Sanitizer Problem

I have been making wine for about 5 years now. In the beginning I started off using Star San. I found very quickly that it seemed to irritate my throat. I’ve noticed this same problem in home made beers that friends have made that have used star san. So I switched to using ld carlson 1 step (yes, I know its not the best for sanitizing) but now I’m noticing the same problem in wines that I know where made only using 1 step.

For the Star San I can taste the difference immediately in most batches of wine or beer that have used it. I can’t taste 1 step but I can feel it.

I was thinking maybe these batches had turned to vinegar but I’ve made enough vinegar (bad wine) over the last few years that I’m pretty quick to spot that problem. These batches don’t seem to have any trace of vinegar. But I know I didn’t properly use sulfites in a lot of my early batches and the 2 I’m having a problem with didn’t really get any sulfites…so maybe they are vinegar and I just can’t tell.

The only thing I can think of is star san says no rinse but maybe that means I need to let it fully dry before using. And maybe 1 step is the same way. In my searching of forums everyone seems to think its ok to use this stuff while still wet.


I still to this day give everything a quick rinse, opposite the directions saying no need to… Im not sensitive to the chemicals, but would rather try dilute/eliminate them whenever possible… The only brews I turned to vinegar where from not cleaning a fermenter once, and two times had a fruit fly dive bombed into my bucket…. a long time ago… Sneezles61

I keep a pot of near boiling water on brew day and use that for anything that needs sanitized. I’m Thinking 200 years ago that’s what they did. I also try to avoid chemicals when it’s convenient.

I’m guessing you don’t drink colas either then as they have more phosphoric acid in them than the StarSan residue.

I don’t drink pop very often but don’t remember having issues with it. It may not be the acid in it that’s causing the problem.

Are you using the right mixture amounts? 1 Oz per 5 gal of water.

Pretty close if not correct. I only mix up a gallon at a time and the measuring thing on it only has 1/4 oz markings.

Well the ingredients I believe are basically the acid part and the surfactant detergent salt (sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonates) which when mixed is like .001 part in a gallon. But under anaerobic conditions it doesn’t degrade where I would imagine the phosphoric acid might.

as long as you’re following the directions on the label, you should be fine. if your using too much starsan, that might be where its coming from. Ive been using it when I first started with the kit, and havent had that problem yet. Of course, I havent brewed as much as alot on here, as Ive just started, but I havent had any issues with taste or otherwise with it.

Everyone’s anatomies are different :slight_smile: raw carrots make my throat itch.

Do you have any issues with sulfites? Because with wine, sulfites are a perfectly adequate sanitizer. Often times, a beer Brewer will freak out about the sanitization steps of a wine maker… It really is a different world.

My wife had to give up on peaches for a similar reason. Just happened one day and it’s never gone away.

Sulfites don’t bother me…and yes when crushing fresh fruit for wine about all you can do is throw in some sulfites and hope you didn’t grind up too many bugs in your fruit.

As I’ve been reading on this subject I’m learning that the gallon batches of 1 step and star san are really not doing much because they have sat too long or because I didn’t use distilled water. So basically any sanitizing I’ve done hasn’t really done much. I’m thinking that a pot of boiling water on wine day would probably do more than these chemicals have done.

Boiling water and 30 bottles on bottling day might be a hassle though. I’m wondering if I use star san the day before and let them fully drip dry if that would be enough to sanitize the bottles. However then I’m just going to jam an unsanitzed wood cork in the top…so maybe it doesn’t matter as long as they were cleaned really well first.

I don’t really think you have to worry too much about distilled water or sitting too long with StarSan.
I have a 5 gallon bucket of standard mix starsan that is a month old and mixed with tap water. I throw bottles in there to help remove labels. I just threw an Absolute bottle in there for fun and it ate off the screenprinted ink completely.

Right but if its cloudy its not good any more…right? Mine is cloudy.

I’ve never seen Starsan get cloudy (unless it’s eaten a bunch of ink off bottles) I suppose that doesn’t sound right. When did you mix it?

Its probably a couple of months old. I read that it’ll get cloudy if the water is really hard which I think is the case where I live.

As long as the pH of your Star San solution remains below 3.2, and there is no visible pieces of crud floating in it, it is still an effective sanitizer. Cloudy is caused by minerals in the water, but the minerals don’t change the pH.