What Can I Use~Besides Starsan ????

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Larry82052, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,491) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Caveat: The below discussion contains opinion!

    So, here is the thing: we homebrewers practice sanitation vs. sterilization so technically every beer we brew contains unwanted microorganisms.

    A homebrewed beer is typically considered to be infected if there are unwanted and undesirable qualities to the resulting beers. As one example, if the beer has off-flavors due to the ‘excess’ presence of unwanted microorganisms this beer would be described as being infected. There are other examples which could be mentioned.

    One of the strategies that can be employed to mitigate the case of an infected beer is to pitch a lot of yeast so they ‘out muscle’ the unwanted microorganisms.

    So, what ‘level’ of sanitation is needed in order to produce quality homebrew? There is no single answer here since there are so many variables. If during the pre-fermentation aspect the ‘level’ of sanitation is ‘low’ a homebrewer who pitches a ‘boat load’ of yeast can still produce a beer with no perceptible off-flavors.

    Each homebrewer needs to recognize what ‘level’ of sanitation is needed in their homebrewery taking into consideration the holistic aspects of their brewing process.

  2. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (211) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    So obviously the nicest aspect of StarSan is the neutralizing reaction if you are using a caustic cleaner like an oxyclean or PBW or BLC. When I worked in a brewery, we used I/O (iodophor) for sanitation purposes, but rinsing the PBW meant rinsing with a portion of equally hot or hotter water. So for CIP'ing CCV, bright tanks and kegs we would wash with 140F PBW for half hour, then rinse with 160F water for 15 minutes, then hit it with I/O to sanitize for 5 minutes. Now I just hit with 140F PBW then hit with a small shot of starsan and call it a day.
    I still use I/O for basic sanitation purposes on maybe 20% of sanitation duties, vodka for maybe 5% of my sanitation and starsan for the other 75%. For reasons already discussed, I tend to avoid bleach. The only exception is when I left an emptied & wide open plastic bucket fermenter uncleaned for a several weeks. Came back to a true micro-biology experiment. A good cleaning followed by soaking in bleach and the bucket is still being used today.
    #42 telejunkie, Jun 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  3. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'd be looking at a kitchen towel, or a pair of latex gloves during bottling before switching to a different sanitizer. You're welcome to switch, but a wet bottle it a slick bottle. Adjusting the process instead of the materials might be a solution.
  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,148) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I make a batch of starsan a year and save it in a bucket. Works great.