Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Star San + Distilled Water = Star San for Weeks

A few weeks back I picked up some distilled water, and mixed up 2.5 gallons of Star San with it. Normally, here in Chicago, the Star San mixture is cloudy by the end of the day, and the next morning it's getting that slimy feeling - both indicators it's time to dump.

But with distilled water, the PH stays nice and low - and 3 weeks later the Star San I made with distilled water is still crystal clear and foaming just like I made it that day. I put some in a spray bottle, and don't have to worry about it going bad.

The past couple weeks, having this bucket of sanitizer has been very handy - I've found myself having to switch out airlocks, rig up blow-off tubes, sanitize bottles among other various things, and not having to mix up sanitizer each time has been a real hassle-saver.

Is it economical/practical to do this all the time? I don't know - up to the individual. But if you plan on lots of brewing work over a period of a few weeks, this can be real handy. Just cover the bucket with a lid and fill up that spray bottle - cheers!


  1. I never had a problem with star san getting cloudy with Chicago tap water. Here in Redondo Beach, CA, it gets cloudy instantly with the addition of tap water. I haven't gotten a straight answer if it is ok to use in that condition, only that you shouldn't use it if the pH is above a certain level, which cloudiness CAN be an indication of. I've been using it with reverse osmosis water until I get pH test strips that go low enough to check if it is ok to use.

    Great blog, by the way. I just started following it. Thank you for the link to my blog.

  2. No problem! Thanks for the comment and the props. I've pretty much heard the same thing - cloudiness "can" be an indication that the PH is out of range. I have PH strips for beer, but they don't go low enough - so I should just get some different ones that can get down there. To be on the safe side, I just use Star San for the brew day (unless I used distilled water, then it's just a matter keeping cat hair out of it), and then dump it - no problems thus far (knock on wood). Cheers!

  3. I'll have to give the Star San + Distilled Water a try sometime. Having it last a week would be usefull for mead because you have to aerate it a couple times a day in the begining. I got a two huge bottles of idopher when I bought some used equipment and have just been using that so far.

    I have some wine ph strips that you can use to test the ph.