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StarSan question.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by JrGtr, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (390) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006

    How long does StarSan keep it's sanitizing abilities once mixed up?
    I'm prepping to start a bottling / racking day, and realized that in one of my carboys I have is half-full of starsan solution. I presume it was from my last time mixing things around (not brewing) so it would probably be a couple months old.
    should I dump it and use new solution for todays activities, or will this stuff work alright?
    If there's any question, of course I'll use new stuff.
     
  2. honkey

    honkey Savant (300) Alabama Aug 28, 2010

    I would mix new just for peace of mind if nothing else. I have seen people do PH tests and it has been fine months later, but to me peace of mind is worth the couple of cents it costs to mix starsan.
     
    slayerhellfire and pointyskull like this.
  3. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (365) Michigan Dec 14, 2006

    I have been told that starsan solution becomes cloudy and not clear when it is no longer active. I'm not sure how accurate this is though.
     
    psnydez86 likes this.
  4. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    If you have high alkalinity water it clouds almost instantly, but still works. Additionally, when I used to use it to sanitize bottles, my beers would go from crystal clear to instantly cloudy upon addition to the sanitized, wet bottles, since the switching back to iodophor, no issues.
     
  5. I mix mine with RO water and sometimes don't drain the Better Bottle for months. I use it only for kegging and other more economical sanitizers for most everything else.
     
  6. There's a fantastic brew strong episode about sanitation and the guy from five star chemicals says that star San is good for months at least unless it clouds or the ph gets too high (he mentions a ph number cut off but i forget). I just mix mine with tap water but I imagine mixing with distiller water would extend its lifespan. So to answer the op if its clear don't worry about it.
     
  7. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Vikeman, hit us with an update on your 2 year old starsan. :)
     
  8. pmgerholdt

    pmgerholdt Disciple (70) New York Oct 14, 2010

    I always just buy a new gallon of distilled water when I need more star san. It stays crystal clear for weeks and months and I measure it's life span in terms of how empty the gallon jug is, and nothing else.
     
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (820) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    I'll try to remember to test it tonight.
     
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (820) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Update for pH of standard Starsan solution made with distilled water...
    2-20-2010: <2.8
    <many measurements omitted for brevity>
    12-10-2012: <2.8
    No change in clarity.
     
    jlpred55, NiceFly and inchrisin like this.
  11. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Thank you, sir :)
     
  12. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (390) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006

    Dig it, so properly stored isn;t a problem.
    I kinda guessed that, since as I was emptying the stuff in the carboy, and saving some of it to use for a few minor things, the solution still felt a bit slippery on my hands. I took that to mean it was still active, so I kept what was left at that point into my bottle- sanitizing bucket, along with adding more water and fresh SS. to top off.
     
  13. My understanding is that you need to use distilled or RO water for it to remain effective long term. What did you use for this? Clarity is a clue as to its remaining effectiveness, while pH is definitive ...or so I've interpreted the literature.

    Another point - you mixed a half carboy of StarSan solution???? That's a freaking boatload of StarSan! You don't need to bathe everything in the stuff, you only need to get it wet. A 32 oz spray bottle of solution (mere drops of actual product) will easily last me 4 brew sessions, maybe more. This includes numerous uses between sessions - sanitizing bottles for competitions, checking for CO2 leaks when I change kegs, etc. Used frugally, one 16 oz bottle of StarSan is virtually a ten year supply. And, in this case, 'frugally' does not mean less effectively.
     
  14. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    If anyone is interested I use one of these syringe to measure. I put 6ml into a 1 gal distilled. I've also found it best to rinse it out (suck water in and out a few times) and keep water in it. The rubber gasket will stick.

    And it's also 1.2 teaspoons. So you could probably fill one at let it overflow a bit.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. I'd be curious to know how you sanitize your kegs with Starsan and only use a spray bottle...don't get me wrong...I'm all for saving Starsan if I can.
     
  16. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I've got one of these and I used it once. Someday, if I backsweeten more cider, it will come in handy. I use the measure on the top of my starsan bottle and go well above the 5 mil line. I'm excessive, but I don't know anyone complaining about how far this stuff goes. Let's see: 5 ml to a tsp and 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) would definitely take care of a liter for a spray bottle. :) We should all be in good shape now.
     
  17. ??? Open the lid and spray inside. Maybe I didn't understand the question.
     
  18. How do you get Starsan into your connections (out posts, poppits, relief, dip tube, etc.)?
     
  19. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    That's 4x too much for a liter. StarSan isn't like PWB, it should be measured correctly. According to 5Star dude it's less effective when not in the correct ratio.
     
  20. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Is my math wrong here? The jug says 30 mil/5gal. If a quart and a liter are roughly the same and 6mil would take care of a gallon. 6mil/4 quarts or liters per gal. The quotient is 1.5 mil/quart. You'd actually need a heaping 1/4 tsp (1.24ml) to get the job done and I was shy by a little.
     
  21. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I always put about a 1/2 gal of starsan in the bottom of a keg after cleaning it. I shake the crap out of it and hook it up to the gas. I run a little through the beer line and let the star san carb up a little. It serves as a pressure check when I'm ready to use the keg and the extra star san gives me the assurance that the keg is still clean.
     
  22. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    Why? You indicate that you have the proper measuring device.
     
  23. I spray the parts as I reassemble the keg after cleaning it. I store my empty kegs sanitized and pressurized. They're ready to go whenever I need them.
     
  24. "I store my empty kegs sanitized and pressurized. They're ready to go whenever I need them."

    Me, too...I don't dissassemble them every batch though.
     
  25. +1. I use 1/4 tsp in a 750 mL spray bottle and it is the perfect ratio last time I calculated it.
     
  26. You Should.
     
  27. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    No if you use the 1.25 ml for a liter, you said that you went well about the 5ml line. So that's what I thought you were doing.
     
  28. I must be doing something right...never had an accidental infection

    Tearing a keg down after every batch seems like serious overkill and actually ensures some parts wear out faster.
     
  29. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008