Star San Sanitizer

Anyone ever get a sulfur (or similar) smell when using Star San?
I usually put the solution in my Corney keg and let sit for a few hours before transferring beer to keg.
Sometimes (not always) I get this smell when I open up the keg.
Any ideas what it is?
I have heard it can be a reaction with stainless steel but not sure.
I have contacted Star San support to see what they say but no answer yet.

Any similar experience?
Thanks, Bob
 

Brian Pylant

Barley Legal Member
Phosphoric acid can react with stainless, but it takes a LOOOOOOOONG time. Not just a couple of hours, or even a couple of days. I've kept SS in a keg for months on end, and it only smells like Star San.

Are you sure you're smelling sulphur?
 
No sure of sulfur but definitely a smell.
I got an answer from Star San and they say it is a reaction with certain types of rubber gaskets that is the cause. They claim will not effect the beer.
Sounds plausible since some of my gaskets are older and only get smell some of the times.
Time for all new gaskets.
 

Brian Pylant

Barley Legal Member
Makes sense. Is the keg full to the brim, so the SS solution is hitting the gaskets?

If they're older it's a good idea to replace them anyway. You can buy a lifetime supply of the post o-rings from McMaster Carr very cheap. (They sell the lid o-rings as welll, but you don't get 100 to a pack like you do with the small ones!)

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=233086
 

Chris Smith

Tech Officer
I always think kegs smell like root beer when they have star san sealed up in it for a while. But never had an issue using it, so I don't worry about it.
 

Brian Pylant

Barley Legal Member
I've taken an opposite approach over the last couple of years. I no longer make 5 gallon batches of Star San and store them until I feel uncomfortable about their efficacy (and until recently I didn't have a pH meter so it was complete guesswork).

I make exactly what I need for the task at hand and no more. Simple contact is all that is necessary, not immersion, so even for my fermenter I'll make a 1 gallon, 2 tops, and shake it around and/or use a paper towel to wipe all surfaces.

For kegs I'll mix up 0.5 gallon, shake it around, hit the keg with CO2 and briefly depress the poppet to push the SS up the diptube, and then push it out through the line with Co2.

(I do refill my two spray bottles from these small batches as well.)

With a dosing syringe (available at any drug store) you can easily measure the concentrated Star San syrup out in the mL quantities needed to make small batches (32 oz, 64oz, 1 gallon):

Code:
gallons	ounces	      starsan oz  starsan ml
5			640				1			  29.5735
4			512				0.8			23.6588
3			384				0.6			17.7441
2			256				0.4			11.8294
1			128				0.2			5.9147
0.5		 64				 0.1			2.95735
0.25		32				 0.05		  1.478675
0.125	  16				 0.025		 0.7393375
I have confirmed with Five Star that the ratio of SS to water is linear (i.e. 1 ounce for 5 gallons, 0.5 ounce for 2.5 gallons, etc.)
 

John Eaton

Barley Legal Member
Brian Pylant said:
[post]2481[/post] If they're older it's a good idea to replace them anyway. You can buy a lifetime supply of the post o-rings from McMaster Carr very cheap. (They sell the lid o-rings as welll, but you don't get 100 to a pack like you do with the small ones!)

I have full sets of orings for ball lock posts & disconnects if anyone is interested, $1 per set, both posts. I took the Mcmaster plunge, but McMaster has supplied most of my generic brewing parts, so it's more of a dip. I bring them to the meetings.
 

John Eaton

Barley Legal Member
Brian Pylant said:
[post]2483[/post] I've taken an opposite approach over the last couple of years. I no longer make 5 gallon batches of Star San and store them until I feel uncomfortable about their efficacy (and until recently I didn't have a pH meter so it was complete guesswork).

I make exactly what I need for the task at hand and no more. Simple contact is all that is necessary, not immersion, so even for my fermenter I'll make a 1 gallon, 2 tops, and shake it around and/or use a paper towel to wipe all surfaces.

For kegs I'll mix up 0.5 gallon, shake it around, hit the keg with CO2 and briefly depress the poppet to push the SS up the diptube, and then push it out through the line with Co2.

(I do refill my two spray bottles from these small batches as well.)

I've been doing pretty much the same since I started brewing about 3 yrs ago. I keep a 1 gallon jug on hand at all times, and use it as I need it and refill my spray bottle. I make some effort to 'save' what I use in a brew session, but I don't sweat the loss. The gallon lasts 2-3 sessions. I have a decent sized SS deep sink, so I'm kinda sloppy about it in the sink.
For my kegs I soak everything after cleaning, assemble, add a pint of starsan, pressurize slightly and release the out poppet till it sprays me. When I'm ready to use them again I release the rest through the out side, open, drain any remaining (including the out diptube), and then fill. I use my bottle 'vininator' to do the beer lines, but I only use picnic taps so far.

I just took a sniff of my 2 empty (ack!) kegs, and there is a very faint smell, but not sulfur.
 
I have full sets of orings for ball lock posts & disconnects if anyone is interested, $1 per set, both posts. I took the Mcmaster plunge, but McMaster has supplied most of my generic brewing parts, so it's more of a dip. I bring them to the meetings.

John - I am about to follow you on the McMaster plunge. But if you still have more of the dollar sets, I'd be interested. I'm still gonna go to them for lid gaskets and tubing. Let me know. Thanks
 

John Eaton

Barley Legal Member
John - I am about to follow you on the McMaster plunge. But if you still have more of the dollar sets, I'd be interested. I'm still gonna go to them for lid gaskets and tubing. Let me know. Thanks
Yep, I've got them. Set has all the orings for both ball locks, the dip tubes and the ball lock QC caps. $1 a set. Based on recommendations, I got silicon for the gas post.
I'll bring some to the next meeting at Zeds.
 
Yep, I've got them. Set has all the orings for both ball locks, the dip tubes and the ball lock QC caps. $1 a set. Based on recommendations, I got silicon for the gas post.
I'll bring some to the next meeting at Zeds.

I'll be at Zed's. I'd like to get 10 packs if I can. Thanks

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Kristina Nasuti

New Member
I had a similar issue (a rotten egg-like stench from the StarSan water concoction) when I sanitize bottles. Never had an issue with it ruining beer, but I do give each bottle a quick rinse to get rid of the smell.
 
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