too much star san?

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too much star san?

Postby Radler » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:43 pm

After brewing two weeks ago, I could not clean everything up right away and left hoses and spoons in star san solution. Upon taking them out yeterday I noticed the spoon (previously white) was now almost green where it had ben in solution. The hose has a bit of a cloudy color inside. Have I destroyed these things, are they cleanable, or is the color not really bad and won't affect anything seeing as how Star san ends up in some concentrations in the beer anyway? I'm just rying to avoid buying new stuff if it's not necessary. Thanks.
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StarSan = Sanitizer NOT Cleaner...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:54 am


StarSan is one of many brands of acid anonic sanitizers, not a cleaner. It only has a very slight ability to remove inorganic soils.

Brewing residuals on utensiles are virutally always organic. This is where alkaline cleaners are to be used. If you need to soak clean items, always use alkaline cleansers such as PBW, TSP, sodium hydroxide... etc. The only exceptions to this are in the case of heated brewing vessels, stainless steel fermentors and sometimes glass. The loads on these types of equipment can be composed of both organic and inorganic soils. To properly clean under these circumstances, it is best to first acid wash the equipment after it has been rinsed of surface soils. This acid wash is then followed by an alkaline wash and then a final rinse. Under certain water conditions, a very dilute acid rinse will then be undertaken to preclude mineral film accumulation, but the need for this at home is rare... it is more of a pro brewing concern.

And a bit on acid anionic sanitizer use:

It is a complete waste of an expensive sanitizer to use it as a soak sanitizer for fermenters! It is a foaming sanitizer intentionally meant to be sprayed on to surfaces for this task. All you have to do is dilute it in a spray bottle and cover all surfaces in a layer of foam. Allow 8-10 min. of contact time and drain it. This is all it takes! You will use FAR less sanitizer this way. I learned this when using like agents running and open fermentation brewery for 2.5 years.

As far as the staining:

The green tint you mentioned comes from the reaction of metal ions in your water reacting with the acid base of the sanitizer. The "cloudy" deposits are calcium chloride and magnesium that were driven out of solution by the acid component of the sanitizer. In the case of the hose, you will have to throw it away as it would be really tough to keep clean in the future. The utensiles, if soaked in an acidic solution (dilute vinegar works well) and then scrubbed with nothing more abrasive than a kitchen sponge (no green scrubbie), can be restored.
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