Star San to Sanitize Brew Water?

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Cpt_Kirks

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I often add a little corn sugar to bump up the OG, and add water to increase the volume, as needed. These additions take place after the wort is cooled, when I get my final gravity and volume measurements.

I recently had a BAD infection, and am trying to fix any possible avenue that bacteria could use to get in my brew.

If I add Star San to the added volume and corn sugar water, will it sanitize the water? Other than raising the PH a tad, what will the Star San do to my brew?

:confused:
 

Revvy

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I've wondered about the same thing, actually.....If may be an avenue of homebrewing we haven't pursued yet.

We know starsan becomes yeastfood...But is it still sanitized at that point?
 

Brewmasters Warehouse

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I do not know for sure, but my thinking would be that it would work fine as long as the amounts of star san are relatively low, and mixed into the wort before pitching. If you had to top off with a gallon of freshly made Star San without mixing, the Star San solution would be sitting on top of the wort, and if pitched directly onto the solution would possibly kill a lot of yeasties.
 

luvmy40

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Wouldn't Campden tablets be a better(?) product for this.
I'm not saying StarSan won't work but sanitizing water is the original function of the Campden tabs, isn't it? You'd still have to make sure the concentration isn't high enough to stop fermentation...
 

cactusgarrett

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I would guess that the amount of Star San needed to sanitize that amount of water might impart some off flavors if pitched into 5 gallons. Just a WAG, as I don't intend on ever trying it. I'd rather just boil, cool and use and not worry.
 

beerkrump

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IIRC, StarSan needs to be at a certain concentration of best efficacy. StarSan relies on acidity and an organic-anionic detergent to kill bacteria, yeast, and spores. Once the pH is higher than 3.5 it becomes food for plants, bacteria, and yeast.
 

Homercidal

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I think most people just boil up a pint or so of water and add their sugar to that. That is what I do anyway. I even stopped worrying about hot water temp since the first bit of beer that hits is will cool it down and you only lose a tiny fraction of the living yeast that way.
 

mikfire

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Starsan is safe for yeast only above a pH of 3.5. Below that, it will kill yeast just like it kills everything else (all of this is explained in Brew Strong's episode on sanitizing). I would anticipate that you would have to mix it to have pH of 3.5 or less in order to sanitize the water. At which point any pitching of yeast will be ... well, mass yeasticide.

The flavor profile would not be very good, even if the yeast could survive. Having had to start a few siphons with my mouth, I can safely report that starsan does not taste anything like water.

Not to mention what consuming so much active starsan would do the good beasties in your digestive tract.

In short, boil it.
 

springer

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if we are talking a quart or so of Sanitizer there would be no effect on the beer . I and many here have had that much if not more accidentally get into the fermentor either by forgetting it was still in there or suck back. I had almost a quart and a half of blowoff sanitizer in my last Octoberfast that I was crash cooling. Open the fridge and the growler was just about bone dry.. Beer tasted fine.


But really its easier to just boil the water and let it cool
 

Tennessee Brew

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This thread sort of peaked my curiosity. I am a survivalist so naturally this got me to thinking, if you had water out of a pond, lake or stream, would star san kill purify that water for drinking purpose? Would probably taste crappy but it seems this might work (sorry for bumping an old thread but I couldn't help it)
 
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Got me- I tend to not look at the posting dates. But Tennessee I think you do have a good question. I do a lot of backpacking in the Northeast where giardia tends to be an issue. Had it once, don't want it again. I boil, filter, or use a steripen, depending on the situation and what I have with me. Usually have a bottle of iodine tabs or chlorine dioxide as a backup if needed. The problem with using starsan, as I see it, is that you would have to use it at recommended dilution strength for it to work. I know there are videos of the starsan boss drinking it, but have you tried it? Not tasty, and with a pH low enough for it to be effective, I'm guessing your GI tract would not be happy if you're chugging a qt. or so. Now, I do starsan my containers for the water I store for power outages, but that's just a rinse and pour-out before filling with water. I am interested in looking up how effective metabisulphite (camden) might be as a backwoods water sanitizer. If you find any info, please post it. Thanks! :mug:
 

kevin58

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The better idea would be to work on your equipment profile so you don't need to fix low OG or volume.
 
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