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Question on Reusing Star San

So I’ve purchased some Star San and love it compared to the hassle of the powder crap I was using and have been reusing it for a few batches. I guess my question comes about saving and reusing it and how long it’s good for. I’ve got some PH Strips and have heard that once it goes over three you should dump it or you should dump it once it gets “cloudy”.

Does you’re container your storing it in need to be air tight? Because mine gets cloudy after one use and I don’t think these buckets I have seal properly. Or maybe my understanding of “cloudy” is off…
Or maybe I should just start using the PH Strips…

I haven’t had any infection issues and I’ve just been dumping it after every few batches.

It gets cloudy as it reacts with the salts in the water, so if you want it to remain clear, make it with DI water. If the pH creeps up, you can spike a little StarSan to lower it. I keep batches for months sometimes - if a little sediment builds up on the bottom of the bucket, I just decant to a fresh bucket, add a little more water and StarSan to it (I like to keep it around the 5-gal level for soaking racking canes and hoses), and it’s good to go again.

Awesome, thanks Shadetree! I guess I was just looking for some reassurance. I was able to embrace the foam thing but need some push on reusing it. Good to know you can just mix a little more water and Star San in to pick it back up if you need to.

I’ve read about people saving/re-using Star San, but I’m still gunshy to give it a try.

I use ‘fresh’ batches of Star San each time I brew/bottle.

Good tips!
I like having a full bucket for soaking things as well. I just find it easier. I got some ph strips on my last trip to the store and will be using them to make sure everything is happy.

[quote=“pointyskull”]I’ve read about people saving/re-using Star San, but I’m still gunshy to give it a try.

I use ‘fresh’ batches of Star San each time I brew/bottle.[/quote]

I’m kinda in between you and shade on this. In the past I too made a fresh batch each time… but now I’ll make a fresh batch on brew day and save it if I know I’ll need it again within maybe 1-3 weeks. So I’ll use a batch 2 or 3 times then dump it and start fresh. I bought a large bottle maybe a year or so ago and still have at least 1/4 of it. So 12-18 months per bottle…eh, I’m ok with that.

The “when it’s cloudy it’s time to replace” statement is what makes me hesitant. Mine seems to get cloudy after the first use. And the word “cloudy” can be so subjective.

+1, exactly what I do. Since I do not really bottle any more, my bottling bucket has become my StarSan bucket. I put a top on when not in use but the option of dropping stuff in a 5 gallon bucket is real nice and if I need a little, I use the bottling valve. Last brew day, I used gravity feed from the bottle valve to send sanitizer through my CFC to sanitize it. I used to push it with Co2.

At my old house, with city water, it used to get cloudy and slimy real fast. Once I started using RO water for the StarSan, it seems to stay clear forever and I also occasionally decant the top and rinse the bucket and accumulated crap from the bottom. Works great.

[quote=“dobe12”]
I bought a large bottle maybe a year or so ago and still have at least 1/4 of it. So 12-18 months per bottle…eh, I’m ok with that.

The “when it’s cloudy it’s time to replace” statement is what makes me hesitant. Mine seems to get cloudy after the first use. And the word “cloudy” can be so subjective.[/quote]

+1

There are several podcasts that discuss starsan and other sanitizers. This one is pretty good and they interview the head of five star products. Several of these podcasts really set my mind at ease about sanitation practices. They talk about how long star san stays active. As stated above- cloudiness is due to hard water. The key is that the pH stays under 3.0. If you want clear starsan solution - buy some jugs of distilled and it should remain effective indefinitely. I usually keep mine a month or two depending on my brew schedule and then change - not because it is probably not good, but just for peace of mind.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/469

[quote=“Braufessor”]There are several podcasts that discuss starsan and other sanitizers. This one is pretty good and they interview the head of five star products. Several of these podcasts really set my mind at ease about sanitation practices. They talk about how long star san stays active. As stated above- cloudiness is due to hard water. The key is that the pH stays under 3.0. If you want clear starsan solution - buy some jugs of distilled and it should remain effective indefinitely. I usually keep mine a month or two depending on my brew schedule and then change - not because it is probably not good, but just for peace of mind.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/469[/quote]

Thanks - I will check 'em out…!

The day I started keeping a bucket full of starsan and reusing it was a great day in my brewing life! It made things soo much easier. It keep it sealed up, dump any sediment that gets in there, test the pH once and a while, then add more Starsan and water when it starts getting low. I use it for everything and haven’t had a problem in a couple years of doing it.

Glad everyone seems to be on board with this at least to a point. I have the pH strips but have read things in the past about people who doubt the accuracy of them so I’m still a bit leery about those but it seems that you should be good to go for a while with Star San.

I have a 5-gallon bucket with about 3-4 gallons of StarSan in it that I will reuse for 3-4 months. I’m sure I could keep it longer, but it’s pretty cheap in the long run so I toss it after a while and make a fresh batch for my own peace of mind. I check the pH every once in a while, but I’ve never had it come up too high. I keep a spoon and a paint strainer bag in there pretty much at all times, and I use it to refill a couple of 1-quart spray bottles that I use for spraying smaller or more awkward-sized/shaped items.

If I make something like a melomel I’ll end up dumping the batch after I’m done with the degassing/aeration stage since it ends up turning the color of whatever fruit I’m punching down after a few days.

I also keep a 5 gallon bucket of it on hand at all times. I dump it about every 2.5-3 months and make a fresh batch like i just did last night! :slight_smile: I love Star San and all of its foamy goodness.

If you are going to use test strips, get something like this. The colorphast ones are pretty specific and easy to read. Get a narrow range, like these:

http://www.amazon.com/pH-Test-Strips-In ... lorphast+0
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