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Womack
05-18-2013, 06:44 PM
have a question regarding Idophor

Now I have been using this stuff for at least 2 years and I am very happy with the results.

In my used of it over the years I have noticed that the color of the fluid in my sanitizing bucket tends to fade over time. and If I am doing all grain beer or another very Long brew I have to freshen the bucket with a little more of the chemical. I am told that the reason is iophor is unstable and when exposed to UV it Breaks down in to salts and water.

I am curious. in the table in the guides its marked as environmentally un friendly. Is there something I should be concerned about? what about it is harsh on the environment?

kuri
05-18-2013, 08:19 PM
I had been under the impression that iodophors were environmentally unfriendly as well, but I tried finding reasons online and haven't had any luck. It's toxic to fish at 50ppm, but it breaks down gradually in sewers and so probably never approaches that concentration when released into rivers and oceans. At least not on the scale of individual users using the stuff occasionally in small quantities.

fatbloke
05-19-2013, 04:11 AM
A lot of cleaning/sanitising materials are NOT environmentally friendly, full stop!

The very nature of them makes them harmful. Even so called "natural" or "organic" sanitisers are harmful in concentrate form.

The ones that have like an iodine element in them will fade with time as the UV does break down the colour pigmentation part, whether that reduces their efficacy or not, I don't know.

I'd guess it's one of those things that you should, most likely, only get enough to use within the timespan of the "life" of the product.

Personally, I just use soap and water for actual cleaning, then good rinsing, followed by sanitisation using the recipe from CJJ Berry's "First Steps in Winemaking" book, which is 5 crushed campden tablets mixed into a pint of water, with 1 teaspoon of citric acid.

I keep that in a hand spray.

It seems to work well, I've not had any problems with infections since I started however many years ago, but as with anything that is based on sulphites, it will degrade. So I make a fresh batch regularly, only using what's left in the spray for gravity tests i.e. hydrometer, test jar and baster to take the sample - and yes I do put the sample back into the main body of the ferment.

kuri
05-19-2013, 04:37 AM
StarSan is essentially a blend of two acids that are considered food. Plus some proprietary ingredient in a small quantity that I'd suspect probably isn't. When diluted it can actually feed your yeast rather than kill them. And anything that gets dumped down the drain gets diluted. It is acidic, and so acidifies whatever it gets into, but that's probably the worst it does. 5 minutes into the sewer I bet it won't kill a thing any more.

Sodium percarbonate dissolves in water to produce hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The hydrogen peroxide is what does the oxidizing for you, breaking down into oxygen and water. So in the end this stuff is only as bad as baking soda on the environment. Cleaners based on this chemical, like OxyClean and PBW, have other cleaners in them that I can't vouch for, but sodium percarbonate is at least one of the main ingredients in them.

The point of this is that being a cleaner / sanitizer does not necessarily mean being harmful to the environment. The ones that are biodegradable in the end may not do any harm at all by the time they exit the waste processing plant. The warranty is voided, of course, if you're pouring the stuff down the drain undiluted and in large quantities -- in sufficient quantity you could end up killing the bacteria in the waste processing plant. I doubt anyone working on our scale could do that kind of damage if they tried, though, with the chemicals we use.

fatbloke
05-19-2013, 05:14 AM
StarSan is essentially a blend of two acids that are considered food. Plus some proprietary ingredient in a small quantity that I'd suspect probably isn't. When diluted it can actually feed your yeast rather than kill them. And anything that gets dumped down the drain gets diluted. It is acidic, and so acidifies whatever it gets into, but that's probably the worst it does. 5 minutes into the sewer I bet it won't kill a thing any more.

Sodium percarbonate dissolves in water to produce hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The hydrogen peroxide is what does the oxidizing for you, breaking down into oxygen and water. So in the end this stuff is only as bad as baking soda on the environment. Cleaners based on this chemical, like OxyClean and PBW, have other cleaners in them that I can't vouch for, but sodium percarbonate is at least one of the main ingredients in them.

The point of this is that being a cleaner / sanitizer does not necessarily mean being harmful to the environment. The ones that are biodegradable in the end may not do any harm at all by the time they exit the waste processing plant. The warranty is voided, of course, if you're pouring the stuff down the drain undiluted and in large quantities -- in sufficient quantity you could end up killing the bacteria in the waste processing plant. I doubt anyone working on our scale could do that kind of damage if they tried, though, with the chemicals we use.
I follow where you're coming from, but I'm alluding to how most chems are considered in concentrate/bulk form i.e. the phosphorous in a match stick wouldn't cause any harm, but a piece of pure phosphorous the size of that match stick head, when exposed to oxygen will burn a hole in your hand, or the amount of sodium in a pound of salt is harmless (other than the usual recommended intakes from a human health point of view), that same amount of sodium, when in it's pure form, will explode when placed in contact with water, etc etc etc.

That is what I was alluding too........

There are many ways of sanitising etc, with different chems or substances, that in the dilute forms, do break down and are harmless, likewise, there are two specific substances in nature that are the biggest hazards to lots of stuff, albeit, very, very slowly. Both doing their respective damage in very different ways to many different materials.

Those "dangerous" materials ? Pure oxygen, and salt water.

My suggestion of using sulphites does work, but like with any sulphites, it needs the acid to release the sulphur, and that sulphur in turn, reduces it's efficacy with time and air/O2 exposure.

Proprietary products like Iodophor, Star San, etc etc, will only have a relatively limited lifespan, whether it's X amount of hours/days/months when diluted (if it indeed does require dilution), or in it's concentrate (as packed for sale/use) form.......

Just go with what you find works for you, and is easily available where you are.

Don't forget, the only easily identifiable things that Japan and the UK have in common, is that we both drive on the "correct" side of the road and Nissan GTR Skylines ;D;)

clone63
05-19-2013, 11:44 AM
As one with a chemical phobia, my psychosis will not allow me to sanitize with any suspicious chemicals. People ramble about starsan being safe to eat, drink, whatever, but I consider most food additives unfit for human consumption. When attempting to find supporting or refuting evidence of either, it is just jargon, no studies or results. G.R.A.S does not cut it for me. Tons of things are "safe" but still carcinogenic. I'd also prefer not to saturate the environment with more petro-chem waste, if not the products, then the by-products of their production :rolleyes:
If I could reasonably rinse off the cleaner then I wouldn't be concerned on a personal level but to clean something with a chemical cleaner but then rinse with only what I have available (tap water) seems self defeating.
I have brewed 3 things, nothing wrong so far. Likely a matter of time though. My weapon is just hot water. HOT. And lots of it.

Midnight Sun
05-19-2013, 01:20 PM
Womack, As others have said, iodine is harmful when concentrated. Here are some things to consider though:

1. Concentration of iodine in the ocean ~ 0.05ppm.

2. Average household water use in the US, per person per day is 80-100 gallons (300L-375L).

Say you live in a town of 1,000 where everyone averages 80 gallons per day (80,000 total usage), and you dump a whole bottle of Idophor down the drain. I have no interest in doing the actual calc, but I'd imagine you are getting close to the iodine ppm in the ocean once the water water is combined at the treatment plant. In actual usage, the amount of iodine needed to sanitize bottles is far less. Your environmental impact is minimal.


I'd also prefer not to saturate the environment with more petro-chem waste, if not the products, then the by-products of their production :rolleyes:



My weapon is just hot water. HOT. And lots of it.

I'm sorry, but I had to laugh. It takes a lot of energy to make water hot. Where do you think that energy is coming from? Also where is your water coming from, hmmm; moving water takes energy. Ah, and don't neglect the energy cost of treating that water, both at the input and waste water treatment stages...

Washing with soap and water, sanitize with idophor, and a quick rinse might very well have less environmental impact then using lots of "HOT" water.

Medsen Fey
05-19-2013, 05:00 PM
I rotate sanitizers as the nasties will adapt over time to anything they keep being exposed to intermittently.

From a health standpoint, none of the chemical sanitizers (if used properly) poses a health hazard anywhere close to the alcohol you are making. It is far and away the most toxic aspect of mead.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

TheAlchemist
05-19-2013, 05:28 PM
i rotate sanitizers as the nasties will adapt over time to anything they keep being exposed to intermittently.

mrsa
esbl
vre
etc

kuri
05-19-2013, 09:41 PM
If I could reasonably rinse off the cleaner then I wouldn't be concerned on a personal level but to clean something with a chemical cleaner but then rinse with only what I have available (tap water) seems self defeating.
I have brewed 3 things, nothing wrong so far. Likely a matter of time though. My weapon is just hot water. HOT. And lots of it.

Hot water works if you give it enough time. Baking things in the oven does too. Even better is to put them in a pressure cooker. If you have one that gets up to high enough pressures (most don't) you can actually sterilize things that way and not merely sanitize them. You won't get a 6.5 gallon fermentation bucket into a pressure cooker, though, and many plastics won't take the heat.

As for rinsing, you might consider StarSan followed by a boiling (or cooled pre-boiled) water rinse if the need ever arises in the future. 1 liter StarSan solution plus 1 liter of boiling water could take care of all your sanitization needs. StarSan is no-rinse, but that doesn't mean you can't rinse, only that you don't need to. And if you never have a problem with infections using hot water then I'd say that's the way to go for you. I don't personally think that I'll lose a single day of health to StarSan, but if you think you would then it isn't worth losing sleep over the issue. Go with what works and makes you comfortable at the same time.

Chevette Girl
05-29-2013, 07:11 AM
I just use potassium metabisulphite since it's the same thing we stabilize finished wines and meads with, just a higher dose... some amount of sulphites occur naturally during the fermentation process so I figure it's about as natural a sanitizer as I'm going to get, since I prefer not to use a lot of harsh chemicals either.

THawk
06-03-2013, 04:40 AM
I personally use StarSan as it's environmentally friendly and works quickly. Remember, too, that a finished mead is alcohol which will pretty much kill anything suicidal enough to get into it...

I used to use bleach as my sanitizer -- I don't think you can get much more environmentally UN-friendly than that... and I have access to tanks (yes, TANKS) of the stuff. Bleach will degrade over time. But it stays pretty potent for days, especially if the container is opaque...

huesmann
06-10-2013, 03:54 PM
I personally use StarSan as it's environmentally friendly and works quickly. Remember, too, that a finished mead is alcohol which will pretty much kill anything suicidal enough to get into it...

I used to use bleach as my sanitizer -- I don't think you can get much more environmentally UN-friendly than that... and I have access to tanks (yes, TANKS) of the stuff. Bleach will degrade over time. But it stays pretty potent for days, especially if the container is opaque...
And that's why you can use a bleach solution to sanitize your stuff, give it a good rinse with water, and return your bleach solution to your covered storage container for future use. Any bleach that you send down the drain is quickly diluted, and there's usually residual bleach in the water in the first place, from the water treatment plant.