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Hands on Review: Spike Brewing Equipment Mash Tun! + v3 closeout sale

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Spike Mash Tun

Spike kettles come in sizes from 10 gallons all the way up to 50 gallons. The 10, 15, and 20 gallon kettles all share a common trait of 1.2 mm thick walls and a 5 mm thick base. The 30 and 50 gallon units up those numbers to 1.5 mm walls and a 6 mm base. Spike is quick to point out that these are the thickest kettle walls on the market. At first that might not seem like something that matters, it just seems like something that makes them heavy to lift and move around. But if you accidentally bang it into a doorway or a table you’re thankful for sturdy kettle walls that keep it looking new rather than beat up.

The heavy bottom is sturdy enough to hold a level flat bottom rather than a slightly convex shape thinner kettles experience from stamping pressures. This lets it sit truly flat on your brew table and keep its weight centered low for a sturdy footing. The bottom is a tri-clad design that has layers of stainless steel on the bottom and top for strength and stain resistance, and a layer of aluminum inside to make use of its thermal conductivity properties to help distribute heat across the bottom of the kettle. The heat distribution helps avoid wort scorching on cooktops and gas burners.

Cut-away view showing stepped bottom

The bottom has a step designed in that helps simplify the false bottom. With the step, the false bottom rests on this and lets gravity and the hydrostatic pressure of the wort keep the false bottom sealed to the bottom of the kettle without requiring a grommet or seal on it. And the Spike custom false bottom is unique. It’s heavy-gauge and sturdy like the rest of the kettle, but that’s not what makes it unique. It’s perfectly sized to the stepped bottom of the kettle, and provides 2 stages of filtering. The top layer that the grain rests on has slots cut into it, and the bottom has a supporting ring that has holes cut into it. The Spike custom pickup tube extends to the center of the false bottom, collecting wort from inside the ring. So most of the wort getting to the pickup tube has to first pass through the top layer slots, and then through the holes surrounding the pickup tube.

A look at the top of the false bottomOutlet Port and Inlet Port Level Inside

The bottom port of the standard kettle sits at about the 2.5 gallon level with the 15-gallon kettle. If you’re using the Spike pickup tube, this extends in and touches down on the bottom. So if you’re transferring wort out with a pump, you can vacuum out the last bits of wort, leaving almost nothing behind. The temperature port sits a bit higher, and a temperature probe requires about 4 gallons of wort to be submerged. The Spike thermowell accessory that mates to the TC port is extremely well made. A polished, smooth surface extends in and has no visible gaps or crevices at the joints and a mirror-like shine.

Outside TC Fitting Weld


A Rare Sale, Review Continues Below:

With the announcement of their V4 lineup of Kettles, Spike Brewing Equipment is also clearing out all V3 stock.  These are featured filled, high quality kettles that are rarely discounted.  The closeout is a rare chance to get a deal.  NOTE: Limited to stock on hand, when these are gone.. they’re gone.  Check out the Bargain Cave for complete selection and availability.

V3 Kettle Closeout – a v3 Spike+ kettle is reviewed in this post

Get the Gear, Review Continues Below:

The reviewed mash tun is a Spike+ Kettle + false bottom, pickup tube, TC Valve, Gaskets & Clamps


Hands on Trial

Butterfly Valve Attached to Pickup Tube

The heft of the 15 gallon kettle was noticeable while moving it around my brew area (30 lbs empty weight with butterfly valve, center pickup tube, false bottom, and thermowell w/ temperature gauge). But its strength was impressive, and definitely seemed liked something you’d use until you passed it down to your kids (or something like that). The 15-gallon size was just about the limit for my 2 ft x 2ft stainless sink to fit in for cleaning. With the weight of it, I was definitely having to be more creative with more of bringing the water to the kettle and less filling at the sink and lugging it around.

The weld quality of the TC flanges was phenomenal. The surface of the weld was so smooth and uniform, it made for very easy cleaning. Which of course is great, since that’s the whole point of the TC ports. This was my first experience with these ports. Cleaning was made so easy, as fittings were removed just by hand loosening the clamps and pulling hardware out. And when putting them back on, I kept thinking that I would end up needing to fiddle with the clamp/gasket to get a good seal, but they were flawless. There really is no comparison to NPT fittings with Teflon tape, or weldless fittings with O-rings in this regard. You pay more money, but there are tangible results with speed/ease of cleaning and hassle free no-leak operation.

The dial temperature gauge was large and readable, with markings every 2 degrees, making it easy to read within 1 degree (i.e. if you’re on a line or in between two lines). The gauge did require some adjustment to be accurate, but luckily the adjustment screw was easy to reach. After adjustment it maintained accuracy in the couple batches I brewed after.

Conclusions

These kettles come with a price tag that’s a step up. Sometimes you can’t afford that, and there are other options out there. But if you do pony up some extra money for nice gear, you expect to see a benefit from it. The Spike kettle/mash tun definitely delivers on that, with durability and super high quality that’s plain to see. The TC fittings fall into that category as well, providing you extra benefits with ease of use and ease of cleaning. Overall, the whole line up from kettle to accessory is exactly what you’d expect to see in a high quality offering.

Get the Gear

More Photos

Closeup TC Weld Quality – Inside the Mash TunBottom View of the False BottomA look inside Spike Brewing Equipment’s Mash Tun – note that a Blichmann AutoSparge is installed in this photo
TC Clamps and Silicone Gaskets

Special Thanks to Spike Brewing Equipment for for providing the unit used for evaluation in this review.

By Brad Probert.  Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com

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

Recent Great Deals [view more]:

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Hands on Review: Blichmann Engineering AutoSparge!

blichmann autosparge review

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Blichmann AutoSparge

The Blichmann AutoSparge is an ingenious device that gives you “digital like” control precision, but uses no electronics to accomplish it. Its function is to automatically maintain a water level in your mash tun during sparging or recirculation of wort. If your brewing process uses sparge water transfer or recirculating wort, the AutoSparge turns this into a hands-free operation where you set it up once and then can go worry about other things (or RDWHAHB).

The AutoSparge uses some cool engineering principles to maintain the liquid level in your mash tun. The main function is a slider piston valve that uses hydraulic pressure to let liquid flow into your kettle. This screws into a 1/2″ NPT port on your kettle. With fluid pushing on the valve (either from a pump or from a gravity feed), it pushes the valve back and lets beer in the kettle. There’s a barbed fitting and a length of hose that comes with it to take circulating wort from the top of your kettle down to the grain level. Attached to the other end of the valve is a long rod and stainless-clad hollow ball. This ball floats on the water level in your kettle. As the fluid level rises, the ball floats up and pushes the slider valve closed, shutting off the flow of wort into your kettle.

The rod and floating ball is adjusted simply by a wing nut you loosen and adjust the float to sit at the level you want, then hand tighten it down. With laws of physics and lever arms, the ball can easily contain the high flow rate of a recirculating pump you may have hooked up. Another nice detail is the hose that delivers the wort down to your grain bed has its own little floating ball. In this way, it will sit on the top of your fluid level, and not be buried down in your grain bed blasting its own trench.

Once you have your float level set, you just let your pump(s) run. As you pull wort out from the bottom of your mash tun, the fluid level goes down in the kettle and the float arm opens up the valve and lets more wort come in. If you’re pulling fluid out slowly, the wort level drops slowly and therefore the valve only opens a little bit to replace that wort slowly. If you’re pulling out wort quickly, the level drops more quickly and the valve opens up more.


Finding the AutoSparge, Review Continues Below


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Hands on Review: Ss Brewtech InfuSsion Mash Tun

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Ssbrewtech InfuSsion Mash Tun

At first glance, you might think the Brewtech InfuSsion mash tun was only created to lure those mashing in Igloo coolers into something more sophisticated. And that might be the appeal to some. For me, I was looking for a mash tun as I moved from e-BIAB to a 2-vessel electric system. I wanted a mash tun that’s only job was mashing. The InfuSsion provided that simplicity of function, while still being technologically advanced.

Two Vessel Setup

The InfuSsion mash tun is a combination stainless steel kettle and insulated cooler. The inside of the mash tun is durable stainless steel, as is the outside. In between is sandwiched high density insulating foam to make a full inch of engineered layers. With the foam inside the walls you can’t directly heat the mash tun as you’d risk melting the foam. Of course with the foam in there, it means you’re less likely to need to add heat.

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Hands on Review: Custom Spike+ Boil Kettle

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Spike+ Custom Boil Kettle

Have you ever stood and looked at a friend’s brew rig and thought, “That’s genius! I should do that”? Or stood and looked at your own brew rig and thought, “If I could only have another port there, that would solve my problem with _______”? After using different systems, I found myself with a list of features I loved, and had an idea of the ideal set-up for me. But these ideas never went anywhere because I didn’t have the right skills to build it myself.

Spike offers a solution to this problem, with their Custom Kettle service. And they do it at a competitive pricing to DIY, but with professional quality (not knocking your welding skills- they’re great…). When designing a custom kettle, 1/2″ threaded ports are added at $30 a pop and Tri-Clamp (TC) ports are $50 each. Compare this price to $25 for a weldless TC fitting + $20 for a carbide bit hole saw. And with that weldless fitting you don’t have the smooth sanitary weld surface that’s easy to clean and keep free of beer-souring bacteria. Not to mention the heart stress induced by drilling a hole into the side of your stainless kettle, hoping you’re not going to let the drill slip!

To make a custom kettle, you can either have your own specific design in mind, or you can have a general idea and work with their engineer to detail it. By doing this, you have the benefit of working with someone that has the experience of having built a lot of custom kettles to help guide you through the process.

Custom Boil Kettle Drawing

Once the drawing for your kettles is determined, your project is transferred to the person that will coordinate the build of your kettle and help you with any accessories you want to add to your order. Once the kettle is built, they box it up with your accessories and ship it out together.

Spike features two types of kettles, differentiated by the types of weld ports. They have traditional 1/2″ NPT threaded ports (full or half thread), and also 1.5” or 2” TC ports. They’ll even mix and match if you want with some of the fittings NPT and some TC on the same kettle.


Get the Gear, Review Continues Below:

Brew Kettles at Spike Brewing


Hands on Review

This trial started with the creation process. I had a solid idea of what I wanted. I needed a boil kettle to use with an electrical element to heat strike water, use as a RIMS device for mash step temperatures, and for the boil. I knew most of what I wanted, but was undecided on a couple aspects. So through a series of back and forth questions and answers, I was able to hone in on how I wanted it configured.

The engineer working with me to finalize the kettle port layout was responsive and we exchanged emails daily for a few days until it was settled and I had agreed to the kettle drawings. When I was handed off to the Customer Service contact, she was equally as responsive, and we exchanged a few emails a couple times a day until we had the full order detailed. Five days later I got an email with the FedEx tracking number as it was all being shipped to me. I was amazed at how fast the whole process went.

The 15-gallon Boil Kettle configuration had three 1.5” TC flange ports and one 1/2″ NPT port. I had a TC fitting down low (2” up from the bottom) for the outlet drain, and another TC fitting also at 2” up from the bottom for my electric heating element. This required about 3 gallons of wort to completely cover the heating element. At 4” up, I had a TC fitting for a temperature probe. This required just over 4 gallons of wort to keep it submerged. The 1/2″ threaded fitting was up high on the kettle, 1.5” down from the top flange. To this I fitted a whirlpool recirculation tube from NorCal Brewing Solutions.

The kettle quality was top-notch. Heavy gauge steel walls were straight and true, and the extra-thick bottom helped provide a solid base to keep things stable. The purpose of the thick base is to make it induction heat compatible or help more evenly distribute the heat from a gas burner flame, but it also helped make the pot feel secure sitting on a brew table full of hot wort. The finish on the outside was a bit shinier to look more impressive when showing off to your friends, and the inside was a bit more brushed so the inevitable markings of multiple batches of boiling wort isn’t as noticeable. Both sides cleaned up really easily with hot water and a scrubbing sponge. I only had to use cleaning products prior to its virgin voyage to ensure all the machining oils were cleaned off.

The weld quality was superb. The NPT port was clean and without any porosity or crevices to make cleaning difficult. The TC flanges were beautiful. The way they were integrated into the walls of the kettle almost looked they were formed/pushed out of the side wall of the kettle rather than welded on. I really can’t overstate how flawless these were.

Kettle with PIckup Tube, Recirc Tube, 2,250 Watt Element and Temp Probe

Shorty Pickup Tube

The accessories were all of good quality and reasonably priced. There were two accessories that stood out for me. The first was the short pickup tube to connect to the TC fitting down low on the kettle. This dropped down low to almost touch the bottom of the kettle to ensure the maximum amount of fluid to be extracted. With a slight angular cut on the tube, it built a natural blocking barrier to any trub in the center, and then sloped upwards to ensure it didn’t create a flow restriction problem.

Spike Brewing Butterfly Valve

The other accessory that was impressive was the butterfly valve. The price was a bit intimidating, about twice the price of a decent 3-piece ball lock valve. But I was impressed. The heft and quality of this beast was impressive. Being a much more open design than a ball valve, it certainly was easier to clean and know you got everything out. The handle used to open the valve contained a locking mechanism so you could open it to a fixed position and the mechanism kept it locked in position so the flow going through didn’t cause the valve to float or try to close.

All of the TC fittings worked easily and sealed to a fully leak-proof condition with no fiddling required and nothing more than hand torqueing of the clamps- no tools required. The black painted/etched volume markings at every 0.5 gallons were very clear and easy to read while filling the kettle, and I liked how they went down as low as 2 gallons.

The main selling point of the TC fittings is ease of cleaning. I was curious to try this out because I’m not one to be obsessive about cleaning, so I figured I could give it a good critical review. I’ll shortcut to the ending and tell you that even a non-cleanfreak found these to be great. I especially loved the ability to pop the electric heating element out and easily clean it. I scalded the element a couple times so I was thankful at how easy it was to pop this out. The smoothness of the weld on the TC fittings also made cleaning easy without requiring brushes to clean inside threaded fitting grooves.

Conclusions

So overall, this custom kettle service is kind of a hidden gem. The kettles themselves are very high quality, and Spike makes creating your own custom build super-easy and relatively affordable. I was skeptical of the benefits of TC ports before, but now am a firm believer in how they make cleaning so much easier. If you’re in the market for a new kettle and have some ideas of what you might do a little differently, Spike Custom Kettles might be able to hook you up.

Get the Gear

Brew Kettles at Spike Brewing

More Photos

Spike Two Vessel SetupOpen Butterfly ValveSpike Custom Mash Tun DrawingTC Ports Make for Easy Cleaning!

Special Thanks to Spike Brewing Equipment for for providing the unit used for evaluation in this review.

By Brad Probert.  Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com

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Hands on Review: Ferroday Stainless Steel Carbonation Cap for PET Bottles & Draft Line Cleaning Builds

This is a hands on look at a Stainless Steel Carbonation Cap by Ferroday along with some information about what these are used for and some related build projects.

What are stainless steel carbonation caps used for?

  • PET Bottles as Growlers: These are generally intended to convert 1L and 2L bottles to growlers.  Fill up a 1L or 2L PET bottle with your favorite homebrew.  Put one of these on (purge the headspace by squeezing if you want to) and then pressurize for transport.  This should help to reduce oxygen pickup and maintain carbonation levels.
  • Fine tune or rapidly carbonate beer: You can also use this cap to rapidly carbonate beer.  Same process as for transport, just set your regulator to the proper pressure and shake or agitate the PET bottle to help introduce CO2.  Or hook it up to CO2 and let it sit in you kegerator.
  • Draft Line Cleaning Projects:  More recently these have been adapted, for use as a part of draft line cleaning projects.  Examples, using similar SS Caps – Build A Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump | Mark II Keg and Carboy Cleaner Draft Line Cleaning Pump Conversion

Universal Liquid and Gas Carbonation Caps

The really big question that needs to be answered, if you want to build a draft line cleaning setup using one of these, is whether or not it is universal.  Ball Lock Kegs have gas and liquid posts along with corresponding QDs.  Black goes on liquid, grey or white goes on gas.  They ARE NOT interchangeable.  The beauty of some stainless steel carbonation caps is that they are universal, meaning they can accept both gas and liquid QDs.  That’s very important for draft line cleaning builds because we want to connect a liquid QD to this.  The problem is, not all stainless steel carbonation caps are universal.

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Hands on Review: Propper Starter Canned Starter Wort!

Propper Starter Canned Wort by Omega Labs

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Propper Starter Canned Starter Wort

I never used to be a fan of starters. I willfully ignored stories people would tell about their starters because I didn’t want starters to matter. Extra work strung out to a few days before brew day was something I just couldn’t get excited about. But then I did some experiments splitting a batch and fermenting one with a starter and one without. I then saw firsthand how the starter saved a couple of challenging lager fermentations. I could no longer be a denier.

I set about trying to make the process as easy as possible with a flask, stir plate, and even a small electric coffee kettle to allow me to keep the process contained to my basement brewing area. It was manageable, but I still couldn’t overcome the dislike of having to buy DME (and running short when I needed it), and the whole cooling process after I boiled the wort starter. Then I stumbled upon the Propper Starter canned starter wort in my LHBS. Could this be my savior?


Finding Propper Starter Canned Wort


Propper canned starter wort is made by Omega Yeast Labs. Omega yeast labs opened in mid-2013, which makes it a newer kid on the block of homebrewing yeast suppliers. Based in St. Louis and Chicago, you will mostly find their yeast in the Midwest and East Coast areas. A yeast producer making a yeast starter seems like a natural/logical fit.

The can of Propper Starter contains concentrated wort and yeast nutrient. It’s made to be diluted to the proper concentration. One 16 oz. can of concentrated wort poured into your flask, then you fill up the empty 16 oz. can with water again and you’ve got 1 Liter of 1.040 gravity starter wort.

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Hands on Review: Mark II Homebrew Pump w/Stainless Head


This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.


Enter to Win!

Check out our giveaway for a free Mk II Pump and your choice of 15 Camlock Fittings!

Review Continues Below


Mark II Pump with Steel Head

Let’s face it, pumps aren’t the most exciting piece of homebrew equipment you own. With the exception of the RipTide pump, they don’t have “features” you can impress your friends with. There are a few basic requirements, and once you get those met, you’re just looking for the lowest price. For me, the basic requirements are: 1) Magnetic drive, 2) Ideally a stainless steel head, 3) Temperature & splash protection, and lastly 4) Maximum head.

The MkII’s Magnetic Impeller

Several vendors offer what’s called a “Mark II Pump”. So you need to dig deeper than just the name when comparing pump offerings from different shops. One requirement, which is pretty much standard across beer brewing pumps, is what’s called a magnetic drive. Magnetic drive means you don’t have to worry about grease from shaft bearings getting into your wort. The other advantage is that you can close a valve- partially or completely- on the output side of your pump to reduce flow, and it causes no stress to your pump. Magnetic drive is pretty much standard in beer brewing pumps, but I bring it up because shopping on Amazon or eBay you might get drawn into something that isn’t.


Get the Gear:

MARK II BEER PUMP via Proflow Dynamics

Deal: As of this posting, promo code BREW15% takes an additional 15% off PFD’s entire lineup of homebrewing gear.  That include this pump.  Using the link above gets you another 10% off.


About Pump Features and Specs – What does Pump Head Mean?

Pump heads come in either stainless steel or some kind of plastic/resin. Some resins have a better temperature durability, so after many hours of operation they are less likely to break down and lose pressure/flow capability. Stainless steel doesn’t have this issue, but it also has more durable threads. Most wort pumps come with 1/2″ Male NPT at inlet and outlet so you can screw on hose attachments or ball valves. I’ve had bad luck with stripping threads off a polysulphone pump head even with the most careful attention paid to not cross-threading it.

The next key differentiator between pumps is temperature capability. Some are designed to handle cooler liquids and are maybe only rated to something like 80F or 180F. This simply isn’t good enough for brewing, you want something that can handle boiling wort temperatures (212F or hotter).

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Using a Keg as a CO2 Source for Portable Serving!

This technique uses an economical inline secondary regulator to utilize a spare keg as a CO2 source to serve a keg.  I’m not suggesting this setup as a replacement for your kegerator CO2 tank.  You still need a standard CO2 tank.  What this setup could be very useful for is as a replacement for those expensive little regulators or injectors and expensive (considering how much CO2 you get) little CO2 cartridges.  One inexpensive purchase allows you to pressurize and serve your keg on the go for little to… nothing.  Keep reading.

The Magic Piece of Equipment

Cheap Inline Regulator – via William’s Brewing | via MoreBeer | via Amazon

These inline secondary regulators have been on the scene for a little while now.  At the price I’ve seen them at, sub $10, they are a bargain.  They also add a lot of flexibility to your draft setup, allowing you to easily and cheaply serve using multiple pressures and carbonation levels.

Note that these are inline secondary regulators.  You still need a primary regulator attached to your CO2 tank.  The idea is, you set the primary to the highest pressure you will use (without exceeding specifications of any component of your system) and then use these regulators inline (one per line) to fine tune pressure and carbonation [See: Balancing Your Draft System].  As an example, you could set your primary to 25 PSI for faster force carbonation and set each line to a different pressure based on desired carbonation level.

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A Recommendation For All Grain Brewers – Use Two Scales

UltraShip 55 lb. Digital Postal Shipping & Kitchen Scale

As all grain brewers we are generally weighing things in two categories.  Moderately large amounts of things – grain and smaller amounts of things – like hops and water salts.

Although weighing both types of things involve a scale, they are really wildly different activities.

I’ll take the pictured Ultraship Ultra-55 [Hands On Review] as an example.  That has been my go-to grain scale for years and years.  It has a large 55 lb capacity, the tare feature and the face of this removes so that you can weigh large items (like buckets of grain) and still easily read the display.

The Ultraship Ultra-55 has a resolution of 2 grams when weighing up to 1 kg (about 2.2 lbs).  From 2 lbs to 50 lbs it has a resolution of .5 oz.  If we’re weighing 20 lbs of 2 row, this works great.  If you’re 2 grams or a half an ounce off either way, it really doesn’t matter.  How about hops?  A 2 gram resolution would work in a pinch, but I don’t think most brewers would be happy with that.  Weighing water salts are completely of the question with this sort of precision/resolution.  But.. it’s a great grain scale.

Second example… American Weigh 100g x 0.01g Digital Scale [Hands on Review].  That scale has an outstanding 1/100th gram resolution.  That’s great for weighing hops accurately AND weighing water salts.  How about for your all grain grist bill?  It should be awesome right?  No.  100 grams equates to about .22 lbs.

As scale capacity goes up, resolution, precision and accuracy generally go down.  Very accurate scales with higher capacities do exist, but they’re very expensive.  If you’re looking for something like this or just want to see prices, try this search on Amazon.  It searches “high capacity lab scale” in the Industrial & Scientific category sorting from high to low price.

Because of all of this, I recommend that homebrewers keep two scales.  One for grain and one for hops and water salts.

Some scales I’ve used and reviewed…

If you’re an extract brewer or you can only keep one scale because of budget or space, look for something in the middle, something with an 11 to 15 lb capacity and a 1 gram resolution – something like this.  You can use that to weigh out grain bills – you may need to split your grain bill up into a couple batches to get under the capacity and 1 gram will work for hops.

More: Recent Amazon Finds


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My Favorite Size of Star San & Why

Star San – via Amazon

Star San Acid Sanitizer.  8 oz size.  No rinse when mixed properly.  Container includes built in measure.


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

  • Self-foaming acid sanitizer ideal for brewing, dairy and other food and beverage equipment
  • Extremely effective bactericide and fungicide and is not affected by excessive organic soils
  • Reduces water spotting and can be used without rinsing under the proper concentrations
  • Volume: 8 fluid ounces

Star San is my sanitizer of choice.  It is effective, food safe and no-rinse.  It is also very cost effective if you use the spray bottle method.

My Favorite Size and Why: Considering the shelf life of Star San concentrate is 1 to 2 years, If you’re using the Spray Bottle Method [See: Tip: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines – Using Star San In a Spray Bottle], I generally recommend purchasing the 8 ounce size.  8 ounces of concentrate yields about 39 gallons of mixed solution.  The spray bottle method is very efficient, so you don’t end up using much sanitizer per batch.  Let’s say you use 1/4 gallon (which I personally think is high) for each batch, the 8 ounces size yields enough mixed solution for around 157 batches.  That figures to about 13 batches per month over a 1 year period.  If you use 1/8 gallon (which I think is more realistic) that equates to about 26 batches per month over a 1 year period.  The larger 16 and 32 ounces sizes may be a lower cost per ounce, but if you’re unable to use it within Star San’s shelf life, you’ll just be throwing sanitizer away or using less effective past date sanitizer.  Getting a smaller bottle more often means your Star San is fresher.

Star San – 8 oz


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