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Possible cheaper alternative to Star San?

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t2000kw

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I'm not proclaiming this as a cheaper alternative to Star San, but reading the ingredients of this product and the PDF document about sanitation seems to me to suggest that this stuff will work like Star San at about $13 per gallon, and it's available at farm supply stores (this one is in the US but there should be similar places in AU):

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/p...sol-milkstone-remover-acid-rinse?cm_vc=-10005

https://www.birkocorp.com/wp-conten...o_Homebrewing_Cleaning_Sanitation_Article.pdf

Star San has phosphoric acid and a surfactant in it (the surfactant helps it get into nooks and crannies and loosen any deposits you might have missed during cleaning). This dairy sanitizer also has the same, but with a slightly different concentration of each. This thread also suggests that this dairy sanitizer will work just like Star San:

https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/sanitizing-with-phosphoric-acid.13113/

I use iodophor myself, and I bought mine as a dairy sanitizer product as well. It's not this product but may be similar. I think mine only said it was iodophor at a certain concentration--I got it through a homebrewing store at the time as a cheap alternative to the small containers of BTF iodophor.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/dairyland-1-2-iodine-teat-dip-1-gal?cm_vc=-10005

It has worked well for many years for me. I was just curious about the possibility of a cheap Star San substitute since many homebrewers like the product.

Donald

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pcmfisher

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Do you really want a surfactant in your beer?
 

yankinoz

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Yes. Because people have been using starsan for many years, it is an easy, cheap and effective sanitiser and there are no noticeable negative benefits to the beers produced by equipment sanitised by starsan.
But are all surfactants alike in this respect? A sanitiser approved for dairy use woud be safe in beer. My concern would be, does the surfactant in this product kill head retention? Its "non-foaming" quality is a sign that it might.

G & G sells a phosphoric acid and surfactant sanitizer made for brewing that sells for way less than Star-San. It works fine, but on mine the cap came apart on the first use.
 

Coodgee

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But are all surfactants alike in this respect? A sanitiser approved for dairy use woud be safe in beer. My concern would be, does the surfactant in this product kill head retention? Its "non-foaming" quality is a sign that it might.

G & G sells a phosphoric acid and surfactant sanitizer made for brewing that sells for way less than Star-San. It works fine, but on mine the cap came apart on the first use.
is it called stellarsan? seems to be a keg king knock off. the cap fell apart for me too.
 

Matplat

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Star-san is already seriously cheap, I'm nowhere near finishing the only bottle I have ever bought.

Considering star san is already so well proven, why would you bother looking for a cheaper riskier alternative?

If you're looking to save money, starsan isnt the place to start looking.

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JDW81

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I've been trying to use less chemicals in my brewing for a while now, particularly towards the packaging end, however not through trying to save money.

I clean my RIMS/kettle/MLT with PBW and my fermenter with starsan (although I do rinse it out with boiling water after spraying with starsan - probably overkill, but I like to keep my beer as contaminant free as possible).

All kegs, lines, taps, beer/gas lines, quick disconnects etc get sanitised with steam. Small stuff goes in a colander over boiling water and kegs get a good going over with a steam cleaner.

Starsan is cheap, you use a small amount for each brew, easy to use and tried and tested all over the brewing world. If you want a cheaper chemical alternative, then I'd wager you won't find one that is as effective, and tested as starsan. If you want a free sanitiser, use steam (it is how a lot of breweries sanitise their gear).

Just my thoughts.

JD
 

awfulknauful

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Would be nice if steam was free but I suspect that prices of gas / electricity are rising over there as it is here.
 

JDW81

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Would be nice if steam was free but I suspect that prices of gas / electricity are rising over there as it is here.
True, prices are going up a fair whack each year (no thanks to our government who sell off our gas internationally for next to nothing), but the gas to boil 300mL of water for 5 minutes is probably negligible and running my steam cleaner for the same time to clean my kegs also probably doesn't cost more than a few cents.

By free, I mean I don't run out of the stuff to make steam and have to go down to the LHBS to buy some more.
 

Moog

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I keep 19litres of starsan in a container, mixed ready to go at all times.
I use it for anywhere up to about 4 or 5 months, or if it starts to look dirty. therefore saving cash on starsan is very negligable
 

Blackman

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I use Germguard. I get it from Milestone, ready to use. 5ltr is about $18. It is for the food and meat industry. I use it on all the fermentation and kegging equipment after washing and before each brew. Using it from a spray bottle 5ltrs will last me a fee years.
 

hairydog

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I have been using Iodophor for the last 5 years with no problems,used in combination with Sodium Perc and warm water.Quite affordable for

the important job of sterilizing,not quite upto an alcohol based spray for efficiency but good enough for me.
 

clibit

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Having read the following article and listened to the podcast that is linked within it, I now use the solution described as it is dirt cheap and it is better than Starsan, for me. My beers have improved. I have come to the conclusion that Starsan doesn't kill every possible contaminant. It didn't for me. The podcast is an interview with the chap who created Starsan.

https://beerliever.com/bleach-no-rinse-sanitiser-home-brewing-beer/
 

Maheel

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bleach always makes my hands feel funny when i use it

Damn good for Sanitisation but, i often use it before starsaning if i think needs a "deeper" sanitize

happens if i a thinking some thing like "i need to F%$# you up germs"
never knew about the vinegar mix theory, have to give it a go
 

t2000kw

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I have been using Iodophor for the last 5 years with no problems,used in combination with Sodium Perc and warm water.Quite affordable for

the important job of sterilizing,not quite upto an alcohol based spray for efficiency but good enough for me.

I've been using iodophor myself for at least 20 years now. It works well. I posted this thread just to see if Star San could be substituted with something less expensive. It's not expensive as such, but if there's something that works as well land is cheaper, I could recommend it to newcomers to homebrewing here.
 

t2000kw

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Having read the following article and listened to the podcast that is linked within it, I now use the solution described as it is dirt cheap and it is better than Starsan, for me. My beers have improved. I have come to the conclusion that Starsan doesn't kill every possible contaminant. It didn't for me. The podcast is an interview with the chap who created Starsan.

https://beerliever.com/bleach-no-rinse-sanitiser-home-brewing-beer/
The acid component in the mixture discussed in the podcast makes sense. A chemist in one o four brewing groups always claimed that bleach wasn't a good sanitizer. That must be why--it needs a higher pH to work.
 

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