Star San question

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Brewhaa

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I understand that Star San is a no rinse sanitizer, but isn't anyone concerned about the chemical residue left behind from this? I'm watching videos of people spaying there equipment down with this solution and introducing the beer direclty afterward. I dont want this in my beer. If you pull up the MSDS on dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, its not all rainbows and unicorns.
 

IslandLizard

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If you're concerned about ingesting residual Starsan components, after they're treated, you can rinse it off with clean tap water that you normally would drink. Or use pre-boiled, hot or warm water if you're concerned about your tap water quality.

By rinsing off, you'd be losing the sanitary properties on those surfaces. But if everything remains clean and it doesn't stay exposed for longer times (say over 5-10 minutes), it should be fine. Dust and bugs in the air could land on those rinsed-off surfaces and potentially spoil your beer. Maybe shut off your hot air system or AC while handling/transferring your wort or beer, etc.

For example, milling or handling grain (such as filling your mash tun with milled grain) in your brewing area should be avoided.
 

IslandLizard

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Or, you could use an Iodine based sanitizer (such as Iodophor, IO-Star, etc.), instead.
Be aware, working solutions of Iodine only last one day, max.
 

wsmith1625

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Dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid is only 15% of the concentrated Star-San solution. When properly mixed at 6 ML per gallon of water there is little to be concerned about. You're goal is to wet the surfaces of your brew gear to sanitize, which will leave a very small volume of the diluted mixture in contact with your beer.

Chemical: Dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid
Green circle
Green circle - The chemical has been verified to be of low concern based on experimental and modeled data.
EPA Safer Choice
Source: EPA Safer Choice
Record Name: Dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid
URL: Safer Chemical Ingredients List | US EPA
Description: The Safer Choice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform and are safer for human health and the environment.
License URL: Privacy Act Laws, Policies and Resources | US EPA
 

hotbeer

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Toxicity of most everything depends on the amounts that it takes to be considered toxic. And many things in small amounts are beneficial. Like water!

However even the stuff that isn't beneficial will usually be handled and safely removed by your body functions. And for certain the little bit of sanitizer that remains on your bottles, FV and other things will be way way diluted by the beer you put into it.

Possibly you might should be as much concerned about the alcohol in the beer you are making.
 

kevin58

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isn't anyone concerned about the chemical residue left behind from this?
Short answer... No. Starsan has been on the market for how many years? Decades? The testing it has gone through is rigorous. If there were going to be problems they would have turned up long, long ago. But if it makes you uncomfortable and you don't want it in your beer use something else.
 

grzrk

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I have found that mixing StarSan with distilled or deionized water helps it last a really long time. It basically never turns cloudy or gummy.
I can't believe this never occurred to me to give a try. I'm due for a fresh bucket, going to give this one a whirl!
 

pvtpublic

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I have couple of ideas for you. I also don't like the idea of using chemicals in something I'm going to ingest, not that the GMO grains I'm using is any more appealing, but that's beside the point.

I use straight distilled white vinegar with iodized salt mixed in to sanitize everything. Then I rinse it all with Bud Light. I somehow wind up with tons of it from family gatherings, since everyone brings their own beer, but wind up drinking what I bring. It's already sanitary, and since it's devoid of flavor, it won't impart anything.

The other suggestion is to use your Star San as usual, but as before, rinse it with Bud Light, or other BMC. In lieu of the malt flavored seltzers, you can boil some water and let it cool while covered and use that to rinse. Take note though, if you were to use bottled water, it may not be fully sanitary.
 

hamachi

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I have couple of ideas for you. I also don't like the idea of using chemicals in something I'm going to ingest... I use straight distilled white vinegar with iodized salt mixed in to sanitize everything. Then I rinse it all with Bud Light.

This fear of "chemicals" in beer makes no sense to me. In the above approach, you are using acetic acid, sodium chloride, ethanol, and small amounts of esters and other organic compounds in your homemade sanitizer. All of these are chemicals. When you ferment beer, the yeast give off god knows how many chemicals in addition to ethanol.

But unless you have specific reason to believe a chemical is hazardous at the level you're ingesting it ("dose makes the poison"), there is no reason to be concerned just because it is a "chemical".
 

pvtpublic

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This fear of "chemicals" in beer makes no sense to me. In the above approach, you are using acetic acid, sodium chloride, ethanol, and small amounts of esters and other organic compounds in your homemade sanitizer. All of these are chemicals. When you ferment beer, the yeast give off god knows how many chemicals in addition to ethanol.

But unless you have specific reason to believe a chemical is hazardous at the level you're ingesting it ("dose makes the poison"), there is no reason to be concerned just because it is a "chemical".
Why should anyone care that it doesn't make sense to YOU?
 

McMullan

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When people express concern about 'chemicals' it's usually obvious from the context they're actually referring to manmade/synthetic chemicals chemical firms selling them claim are 'safe' based on an edumicated guess usually. Often biological systems aren't able to process synthetic compounds efficiently, which makes them potentially harmful, despite what the firms making money out of them claim. We should always limit how much of these chemicals we ingest and dump in the environment. Be afraid, because no one really knows what effects many of these chemicals have. Often lack of data is abused as 'evidence they must be harmless', which is a bit cognitively dissonant and loaded with bias.
 

catalanotte

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I’m more worried about the sheet in my water based on the report I get from the local water utility. Radium, lead, arsenic. All low levels but bad stuff. I’ll take my chances with the foam.
 

McMullan

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The manufacturer claims it breaks down to a sugar (doesn't say which one) and becomes a yeast nutrient.

They also admit starsan is 'hazardous to animals', I noticed. Why this animal uses it very sparingly.
 

wsmith1625

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They also admit starsan is 'hazardous to animals', I noticed. Why this animal uses it very sparingly.
My guess is that most animals don't know how to properly dilute Star-San and also don't know safe practices for using the diluted mixture. Both concentrated and diluted Star-San is not meant to be ingested. It is not a food or a beverage. It can also cause skin irritation if exposed to skin for a prolonged time so either use gloves or suffer with dry and red hands for a day. Most of us animals on HBT understand this.
 
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One has to look at the ingredients and make the decision on it's safety. It has surfactant and phosphoric acid right? So the amounts left inside a fermetor is the equivalent to drinking 0.1ml or less of dish soap and a sip of coca cola (which contains a lot of phosphoric acid)... the coca cola is less safe for you than starsan imho. I can't say what the poster is comfortable with but I drank a sip of diluted starsan and didn't even get diarrhea. I'm sure i've drank a lot more than that over my batches and i'm not worried in the least about starsan. Iodophor on the other hand worries me tremendously.
 

McMullan

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The main hazardous compound in starsan -
Dodecylbenzene Sulfonic Acid - causes gill and liver damage at sublethal doses in fish. It harms other aquatic life, too, including plants. Its half-life in the environment combined with discharge rates in many areas, not just from home brewers, most likely has a negative ecological impact. This is why I use it sparingly and only make a litre or two, which is more than enough for my needs for a week or two of being reused. According to the 'comet assay' it's mutagenic. This is why I don't spray it all over the shop. I make a conscious effort to try not to inhale too much starsan mist, because our lungs are kind of gills. I just hope an unfortunate correlation between starsan and its users doesn't surface some day. The manufacturer making money out of it claims its safe, but how do they know? Clue: they don't. Risk assessments - as with most commercially available chemicals - are grossly incomplete.

My advice is respect starsan, the environment and yourself; use it sparingly and carefully. It's not suitable for all sanitation situations. It's not necessary for all situations. It's quite effective as bactericide, but a little bit crap against yeasts, including those of the wildling kind.

Don't overlook traditional sanitising chemicals like bleach and Iodophor. They're significantly more effective sanitisers generally and can be dumped down the drain when no longer active. I bleach soak glass bottles and plastic stuff and use no-rinse iodophor (12.5ppm) to sanitise stainless FVs/kegmenters, kegs and fittings.

If unsure what to use in a particular situation, post a question on HBT.

Edit: if small and autoclavable, I'll sterilise it in a pressure cooker, like these floating dip tubes I'm about to do.
DSC_0550.JPG

The crude design makes them difficult to clean let alone sanitise. I don't want the previous occupants contaminating my next batch.
 
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rmchair

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Dont forget all the fine pbw dust getting in your eyes. I close my eyes, hold my breath and then leave the room after opening up the tub and getting a scoop. Even the fumes from rinsing with it in hot water are nasty.
 
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