Sanitizing..,

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

gsf77

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
80
Reaction score
17
I've watched a couple of videos the last couple of days on wine making. I noticed a couple of experienced hands when they sanitized with Star San they didn't bother to rinse the star san residue out. As a matter of fact I know I saw star san foam on the bucket wall a couple of times before the racking took place. This wasn't the primary fermentation either. Another person had some star san in a spray bottle. After cleaning he would spray it on his utensils and give them a shake or two to get it off. I can kind of see that but the foam has me puzzled.

Is this a normal practice, wouldn't this produce an off flavor? Is star san neutral when it comes to taste?
 

Johnd

Sanitized Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,287
Reaction score
6,058
Location
South Louisiana
I've watched a couple of videos the last couple of days on wine making. I noticed a couple of experienced hands when they sanitized with Star San they didn't bother to rinse the star san residue out. As a matter of fact I know I saw star san foam on the bucket wall a couple of times before the racking took place. This wasn't the primary fermentation either. Another person had some star san in a spray bottle. After cleaning he would spray it on his utensils and give them a shake or two to get it off. I can kind of see that but the foam has me puzzled.

Is this a normal practice, wouldn't this produce an off flavor? Is star san neutral when it comes to taste?
It's supposed to be perfectly safe and have no effect upon your wine or its taste to leave your equipment as it is after using the product.
 

mhopkins

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
193
Location
Colorado
It's supposed to be perfectly safe and have no effect upon your wine or its taste to leave your equipment as it is after using the product.
@Johnd I have often wondered if StarSan residue/foam has impact on SG readings. So, I have always rinsed my hydrometer jar. Good practice? No?
 

Brettanomyces

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
36
It's doubtful a tiny amount of Star San in a hydromoter cylinder would affect gravity readings at all. I never rinse it. The risk of introducing something nasty into the cylinder is far worse than the risk of a slightly adjusted gravity reading.

As the old saying goes, "don't fear the foam."
 

Johnd

Sanitized Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,287
Reaction score
6,058
Location
South Louisiana
@Johnd I have often wondered if StarSan residue/foam has impact on SG readings. So, I have always rinsed my hydrometer jar. Good practice? No?
I doubt it makes a bit of difference either way, so just do what’s been working.
 

rustbucket

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
399
Reaction score
411
Location
The Villages, Florida
I inadvertently left my Buon Vino Mini Jet Filter tubing in StarSan for a week about six months ago. When I got the tubing out, it was tacky and cloudy. No matter how many times I rinsed, whether hot or cold water, the tackiness and the cloudiness remained. I ultimately replaced all the tubing with new and threw the tacky tubing away.
 

DoctorCAD

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
524
Here's what you need to do. Taste the sanitizing solution. If it has a taste, rinse it off.
 

Brettanomyces

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
36
Star San definitely has a taste when properly mixed. It's very acidic. You're better off not rinsing it off, regardless. It's specifically formulated to be no rinse.

It does not leave any flavors when used as directed. The spray bottle approach is the best. Easy and cost efficient.
 

malfrune

Junior
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
It's also good for removing screen printed/painted labels from bottles.
 

BMarNJ

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
20
Location
South Jersey
I have been wondering about the StarSan residual as well... I have been spraying my stirring spoon each time (2x a week) I stir my wine as it goes through a long MLF. The MLF stalled and I recently reinoculated it, but was wondering if the residual sanitizer was working against the MLF bacteria.
And a lot seems to get trapped in the wine thief if I don’t rinse it and must affect the taste somewhat in a small sample.
Thanks for any insight here.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,104
Reaction score
1,524
If you feel you HAVE to rinse at least use fresh bottled water or distilled water - otherwise you might as well just rinse things in tap water after using them. There is a point of diminishing returns on sanitizing actions. Failure to clean work surfaces, even the air in the room etc are all sources of bacteria and 'infections' POTENTIALLY. The amount of Star San in a properly sanitized wine thief (With that little valve end) is going to be minimal if you drain it properly and slow down a bit.
Again - rushing though the steps only leads to regrets later about things you forgot to do or got out of order etc.

IF You have to do things so quickly invest in a second or third wine thief or whatever small 'tools' aren't draining fast enough for you. Compared to the cost of a 'ruined' (???) batch of wine those things are small change. IF - that residual amount of Star-san is going to throw off you measurements or the taste of something that much.
 
Last edited:

Brettanomyces

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
36
There's nothing spooky about Star San. Read the label; it's basically phosphoric acid and not much else. Wines and beers that have any buffering capacity (i.e., all of them) are not going to see any pH changes due to a half teaspoon of mixed product in 5-6 gallons. The thousands of hobbyists and many professionals that use this as a no rinse solution are a testament to that.
 

DCTWinemaker

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
39
Reaction score
13
Location
Connecticut
I’ve used StarSan with my first two fermentations and so far no issues. I don’t rinse it out, but I do try to minimize the shaking in order to keep the foam to a minimum. I have some solution in a gallon jug and spray bottle. It will last about 6 months. The spray bottle is very helpful especially when you’re only sanitizing a spoon or hydrometer. Of course everything must be throughly cleaned using a cleaner like B-Brite. You DO want to rinse after using B-Brite as it is very slippery. I’m careful especially when cleaning a carboy, hydrometer or glass car thief. Always dry your carboy throughly with a paper towel before lifting.
 

sremick

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
177
Reaction score
31
II have some solution in a gallon jug and spray bottle. It will last about 6 months.
Hmm... I had read that once mixed/diluted it was only good for a week or two. Which never really made sense to me.
 

Brettanomyces

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
36
Hmm... I had read that once mixed/diluted it was only good for a week or two. Which never really made sense to me.
Distilled water will lat much longer than tap water when used to mix. As long as the pH is under 3, you're good to go in using it. If you have the ability to test, great, then you keep it until it gets too alkaline. If not, then you should err on the side of caution and discard it (or add more concentrate) to the mix after a while.
 

sremick

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
177
Reaction score
31
Distilled water will lat much longer than tap water when used to mix.
A little inconvenient, but not insurmountable. I don't have town water... I have a well that goes through a LOT of resin filtration. I've been told by water aficionados that it's the best water they've ever had.

I've actually never bothered testing the pH of my resulting well water

As long as the pH is under 3, you're good to go in using it. If you have the ability to test, great, then you keep it until it gets too alkaline.
I do have the ability to test, rather accurately I believe. What would be target/"too much" pH?
 

Brettanomyces

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
36
I do have the ability to test, rather accurately I believe. What would be target/"too much" pH?
I'm not sure I understand what "too much pH" is. Basically, I'd recommend mixing Star San according to the instructions on the package. More is not necessarily better. The only real test you need to conduct is to test the pH if you're concerned about its potency. Under 3 and you're good. Over 3 and it's not going to work effectively enough.
 

Rice_Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
766
Reaction score
456
Location
Midwest
What would be target/"too much" pH?
The issue is dissolved mineral in the water which will neutralize an acid, not pH.
For the Midwest this typically means limestone/ calcium carbonate. A quick test, does the spouse complain that soap doesn’t foam/ slip enough? Yes you probably have a lot of hardness in the water. The lab test is to titrate the alkaline hardness. In the scheme of things I ignore hardness in wine formulation, it is mostly an issue in cleaning the mineral residue on faucets.
City water typically adds chemicals as chlorine, fluoride and possibly phosphate to complex lead in old pipes.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
2,965
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
No perceptible smell or taste in the dosages needed to sanitize.

I once had a line of carboys and put a large pour of Starsan in a carboy, gave it the shake and swirl and then dumped it into a funnel into the next carboy down the line. I forgot to dump the last carboy, which had to have an inch of Starsan in it and filled it with my precious Cab Franc.

I was mad at myself and just kept it in the carboy and put it away. I revisited it 6 months later and tasted that carboy vs. the others and you couldn’t taste any difference.
 

gsf77

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
80
Reaction score
17
No perceptible smell or taste in the dosages needed to sanitize.

I once had a line of carboys and put a large pour of Starsan in a carboy, gave it the shake and swirl and then dumped it into a funnel into the next carboy down the line. I forgot to dump the last carboy, which had to have an inch of Starsan in it and filled it with my precious Cab Franc.

I was mad at myself and just kept it in the carboy and put it away. I revisited it 6 months later and tasted that carboy vs. the others and you couldn’t taste any difference.
Thanks for sharing that. That'll ease a lot of us new folks' mind.
 
2

Latest posts

Top