Starsan Discontinued ?

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Kev888
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Kev888 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:21 pm

Indeed, I've not heard of any actual problem ingredients discovered in starsan (or clones), just less than EU-compliant words/paperwork.

Starsan was registered as a sanitiser before testing regulations became more stringent; whether it would pass now I've no idea, though there are (apparently valid) questions over its effectiveness on wild yeast. However in terms of our health, I don't believe there is anything in it that would worry me.
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by wmfd » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:45 pm

Paperwork rather than ingredients . Good job, as I still have a large bottle to get through (it doesn’t go out of date does It?)
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Eric » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:20 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:21 pm
Indeed, I've not heard of any actual problem ingredients discovered in starsan (or clones), just less than EU-compliant words/paperwork.

Starsan was registered as a sanitiser before testing regulations became more stringent; whether it would pass now I've no idea, though there are (apparently valid) questions over its effectiveness on wild yeast. However in terms of our health, I don't believe there is anything in it that would worry me.
Might it be that it doesn't do what the makers claim?
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Kev888 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:55 am

I'd struggle to entirely dismiss the possibility, Eric. At the least though, its questionable performance on wild yeast isn't what I'd expected from the marketing spiel, and in fact on a similar note the 5.2 stabiliser hasn't done any wonders for my trust either.

Apparently saniclean (which is quite similar to starsan) would have seen the more stringent testing regime, which might have been informative. But last I heard it had never been put through, being instead labelled as an acid anionic final rinse rather than formally a sanitiser.

More widely, I'm quite a fan of PBW (aside from its price), and I've heard good things about their beer stone remover too so it might be sad to see those go (if they do). However there are very similar cleaners available, the equivalent sanitisers are coming through already and there are other ways of dealing with beer stone so i don't suppose it will present us with any actual problems if fivestar don't sort the paperwork out.
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by PeeBee » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:40 pm

This thread is in danger of muddying the principles of cleaning/sanitising so I reckon a brief summary is in order so people aren't going away with the wrong ideas:

Starsan is a "sanitiser", it has no active cleaning ingredients at all. It must not be used alone, but makes a great final rinse so you don't have to worry that it's a few hours since the equipment was subjected to a cleaning regime or that there are bugs in the rinsing water (tap water?) used to wash off the cleaning chemicals/residues. It works by having a pH of less than 3 which the majority of bugs cannot tolerate. The likes of Starsan will have "surfactants" to make it "wetter" so bugs find it difficult to hide under microscopic layers of air (but they continue to hide very well under microscopic layers of grease and dirt). Starsan uses phosphoric acid to drop the pH and dodecylbenzene-sulfonic acid as a wetting agent.

Yeasts are a bug that will also use the trick of dropping the pH of what it is in to limit competition from other bugs, hence the likes of Starsan are very limited in effect against yeasts (and some other bugs).

The likes of PBW and VWP are cleaners (but will also sanitise and also need rinsing off). They use oxygen or chlorine as active cleaning/bleaching principles (and which also have a "kill" action). PBW also has a grease shifting component, chlorine-based cleaners have reasonable grease shifting capabilities anyway (and highly caustic cleaners like sodium hydroxide are particularly good at shifting grease).

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by ingo » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:04 pm

No final rinse. According to EU law, after using a sanitiser a final rinse is always required (for the pros).

Regarding yeasts, yes, StarSan works well for yeast washing.

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by PeeBee » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:54 pm

ingo wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:04 pm
No final rinse. According to EU law, after using a sanitiser a final rinse is always required (for the pros). …
I would not be surprised if the EU "definition" of sanitiser is out of step with what we've only just got used to using. You should be aware that "EU law" is one of the reasons the UK opted for trying to get out of the EU! Surely you over there are as sick as us of the "B" word, so telling us what "EU law" states is treading on very dangerous ground. Please don't let this derail the thread.

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Jocky » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:21 pm

wmfd wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:45 pm
Paperwork rather than ingredients . Good job, as I still have a large bottle to get through (it doesn’t go out of date does It?)
It has a date on it, but I've not had any issues using it considerably beyond the date.
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Jocky » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:30 pm

I would say that where people are using stainless steel and glass for their brewing needs (i.e. not plastics) and are cleaning properly in all the nooks and crannies, Starsan is very effective as a brewery sanitiser as those surfaces are smooth enough to avoid harboring yeasts or mold and the main thing you will encounter is lactobacillus on malt dust.

If you're using plastic kit on the cold side then a soak in iodophor or bleach before brewing should avoid problems.

If you can't be bothered to clean all the nooks and crannies then enjoy your TCP beer.
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Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by LeeH » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:19 pm

ingo wrote:No final rinse. According to EU law, after using a sanitiser a final rinse is always required (for the pros).

Regarding yeasts, yes, StarSan works well for yeast washing.

Maybe they’re just waiting for the 31st then...

Or just put for domestic use only on the bottle.


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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by Kev888 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Jocky wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:30 pm
I would say that where people are using stainless steel and glass for their brewing needs (i.e. not plastics) and are cleaning properly in all the nooks and crannies, Starsan is very effective as a brewery sanitiser as those surfaces are smooth enough to avoid harboring yeasts or mold and the main thing you will encounter is lactobacillus on malt dust.

If you're using plastic kit on the cold side then a soak in iodophor or bleach before brewing should avoid problems.

If you can't be bothered to clean all the nooks and crannies then enjoy your TCP beer.
Yes good physical cleaning goes beyond merely removing gunk, IMO. With most bugs and nasties cleaned away too, then obviously there are fewer demands on effective disinfection, which lets people (usually) get away with quite minimal or imperfect measures afterwards.

Though it might be risking the odds a bit more, and I suspect this could be why items that are less easy to clean properly give so many homebrewers trouble at some point or other. So yes, I wouldn't want to be without better disinfectants like the bleach or iodophor mentioned, boiling and so on.

TBH I'm fairly risk-averse in this respect, and I don't find rinsing too much of a pain. So in my case almost everything post-boil sees a pretty strong disinfectant or similar between uses (even if starsan or another no-rinse measure is involved later). Perhaps OTT, but I like the reassurance.
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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by ingo » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:49 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:54 pm
"EU law" states is treading on very dangerous ground. Please don't let this derail the thread.
No politics from my side. The importer of 5star products is in the EU and has to get his labels, paperwork etc. EU conform. UK law and Dutch law etc. are in this regard derived from EU law. That's the status quo, if it changes then it changes.

As a homebrewer you can do as you like as long as you don't poison anyone.

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by f00b4r » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:07 pm

ingo wrote:No final rinse. According to EU law, after using a sanitiser a final rinse is always required (for the pros).

Regarding yeasts, yes, StarSan works well for yeast washing.
If you ever get a chance to read the original Modernist Cuisine set it is a real eye opener to see how food safety laws around the world do not really match up to the actual science.

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by ingo » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:55 pm

I know. There's an interesting paper from 2010 that describes the EU guidelines versus reality.

If everything was as bad as 'advertised' there would have been no humanity.

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Re: Starsan Discontinued ?

Post by PeeBee » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:28 am

PeeBee wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:40 pm
… It works by having a pH of less than 3 which the majority of bugs cannot tolerate. The likes of Starsan will have "surfactants" to make it "wetter" so bugs find it difficult to hide under microscopic layers of air (but they continue to hide very well under microscopic layers of grease and dirt). Starsan uses phosphoric acid to drop the pH and dodecylbenzene-sulfonic acid as a wetting agent. …
I might have been too simplistic here. Apparently there is interaction between the acid and surfactant beyond what I've suggested. So yeast isn't immune to such sanitisers as is popularly thought.

Here's a mammoth read covering it - Warning! Trying to read it will mash your head: http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Quality_Assurance (not sure I can agree with all of it - Having got used to using "sanitiser" because "steriliser" suggests everything is killed rather than just almost all killed, this article seems to concentrate on "everything is killed" again).

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