Is there a cheaper alternative to Starsan?


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Post by deebo » 6 years ago

I've barely made a dent in my bottle of starsan and I normaly use about 6ml with 4L water in a bucket and 0.75ml with 500ml water in a spray bottle (I get the 500ml water for the spray bottle from a jug with one of those brita water filters and its seems to stay pretty much indefinately clear so I also use this for spraying keg taps etc after the brew, whereas I use tap water for the 4L and it tends to go cloudy within 24 hours so I ditch it after the brew).

Using only 6.75 mls, which works out to 23.5 cents per brew (and if I was being tight I could probably get away with 1.5ml per brew at 5c) I dont see why people bother with stuffing around making their own if there is even the slighest risk the bleach % or concentrations they mix up may not be correct or may result in flavours in the brew?


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Post by rockbotton » 6 years ago

I still use starsan myself even though bleach is safe also. It is nice to have alternatives in case you run out of starsan.

I use bleach in my pool and I am sure I have ingested some even though I try not too. :drink:
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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

Since I started this thread I have been using the bleach/vinegar solution with no problems. two batches done with the 3rd conditioning in the bottles right now. I believe I found my alternative to starsan. Thanks again to everybody who posted.


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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

[EDIT: Since writing the below I have done a bit more research and become less opinionated :P, See here for a more balanced view.]

You'll probably hate me for this Crusader :argh: ;) :lol: but here's my thoughts...

1. There is a moderator alert on this forum of how mixing bleach and vinegar can be lethal. This fact has not been dealt with adequately in this thread since I first mentioned it.

2. I have had a bottle of Starsan for two years or so and brew a lot. $10 a year doesn't sound like much to me. How much hassle and how much does it cost to buy vinegar and bleach? A lot cheaper but a lot more hassle.

3. Whilst vinegar is a weak acid, the term 'bleach' is very undefined. In some forms it is acidic and in some forms it is basic. What 'bleach' are you referring to?

Whilst I haven't listened to the 5 star podcast, I honestly believe that mixing bleach and vinegar together is totally irresponsible advice.

I am aware however that 5 star recommends you clean with a basic solution and sanitise with an acid solution as is recommended by BIABrewer.info.

In light of the above, I find the bleach/vinegar recommendation dangerous, unproven, and fraught to misinterpretation. My advice would be to always use two chemicals - a basic (alkaline) cleaner and an acidic sanitiser.

It costs bugger all.

No one should ever assume that a live interview of a salesman, under interview pressure, will contain correct information. Nor should they ever expect that same salesman to correct any errors made.

I really hate it when authoritative sources make a claim like this. It is natural for we brewers to lap it up without question. Who are we to question stuff like this?

There is so much bad advice out there but this one actually scares me - I don't like at all.

:nup:
PP

P.S. Three brews is nothing. If you do not have the right cleaning/sanitisation schedule (basic/acidic) a micro-film of bacteria etc will build up and bite you in the bum after 20, more or less, brews. So, look out!
Last edited by PistolPatch on 22 Jul 2011, 23:07, edited 7 times in total.
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Post by Crusader 83 » 6 years ago

Pistol,

Point taken with regards to the warning of mixing these two chemicals, it is very dangerous if not done correctly, however, since I have been following this topic I felt the warnings were clear.

With regards to the podcast; If I recall correctly the gentleman was the founder of 5-Star with an extensive chemical background. As I result; I would tend to believe he knows of what he speaks.

With regards to being grossly irresponsible; I do take offense to that 1) I have recommended this method to anyone, I simply said that it appears to be working as intended. 2) I am very careful to follow the guidelines outlined in the podcast. 3) Are we not all adults? Everyone must assess the risk/reward and cost/benefits for themselves. I know when I research topics I do so thoroughly, not relying on one or two sources especially forum posts. As a result; I would expect no less than anyone else. And again, I have not recommended this method, I simply stated it appears to be working for me.

This solution is much cheaper and is no hassle what so ever; 1 oz of bleach dumped into a couple gallons of water and 1 oz of vinegar dumped in after a 3rd gallon has been added then topped off to 5 gallons. Side note; I thoroughly rinse the measuring cup after dumping the bleach. Very easy in my opinion.

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Post by ianh » 6 years ago

Sorry Pistol but I also use bleach/vinegar and much prefer it to starsan, also I have done over 100 brews and not had any problems.

We are talking sodium hyperchlorite bleach.

As Crusader has said you add a quantity of water to your container, measure and add your bleach, throughly rinse the measure, measure and add your vinegar. throughly rinse the measure, top up the container with water. I use regular Homebrand bleach 4-5% sodium hyperchlorite that does not contain chemicals to make it foam which is what I don't like about Starsan. I use bleach and vinegar at the rate of 1.5ml per litre of water.

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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

Alright, alright, I'll listen to the podcast today then :P.

I've heard John from Five Star talk before and he comes across very well. I suspect that what I have seen written on some forums (not here) is slack and dangerous reporting of what he said. For example, you see time and again, people saying, "I use a bleach and vinegar solution," and they fail to even specify that water is used in large quantities as well. I can easily see a new brewer going out and mixing up a 50/50 batch with no water :argh:.

I'll edit my last post if I have been putting the blame for this in the wrong direction. In fact, just re-reading this thread and it seems that Charlie Talley makes the suggestion not Five Star :scratch:. Does Five Star ever mention it at all?

:peace:
PP
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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

I'm pretty sure I made a post here earlier, am I mistaken? My laptop crashed earlier and I wasn't sure if I had pressed send, and cos there's a power issue with it I can't check if the browser is still open with my well considered post. I'm on the wifes netbook now.
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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

I put the following edit at the beginning of my previous post...

"EDIT: Since writing the below I have done a bit more research and become far less opinionated :P..."

I couldn't find Charlie Talley referring to chlorine and bleach in the first podcast but read some more info and finally found the original podcast here.

After listening to both podcasts, I can see my prior post deserves the above edit. I hadn't heard Charlie talk before, only Jon Herskovits, and they both speak really well. The podcast was responsible and clearly states the dangers so that makes me happy and shows me I was wrong in my accusations :).

So, my new opinion is ;), it all sounds good to me as long as people clearly state the proper mix / dilution - 1 oz of bleach (5% chlorine) in 5 gallons of water followed by 1 oz vinegar.

I'll go now :sneak:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 23 Jul 2011, 12:18, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by mordantly » 6 years ago

i didn't read this whole thread so if im repeating someone, my mistake.

mix starsan with distilled or reverse-osmosis water and it will keep for YEARS! tap water causes it to cloud almost immediately. in both cases, as long as ph =>3.0 it's functional. i use 5 gallons at a time in a plastic drinking water bottle and fill a spray bottle and use it on washed and well rinsed equipment then back in the bottle it goes.. no sediment is on things when properly sanitizing so its good until i eventually use it all up in airlocks, and things that don't get poured back in.
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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

Hello,

I'm nearly ready for my first batch using BIAB method, but I can't find Starsan or Iodophor here (in Istanbul/Turkey). Is there an y reliable no rinse alternative, I can find iodine solutions, can I use them, if yes in which way? Any idea will be respected.

Ahmet


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

Good Day, Most Iodine solutions have surface chemicals(soap) to spreaed the Iodine, they Santize very well but DO need to be rinsed. May not be a big problem to hot rinse most brewing equipment!
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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

joshua wrote:Good Day, Most Iodine solutions have surface chemicals(soap) to spreaed the Iodine, they Santize very well but DO need to be rinsed. May not be a big problem to hot rinse most brewing equipment!
Thank you Joshua
Last edited by Kazan on 20 Apr 2012, 21:12, edited 5 times in total.


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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

I think I'll use %35 Hydrogen Peroxide in dilluted form. Did any one use it before pros & cons?

Thanks,


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

Good Day Kazan, check my post #26 at the top of page 2, about "Tsunami", You can dilute the Hydro Peroxide add add Vinegar!
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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

joshua wrote:Good Day, Just to stir things up, EcoLabs has a product called "Tsunami" which is a food grade sanitizer.
it is made from Vinegar(acetic acid 5%) and hydrogen peroxide (3%). When it is diluted. it is about 224ml of vinegar, 448ml hydrogen perioxide in 19liter of water. It kill most all bacteria, some virius's, and it is used to wash meat and veggies. There is no need to rinse. Do not directly mix the vinegar and Hydrogen peroxide, add each to the water, separtly U.S. recipe....8oz vinegar, 16oz hydrogen peroxide, to 5 gallon water. I have used this procduct at Frito-Lay to sanitize the potatoes before they become Chips.
Good Day again Joshua,

My H2O2 Hydrogen Peroxide concentration is %35 (or 1/3), in your formula you use %3 pure H2O2, so it seems I use approximately three times more H2O2?

Thank you
Last edited by Kazan on 20 Apr 2012, 22:33, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by Yeasty » 5 years ago

Hi Kazan

I use an iodine based antiseptic called VIDENE.
1.5 to 2 ml/litre and its no rinse here is a link Here this one is 7.5%w/w mine is 10%w/w another link here

Your local chemist should be able to source some for you.
Last edited by Yeasty on 20 Apr 2012, 23:45, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by rockbotton » 5 years ago

Hey Crusader,
I have used the bleach solution a couple of times just to see if it worked. I never had any problems but I switched back to starsan. Bleach in the US ranges from 3% to 6%. If I remember correctly you have to use the 6% for the 1 ounce in five gallons. The podcast also said to add the distilled vinegar first and then add the bleach. This solution has a short life of a day or two since the chlorine will gas out of solution.
Starsan is a great product. Just google it and you will find all the information you care to read. ;)
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Post by Lylo » 5 years ago

Walk across the carpet once with some bleach on you shoes and see how that goes!!
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Post by rockbotton » 5 years ago

Bleach has benefits such as being very inexpensive. It is also the most effective sanitizer for Norovirus but I hope no one has a problem with that at home.

For me starsan is the answer. I have used it many times without problems and until someone makes something better I have no plans to change.
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Post by shibolet » 5 years ago

Kazan wrote:Hello,

I'm nearly ready for my first batch using BIAB method, but I can't find Starsan or Iodophor here (in Istanbul/Turkey). Is there an y reliable no rinse alternative, I can find iodine solutions, can I use them, if yes in which way? Any idea will be respected.

Ahmet
Kazan,
as you do not have access to Starsan or Iodophor i would recommend you try the above mentioned bleach/vinegar recipe. cheap and easy to purchase ingredients.
by the way, where are you getting the other materials from (grain, hops, yeast) ?
Last edited by shibolet on 22 Apr 2012, 21:15, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

shibolet wrote:
Kazan wrote:Hello,

I'm nearly ready for my first batch using BIAB method, but I can't find Starsan or Iodophor here (in Istanbul/Turkey). Is there an y reliable no rinse alternative, I can find iodine solutions, can I use them, if yes in which way? Any idea will be respected.

Ahmet
Kazan,
as you do not have access to Starsan or Iodophor i would recommend you try the above mentioned bleach/vinegar recipe. cheap and easy to purchase ingredients.
by the way, where are you getting the other materials from (grain, hops, yeast) ?
Hello Shibolet,

Here I could find malted grain (only one type pale malt, no any special malts), hops only in the leaf form but I don't know which one and alpha acid that's why I ordered hop pellets & yeasts from Brouwland. Next time I may order Iodophor from there.
Last edited by Kazan on 22 Apr 2012, 21:36, edited 5 times in total.


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Post by Lars » 5 years ago

I use nothing but the bleach vinegar water solution. never had a problem just take care to do it right and dont mix neat bleach to neat vinegar. The bleach you require has no added scent and is referred to as 'thin' bleach where I'm from....

L


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Is there a cheaper alternative to Starsan?

Post by Kingy » 5 years ago

I didn't read all the posts but starsan is so cheap and such a good sanitizer when used after a good soak in napisan or sodium percarbonate based cleaner. How cheap do you want? I've used many and starsan is my trusted cheap no rinse sanitizer. And only needs a few minutes at the most to do its stuff.


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Post by kostass » 5 years ago

Amazing thread I hadn't read it before,
I'm gonna make the vinegar/bleach solution and no more expenses on chemicals :thumbs:

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