Brewing Sanitizer instead of bleach to sanitize fresh water tank/lines???

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Milton R Scherotter

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As a homebrewer, I have to sanitize my brewery equipment prior to use.  They sell Star san in the brewing store that is a food grade sanitizer. You mix 1oz with 5 gallons of water. Soak/drain/use.  Since it is food grade, it is safe to drink, leaves no taste. I'm wondering about using in my fresh water tank/lines rather than bleach which can leave an aftertaste, even after rinsing.

I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work as well of bleach. Easier to use.

Thoughts?
 

ChasA

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Bleach, if used in the proper proportion (1/4 cup per 15 gallons of water) is safe to drink. It does have an unpleasant odor and taste, but it is safe.
 

grashley

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Yes, it should be safe, but how well will it work on plastic tanks and PEX lines?  I also expect it could get expensive to treat 40 - 50 - 60 gal fresh water tank.

As ChasA said, bleach in the proper proportion is safe, effective and has little taste - and is really inexpensive.
 

jbbrick

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I have a feeling the brewers sanitizer is mainly for errant yeast strains that could effect the fermentation, like the sulfite does in wine (except you don't want the sulfite taste in beer) but it may not kill the other mold or bacteria that could build up in your fresh water tank. I think I would stick with tried and true bleach.
 

Spring Creek

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Regarding bleach for sanitizing, the ?regular? bleach I buy now has something added called Cloromax.  Not sure I want this in my bleach.

Is there such a thing as buying ?food safe? bleach?
 

BruceinFL

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The Star San on Amazon is $22.55 for 32 oz so the cost wouldn't be prohibitive if it was a better sanitizer.
 

Rene T

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darsben said:
STAR SAN is a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid.
That's a word?  I can't even say it let alone know what it does.  :eek: ::) :-[ :-\  Thankfully we have you chemists on  board.    :)) :)) :)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Regarding bleach for sanitizing, the ?regular? bleach I buy now has something added called Cloromax.  Not sure I want this in my bleach.

Is there such a thing as buying ?food safe? bleach?
Clorox still makes plain old bleach without additives, but many stores don't carry it anymore, making room for all the scented (and whatever) variants.  Try one of the private label "basic" brands at grocery stores, Family Dollar, etc.
 

UTTransplant

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Clorox still makes plain old bleach without additives, but many stores don't carry it anymore, making room for all the scented (and whatever) variants.  Try one of the private label "basic" brands at grocery stores, Family Dollar, etc.
We did have to check the labels on bleach the last time we bought some. Found some generic that had no additives.
 

Isaac-1

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Watch out of those off brands of bleach they may be much weaker, you want 6-8.25% concentration, some of those store brand bleaches are as little a 1%.
 

Spring Creek

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Clorox still makes plain old bleach without additives, but many stores don't carry it anymore, making room for all the scented (and whatever) variants.  Try one of the private label "basic" brands at grocery stores, Family Dollar, etc.

Thanks Gary and others for additional info!
 

zulu

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darsben said:
Purogene contains chlorine just like bleach.
Not hardly. That's like saying that since sodium is toxic, then salt must be too because salt contains sodium (and chloride !!!)

Here's Purogene's MSDS:
https://aerosafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/PurogeneMSDS.pdf

It's 3.35% Sodium Chlorite whose CAS registry number is 7758-19-2:
https://www.chemicalbook.com/ProductChemicalPropertiesCB8854304_EN.htm

Long story short . . . bleach is a Category I (most toxic) skin & eye irritant while Purogene is a "practically not an irritant" for skin and a Category III (low toxicity) for eyes.


 

Isaac-1

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The word caustic is not mentioned in that document,

Caustics are strong alkali basses, bleach, sodium hypochlorite, has a near neutral net pH at the end of its oxidation potential reaction.  Bleach is however a strong oxidizer, and corrosive this is what makes it work well as a sanitizing agent.  As to toxicity of bleach this is a complex subject, since most of its more toxic byproducts are Chloramines which are the byproducts of the chlorine reacting with complex organic material (in other words the stuff you want to kill).  If the water and plumbing you wish to treat is not excessively contaminated, the production of Chloramines will be minimal, and the remaining chlorine will off gas in due time.

p.s. don't get me wrong, I think that Purogene / Chlorine Dioxide is a great sanitizing agent too, though one has to separate the marketing hype from the real science
 

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