Author Topic: keg line cleaner  (Read 11406 times)

KernelCrush

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keg line cleaner
« on: December 10, 2013, 05:12:35 PM »
Been using the old remove the faucet pump style line cleaner.  So I am staring at this recently kicked & cleaned keg and wondering about throwing in some  BLC solution and just running it on thru the faucet followed with a gallon or so of water.  Kind of a CIP homebrew style.  Any one try it?

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 07:08:55 PM »
When I clean my kegs I use some PBW, which instead of dumping out I push into my lines. Then I'll let it sit there and do its thing.  At some point I'll hook up a new brew to the line, push out the PBW, then pour a beer.  So far so good.
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Offline Bajaedition

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 12:26:08 AM »
I am up with the PBW
when a keg empties, I pump it through the lines and let it sit a day before flushing
then I add a new keg

remember sanitation is a basic fact of home brewing, we need to sanitize everything
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Offline philm63

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 06:51:45 AM »
Agreed. PBW after the keg kicks, let it sit a day or so, tap the next keg and push it through.

I let Star-San sit in my lines once, but only once. After a few days my lines turned milky-white and were all gummed-up on the inside! Oh well, I wanted to replace those lines anyway...
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KernelCrush

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 04:36:01 PM »
I started off using the pump deal cause I was only getting commercial kegs in the beginning and its the way I learned.  Now wish I would have made the change sooner.  Way less time, tools, cleanup required this way.  But I am gonna stick with BLC.  My take is it is designed for the job, its cheaper, and it works quicker.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 06:38:50 PM »
Quote
But I am gonna stick with BLC.  My take is it is designed for the job, its cheaper, and it works quicker.

Just looked it up, and yeah it is a lot cheaper.  But all I've got to get it into the lines is a pressurized keg. If the PBW is working, and it's PBW that I'm already using to clean the keg, I don't see the need in getting more equipment for a new cleaner or adding another cleaning step to put the stuff into the line and rinse the stuff from the keg. 

What's that uniquely American saying... Oh yeah... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That goes for both of us.  ;)
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Offline merfizle

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 07:16:23 PM »
I use hot Oxyclean water and let sit a few hours.  Then, rinse with clean water and follow-up with Starsan mixture.

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KernelCrush

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 03:11:39 AM »
I am not allowed to clean kegs in the house so its easier to mix new than drag a keg  back from the barn.  I have never used a sanitizer after the cleaning/flushing phase.  The instructions I got dont say to.  Have probably run up to 100 kegs thru with no problem.

Offline brewfun

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 10:11:42 AM »
I use hot Oxyclean water and let sit a few hours.  Then, rinse with clean water and follow-up with Starsan mixture.

Oxyclean and PBW are practically the same thing. I like this method because a water flush and then an acid rinse help neutralize the soap and also remove beer stone.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 11:39:16 AM »
I use hot Oxyclean water and let sit a few hours.  Then, rinse with clean water and follow-up with Starsan mixture.

Oxyclean and PBW are practically the same thing. I like this method because a water flush and then an acid rinse help neutralize the soap and also remove beer stone.

Actually, according the the 5-star MSDS (http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/PBWMSDS2.pdf) PBW is 30% Sodium Metasilicate.  Charley Talley has also said that it includes and oxygenator  (eg, sodium percarbonate...aka oxiclean).

Here is the MSDS for Oxiclean:  http://www.ahprofessional.com/_downloads/msds/MSDS-1605-OxiClean%20Versatile%20Stain%20Remover.pdf

Sodium carbonate 50-75%
Sodium percarbonate 30-45%

The general homebrew recipe for PBW is then 70% oderless oxiclean stain-remover, and 30% TSP substitute. 

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Offline brewfun

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 01:43:53 PM »
Tom, I said "practically." As in application. ;)  Both are soaps and function as such; emulsifying "dirt." :D 

Last time I checked, Sodium Metasilicate can degrade passivation and create a silicate deposit on stainless that will not dissolve or be otherwise removable with anything less than physical force.

Also, Sodium carbonate is the standard industrial replacement for TSP, isn't it?

All things considered, the relevant issue is steel quality and pH of the cleaner. For brewery purposes, a pH of 10 or higher is sufficient to remove proteins and tannins from passivized or inert surfaces. Biofilms require pH of at least 12. At 1% solution, TSP is 12, while PBW is 11 and Oxiclean is 10.5. The additional action of Oxygen in Oxiclean boosts its effectiveness in the biofilm department.

I was actually commenting on mrfizzle's use of acid rinse after the soap. I wasn't directly recommending any specific product. If asked, I would recommend BLC, hands down. It's a user friendly Sodium Hydroxide caustic that works via hydrolysis and at recommended doses is pH 13, perfect for eliminating biofilms in beer lines.  I'd still follow that with a water rinse, acid sanitizer rinse and another water rinse.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 02:29:56 PM »
Tom, I said "practically." As in application. ;)  Both are soaps and function as such; emulsifying "dirt." :D 

Last time I checked, Sodium Metasilicate can degrade passivation and create a silicate deposit on stainless that will not dissolve or be otherwise removable with anything less than physical force.


I am not a chemist.  However, my understanding is that the silicate can be easily removed with a weak acid solution such as vinegar or....Star-San.  I have left PBW sitting in my stainless for a week without any visible silicate deposits.  Quite the opposite, actually.  It was nice and squeaky and clean. 

It is also my understanding that the loss of passivation, and resultant exposure to corrosion is a chlorite (eg. sodium hypochlorite, aka bleach) problem.  Rather than a metasilicate problem.  Palmer recommends percarbonate/metasilicate based cleansers, as the clensers-of-choice for stainless. 

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Also, Sodium carbonate is the standard industrial replacement for TSP, isn't it?

No.  Sodium metasilicate is the active chemical in TSP-Substitute---ie, the red/white box from the local hardware store. 

Sodium carbonate is one of the oxygenating ingredients in Oxiclean (along with Sodium Percarbonate).

For reference purposes: 

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter2-2-1.html


Quote
All things considered, the relevant issue is steel quality and pH of the cleaner. For brewery purposes, a pH of 10 or higher is sufficient to remove proteins and tannins from passivized or inert surfaces. Biofilms require pH of at least 12. At 1% solution, TSP is 12, while PBW is 11 and Oxiclean is 10.5. The additional action of Oxygen in Oxiclean boosts its effectiveness in the biofilm department.

It also works much quicker hot. 

Quote
I was actually commenting on mrfizzle's use of acid rinse after the soap. I wasn't directly recommending any specific product. If asked, I would recommend BLC, hands down. It's a user friendly Sodium Hydroxide caustic that works via hydrolysis and at recommended doses is pH 13, perfect for eliminating biofilms in beer lines.  I'd still follow that with a water rinse, acid sanitizer rinse and another water rinse.

No disagreement from me.
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Offline brewfun

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 05:19:45 PM »
I am not a chemist.  However, my understanding is that the silicate can be easily removed with a weak acid solution such as vinegar or....Star-San.  I have left PBW sitting in my stainless for a week without any visible silicate deposits.  Quite the opposite, actually.  It was nice and squeaky and clean.
 
It is also my understanding that the loss of passivation, and resultant exposure to corrosion is a chlorite (eg. sodium hypochlorite, aka bleach) problem.  Rather than a metasilicate problem.  Palmer recommends percarbonate/metasilicate based cleansers, as the clensers-of-choice for stainless. 

At pH of 10 and up, chlorine does not react with stainless. However, time, temperature and chelation can change the buffering strength of the solution. Most commercial breweries do or have used chlorinated caustic for cleaning tanks and kettles. In addition, chlorine dioxide is a sanitizer used in many breweries and food production plants. As long as the steel is properly passivated, no issues arise.

In your case, Tom, I don't think that you have any steel long enough to lose passivation. :D

Repeated dry heating of stainless and other sorts of "abuse" over time can remove chromium from stainless. As I understand it, Sodium Metasilicate can form a coating on unpassivated parts of the steel, through a redox reaction with the unprotected steel as it cools and dries. The resulting matrix with the silica is not easy to dissolve in acids. Dirk Loeffler (who is a chemist) repeatedly warns that long term use of metasilicates can lead to an unremovable residue that has to be sanded off.

In my brewery, I use both PBW and a Caustic for cleaning. PBW has the advantage of working in a CO2 environment, where caustic soda will cause a rapid pressure collapse as it reacts with the CO2 to form a harmless salt. Since my tanks have to be filtered, cleaned and refilled in a matter of 1 to 2 shifts, PBW lets me skip the air purge and (with bright tanks) refilling with CO2.

Quote
Quote
All things considered, ...

It also works much quicker hot. 


Ouch. ...I try to follow the "proper procedures are assumed" when talking to another experienced brewer.

The truth is that I participate in this forum for fun. It's a forum that talks about actually making beer, through the lens of specific brewing software. A lot less noise than other forums.

I'm not looking to razzle dazzle every nuance or detail, just inform. I wasn't gifted with a great memory. I have to work hard for every scrap of information I know. I compensate by having a very good reference library (of real books!).
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 05:28:56 PM by brewfun »
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 07:09:45 PM »
Quote
Ouch. ...I try to follow the "proper procedures are assumed" when talking to another experienced brewer.

The truth is that I participate in this forum for fun. It's a forum that talks about actually making beer, through the lens of specific brewing software. A lot less noise than other forums.

Sorry!!!  That wasn't directed AT you.  I was merely attempting to ADD TO what you'd already said. 

Quote
I'm not looking to razzle dazzle every nuance or detail, just inform. I wasn't gifted with a great memory. I have to work hard for every scrap of information I know. I compensate by having a very good reference library (of real books!).

Same here.  But, I don't have that reference library, here.  Besides, anyone else reading this, probably doesn't have the material.  So, when there is a relevant paragraph / section / chapter in one of the trusted online sources...I like to quote that.  It's easy for someone to go read Palmer's first edition.  For water chemistry, I generally point people to AJ Delange, and various process related "experiements" I point to Kai. 


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KernelCrush

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Re: keg line cleaner
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2013, 04:27:17 PM »
Glad to have you both to keep we mortals in line.

Tom, is the 70/30 mix ABV or ABW?  I am guessing ABW since they are all sold by the pound.