Category Archives: pH

What’s the Shelf Life of Star San? – Testing Star San’s Effectiveness

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Star San is my sanitizer of choice.  It’s food safe and no rinse.  Required contact time is one minute.  It has worked very well for me for quite some time and I’m convinced that it’s one of the most economical solutions available if you use the spray bottle method [See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines]

What’s the Shelf Life of Star San?

With regards to mixed Star San Solution: The official answer is probably… you should mix a fresh batch each time you use it.  To really test the effectiveness, you need to titrate the solution and test the PPM.

Practically speaking, many homebrewers use and re-use Star San.  If you’re going to do that, the solution should be relatively clear and the mixture should have a pH of under 3.5.  Previously the recommendation I received from Five Star Chemicals was that the solution should by crystal clear, however, for bottles of Star San not older than 1 year (check the manufacture date on the bottle) crystal clarity isn’t necessarily a requirement.

From “Better Safe Than Sorry” Department: If you doubt a mixture it’s better to be safe, dump it and make a fresh batch

More About Clarity

Years ago, I received this information from Five Star Chemicals:  “The cloudy solution could be okay, but it could be bad. The cloudiness is the surfactant coming out of solution. It has reacted, or is reacting with the metals in the water. I don’t know if it is still good, because I don’t know how much surfactant has reacted. I error on the side of caution and suggest that you don’t even mess with it. Use DI water.

Previously testing the effectiveness of diluted Star San involved two things… Crystal clear solution and pH under 3.5.

As of this update on 9/2018, clarity is not considered an issue – via Emily Lovato at Five Star Chemicals

My personal opinion (not official) is that crystal clear Star San is preferable to cloudy Star San.  If you have hard water and your diluted Star San mixture immediately turns cloudy, and you want it to be clear, you can use RO or distilled water.

 

With regards to Star San concentrate: Five Star Chemicals recommends replacing bottles of Star San concentrate that are over 2 years old.  – via Emily Lovato at Five Star Chemicals.

What size to buy?  Because of the 1 or 2 year freshness recommendation via Five Star, my recommendation to most homebrewers is to purchase the smaller 8 oz bottle of Star San.  If you’re using the spray bottle method [See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines] 8 ounces of Star San should last many homebrewers for at least a year.  My reasoning on the 8 oz recommendation is… why buy a larger bottle that you won’t be able to get through before it needs to be replaced?  There’s a calculator in my tips post to help you estimate your usage.

Testing pH of your diluted Star San Mixture…

Testing pH question involves using either a pH meter or strips.  The pH meter option is straightforward [See: Amazon’s Best Sellers in Lab pH Meters].  pH Meters can be costly and do require calibration, maintenance and, eventually, replacement.  Because of that, I wanted to find pH strips that work well for this task.  I ended up trying a few different styles and manufacturers before finding strips that I think work well.

cln_img_0509I settled on Hydrion Pro 9200 (0.0 to 6) pH Indicator Strips – via Amazon

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6 Pack pH Buffer Solution Powders – $6.99

6-pack pH Meter Buffer Solution Powder For Precise and Easy PH Calibration, PH Calibration Powder Solution 6.86,4.01,9.18

6-pack pH Meter Buffer Solution Powder For Precise and Easy PH Calibration, PH Calibration Powder Solution 6.86,4.01,9.18

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Easy to use- No need to measure, just mix each packs with 250mL distilled water.
  • Total 6 packs-The set includes 2 package of 4.00, 2 package of 6.86 and 2 package of 9.18 calibration solution powder for all pH needs.
  • Designed for portability- Individual sized packets can be tucked in drawer, bag or suitcase for travel.
  • Save time and money-By mixing powders in a jar of distilled water, this lets you keep them longer and more readily available without needing more packets!
  • Wide range of applications-Ideal for testing pH balance of drinking water, pool, aquarium, RO system, Spa, or hydroponics.

 

2/22/19 9 AM Central: These are selling for $6.99. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. Also: Recent Amazon Finds and Amazon Fillers Resource Page

6-pack pH Meter Buffer Solution Powder For Precise and Easy PH Calibration, PH Calibration Powder Solution 6.86,4.01,9.18


Also: pH Tag | Search ph calibration solution – on Amazon | All Grain Tag

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Meter Complete Kit

Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit with 0.01 pH Accuracy, 3-Point Auto. Calibration ATC 60 Degree C, Plastic; Glass

Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit with 0.01 pH Accuracy, 3-Point Auto. Calibration ATC 60 Degree C, Plastic; Glass

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • The smallest pH pen with reliable testing performance for regular liquid e.g. pools, hydroponics, aquaculture, cooling towers, beverage making, body fluid, etc
  • ±0.01 pH accuracy; Automatic 3-point calibration; 0-60˚C Automatic Temp. Compensation
  • Slim replaceable probe, suitable for test tubes
  • Intelligent functions: switch from ˚F to ˚C, automatic power-off, pH probe invalidation reminder (remind you to replace the probe for better performance)
  • Complete kit: 3 types of premixed calibration solutions (4, 7, 10) and storage solution (3M KCL) all in one portable case

 

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

What are others saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “brew”

Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit with 0.01 pH Accuracy, 3-Point Auto. Calibration ATC 60 Degree C, Plastic; Glass


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Apera AI209-T PH20 Value pH Tester Combo Kit

Apera AI209-T PH20 Value pH Tester Combo Kit

Apera AI209-T PH20 Value pH Tester Combo Kit by Apera Instruments.  Includes calibration and probe care combo kit.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • The top-rated pH tester now comes with a complete CALIBRATION and PROBE CARE Combo Kit, ensuring reliable test performance
  • Comes with a probe cleaning brush for easy removal of contaminants on probes, maximizing probe’s life-span
  • Comes with Apera’s unique CalBox, heping you organize all the solutions and save cost on buffers by at least 50%
  • Apera quality pH sensor with low impedance, greatly improving response speed and shorteninb stablizing process
  • Easy auto. calibration with buffer recognition; auto. temp. compensation (ATC) ensures accuracy in various temperatures (32 to 122˚F)

 

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

Apera AI209-T PH20 Value pH Tester Combo Kit with 8oz Calibration buffers (4,7,10), 4oz 3M KCL Storage Solution, Probe Cleaning Brush & CalBox – note, multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may show up at this link


Also: All Grain Tips & Gear | 10 Gallon Mash Tun Conversion Kit [Review] | Cereal Killer Grain MIll |  Batch Sparge SpreadsheetBIAB Brew Day Spreadsheet | The Brew Bag – Purpose Made BIAB

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Vantakool pH Meter – .01 Accuracy, 0-14 Range

Digital PH Meter, VANTAKOOL PH Meter 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range for Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium Water PH Tester Design with ATC (yellow)

Digital PH Meter, VANTAKOOL PH Meter 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range for Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium Water PH Tester Design with ATC

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • WIDE USE: Pocket Size PH Meter is the ideal test kit for home and laboratory uses. Ideal use to test for water, pools, aquariums, spas, hydroponics, food, wine and beer making and more.
  • FAST AND ACCURATE: Ensure your pool, general hydroponics ph or even drinking water has a perfect pH balance and safe for use with VANTAKOOL Tester precision pH accuracy. VANTAKOOL Tester has a sensitive electrode sensor to read accurate pH levels. The included detailed manual will show you how to get the best accurate and stable reading
  • AUTOMATIC TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION: No more need to take care about the temperature of testing liquid, as ph meter has built in (ATC) automatic temperature compensation, so that it can accurately determine pH value of the sample at any temperature in a range of 0°C – 80°C (32°F – 176°F)
  • AUTO CALIBRATION: The VANTAKOOL PH meter has an auto temprature compensation feature that adjusts to water temperatures and water quality to give pH readings almost instantly. As well, you can calibrate the tester with one touch button using VANTAKOOL Buffer Powder.

 

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

Digital PH Meter, VANTAKOOL PH Meter 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range for Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium Water PH Tester Design with ATC – note, multiple variations of this may be available on this product page, a different product could show up at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

pH Meter & TDS Meter Combo

Molop Digital PH Meter TDS Meter, Water Quality Tester, Auto Calibration

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Ease of Use:TDS meter will lock the measure result when you press the “HOLD”button and automatically turn off after several minutes of non-use. PH meter has auto calibration function and you can quickly get readout
  • Accurate and Reliable: PH resolution is 0.01pH,accuracy ±0.01pH.TDS meter rangs 0~9999ppm,Conductivity 0~9999 us/cm,accuracy ±2%. TDS 0~9999ppm
  • Lasted Design:The TDS meter and PH meter are portable to carry to anywhere. with the handhold size, you can read it easily while use them
  • Wide Range Application: Extensive use in many places, such as swimming pools,drinking water, aquariums; Very good for water filters, food and drink quality monitoring
  • Package Includes: Comes with PH meter x 1, TDS EC temperature meter x 1, carrying case x 2, buffer powder x 3

 

Use the pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.  The TDS meter could come in handy for checking your RO filter [See: Review – Portable Reverse Osmosis Water System] or for checking purchased distilled or RO water.  Some water processors add minerals back for flavor.  A TDS meter will allow you to make sure you’re getting what you want.

Molop Digital PH Meter TDS Meter, Water Quality Tester, Auto Calibration, Ideal kit Aquarium, Swimming Pool, Drinking Water


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Dr Meter PH002 Digital pH Meter – Homebrew pH Meter

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)

PH002 pH Meter by Dr Meter,  Measurement range of 0-14 pH.  Includes carrying case and 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers.


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Measurement range of 0-14 pH – highly accurate, reliable and quick readings, included with the meter are 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers for an calibration.
  • Comes with carrying case and small screwdriver for calibration, lightweight, handheld design for portability and convenience
  • It is easy to use – simply remove the protective cap and immerse the electrode in the solution to be measured.
  • Package Included: 1 × PH meter , 1 × Carrying case, 1 × Calibration screwdriver, 2 × PH buffer powder (for calibration) ,1 × User manual.
  • Dr.meter PH meter is perfect device for testing the acidity or alkalinity of liquids, great for all home and laboratory pH testing applications including aquariums, swimming pools.

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

What are others saying? Search this item’s Amazon reviews for “brew”

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)


More: Recent Amazon Finds


pH Meter & TDS Meter Combo

Water Quality Test Meter Pancellent TDS PH EC Temperature 4 in 1 Set

Water Quality Test Meter Pancellent TDS PH EC Temperature 4 in 1 Set

Includes pH Meter and TDS Meter

Use the pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.  The TDS meter could come in handy for checking your RO filter [See: Review – Portable Reverse Osmosis Water System] or for checking purchased distilled or RO water.  Some water processors add minerals back for flavor.  A TDS meter will allow you to make sure you’re getting what you want.

Water Quality Test Meter Pancellent TDS PH EC Temperature 4 in 1 Set


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Dr Meter PH002 Digital pH Meter – Homebrew pH Meter

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)

PH002 pH Meter by Dr Meter,  Measurement range of 0-14 pH.  Includes carrying case and 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers.


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Measurement range of 0-14 pH – highly accurate, reliable and quick readings, included with the meter are 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers for an calibration.
  • Comes with carrying case and small screwdriver for calibration, lightweight, handheld design for portability and convenience
  • It is easy to use – simply remove the protective cap and immerse the electrode in the solution to be measured.
  • Package Included: 1 × PH meter , 1 × Carrying case, 1 × Calibration screwdriver, 2 × PH buffer powder (for calibration) ,1 × User manual.
  • Dr.meter PH meter is perfect device for testing the acidity or alkalinity of liquids, great for all home and laboratory pH testing applications including aquariums, swimming pools.

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

What are others saying? Search this item’s Amazon reviews for “brew”

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)


More: Recent Amazon Finds


Dr Meter PH002 Digital pH Meter – Homebrew pH Meter

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)

PH002 pH Meter by Dr Meter,  Measurement range of 0-14 pH.  Includes carrying case and 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers.


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Measurement range of 0-14 pH – highly accurate, reliable and quick readings, included with the meter are 6.86 and 4.01 pH buffers for an calibration.
  • Comes with carrying case and small screwdriver for calibration, lightweight, handheld design for portability and convenience
  • It is easy to use – simply remove the protective cap and immerse the electrode in the solution to be measured.
  • Package Included: 1 × PH meter , 1 × Carrying case, 1 × Calibration screwdriver, 2 × PH buffer powder (for calibration) ,1 × User manual.
  • Dr.meter PH meter is perfect device for testing the acidity or alkalinity of liquids, great for all home and laboratory pH testing applications including aquariums, swimming pools.

You can use a pH meter to check the pH of your water, mash, [test Star San effectiveness] and finished beer.

What are others saying? Search this item’s Amazon reviews for “brew”

Dr.meter 0.1pH PH002 High Accuracy pH Meter/pH Pen Tester with ATC LCD 0-14 pH Measurement Range (PH002 pH Meter for Water)


More: Recent Amazon Finds