Five Star/ Star San

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Senior Member
Jun 20, 2010
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Five Star/ Star San

This is what the brew shop talked me into, it's an "acid sanitizer" Is this a "sulfate sanitizer"? It's very foamy, their quote is "don't fear the foam"?? What I did on my second batch is rinse out the bottles with a little wine, then fill, total waste less than a cup. What do normal people do, let me rephrase that what do all of you do? bk
after i sanitize i leave the bottles on the rack till the foam drips out and the bottles are clear. never had an issue and no wasted wine...
That is mostly used in sanitizing when making beer. The reason I would not use it is you need to have k-meta to add to your wine. K/meta is also cheaper.
It is not a sulfite sanitizer. K-meta is.
Not sure what the 'rinsing out the bottles with a little wine' is all about. It's just glass, it doesn't need conditioning.
I'm not sure about rinsing with wine.

I use (and love) StarSan for sanitizing. I use another product known as PBW (powdered brewery wash) for cleaning if bottles have been used previously and there is some buildup.

PBW is a product that actually bonds to oils much like soap does. In this way it can cut through any buildup. When you put your hand in the mixed PBW wash solution it feels kinda slimy like soap, so I assume that it is a basic solution. (High pH). I almost always go through the trouble of cleaning before sanitizing as sanitizer won't cut through any built up nasty stuff.

StarSan is an acid solution. In the correct concentration is does a fantastic job of sanitizing cleaned surfaces. As it is made from an organic acid it is also pretty eco-friendly. If you dump the Starsan in the bucket and then add the water it foams. You an can also add the StarSan to the bucket after filling with water and it won't foam as badly. "Don't fear the foam" because it is organic and there isn't enough left in the container to hurt any yeast.

My equipment regime usually goes something like this:
1. Fill up 5 gallon bucket with water and add the appropriate amount of PBW. I'll either submerge stuff in this for a few minutes or I'll dump this in a vessel.
2. remove items / empty bottle or vessel and then rinse with clean water.
3. Fill up another bucket with water and add the appropriate amount of Starsan .
4. Either submerge object in bucket or add buck to vessel.
5. Wait five minutes and remove. (You don't even need to rinse)

These two products aren't the only of their kind but they are the two that I use for bottles and storage vessels. Also, once you make a bucket of these things you can cap them and leave them around for a while: their power will last for a while.
I too use Star-san, because I am foremost a brewer, then a vinter.

Do NOT rinse star-san, do not rinse the foam. You can drink star-san when its diluted if you had to, and it'll just give you gas. IT has little flavor, more of a mouthfeel/sensation.

I usually have some already mixed, because it keeps 'active' for several weeks (or longer if you use RO water to mix it up), so I just never both with sulfite sanitizing.

Star san will sanitize in 30 seconds of wet contact time.
Star san will sanitize in 30 seconds of wet contact time.[/QUOTE]

I thought that was interesting. Did you listen to the podcast where the inventor of StarSan talked about how he made it?

I don't have the link but found it on a brew forum.

I think the bottle says two minutes. That's because the government standard is two minutes for every test they do.
I do remember that podcast. I think that was a sanitation episode of "Brew Strong." I think you can find all those at the Brewing Network website.
Star san will sanitize in 30 seconds of wet contact time.

Yep, I listened to the entire podcast. FDA makes them put the longer time limit, but Charles discusses (in very scientific terms) what the kill rate is in just 30 seconds, which is why he states it really only takes 30 seconds to get you to a pretty happy place in terms of sanitizing. everything else is icing on teh top (like the foam that keeps sanitizing, etc).

podcast should be here:

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