No-Rinse Sanitizer (Sodium Carbonate)


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Sep 29, 2012
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Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a no-rinse sanitizer that I can easily find down where I am. (Mexico City)

I can get "One-Step" and "Star-San", however, the cost is about 2 times as much as it is in the States ... and both of these are basically just a re-packaged form of Sodium Carbonate. So I feel I would be paying two-times the price for an already expensive re-packaged compound. (Sodium Percarbonate .. or Sodium Carbonate)

I can get bulk Sodium Carbonate at extremely cheap pricing down here.

Has anyone ever used no-brand, straight-up, plain and simple, Sodium Carbonate for a no-rinse sanitizer?


Actually, I should have stated "Sodium Percarbonate" 2Na2CO3.3H2O2

Which will break down into: 2Na2CO3 (Soda Ash) + 3H2O (Hydrogen Peroxide) ... which will then break into simple Water + Oxygen.

How is this process ANY different that what happens in "One-Step" and "Star-Sans". It just seems like you are buying the equivalent of "Name-Brand" salt or "Name-Brand" baking soda. .... It's just a compound and simple chemistry ... why pay extra for the name?
Star san is made from a phosphate based acid:
"Made from food-grade phosphoric acid, ...."

You might be thinking of oxyclean? I have also seen one home brew store package as a no rise sanitizer. I use star san though.

In wine making a 200-300ppm sulfite solution is pretty common, but not sure if that would work for beer.
Star san can be reused. I keep about 2 gallons in a five gallon bucket with a cover, and use it for about a month, brewing every weekend. At the mfg. recommended dilution of 1 ounce per five gallons, you can make a bottle last. I also keep some in a spray bottle for sanitizing small jobs. With the foam sanitizing as well you could use as little as a cup of diluted star san in a carboy as long as you covered every surface. Ive been told that if you mix it with distilled water it will last practically forever. Just make sure the ph stays at 3 or less. I guess you could use some test strips to check it every now and then, or just mix small amounts, use for a few weeks and then replace. Not being a chemist, I would be wary of a bulk product that may not be the same.

Quote from Charlie Talley, a Five Star big shot:

" Star-San is an “acid rinse” when measured at 1oz. per 5 gallons of water. Its chemical composition is a typical soap, like that found in tooth paste called DDBSA (dodecylbenzyl sulfonic acid) + food grade phosphoric acid. It stops working when the pH gets above 3.5 and so if diluted in wort acts as a yeast nutrient/food. Star-San will “last forever” if RO or distilled water is used to mix it and it stays enclosed like in a spray bottle, but it lasts a long time anyway and can be used multiple times or up to about 3 months. The product will turn opaque in iron or manganese rich water. Star-San has a contact time of 3 minutes (EPA) or 30 seconds per Charlie. If plastic soaked in Star-San becomes cloudy, soak in PBW to turn the plated soap (film on the plastic) back into the detergent it is supposed to be. The remaining foam after use is ok and has no detrimental effects on your beer, such as head retention. Charlie recommends 30 seconds to 1 minute soak for copper and aluminum, and says they should never be left to soak any longer than 3-4 hours. In other words don’t soak overnight, it only hurts not helps. Star-San is different as a sanitizer than Iodine and bleach, because both of those contain halogens which are called “blind sanitizers.” These halogens will not kill in the presence of sugar and actually attack the sugar first before going after any bacteria. On an end note for this wonderful sanitizer, it will clear up toe-jam.'
Thanks for the information. I had no idea that Star Sans could be used that many times. I think I've found a local industrial food products supplier down here that has Iodophor at very good pricing. So I guess it would be the pros and cons of three different sanitizing methods: Sodium Per-carbonate vs. "Acid / low PH" (Star Sans) vs. Iodophor (iodine based)

If I have easy access to Iodophor, would this be a good option for a no rinse sanitizor? I would use it for everything (Fermentors, Transfer Hoses, Bottles, Kegs etc ...)