I like to store it so I use the R/O.

To brew 10 gallons it takes me about 1 liter of Star San. To bottle 10 gallons it takes about 3 liters. So I mix up about a gallon at a time, using 6 ml Star San concentrate ($0.09-$0.18). At that rate a 32 oz bottle of Star San will last 10.5 years.
 
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