Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Urbangoose, Sep 12, 2019.
Har, Har, Jim lad
I've noticed an affect of Star San on flavour. For me it is like drinking orange juice after brushing my teeth. It goes away with a couple of weeks of conditioning. But I've just learned from this thread that I've been using it at twice the recommended concentration.
If you are allowing it to air dry you are not contaminating the surface.
Is there a minuscule amount of sulfuric acid that is admissible? Not according to USEPA.
I'd say so considering that many people use it for water treatment, CRS is a blend of sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. From a chemistry viewpoint though you won't have sulphuric acid in the water (or beer) because it dissociates into hydrogen and sulphate ions.
Edit: and just to reiterate the point, there is a safe dose for everything, see my earlier post regarding lead and arsenic.
Wasn't it a known party trick of the star san guy drinking the diluted form to show it was not harmful? rings a bell...
So I've heard. Apparently he would drink a pint of diluted star san at brewing conventions.
Glad i didnt imagine it! Pretty sure there would be more enjoyable things to drink
"sterilise the bottles or kegs the day before, they will still be sterile after drying" Sounds like a plan! cheers @foxy
This. The instructions mean to let it set, "air dry" not wipe, "towel dry". It remains active as long as it is wet.
... ISTR that the point Charlie (the bloke who invented Starsan) made on some interview somewhere (it was the same one where he explained how diluted bleach, with vinegar added (he gave the proportions for how to make it up) was as effective as Starsan (if not more so)) was that the active ingredient in Starsan (is that the DBS?) was unstable at higher pH levels ... above a pH of 4 it breaks down into food safe chemicals AIUI
I’m thinking of giving the bleach/vinegar a go...are there any definite proportions to use? Is it uk or US gallons and a “5ml” teaspoon...if the water volume isn’t exact will it be dangerous or useless?
I believe it was US gals ... but I find it's easier to remember it as 1.5ml bleach in 1ltr water, then 1.5ml distilled (white) vinegar added to that ... you need to bear in mind that that was (apparently) the "recipe" using bleach that is 5% hypochlorite, and most "value" thin bleaches are only 1-1.5% nowadays ... but then I've been using this as my steriliser on bottling days for the last couple of years and have just used one of those little plastic syringes full (4-5mls) of (Asda/Morrison's) thin bleach (at around 30-odd pence, for a 2ltr bottle) before adding 1.5mls vinegar (rinse the syringe thoroughly, after measuring out the bleach, before measuring the vinegar) and had no problems
Nah I think that's probably the phosphoric acid, which is the main ingredient. It'll add phosphate which is a yeast nutrient (just as DAP does).
Phosphoric acid is already food safe ... soft drinks like Coke are full of the stuff
Yeah I know, everything in Star San is food safe when diluted correctly which is why Charlie Talley is able to drink it, but it's the phosphoric acid which breaks down into yeast nutrient.
Sorry, I misunderstood the point you were making ... and having now found the interview, I realise I'd mis-remembered the breaking down part too ... as you say, all the ingredients in Star San are accepted as "foodsafe", they are "harmless" (even to bacteria) except when combined in the correct proportions
For those interested, the interview with Charlie Talley can be accessed/downloaded there (link) ... he talks about the effectiveness and (safe) use of acidified bleach as a sanitiser (sic) from around 19:00 mins, he emphasises the importance of effective cleaning (making "sanitation just insurance") around 21:00 ... and the safeness of all the ingredients in Star San is discussed around 31:30
It wouldn't be totally useless and you have to put in a lot more vinegar to get it to off-gas chlorine. I've knocked up a little excel sheet for calculations and here's the google file linky thing.
And I'm uploading it as a zip, too.
You have to make up the bleach solution every day as it's unstable when you drop the pH. The star that shines twice as bright and all that.
And if you upped the PPM to make it not no-rinse you don't up the vinegar.
Thanks for the spreadhseet- I was trying to do the exact same calcs thinking I need some variation in y Starsan regime.
One point I noticed is that the Morrisons thin bleach I bought states it is 0.99g available chlorine per 100g.
I googled the conversion between available chlorine and % sodium hypochlorite and found complicated conversions because of using imperial units (how did they ever get to the moon!).
Eventually it seems you just need to multiply by 1.05 - so pretty much the same - I may be wrong!
Does anyone have experience of the ChemiPro range that was mentioned as a replacement for starsan (and PBW) here:
One of our homebrew club members tried to bring back a load of star san from the US last week but had it removed from his case.
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