I can't bleach it's not StarSan

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DarrenTheDrunk

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Hello fellow drinkers

Some of you regulars will remember my posts in regard to using chlorine at various dilutions as a disinfectant. To say I was hounded about this is an understatement. Almost without exception, what everybody said was correct. I am on a learning trail at the moment. The purpose of this post is not to go on about chlorine, however I still use it in certain circumstances and it has many benefits.

Many talked about the Star San and other similar products and I recall my reply was that to use it at the dose rate recommended on the bottle, and to have my fermenters exposed to that ratio for one minute, i.e. 60 L fermenters, makes this option extremely expensive. I was then advised, and again I believe correctly so, that I do not need to fill the entire 60 L fermenter and leave it sit for one minute and that I just needed to wet the surfaces and allow that to sit for one minute.

The same principled discussion was used in relation to disinfecting kegs and bottles and several people said the same thing and the point of this post is, that I was advised I can disinfect a bottle, then pour that into another bottle, and pour that into another bottle and so on. It is reasonable to assume that same principle could be applied to kegs. My point, and I can hear everybody say, for crying out loud get to the bloody point is that, how many times can you do this before the star San becomes in effective? Further, how do you know at what point it becomes ineffective.

At least with chlorine, and I’m not promoting this at all but just making the point, the nose knows when it is ineffective. The same applies to sodium Metabisulphite. So I guess I am saying that I am not sold on star San unless somebody has an answer for me and given the amount of implements that need sanitising and I am one of those wankers that if I am told 10 mil per litre is sufficient, I will do 20 mills per litre to be sure …!!! I am planning now on getting a 20 kg bag of sodium metabisulphite ($50), which also is a “non-rinse” solution and does not have the corrosive effects that chlorine does on the alloy kegs. I would be interested in people’s opinions on this plan of attack. Now remember, we are all friends here, and we must take turns in the sandpit and play nicely together, or Miss will get grumpy at us and we might get spanked!!!.
 

clickeral

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You can reuse it until it gets above a ph of 3.0

Brew Tips: Cloudy StarSan

I tend to filter out any bits mine gets, cloudy isnt an issue as long as its ph 3.0 or below

I also use straight alcohol which I spray on and I don't reuse that
 

MashBasher

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I learned to brew in the 90s, out of Charlie Papazian’s books. Not much internetty wankery back then. No such thing as StarSan or PBW, at least where I was.

Charlie recommended chlorine as a sanitiser. Used it for years. BUT - brewing systems in place then were largely plastic buckets and glass carboys. Diluted chlorine bleach is generally fine with those materials. And the chlorine itself evaporates readily at room temperature (that’s why cats will drink the standing water out of the toilet, if you let them - they don’t like the chlorine that’s added to our water supply). And even so, Charlie warned against the dangers of pitting stainless steel through using bleach, way back then.

So chlorine bleach has a historical place in home brewing. So, unfortunately, does sodium metabisulphite.

Sodium Met is a powerful steriliser - in wine (fun fact - the ancient Romans also used it to for wine making). Wine has a low enough PH to make it effective. Beer generally doesn’t. Sodium Met was promoted by Coopers at around the same time (90’s) and it became popular because it was ubiquitous and came from a trusted source.

The other problem with Sodium Met is it is can have negative health effects if inhaled. I‘m an asthmatic; it makes me pretty frigging sick if I breathe in a whiff.

So I don’t like it because a) not all that effective b) dangerous. Potassium Metabisulphite is marginally better (very common in wine making) but still not all that effective.

What do I use now? PBW and StarSan. Why? It’s simply better. And I have a lot of stainless these days. Honestly, coupled with a bucket blaster from KegLand and a couple of fittings, I end up using bugger all chemicals - and far less time than I would otherwise.

Last week I needed to clean all 200 plus litres of my fermenter and packaging vessels. That’s stainless conical, brite tank, and half a dozen kegs of various sizes. Took me a couple of hours on each of two afternoons, used about two scoops of PBW and 15 ml of StarSan. Effective and economical.

I won’t be going back to the “good ol’ days”, ‘cos quite frankly they weren’t that good.
 
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paulyg

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Not sure how long it will last but I use about 1.5ml per batch of beer (1.5 ml diluted with 1-litre water in a spray bottle) which is enough to sanitise all bottles, kegs, fermenters equipment etc. So a $6.45 bottle of 500ml Stellar san should last me about 300+ batches of beer.

It costs less than 2 cents per litre, so even if you use twice as much as needed you are only going to spend 4, maybe 5 cents per batch of beer and if you want you can store it for next the batch, but at 3 cents per batch, doesn't seem worth it to me.
 

butisitart

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Not sure how long it will last but I use about 1.5ml per batch of beer (1.5 ml diluted with 1-litre water in a spray bottle) which is enough to sanitise all bottles, kegs, fermenters equipment etc. So a $6.45 bottle of 500ml Stellar san should last me about 300+ batches of beer.

It costs less than 2 cents per litre, so even if you use twice as much as needed you are only going to spend 4, maybe 5 cents per batch of beer and if you want you can store it for next the batch, but at 3 cents per batch, doesn't seem worth it to me.
that's probably about right. i've starsanned through 210 brews on my current bottle, sanitising bottles and fermenters plus tubing and whatever else you use when bottling/prepping a fermenter. i'm about 400ml into a 500ml.
6-7 drops into the bottle sanitizer plunger, more than that and you lose it all to froth - like overloading your washing machine with a whole packet of omo. then the plunger gets tipped into the fermenter for a sanitise, then back to the bottle plunger to be used for whatever else.
plus sanitise caps if i'm not on the swing tops, 6-7 droplets does a full days brew.
never had an issue, and cheap as chips. and no, never even thought to store it for a 2nd brew.
 

ozdevil

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i use star san not only for sanitising fermenters kegs and beer bottles it serves for a few purposes

yes it can be reused a few times ..



i even set up the kitchen sink a mild detergent in 1 sink water in another for rinsing then a bit of starsan in my beer glass washer then just let it air dry

a result of this is the co2 will perform better in the glass if the co2 sticks to the side of a glass you will no the glass is dirty

and i will use the starsan for about a week of drinking
 

kadmium

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Hey mate. All been covered pretty well above there. The softer the water the longer the starsan will be good for. I fill a keg and then just daisy chain from one to the next as I fill them, and it lasts me weeks if not more. Thats 20L which is 45ml but a 500ml bottle is about $15 call it so its just over $1 to do say 5 kegs or 20c a keg. Not too bad.

Meta is ok, but I personally don't use it. Starsan is easy, it foams which lets it get into all the nooks and crannies, the foam is harmless to the yeast, no worries about breathing it in, don't need to get a small resolution scale to mix up say 1L of the stuff. Can put in a spray bottle and spray down stuff with it. Great to keep around.

Just my opinion. Sometimes there's things to save money on and sometimes its easier to just purchase the right tool. It's not super exorbitant if you scale it and use it sparingly compared to your health and losing a batch.

Not having a go, every one is still learning including me.
 

kadmium

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No offence, but at 5ml / L and Star San being 1.5ml / L and both being 500ml with Atomic 15 Foaming Sanitiser (star san) being $13 vs $11 its far more economical to use the Atomic 15. It's also made in Australia.
 

Grmblz

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Haaa, foaming sanitiser, the elephant in the room, "don't fear the foam" yeh fair call, but what about all that air/oxygen that's in the bubbles???
Pot stirred.
 

kadmium

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I mix mine in an O2 purged keg with pure argon.

Buy then again, only sanitising pre fermentation so oxygen good. Other then the few times I forgot the airlocks on, or when I tried to unclog the picnic tap and ducked a heap of sanitising water into my beer hahah
 

kadmium

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I was making a joke in relation to grmblz, I really struggle to convey sarcasm (my main form of communication) over text
 

ozdevil

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stellasan starsan etc

i' wouldnt be skimping on them 1ml goes along way

love the stuff on brewday get the bucket blaster for kegs and fermenters in a 10l bucket with a bit of water and about 2.5ml of stella san and just enough to drown the pump and away ya go job done in secods chuck in scissors etc what ya going to use and bobs ya uncle

off course theres other ways but why make it harder i just love the sanitiser for beer you can just wash and leave and then put ya wort in without rinsing

and how good it is with drinking glass is brilliant
 

MashBasher

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ARGON! pfft, Krypton is way better, but if I'm feeling flush I'll use my oganesson keg, don't blame me he ^^ started it.
:fallingoffchair:
Lads, lads, lads. Get serious.

I freeze my keg to -260C using liquid nitrogen. Then flush with nitrous oxide. I push the flushed gas up into my 351 XY GTHO Falcon for a standing 10.9 quarter mile.

Following this simple procedure, I ensure a closed transfer using non-GMO, fully vegan line that has also been flushed with liquid helium.

There is a lot of gas with this approach, but it’s very noble.
 

zoigl

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I'll probably get bombed for suggesting that Jasol 42% phosphoric acid is about the cheapest sanitizer available. If you need bubbles add a few mls. of the Star San type sanitizer.
I pay $30.17 for 5 litres. Check the ingredients in Star San.
 
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