Using Starsan

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Padalac

Re: Using Starsan

Post by Padalac » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:15 pm

maybe this is a dumb question, but do you guys fill your FVs with starsan? I just put a few litres in the bottom, seal it and swirl it around for 30 seconds.

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Re: Using Starsan

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:33 pm

I just spray it everywhere, leave it a bit, then tip out the excess.

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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Troutman47 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:12 am

Quick question about Starsan.
I've used it for quite a while now and it works fine. I read that as long as your water doesn't go cloudy when mixed with Starsan it should be alright. Mine stays clear.
I also read that Starsan works below a ph of 3 or 3.5?

Recently I had my water analysed by Murphy's & Sons and my water has a ph of 5.6!
So is my Starsan working or not?

Cheers

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Re: Using Starsan

Post by IPA » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:18 am

Troutman47 wrote:Quick question about Starsan.
I've used it for quite a while now and it works fine. I read that as long as your water doesn't go cloudy when mixed with Starsan it should be alright. Mine stays clear.
I also read that Starsan works below a ph of 3 or 3.5?

Recently I had my water analysed by Murphy's & Sons and my water has a ph of 5.6!
So is my Starsan working or not?

Cheers
It works for me using water with a PH of 4.5
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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Andy » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:18 am

I don't use tap water as in my area it's too hard. Tesco bottled still Ashbeck water is what I (and lots of others) use, 1.6ml of Starsan per litre of Ashbeck.

I would imagine your mixture would be fine as it stays clear, you're not going to get treated tap water at a pH < 4 (I think in UK it has to be between 6.5 – 10.0 ) so don't worry about it.
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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Pinto » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:47 am

Starsan is acidic - by adding it to water, you'll decrease its pH so unless your water is very alkaline, it wont be a problem. You can always check the solution with pH strips or a pH meter
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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Fil » Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:37 pm

Troutman47 wrote:Quick question about Starsan.
I've used it for quite a while now and it works fine. I read that as long as your water doesn't go cloudy when mixed with Starsan it should be alright. Mine stays clear.
I also read that Starsan works below a ph of 3 or 3.5?

Recently I had my water analysed by Murphy's & Sons and my water has a ph of 5.6!
So is my Starsan working or not?

Cheers
going cloudy is an indicator it may be spent, not a certainty..
if in doubt grab a booklet of indicator strips off ebay/amazon, :)
my tap water goes cloudy straight away when mixed up, but has a ph between 8-9 out of the tap,
SO like others i use the tesco ashbeck ;) just to avoid confusion, and tbh after many pre use ph tests with indicator strips i dont bother much these days unless its been stood for months..
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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Troutman47 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:30 pm

Thanks all! :beer:

BenB

Re: Using Starsan

Post by BenB » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:22 pm

The cloudiness is also to do with the detergents in it. Mine goes cloudy quickly but the pH stays around 2.5!

Swiller

Re: Using Starsan

Post by Swiller » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:17 am

I was given a bag of Sodium percarbonate (no rinse) or so it says,
I don't have the time to read through this whole thread but just
wanted to ask is it as good as Starsan?

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Re: Using Starsan

Post by Fil » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:24 pm

Swiller wrote:I was given a bag of Sodium percarbonate (no rinse) or so it says,
I don't have the time to read through this whole thread but just
wanted to ask is it as good as Starsan?
just different afaik, its got a limited active window as a sanitiser 15-20mins iirc?? where starsan is more persistent ..
if used within the effective window it will work fine...
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Swiller

Re: Using Starsan

Post by Swiller » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Cheers Fil.

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Re: Using Starsan

Post by orlando » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:05 pm

Troutman47 wrote:Quick question about Starsan.
I've used it for quite a while now and it works fine. I read that as long as your water doesn't go cloudy when mixed with Starsan it should be alright. Mine stays clear.
I also read that Starsan works below a ph of 3 or 3.5?
Cloudy water isn't ALWAYS an indicator of ineffectiveness, only a pH reading will tell you this. Starsan will work at a pH of 3 or under. My water goes cloudy at first. Incidentally I made up 5 gallons today and out of curiosity I took a reading, 2.75. I also measured the old stuff that has been sitting in a document box for over a month, more like two, and this was 2.85. So it looks like it may rise over time but it could also be related to alkalinity levels, as that acts as a buffer. I would also be really surprised that your Murphy's report got your tap water pH right. Although there are no statutory levels for tap water pH it is usually closer to 7 than that.
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Re: Using Starsan

Post by rpt » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:50 pm

The pH of the water you use to make the Starsan solution is irrelevant. It's the Starsan solution that needs to have a pH of 3 or under. My tap water makes the solution cloudy but it still has a pH below 3. But I still use Tesco or Asda water to make the solution, just to be on the safe side.

YeastWhisperer

Re: Using Starsan

Post by YeastWhisperer » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:13 pm

As a head's up, Star San is not the miraculous sanitizer that one is lead to believe by the hype. Star San belongs to a class of sanitizers known acid-anionic sanitizers. As I learned the hard way, acid-anionic sanitizers are not full-spectrum microbiocides. Acid-anionic sanitizers have limited wild yeast and mold killing ability. They are primarily bactericides.

I picked up a persistent low-level wild yeast infection after switching to Star San. I had previously used chlorine bleach and iodophor for many years. Sadly, it took me longer than it should have to trace the problem to Star San's limited wild yeast killing ability. I "shocked" all of my plastic and glass gear by soaking it in/filling it with a dilute chlorine bleach solution for several hours. The solution I used was 30ml of chlorine bleach to 19L of water. At that ratio, the solution contains roughly 83 milligrams of chlorine per liter (83 ppm) when using cholrine bleach that contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. The solution is considered to be a no-rinse solution; however, gear can be rinsed and followed up with Star San a secondary sanitizer.

The moral of the story here is that any brewer who finds himself/herself with a persistent low-level off-flavor and/or over-attenuated beer after switching to Star San should look into switching to an oxidizing halogen sanitizer such as chlorine bleach or iodophor or a strong oxidizing agent such as peracetic acid. As a general practice, it may pay for a brewer who uses Star San to periodically give all of his/her gear a good soaking in a solution that includes an oxidizing halogen. Oxidizing halogens are broad spectrum microbiocides. Star San is no longer my primary sanitizer.

By the way, Star San turns cloudy when mixed with non-distilled or RO water due to the surfactant (dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid) binding with the metals in one's water (calcium and magnesium are classified as alkaline metals), deactivating the bound surfactant.
Last edited by YeastWhisperer on Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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