Is there a cheaper alternative to Starsan?


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Is there a cheaper alternative to Starsan?

Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

First, Let me start by saying I am a tight wad; With that said, I recently discovered two things 1) Avery inexpensive alternative for Iodophor in the form of teat dip at a local farm store. 2) Starsan; I like this product over Iodophor because I don't care for the iodine stains although given the cost difference I can learn to live with them. I was wondering if there are any inexpensive products out there that are similar to Starsan?



Thanks for any feedback.

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Post by hashie » 6 years ago

I know starsan is expensive to buy initially, but give the tiny amount you use it is actually very cheap.

Just my 2 cents.
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Post by BrickBrewHaus » 6 years ago

hashie wrote:I know starsan is expensive to buy initially, but give the tiny amount you use it is actually very cheap.

Just my 2 cents.
+1

Plus, there are hundreds of threads (OK maybe not that many) of how to re-use it. I'm sure if someone were ultra-conservative in their Starsan usage they could make a bottle easily last a couple of years. Given the benefits over other sanitizers (no-rinse, colorless, short contact time, doesn't impart off-flavors, etc.) it's a no-brainer to me.
Last edited by BrickBrewHaus on 02 Apr 2011, 05:01, edited 5 times in total.


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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

Thanks for the comments, I am very new at this stuff so I guess I just have to figure out how to make it last longer.


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Post by NME » 6 years ago

Crusader: How are you using your Starsan?? I'm a recent convert and have barely put a dent in bottle yet!


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Post by stux » 6 years ago

If you're a starsan user you should get yourself a 5ml Syringe from the chemist ;)

You really only need to use 1.5ml/L, and 3L (ie 4.5ml of starsan) is more than enough to do all the sanitizing you need for a brewing, fermenting or kegging!

In fact, I often just use 1L of made up starsan, the remainder goes into a spray bottle, and I'm *very* liberal with that!
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Post by shibolet » 6 years ago

try this:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... _Sanitizer
i have not tried it myself but i'de love to hear if it actualy works.
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Post by maheel » 6 years ago

think of it (the price) as an investment in your beer :)

i would rather waste $1 in starsan than $20+ of ingredients....


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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

shibolet wrote:try this:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. ... _Sanitizer
i have not tried it myself but i'de love to hear if it actualy works.
My memory is telling me that the above link is a bit of a hoax. Pretty sure 5 star is totally against this and I think I even have some correspondence on this buried in my emails.

I might well be wrong but my understanding is that if it does work then it works through the abundant production of toxic gases such as chlorine.

Do we really want to be going there???
Last edited by PistolPatch on 06 Apr 2011, 20:25, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

NME wrote:Crusader: How are you using your Starsan?? I'm a recent convert and have barely put a dent in bottle yet!

I make up a 2.5 gal batch with ever batch; I make it in my carboy the morning of each brew day, let it sit for a half hour or so then siphon it into a bucket where I fill my auto siphon and let it sit along with all my post boil utensils.
Last edited by Crusader 83 on 07 Apr 2011, 03:15, edited 5 times in total.


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Post by NME » 6 years ago

As above, try using less. I make up 1L in a spray bottle, wash everything, then give it a good spraying (making sure I cover the entire inner surface of my fermenter/cube). I don't think stuff really needs to soak in it. I think since I've used the spray bottle, everything is probably more santisied than when I used to soak it, because I spray absoultely everything, just because I can and it's easy :P


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Post by stux » 6 years ago

On brewday I make up 3L in a 3L jug (that's 4.5ml of starsan)

1.5L into each of the two cubes i'm going to use... give that a good ol shaking, then pour back half of the starsan back into the jug from each cube, on top of the caps...

that's now 3L in the cubes, and 3L in the jug, because of the foam!

I then throw all the utensils and stuff into the jug, and slop the foam on most everything.

Essentially I only have to sanitize my post-boil equipment, which is my siphon starter, siphon tube and the cubes... and the whirlpool spoon

Close to end-of-boil I empty the cubes into the jug, and shake most of the foam out...

That gives me 3L again...

...

Once the deed is done I normally refill my 500ml spray bottle with the fresh starsan, and who knows what I do with the x L i have left normally get wasted....

...

Fermentation day...

I need to sanitize my fermenter, its lid, the airlock, tap, etc etc and a spoon...

I make up 3L in the fermenter, toss everything in, give it a good shake, then let sit for a while. I use a bung to seal the tap hole so I can have everything in the fermenter...

The contents gets emptied into a 3L jug so that I have a dip-soak vessel and I re-fill my spray bottle.

Lids, cubes, etc get a liberal spraying...

Empty cubes into fermenter vigourously, seal, apply airlock, locate in ferm fridge... then fill airlock with starsan from the spray bottle.

...

Kegging time...

Make up a L or 2 of starsan, toss in kegs, shake shake shake, pressurize a bit, then blow out of PRV, gas in and liquid out posts... pour remainder out into 3L jug, repeat on next keg... etc....

soak transfer hose and plumbing in Jug

liberally spray tap on fermenter with starsan to disolve junk and hopefully sanitize

transfer contents to the kegs, then seal up and refridgerate...

which basically works out to about 8L which is 12ml (less than half an ounce) for a double or triple batch.

Of course, you could save the starsan instead of wasting it after each step, or whatever.
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Post by shibolet » 6 years ago

I do the same as Stux, however i try to re-use more of the starsan:
after brewday and filling my cube, i'll trasnfer the StarSan into the fermenter and let it sit there until the wort is ready for fermentstion (which for me is usualy only two or three days).
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Post by hashie » 6 years ago

While I hold nothing against those who keep and re-use starsan, I don't. Only because I like to use it fresh. I haven't been able to find conclusive information on the shelf life of starsan once mixed with water. So for the few cents worth I use each brewday compared to the cost and effort of a brew, I make it fresh every time.
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Post by stux » 6 years ago

hashie wrote:While I hold nothing against those who keep and re-use starsan, I don't. Only because I like to use it fresh. I haven't been able to find conclusive information on the shelf life of starsan once mixed with water. So for the few cents worth I use each brewday compared to the cost and effort of a brew, I make it fresh every time.
The FiveStar guys imply on most of the brewing podcasts that's its more or less indefinate as long as you make it with RO water. If you check its pH < 3.0, then its good

I make it with tapwater... and it goes cloudy fairly quickly, which is the major reason I don't bother keeping it that long

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/star-sa" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... rt-103337/
Last edited by stux on 07 Apr 2011, 17:14, edited 5 times in total.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
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On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:
shibolet wrote:try this:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. ... _Sanitizer
i have not tried it myself but i'de love to hear if it actualy works.
My memory is telling me that the above link is a bit of a hoax. Pretty sure 5 star is totally against this and I think I even have some correspondence on this buried in my emails.

I might well be wrong but my understanding is that if it does work then it works through the abundant production of toxic gases such as chlorine.

Do we really want to be going there???
Hi PP, it was first mentioned by Charlie Talley in a podcast he did for the brewing network. It's definitely not a hoax, he had his chemists hat on that day, not his marketers and was telling people how to make up a product in the home that was almost as efficient as his own product and no-rinse also.

That said I switched from that mix to star san, but if I ever run out that's what I'll grab instead.
Last edited by EoinMag on 19 Apr 2011, 20:12, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Pat » 6 years ago

Ah, cheers Eoin. As long as no one dies I'm happy :P. I'm trying to work out if this stuff is meant to act as a cleaner as well as a sanitiser?
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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

Pat wrote:Ah, cheers Eoin. As long as no one dies I'm happy :P. I'm trying to work out if this stuff is meant to act as a cleaner as well as a sanitiser?

Nope.

It's simply a sanitiser, I used to use it a bit, but I was not using the correct bleach and had problems with bleach undertones in brews, even if subtle they were annoying.

The theory is that bleach in low concentration is not such a great killer, but when you lower the pH of the solution it is in that increases its killing potential massively and all of a sudden it becomes a short contact no rinse sanitiser in very low concentrations, supposedly undetectable ones, as said if I had no star san, I now have the correct bleach and would use it without hesitation.
I was using milton the baby bottle steriliser and that is not the correct type as thin household bleach. The thin stuff is hypochlorite without surfactant so it won't stick to your vessels.

The trick when mixing is to add the substances to the large vessel to dilute straight away, NEVER MIX NEAT BLEACH AND VINEGAR unless you are in a lab under an extraction hood. That could easily kill by producing green chlorine gas, although if our experiments in the labs as kids are anything to go by that danger is also overstated as our chemistry teacher used to stand at the front of the class wafting the green gas ( low concentration and amounts) towards the class :) He of course was basing this on the dilution effect of the mass of air in the class room, we got a whiff, but no one died or had any discomfort as a result. He also used to pass around his home made spirits once a year to the final classes :)


<edit>statement in bold added for clarity.
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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

That's an excellent post Eoin.

The vinegar increasing the effectiveness of the bleach triggered some correct memories. I had never heard of it being used as a no-rinse and it always worried me that people just say add one part bleach to one part vinegar. You are the first person I have seen to say that the bleach and vinegar should be added individually to water first.

So my next question is, what is the correct ratio of water/bleach/vinegar to make this 'no-rinse' solution.

Thanks and :salute:
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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

30ml of bleach
30ml of vinegar
20l of water.

<edit>It MUST be the thin household bleach, if you use the one with surfactant you can forget the no-rinse aspect, normal white vinegar like you'd put on your chips too.

The US ratios were something like 1oz bleach, 1oz vinegar to 5 Gallons of water so this has been metricised to make sense ;)
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Post by hashie » 6 years ago

That's a top tip Eoin, I'll give that a go on my next brew for sure.

Thanks :)
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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

Many thanks to all those who have posted; Eoin, this maybe a stupid question; Is there a difference between "regular" household bleach, say Clorox in the US versus "thin" bleach that you mentioned?

Thanks


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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

Crusader 83 wrote:Many thanks to all those who have posted; Eoin, this maybe a stupid question; Is there a difference between "regular" household bleach, say Clorox in the US versus "thin" bleach that you mentioned?

Thanks
It needs to pour like water effectively, if it's thicker and more viscous then it's got a surfactant, it also needs to be around the 5% hypochlorite. I don't know your US stuff so the best I can do is to speak in generalities, I'd suspect your best bet is to go to a place with a good selection of cleaning stuff and pick out the thin bleach.
If you use the stuff with surfactant you will have to rinse like crazy to take even low concentrations off so the no-rinse aspect is screwed.
Last edited by EoinMag on 26 Apr 2011, 02:56, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

Many thanks Eoin.


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Post by rockbotton » 6 years ago

I know this is an old topic but listen to this podcast by the maker of starsan.

http://hw.libsyn.com/p/3/9/0/390da96899 ... id=1511169
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